For five years, Food Network Canada viewers could catch comedian and performer John Catucci getting behind-the-scenes access to some of the country’s must-try eats at restaurants coast to coast.
Armed with a catchphrase, a fork in the pocket of his plaid shirt, and his fair share of witty quips, Catucci steered Canadians to some over-the-top dishes on his show You Gotta Eat Here. While you can still see YGEH in re-runs, after a nearly-two-year TV pause, Catucci is back with a new show, where he takes on North America’s essential eats on Big Food Bucket List.
“Big” is definitely one way to describe Catucci’s personality, which cuts through the cloud cover of a typical Vancouver morning, even over the telephone, punctuated with plenty of hearty laughs – and a healthy side of sudden food cravings.
Catucci jokes that during his post-YGEH time, you could generally find him hanging out at home, out doing comedy, and figuring out if he could eat without a camera present. When Food Network Canada came to him with a proposal to do a new show, he jumped at the chance to hit the road.
Big Food Bucket List sprang from the uprising of similar online content over the last few years outlining all the “things you had to do before you die.” Hoping to hone in on the less morbid aspects of kicking the bucket, Catucci sees the new show, which tracks down must-try eats across North America, as a way to have fun with it – no death involved.
“These are the dishes you must have in your life,” explains the host. “Not the dying side of things. The things you will eat with a smile.”
In this case, “big” isn’t just a matter of size; Catucci says viewers will see him tuck into dishes that are “over the top in flavour and idea,” and, borrowing some millennial hype parlance, “drool-worthy.”
“You will be drooling!” exclaims Catucci.