Tweeds eatery, bison farm filmed for Travel Channel’s ‘Food Paradise’

10/13/2011 7:44 PM |

BARBARAELLEN KOCH PHOTO | Whit Rummel field producer, cameraman Scott Shelley and sound engineer Chris Grehan film bison at North Quarter Farm on Reeves Avenue in Riverhead Thursday afternoon.

Fans of “Food Paradise” on the Travel Channel may notice some familiar scenes during an episode airing right before Christmas.

An upcoming “Food Paradise,” which features different types of restaurants, will highlight Tweeds Restaurant and Buffalo Bar in downtown Riverhead and feature owner Ed Tuccio’s bison farm on Roanoke Avenue.

A Travel Channel field producer and freelance cameramen were videotaping about two-dozen bulls feasting on russet potatoes on Mr. Tuccio’s bison farm on Thursday afternoon, and had planned to capture dinner scenes at Tweeds later, at 6 p.m.

Mr. Tuccio whistled at the bulls from beside the fenced farm to get their attention during the taping Thursday.

“Charge,” he said jokingly, but the bulls kept on grazing.

Field producer Whit Rummel, who has produced at least a dozen episodes of “Food Paradise,” said focusing on bison was an obvious choice for the upcoming episode.

“If you want something really big and really terrific, you go for buffalo, right?” he said.

Mr. Rummel asked Mr. Tuccio on camera about the growing popularity of bison burgers, the process of slaughtering the big, brown beasts for meat and the dangers of raising bison.

“I’ve had to jump over the fence a few times — let’s put it that way,” Mr. Tuccio told the camera.

Mr. Tuccio, who has been raising bison for 30 years, went on to say he loads his bison onto trailers and sends them to a slaughterhouse in Pennsylvania since there aren’t any local facilities. The meat is then shipped back and served in his East Main Street eatery.

After the shooting wrapped up, Mr. Tuccio and the crewmembers were off to film other areas of Riverhead.

“We want to get a good flavor for the town, because we understand it has one hell of a heritage,” Mr. Pummel said.

sbrix@timesreview.com