Good food wasn’t a priority for Jody Peters for most of his life.
© Photo courtesy of Zoot Pictures.
Saskatchewan comedian Jody Peters stars in The Prairie Diner, starting Feb. 18 on City TV Saskatchewan.
The product of Aberdeen, Sask spent over 15 years doing stand up comedy and taking minor acting roles. Then, out of nowhere, he got a call from Zoot Pictures about doing a show about food on the Prairies.
“I was really kind of taken aback because I had no idea how they’d gotten my name,” Peters says with a laugh. “It turns out they had asked a person who does sound and he had mentioned my name. I was the only person he really knew who would be a good person to audition in Saskatoon.”
Peters made good on his audition and spent the next few months filming The Prairie Diner. The show, which debuts Feb. 18 on City TV Saskatchewan, has Peters showcasing a wide variety of restaurants and their owners. The show takes him from Carrot River, to Calgary, to Shaunavon, and even Prince Albert.
“It’s a serious look at food, but in a really fun way,” Peters says, “By the nature of my personality I’m always having a good time. I’m always making jokes and having fun. I think that’s the main things.”
Peters describes it as a “goofball takes to the road” type show, but the food, and the restaurants that produce them, are nothing to laugh at.
“The people who run them love food,” he says. “They love the culture that goes along with food and also the sense of community that it provides.”
The restaurants are usually well kept secrets, hidden away in obscure towns or out-of-the-way sections of big cities. The small towns in particular, Peters says, have a real passion for food.
“They really appreciate someone going out on a limb to move away from just the chicken fingers and fries and the other sort of mainstays in small town Saskatchewan.”
Peters filmed 13 episodes this season, each featuring a few different restaurants. The list includes local entries Amy’s and Persia Bistro.
“They’re fantastic restaurants,” Peters says. “If you like places that make good food from scratch, you’ll like them.”
With all this experience, Peters says it was almost impossible for him not to develop a greater appreciation for food and the culture it comes from.
“I really am always interested in new dishes, new spice combinations, different dishes from around the world. I’m always game to try it.”
Peters says he’s happy with how the show turned out, and is in now hurry to stop doing it.
“I’d loved to showcase places in the Prairies and beyond if we garner that type of interest,” he says. “This was our rookie season, the way I look at it, and we learned a lot this year doing the show. I think what we can do is take all that we’ve learned and improve on it.”