Local coach to appear on popular Food Network show

Photos courtesy of The Food Network – Fortuna teacher and football head coach Mike Benbow, center, will appear on an episode of Guy’s Grocery Games on The Food Network along with two other teachers on Wednesday night.

By Ray Hamill — When he’s not cooking up a game plan for the Fortuna football team, head coach Mike Benbow enjoys spending time in his kitchen cooking food.

But he never thought he’d get a chance like this.

On Wednesday night, the longtime Fortuna High coach and teacher will appear on the popular Food Network show Guys Grocery Games, which is hosted by well-known American Restaurateur Guy Fieri and partners teachers with celebrity chefs in a serious of games and competitions.

Benbow applied for a spot on the show early last summer after an email was sent to Fortuna High announcing the opportunity, and after “five or six interviews” over the summer months he was selected to appear.

“It was incredible,” the Huskies coach said. “It was just a great opportunity. I never thought in a million years I would have an opportunity like this and be lucky enough to be selected.”

The show was filmed in Santa Rosa last August and will air several times over the next two weeks (see below for show times).

And while Benbow was giving little away as to how he fared on the show, he was competing for up $20,000 in scholarships.

Benbow knows Fieri, who is one of the most popular and recognized food celebrities in the country and grew up in Ferndale.

Last summer, Fieri lent the Huskies his trailer for their annual fundraising event at the Fortuna Rodeo, where they sell burritos.

“I love to cook,” Benbow said. 

Benbow and the Huskies will be back at the popular rodeo again this weekend, as they raise funds for the school’s football and cheering program.

Benbow teamed with celebrity chef Aarti Sequeira on the show.

The episode will air on The Food Network on the following dates and times:

Wednesday at 9 p.m.

Thursday at 12 a.m.

Sunday, July 23 at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, July 26 at 3 p.m.

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