It was on the eve of perhaps one of Pacifica’ most eagerly anticipated restaurant that chef/owner Derek Burns submitted a last month describing the cultural significance of a Kalua pig roast with a video of a friend showing how easy it is to prepare the Hawaiian delicacy.
Little did Burns know that the post would find its way to the screen of a cable network producer.
The producer contacted Burns, telling him “I think I want to do a story on ‘this guy.’ ”
“This guy” was Darin Peterson, a charismatic Pacifica resident and friend of Burns with Polynesian ties who was a perfect fit for "Man, Food & Fire," a program that launches later this year on The Cooking Channel.
And as it happened, Burns’ “Surf Spot,” a coastal playground that’s part gourmet eatery and part amphitheater, was just about to open its doors.
More important, Surf Spot features a underground oven designed for pig roasts.
“It’s all about cooking with real fire,” Burns said.
“(Peterson) needed a place to do his demonstrations and I happened to have built a Hawaiian style underground oven. That’s the traditional way to cook a real Kalua pig - the whole pig in a fire pit.”
The Cooking Channel of about 10 to Surf Spot on a packed Saturday, four days after the restaurant’s opening. The crews spent the entire weekend filming the new Pacifica hot spot.
“It was wild,” Burns said. “Customers thought it was cool because we had a full on luau going on out there with Polynesian dancers; so it was really cool.
“It was a pretty extraordinary day.”
Burns acknowledged that accommodating the film crew’s demands along with the hundreds of customers that packed his restaurant over the weekend took an extraordinary effort from his staff.
Burns said that he’s hopeful the show will generate some publicity for his restaurant venture later this year, when the buzz surrounding the opening dies down.
Surf Spot features delicacies from exotic surfing destinations around the world and an outdoor music venue that seats 250. The restaurant is the culmination of six years of preparation for Burns, a renowned Bay Area chef and longtime surfer who’s lived in Pacifica for 13 years.
“I can’t tell you how happy I am that the community at large, and even beyond (Pacifica) has embraced this restaurant,” Burns said.
“It shows me that what I’ve built here was something that was needed by the community, and I intend for this to be an iconic Pacifica business that will last for decades.”