Food Coma TV takes in the local nightlife

19 November 2011

ST. JOHN VALLEY - When a film crew for a web-based production traveled to Fort Kent on Friday, they discovered that when you're traveling north from Portland, the ride to the St. John Valley can feel like its seven hours long.

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LIGHTS, CAMERA, LOCAL ACTION! - The film crew for Food Coma TV work their video cameras at BeeJay's on Friday night.  The deft videographers were filming pieces for the show while the crowded bar bustled with activity. - Julie Daigle image

And that's because it is seven hours long, including a stop in Bangor at Dysart's on the way up, said Joel Beauchamp, a member the Portland-based film crew for Food Coma TV.  They arrived around eleven o'clock at night on Nov. 18, in time to film the intimate crowd that had turned out to listen to Travis Cyr perform a selection of songs in the newly renovated Bee-Jay's Tavern in Fort Kent.

Joe Ricchio, the host of Food Coma TV, Director Kurt Graser and Producer Alex Steed made the trip north, along with several cameramen and other members of the crew, because "it's the furthest away from Portland that you can get," deadpanned Ricchio.  Ricchio is the food editor for Maine magazine, and author of the food blog

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PIZZA MOMENT - One of the members of the film crew takes a break from the action in order to enjoy BeeJay's famous pizza. - Julie Daigle image

Reflecting Maine's small-town atmosphere, members of the film crew have many St. John Valley friends in Portland who encouraged them to check out the food and the culture in the Acadian region, said Ricchio.  These include Katie Selva of Fort Kent, daughter of UMFK professors Steve and Marcie Selva, Frank Hopkins of Fort Kent, son of Dorothy Hopkins and a member of the locally performing band Line of Force, Dominic Lavoie of Madawaska, member of the locally performing band The Lucid, and Chuck Gagne of Fort Kent, son of Steph and Diane Gagne, and also a member of The Lucid.  Erin Dow of Fort Kent is serving as the crew's local guide.

Ricchio said, "It almost seems like a different planet."  He was referring to the St. John Valley's distance from Portland, the ubiquitous presence of moose, and the proximity of Fort Kent to another country, Canada.

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MADE WELCOME WAY UP NORTH - Food Coma host Joe Ricchio enjoyed the local atmosphere at Beejays along with many local folks, including Erin Dow and Aaron Bernstein. - Julie Daigle image

"I love blood sausage, I love creton, and I love to drink.  Why wouldn't we come up here?" he quipped.

The film crew will spend the morning of Nov. 19 after their Bee-Jay's experience in the woods with Chase Jackson, son of Representative Troy Jackson.

"I'm just trying not to get shot," joked Yarmouth-born Ricchio, explaining that he had little to no experience with either woods, guns or shooting.

Local folks will see the members of the crew  over the weekend at Two Rivers in Allagash, Bouchard Farms, Rock's, and the Long Lake Sporting Club, at the very least. Other locations are possible, depending on time constraints and scheduling conflicts.