Five Minutes with Fran Drescher

I try not to get too star struck when I am in the presence of a Hollywood type. Twenty plus years in TV news has a way of softening the blow a little bit. I’ve had the good fortune of interviewing some of the biggest names in sports at some time or another. The names on the news end of the spectrum not nearly as big, but you try telling someone that interviewing James Franco is a bigger deal than a chat with Michael Jordan in his time or Steve Spurrier in his? My point, I don’t choke on my words too much in the presence of a celebrity.

Then Fran Drescher walked in to the restaurant. While I’d love to say our eyes met across a crowded room, she and her friend sat down for coffee a feet away from us.

I was a little giddy. Though I never ever watched 2 minutes of The Nanny, I was and continue to be a fan. We were shooting some on-camera work for our television show at The Collins Quarter last week when a quick glance at the door revealed two ladies were trying to pull on the door to get in. It took me about 3 seconds to recognize one of them as Fran Drescher, who was in town for a speaking engagement. Clearly she decided to spend a few days in Savannah following her gig at the Trade and Convention Center the day before.

My friend Kris was a little giddy as well.. She’s silly like that. She stole a few photos.

We went about our business shooting what we needed to shoot. 20 or so minutes later, we were packing up ready to go and I just felt compelled to say hello. Yeah, I need to mind my own business sometimes, I promise to work on that.

I walk over and say hello. Told Ms. Drescher I was a big fan asked if she could spare a second for a photo, at which point her friend says “So, they say you’re the guy around here.” Of course Kris likes to embellish the truth sometimes. I smiled and said “Um, well I eat a lot. And I talk about it on TV.”

Ms. Drescher obliged my request, even took the selfie herself. I thanked her and told her she had found one of the good spots in Savannah at The Collins Quarter. When I asked where they had eaten while they were in town they rattled off a list.

“Is Local 11ten good?” she asked.

Yes, it is actually. It’s down on the other end of the park. “We’re going there tonight” she said.

“We ate at The Grey last night. That was fantastic.” “We also went to Cotton and Rye. That was so good!”

I asked if they had Cotton and Rye’s signature Shrimp and Grits.

“Are you kidding? Of course. That was amazing. And those chicken thighs!”   Yep. Those chicken thighs. Accompanied by mac and cheese.

I took the opportunity to share that the places they chose to eat are the kinds of places we go in search of around the South for our television show. Restaurants that are doing Southern food, of course, but with slightly modern twists.

“Yes, and all of the ingredients are fresh and from the local area.” she said. “And you feel great after you eat them.”

It turns out Ms. Drescher is a foodie. “She does her homework. Whenever we travel” her friend said.

She sure did seem to pass the Savannah test. I told her so as well. With that I thanked them for their time and got on down the road. Very nice lady, very friendly. Glad to see she enjoyed her time here.

See you on TV,

Jesse

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Eat It and Like It launched in Savannah, Georgia with television personality Jesse Blanco as the host. His passion for food and travel has made Eat It and Like It a two-time EMMY nominated program about contemporary and traditional Southern food.