Food Network’s newest show Undercover Chef featuring Chef Mark Estee traveled to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri to get to the truth behind NautiFish restaurant’s struggle to stay afloat.
According to the episode synopsis, “Mark ark heads to the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri to meet with Rob Shields, the owner of NautiFish, a lakeside restaurant that is struggling to stay afloat. Mark sets up hidden cameras throughout the restaurant and goes undercover to reveal the shockingly naughty truth behind this restaurant’s failure to thrive.”
In this case, owner Rob Shields will be the only one to know that Estee would be going undercover.
Filming For the Episode Took Place Two Years Ago
According to Lake Expo, filming for Undercover Chef at NautiFish Rum Bar took place two years ago. Estee pretends to be a college friend of the owner’s and reveals himself a few hours later.
“We were probably partying a little bit more at that stage of our life,” Shields said. “We are pretty young owners, so that’s probably a little bit of (the show) and the way I was running my kitchen. Should be a great show, but I’m still super nervous about it.”
It wasn’t Shields’ first chance to get on reality TV. Producers reached out to him with interest in his restaurant years ago for a show that would have been called “The Nauti Life.” That show never aired, however.
“The Food Network saw it and said, ‘That’s not our kind of show, but we do like the Ozarks and we do like your restaurant, so we’re going to keep you guys in mind for something else later down the road,” Shields said. “Two years later they called us.”
NautiFish has made some changes based on the advice of Estee, and the chef stayed an extra day to speak with the staff off-camera to make improvements in the restaurant.
Changes Made Include Using More Fresh Ingredients and a Smaller Menu
The restaurant changed a few things based on the advice of Estee included using more fresh ingredients and making the menu smaller. Shields said he would have always used fresh ingredients but, as the restaurant has a seating capacity of 300, that’s hard to do.
They have also renovated since the filming of the show. They have made the bar open-air. Shields believes that the show will be good for the business overall.
“It’s going to be great for our business and great for Lake of the Ozarks,” he said.
NautiFish Rum Bar Has Positive Reviews
Most of the reviews for Nautifish Rum Bar in Camdenton, Missouri are positive. On Google Reviews, the restaurant has 215 reviews with an average 4-star rating.
Recent reviews mention good food, though some of the reviews say service isn’t the greatest and the price is a bit more expensive than other places on the Lakes.
“They’ve really updated the inside and outside with a bigger bar and better,” user Christy P wrote. “It’s a much nicer atmosphere! Food was much better this weekend than we’d experienced in the past… Will definitely keep coming back!”
In Facebook reviews, people mention the good food and friendly staff. The restaurant has a 4.5 out of 5-star rating based on the opinion of 411 people there.
Tune in to Undercover Chef on Food Network at 10 p.m. Thursday nights to watch the changes to the restaurant take place.