They know it’s a little early yet, and cool, to have the boats and jet skis summer ready but owners of the Sizzlin Sisters Lakeside Grill are hoping for a large crowd at The Sands on Kentucky Lake April 27 as they film for their television debut that will be featured on two major television networks.
Which two television networks specifically, they can’t say yet. But they can say the show that will feature their business wanted to focus on the ‘food movement’ of food trucks and boats, and Sizzlin Sisters Lakeside Grill is one of only seven food boats across the nation that were chosen.
Jenny Dowdy, co-owner of the business with her sister, Bethany Prather, and their husbands, Greg Dowdy and Steven Prather, said she first received a call and voicemail from a TV producer and then noticed a Facebook message on the business page.
“I thought it was probably just spam so I thought, ‘I’m not calling them back.’ But then I thought, ‘This might be real,’ so I called my sister and brother and they told me to call him right now,” she recalled with a laugh. “We talked for a while and then he wanted to set up a Skype interview for four days later. We went to mom’s house and Skyped him and he did a 40-minute to hour interview. He was asking all these questions and we didn’t answer any of them right—we were rambling and there were lots of points when we got completely off topic, completely, because we were just so excited. So imagine our surprise when we got a call from the executive producer and she says, ‘We want you guys.’”
Jenny said she’s not sure how television producers knew about the business. All she knows for sure is they saw a picture somewhere and tracked it down. But there’s really no telling, she said, between the exposure from an article published in The Tribune-Courier in April 2016 when the business first opened going viral and being featured in innumerable newspapers and travel, food and boating magazines across the states, to social media exposure through the business Facebook page and customers’ social media pages.
Jenny said the filming will be a two-day event for her and Bethany because “there’s a lot of filming to do,” but they only need a crowd for one of those days. She said some of that filming will take place where the Sizzlin Sisters Lakeside Grill’s 30-foot pontoon docks, Southern Komfort Village and Marina off Barge Island Road, and some will take place at The Sands on April 27—which is when and where they need the crowd. The time is hard to pinpoint, she said, because the filming crews want to watch them prep and cook 15-20 of each of two featured dishes, then serve all those dishes to customers, then also film the customers’ reactions.
Jenny said one of the the featured dishes is their quesadilla, which is a fan favorite, but they’ve tinkered with the recipe a bit to make it more visually appealing while keeping it “packed full of flavor.” She said the newer version of the quesadilla is made with chunky chicken with a special, spicy and sweet sauce, topped with pineapple and avocado.
The second featured dish, the Dixie Heat BBQ sandwich, she said is new to the menu this year. “It’s a good, smoky barbeque we do,” Jenny said, with the same special, spicy and sweet sauce, served with a side of fresh (vinegar and lemon) slaw.
Jenny said she and Bethany had been working on the recipes over the winter and planned on introducing the dishes this summer, but the television producers loved the ideas and wanted to see them in action. She said both dishes will be featured again when the business opens for the season but won’t be items offered during holiday weekends or busy times due to the prep time required for each dish—they’ll be offered as specials.
“We’re calling out for anybody that wants to be on camera—especially if you’ve been a loyal customer. We want to share this joy with all of our people,” she said. “We want to show them that we have a good time out there and that we have local support.”
Jenny said the water is, of course, still cold, but the water levels are down from the flooding and the beach should be nice—weather permitting.
Jenny said it will still be a few weeks after filming before they open for the season but they’re excited for their third summer season on the lake. She said when the business initially opened they had intended to putt around the lake a little, but it was easier for the customers to find them if they stayed stationary so they’ve claimed The Sands—which is where you’ll find them when the sun comes out to stay. Last year, the business grew with the purchase of a jet ski used to make deliveries to the Rock Quarry and Pisgah Bay with help from their husbands and dad, Loyd Hudspeth.
In the meantime, Jenny said she and Bethany and their family have been spit-shining the toons and summerizing the equipment, getting ready for the cameras and the upcoming season.
For more information about the day of filming, Jenny has created a Facebook event called ‘Filming at The Sands’ where she has been posting updates as they’re available, as well as on the business Facebook page, ‘Sizzlin Sisters Lakeside Grill.’