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Prince Edward Island's Queen of Fries will hit TV screens on John Catucci's 'Big Food Bucket List'

A crew from the Food Network film John Catucci, left, the host of the show "Big Food Bucket List", chatting with Grant Pye of Charlottetown about the classic poutine served at The Chip Shack.
A crew from the Food Network film John Catucci, left, the host of the show "Big Food Bucket List", chatting with Grant Pye of Charlottetown about the classic poutine served at The Chip Shack.

Caron Prins knows how to draw attention.

The convivial "Queen of Fries" who doles out free hugs and lively banter - not to mention tasty food - likes to have her customers laughing and licking their chops.

“We entertain, not just feed,’’ she says.

Prins is in her ninth year serving up fries and a variety of other food at The Chip Shack in Charlottetown.

She was set up next to Founders’ Hall for the first seven years but was forced in June 2018 to move. So, she set up shop on a floating dock at Peakes Quay Marina.

The Chip Shack is doing much better than just keeping afloat in its current scenic location. Business is going swimmingly.

“I feel really blessed,’’ she says.

“Every year my business has grown. I’ve got to the point where I’m happy, almost to the point I need more people.’’

Now she is getting outside help to draw more eyes to her fries.

A Food Network crew spent Wednesday and Thursday filming at The Chip Shack for a segment that will be featured on a show called "Big Food Bucket List", which sees host John Catucci travel across North America sampling unique dishes.

Prins says the crew has treated her like family.

“It’s just been such a blast,’’ she says.

“I’m really glad I said yes (to being filmed).’’

Caron Prins, otherwise known as Queen of Fries, is the dynamic owner of The Chip Shack on the Charlottetown waterfront.
Caron Prins, otherwise known as Queen of Fries, is the dynamic owner of The Chip Shack on the Charlottetown waterfront.

Prins hopes the show portrays her business as “fun and delicious.’’

Grant Pye, a regular patron of The Chip Shack, was singing her praises before the cameras as he dug into a hefty order of classic poutine.

Pye told The Guardian he had a lot of fun being filmed Thursday, noting the shooting was done very professionally.

He calls the food at The Chip Shack “amazing’’ and considers the waterfront locale fantastic.

“It’s something out of a magazine – or a TV show,’’ he says.

Tanya Blake, producer of "Big Food Bucket List", says The Chip Shack was selected in part because of all the buzz it receives on social media.

"We had to meet the Queen of Fries herself,'' says Blake, adding the show could not come to Prince Edward Island without featuring the province's potatoes.

She adds the filming "went great'' and the segment on The Chip Shack will run next year in the second season of "Big Food Bucket List".

Prins is excited at the exposure her business will receive thanks to the Food Network.

“They say I’ll be even busier,’’ she says.

“I guess it will be interesting to see what happens. I just play everything one day at a time.’’

Prins adds she has no interest in moving off the water or in operating a restaurant year-round.

“I’ve always been a bohemian and I love travelling,’’ she says.

“I can’t stay in one place too long. So, this works perfectly for me. I work my butt off for six months and I have the option to run away if I want to – and that feeds my lifestyle.’’

jim.day@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianJimDay

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