News Archives - March 5, 2006
TV Show features Widow Fletcher's Tavern
Travel Channel's "Taste of America" gets a taste of RSBC hospitality and tradition
RSBC staff and Rachel Forrest, Portsmouth Herald  March 05, 2006
HAMPTON - On a breezy afternoon way back in late September, the regulars at Widow Fletcher’s Tavern in Hampton hoisted brews and sipped martinis as usual. What was not usual was a celebrity wearing a chicken head mask with wings strapped to his back or a woman dancing on the bar while a film crew from the Travel Channel’s "Taste of America" TV show preserved the antics on video for more than five hours.
Now, that five hours of tape has been edited down to a 10-minute segment of an episode in the series’ second season, complete with the chicken pot pie from Hampton, Taylor ham from New Jersey and huckleberries from Montana. The show airs at 8 p.m. this Tuesday on the Travel Channel.

The celeb in the funky chicken mask is the host of the show, actor and comedian Mark DeCarlo, and the primary reason for the crew’s visit to the tavern was to find out more about one of New England’s famous cuisine legacies - chicken pot pie - but it learned more than how to make a roux during the long afternoon.  What wound up in the segment is just a small part of the hours of mayhem and wisecracking that went on during the day of filming, but it’s a wonderful look into
a New England delicacy with plenty of humor - and local viewers might even recognize some friends.
While "Taste of America’s" goal might be to celebrate this country’s unique regional cuisines and to explore the history behind the food, the show also allows viewers to meet some of the people who love to make and eat the treats.  With DeCarlo’s lighthearted and even a bit risqué style leading the way, the show serves up not just information, but also a healthy portion of fun, all found in this particular episode with chicken pot pie.

Travel Channel's "Taste of America" films at WFT

The show starts off with scenic shots of a much warmer New Hampshire to set the mood, then transitions with cool black-and-white film clips of this area’s Colonial history, followed by retro clips of the 1950s when frozen food was king. Flash forward and it’s the cozy Widow Fletcher’s Tavern, where DeCarlo meets owner Parker Ryan who tells us about the history of chicken pot pie and takes us into the kitchen where chef Rob Miller makes the simple dish step-by-step with fresh vegetables cooked in plenty of butter, ("That’s boiling butter," DeCarlo quips), stock, tender chicken and a flaky puff pastry.

While the recipe is mouthwatering, much of the show’s entertainment comes from DeCarlo’s attempt to become a member of the Royal Society Bridge Club, a gathering of local businesspeople who organize charity fund-raisers and hang out at the tavern. These are the regulars who magically all show up while the pot pie is in the oven during the segment. Both Al Gore and Al Franken have been sworn into the club, and DeCarlo does everything he can to become a member as well, including eating one of the chicken pot pies and loving it (with his standard "tasting" sound, "num, num, num"), serving them to the members of the society and performing the official swearing in by repeating the society’s oath, with one catch - he had to wear the chicken mask.

All of that made the final cut, but what you won’t see is some pretty racy between-take jokes from the comedian and just how much convincing it took director Mike Pack to get him to even think about wearing the mask. "I’m not getting into a chicken suit if there’s no purpose in it," DeCarlo grumbled back in September.

He suggested that some of the women dance on the bar instead, and during the taping, one of them did. Sadly, that landed on the cutting room floor, but you will learn how to make a great chicken pot pie, have a few laughs, and discover the secret oath for the Royal Society Bridge Club at Widow Fletcher’s Tavern, where no one plays bridge.

Learn more about "Taste of America" and Mark DeCarlo at Travel Channel "Taste of America" webpage

Return to RSBC News Archives

Enter content here

Copyright © 2008 - RSBC  The Royal Society Bridge Club & The Widow Fletcher's Tavern
All images and facts in these pages are the property of the RSBC and WFT of Hampton, NH
Duplication, reproduction or use of these pages is not permissable without the written permission of the
Widow Fletcher's Tavern, 401 Lafayette Road, Hampton, NH 03842 • (603) 926-8800

This site is designed and maintained by Jon Mooers Art