If you were around Daytona Beach and New Smyrna Beach last summer, you probably heard about the occasional Guy Fieri sightings across the cities! The Food Network star was touring restaurants in the area for his show, “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives,” and causing quite a stir in the Facebook Foodie group that I’m a part of online.
While many of the places he visited got a lot of local attention, I want to share my experience with one spot he visited and highlight some of our other Daytona area businesses that have been featured on national platforms in the past year.
I personally had a chance to be part of the filming for “DDD” at Arepita Beach in downtown Daytona Beach (174 Beach St.) with my eldest daughter! My family has enjoyed the restaurant many times and interacted with the owners, the Altamars, both in-person and on Instagram, so we were thrilled to take part in their special day.
My daughter was served the Patacon Beef, a sandwich with plantains instead of bread, and I was served what had already been my favorite, the Reina Pepiada. It’s a cold chicken salad inside a warm, cheesy arepa. The Venezuelan food is unique to our area and the owners are very welcoming. I’m so glad they got to share more of their story. You can see their store hours or even order food online at ArepitaBeachFL.co
Another Daytona Beach restaurant featured on a Food Network show is Sauté Kingz (200 MLK Blvd). Chef Count, Mrs. Jessica and their family have done pop-ups around town, catering, opened a storefront and have a food truck that competed on, “The Great Food Truck Race.” Just like the name implies, they sauté vegetables and meat like shrimp and chicken with pasta alfredo or coconut rice.
While I certainly love their food, I am just as impressed with their generous hearts towards the city. They have donated their food to community events and their storefront ribbon-cutting ceremony was more like a block party for all of Midtown Daytona than a formal business meeting. You can see their store hours or locations of where the food truck will be on their Facebook page at, “Sauté Kingz By Chef Count” or on Instagram as @SauteKingz.
The last food star I want to rave about is baker, Ale Galan. She is a cake artist that most recently competed on the, “Dr. Seuss Baking Challenge” on Prime Video. Her creativity shines through her unique cakes on the show, recreating scenes from, “Oh the Places You’ll Go” for one round.
You can find her now around the Port Orange area with her stuffed cookie business, “Cookie Xperiment.” She even debuted “chocolate fluffernutter” cookies with chocolate, peanut butter and marshmallow fluff at the NSB Food Festival. You can find her pop-up locations or even order cookies to be shipped nationwide at CookieXperiment.com.
My husband jokes that I think everyone is a celebrity in my book as I am often star-struck by people I first see online or on TV and then try to talk to in person. I say if these folks are amazing enough to be featured on nationwide television shows, then they must be a big enough deal for us all to support here in our community!