Food Network films at local club during Blues Festival

Published 9:56 am Monday, April 23, 2007

The Natchez Bluff Blues Festival might have been winding down Sunday night, but it ended with a treat when a crew from the Food Network filmed at Club 601.

“Feasting on Asphalt,” a show about eating on the road, stopped in Natchez just in time for the blues festival.

Sunday, they interviewed cooks frying up catfish at the Martin Luther King Street venue.

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“We figured with blues and catfish, you can’t go wrong,” host Alton Brown said.

Brown and his crew started in Venice, La., on the coast, and are traveling up the Mississippi River in search of more than just fast food chains.

“We’re trying to discover the authentic,” Brown said. “We’re concerned about the homogenization of culture, especially food culture.

“We’re looking for the real. We figured the river was a good place to do that.”

Club 601 owner George Lee said the Food Network called the festival organizer asking for a list of venues. Lee said he was surprised when the crew landed on his doorstep.

“They just showed up,” Lee said.

He said he was thrilled to host them and pleased to get the publicity.

“It’s the Food Network. They broadcast all across the country,” he said.

The Natchez Bluff Blues Festival is in its 12th year. Sunday’s “blues brunches” paired local bands with popular local restaurants.

Club 601 has been a part of the blues fest for three years now, Lee said.

This year, the restaurant hosted YZ Ealey. Members of the Natchez band were as surprised about the show’s visit as Lee.

“It’s unexpected,” bass player Ernest Pickett said.

“We found out just a few hours ago,” Linda Ross, lead vocalist, said.

The Blues Fest started Friday and ended Sunday.