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Greens Georgio, a favorite dish at Georgio's Village Cafe in New Hartford, is just one version of the popular dish that is found on restaurant menus throughout the area.

 

By CASSAUNDRA BABER

Guy Fieri the host of “Guy's Big Bite” and two other shows, dedicated an episode that aired Sunday called “Blondes Have More Fun” to Utica-inspired cuisine, including Utica greens.

Fieri, who appeared at The Turning Stone recently as September, called the popular dish “Turning greens from Utica, NY,” said former local resident Mike Falvo, who turned on the show Sunday morning to see an unexpected reminder of home.

“I saw him putting the greens in the pan, and he mentioned the ingredients, and they sounded really familiar,” said Falvo, who now lives in San Angelo, Texas. “I said, 'I think he's making greens.”

The dish - made with fresh chopped escarole, hot cherry peppers, fresh prosciutto, grated cheese and a mix of oregano, bread crumbs and cheese - has a cozy spot on the menus of many local restaurants, including Georgio's Village Café, Dominique's Chesterfield Restaurant, Delmonico's Italian Steak House and Joey's Restaurant.

Fieri, who competed on and won season two of “The Next Food Network Star” in 2006, served the greens to fellow Food Network chef Anne Burrell, who is originally from Cazenovia.

“He talked about the food in the area and how he loved the food in Utica,” said Falvo, who frequently makes Utica dishes, such as greens and chicken riggies, to share with Texas friends. “It made me hungry, and it made me miss home a little bit.”