Born and raised in Pekin, David Flier’s trip to his national TV debut as a chef and restaurant owner in Bend, Ore. began in ~ Pekin neighborhood High School.

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“My high school teacher, Becky Stevenson, gained me right into culinary arts together a junior,” that said. “I took her food company class both as soon as I was a junior and a senior. She motivated me to walk to cook school.”

While taking the food company program at PCHS, Flier learned food preparation and proper sanitation in a full-sized advertisement kitchen. He evaluate Stevenson’s strategy to teaching since she didn"t worry if a student was a minute or two late for class – as long as that student arrived prepared to learn.

“She no sweat the tiny things,” said Flier. “She cared an ext about the bigger picture. I believed (the class) was fun. It was creative, and it was easy for me. Ns think a many of kids took that as type of a blow-off class like P.E., but I appreciated it. It was funny to setup menus and also execute them transparent the year."


The Food Network determined to function Rockin’ Dave’s Bistro and Backstage Lounge on “Diners, Drive-Ins and also Dives” since of emailed recommendations from patrons, follow to Flier. The network contacted him because that an over-the-phone interview during which he defined several of the restaurant’s specialties. The Food Network then all set a portfolio and the show’s host, guy Fieri, selected three dishes. Flier readily available Fieri a jalapeño, bacon, sriracha and also cheddar bagel, a homemade pastrami sandwich with homemade pickles top top homemade rye bread, and a "pork bomb."

“That’s acting pork belly, Jamaican jerked pork, ham, onions and also provolone cheese on homemade sourdough v mustard,” Flier explained.

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Flier’s Midwestern upbringing shows up on his food selection not just through that pork bomb, but also in Rockin’ Dave’s homemade Italian beef. If he to be to add a main Illinois-inspired item come his menu, it would certainly be the area’s signature sandwich: the pork tenderloin.

“I don’t have actually a fryer, so ns don’t perform that,” the said. “But if I had a fryer, ns would. Several of the ingredient at Maquet’s Railhouse (in Pekin) is the summary of what I’d have if ns were going for (a main Illinois feel).”


Teaching a student for two hrs each day for two school years will provide a teacher substantial insight right into that student’s character. Stevenson defined Flier as “a fine student” throughout his small year in ~ PCHS, however maintained the it was during his an elderly year that his leadership capability came come the surface.

“He gave demonstrations of what he had actually learned already,” she recalled. “He took other students under his wing. Besides the leadership an abilities he had, he was very an imaginative in what he want to prepare.”

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Over the years, the currently of communication between Flier and Stevenson have remained open and active. Flier to be on hand come speak at Stevenson’s retirement as a teacher in ~ PCHS. This Friday, Stevenson will certainly be in Bend, Ore., where Flier is hosting a clock party for the episode on the Food Network.

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“I can not measure how proud i am that Dave,” Stevenson stated. “He’s maintained in touch with me throughout the years, and vice versa. He’s checked out me a couple of times in Florida. I’m not on social media, so that takes an initiative sometimes for us to communicate, yet he always reaches out. His household has been very supportive the his career and our regime over at the high school.”

The "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" episode featuring Flier and also Rockin" Dave"s will certainly air in ~ 8 p.m. Oct. 22 on the Food Network.