'Meals with the mayor(s)' Celebrity chef Guy Fieri helps highlight restaurants in his North Bay hometown

Wayne Freedman Image
ByWayne Freedman KGO logo
Tuesday, April 28, 2020
Celebrity chef Guy Fieri highlights North Bay restaurants adapting to COVID-19
Celebrity chef Guy Fieri and Windsor mayor Dominic Foppoli host a web show called "Meals with the Mayor(s)" to highlight and help local restaurants adapting to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

WINDSOR, Calif. (KGO) -- In Windsor, the most mouth-watering television show features food so good and so tasty that residents can practically reach out and touch it, literally. Literally. It's the latest creative idea to come from COVID-19, and owes much of its success to more than a little star power.

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Like everywhere else, downtown Windsor has been way too quiet, these days, thanks to that pesky little virus. You will find little traffic on the streets and even less in local eateries.

Lucky for Tomi Thai restaurant that they have always had a booming take-out business. "But it is difficult because of all the health restrictions," general manager Diana Thomalong told us.

On Monday, she and her brother Kelvin Khamvongsa received a little help from a big name, American restaurateur and celebrity chef Guy Fieri.

Fieri lives in Windsor and today, he gave Tomi Thai some big-time raves with an interview online.

"You do not know how often I order there," Fieri told them. "You're my number one."

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In theory, it is brilliant marketing for a community with small businesses trying to keep their heads above water during this pandemic.

In three weeks, the city of Windsor has produced thirty of these interviews, called "Meals With the Mayor(s)."

"From a town perspective it reminds locals what we have, but also puts them in national spotlight," said Mayor Dominic Foppoli. He did the interview from his home and Fieri from his ranch in Lake County, while Diana and Kelvin stood outside their restaurant in front of that iPad.

The town of Windsor and its Chamber of Commerce play the videos on their web and Facebook sites.

"What are we eating?" asked Foppoli during the interview.

"Drunken noodles," the dish is an old-country hangover cure.

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More important, Fieri describes these videos as important in helping other members of his chef and restaurant tribe.

"Most of these restaurants do not have the cash reserves to go this long without working," he told us.

For Windsor restaurants, how nice it is to have friends in high places, especially when they live just around the block.

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