BY CLAIRE CUDAHY
When Kokom’s Bannock Shack owner Josee Racicot got the call from Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here! she thought it was a joke.
“No, no – don’t hang up!” said the voice on the other end of the line.
Just three years after opening the chip truck in Vermilion Bay, Kokom’s has already surpassed Racicot and her husband Bruce Dowswell’s expectations.
“We opened and it just took off. I was so overwhelmed that first year that I almost closed back down,” recalled Racicot.
In October 2013, Kokom’s opened a restaurant in Dryden—the very location where crews will be filming on Aug. 11 and 12 for season five of You Gotta Eat Here! with host John Catucci.
Catucci travels all over Canada, and even into the U.S., to showcase must-visit joints and their mouthwatering comfort food in half-hour episodes.
“I’m excited more than anything,” said Racicot. “It’s been my dream to be on that show since we first opened the restaurant.”
Racicot and Dowswell opened Kokom’s after 10 years as long-haul truck drivers. They wanted something that would keep them at home more with friends and family.
“I told my husband, ‘We have to be different. We can’t just be any old chip stand,’” explained Racicot. “We started thinking bannock because we always had to wait for pow wows to get that.”
On the show, Racicot will be sharing three of Kokom’s recipes, but you’ll have to wait to see the episode to find out what those are.
The restaurant in Dryden will close down for the two days of shooting, one of which will focus on the filming of two invite-only meal seatings.
“It’s very exciting. All 18 of our staff will be involved. We are like a little family here. We’ve mainly had the same staff since we opened,” said Racicot. “We would not be here without them.”
The episode’s airing date has not yet been released.