Jimmy G's chef preps for Food Network appearance

Posted at 5:39 PM, Mar 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-03 22:32:11-05

CINCINNATI -- Chef Jimmy Gibson is no stranger to cooking under the glare of lights and television cameras.

The owner of Downtown restaurant Jimmy G's, at 435 Elm St., first appeared on the Food Network in 2001, when producers flew him to New York as a contestant on the cook-off competition "Ready, Set, Cook." Gibson made it through three of four rounds before getting cut.

Gibson will make his fifth appearance on the network at 10:30 p.m. Friday in an episode of "Burgers Brews & 'Que," hosted by celebrity chef Michael Symon. And Gibson considers the episode, titled "Super Chef's Favorite Foods," his most meaningful because it was shot on location at Jimmy G's this past summer. 

He is celebrating with a viewing party at the restaurant starting at 9 p.m. Friday. 

"For them to come to you, that's special," Gibson said.

RELATED: View photos from inside Jimmy G's

The chef said the show's producers approached him one weekday after reading about Jimmy G's bacon and blue cheeseburger, house-made ice cream and fries while scouting local eateries for upcoming episodes.

On the following Sunday, a day Jimmy G's is normally closed, Gibson filled his restaurant with family and friends as Symon and 13 crew members filmed him making his burger, fries and ice cream. Food Network only recently announced the episode would air Friday.

"Michael Symon was awesome. He is a very talented chef. We had a blast," Gibson said. 

Food Network and Symon filming in his restaurant was not just a point of pride for Gibson. He believes the appearance also will translate into increased business traffic for Jimmy G's, which Gibson admits is a bit off the beaten path for a Downtown restaurant. 

"That is huge for local business," he said, joking that "Elm Street is not the end of the Earth."

Gibson said that Jimmy G's will stay open later than normal Friday and that he will "be back in the kitchen working, which is where I should be."