Daym Drops Dishes On His New Netflix Show Fresh, Fried & Crispy - Exclusive Interview

When it comes to finding the best fried food joints in your area, you have your work cut out for you. With so many restaurant choices that serve up amazing food, finding the best fried and crispy meals can truly prove challenging. Luckily, Netflix has the answer in the form of their latest show, "Fresh, Fried & Crispy," (via Hartford Courant). The show, hosted by viral Youtube celebrity Daymon "Daym Drops" Patterson traces the exploits of the star across eight episodes as he explores the best fried and crispy foods across the country. In addition to trying the best fried food at joints from cities across America, Daym names one restaurant in each area as the best fried food joint around. 

Daym's no stranger to great food. The personality built his career on reviewing the very best fried food across the country, and even hosted the show "Best Daym Takeout" on Travel Channel back in 2013 (via CTPost). With expertise like this, you know that Daym has the skills and knowhow to tackle anything restaurants can throw at him. We sat down with Daym for an exclusive interview to get his take on "Fresh, Fried & Crispy," learn the in's and out's of what went on behind the scenes, and discovered Daym's take on the best fried food in America.

A deep dive into the best fried food with Daym Drops

[With the show coming out soon,] how's it feel right now? What are your impressions?

It's a surreal moment still. I'm doing the interviews, I'm seeing the post, and People's Magazine covering earlier today, watching the new trailer, and I'm just getting excited. Because I mean, I was there in the thick of it for the past two months last year, two months straight filming everything, the long days, and just to see what it got chopped down to, and just to see the end result, I'm excited for the end result right now.

You're no stranger to this too. You used to have your Travel Channel show. How does [Fresh, Fried & Crispy] compare to that?

Netflix is a much larger scale, right? Like, excuse me, with Travel Channel, I can't always say I was 100% allowed to be Daymon and Daym Drops, all right? Like it was, "Okay, Daym, Let's keep right here. There's a bubble right here. Let's stay in the bubble. That's our audience. Our audience is in this bubble." And Netflix was like, "All right, Daym, you see that little box over there? Run past the box, and go play in that backyard, and we're just going to go film it." I was like, "Are you sure?" They were like, "We're positive," and it got crazy. When that happened, I was able to embrace food in a different way that I know was going to come across the screen, resonate with families at home, where everybody can get excited to watch Fresh, Fried & Crispy together on Netflix, bro. And I can't wait for that moment.

Daym Drops clears up the myths behind fried food

What are the myths and misconceptions when it comes to fried food? What do you want to clear up for everybody at home?

You know what? When people hear "fried foods," they're going to automatically think of the negative. It's going to happen. They're like, "Oh my goodness, cholesterol's going to shoot out the roof." There's different ways to go about frying foods, right? It doesn't have to be 100%, fried three times, hard over, you're eating straight grease and gristle. There can be a way to lightly fry. They use a particular type of oil where, I mean, at the end of the day, oil is what it is, but if you do it lightly, where it's still you embracing the food more than you're embracing that crisp on the bite, that's where the freshness comes in. You know what I'm saying?

That's where it's going to happen. You drop it up in the fryer for a couple of seconds, that bad boy comes out, you give it time to crisp up, you're just doing that for that excitement that's going to rush into your mouth, but you're still getting more food than anything. It really comes down to what you deep frying and at the end of the day. I don't know if anybody did deep fried lettuce, but I'm sure it's out there.

The birth of a fried food show

How did all this come about too? Somebody must've had this idea, like, "We got to do a fried food show." Where did that come from?

Here's the reality of it all. At the end of the day, America loves fried foods, right? We have a balance about us where you have the healthier, more conscious individuals, where there's meal prep, that's going on with a lot of grilled chicken and veggies. Okay. And no disrespect, that's on the left side over there. On the right side, it's just the rest of us that say, "Listen, we're going to run through the gamut of all different types of food, but there's something about those French fries that I do love. There's something about the cod fish that I love, when they've been fried up. Or there's something about the chicken that I love when it's been fried up." But then, you could just keep taking it further. When you watch "Fresh, Fried & Crispy," you start to get a plethora of foods that end up being fried, crisped up, where you just didn't normally think, "Oh, well, wow, that might actually work. Ooh, let me try that myself," right?

You watch the show again, not only are you going to get hungry. Not only are you going to want to go to these mom and pops, that normally get looked over by everybody else, where Netflix is showing them love, saying, "Hey listen, you can find something amazing in Cleveland." You look, but before me filming the show, nobody had that conversation with me. "Oh Daym, just to let you know, if you ever go up to Cleveland, here's where you need to stop. Or if you ever go up to St. Louis, these are the spots that you need to go to. Or if you ever find yourself at Birmingham, Alabama, you need to be here." You don't hear it from these locations, right? We are capturing the spots that are not talked about and showcasing greatness in the fresh, fried, and crispy food sector of the world that's going to have you wanting to go today while watching the show.

Daym Drops' quest for finding the best of the best fried meals

How did you end up finding these locations and these restaurants? Did you already have some relations with them?

Look, when the Ugly Brother Studios came to me, everybody has their role that they play, all right? And the best part about the team that I was working with was they were actually getting individuals, other producers that lived in these cities and saying, "Hey listen, what are some spots that we need to reach out to where you live? You live here." It's not one of those, "Hey, let's go look up something on Google," and all of a sudden, you have a thousand reviews on the spot, and that's where we're going. No, it's, "We're coming to you. We're coming to you because of where you live, and these are the spots that you and your friends love. All right, we got a host coming in. He loves food. Where does he need to go?" It was one of those situations.

Were there any restaurants that didn't make it into the final cut or did you get everything?

Well, here's the thing, the craziest part about it is we hit everything that we were planning to film. We tried to squeeze it all in, grab everything possible because at the end of the day ... say we're in Baltimore. Baltimore is known for crab cakes, so I'm trying to check out the spots that are known for crab cakes. But if I'm checking off three or four locations, we're going to film all three or four locations. Because at the end of the day, for the individuals that live in Baltimore, when they watch that episode, they're going to go crazy. And then, for individuals that are going to Baltimore, they're going to go crazy. Like, "Okay, we know we need to hit up boom, boom, boom because these are the spots that were on "Fresh, Fried & Crispy." Daym made them look amazing. Let's jump on that."

The worst thing Daym Drops ate

Hitting up every single thing in your film schedule without missing a beat. That is awesome. With all that stuff too, if you're hitting every single thing, you probably get some food that you'd not expect to enjoy. Was there anything unexpected that came your way?

Can we take it to Denver on this one? Let's go to Denver, and let's talk about the Rocky Mountain oysters that ended up just straight testicles. "Come on, man, this is what we doing?" And here's the crazy thing. Oh my goodness. Okay. At first, I wasn't going to do it. I wasn't going to do it on camera. That wasn't going to happen. I was going to look at it, probably play with it a little bit, my momma like, "Oh, the boy, don't play with your food," and toss it, right? Let it slap against one of the dead animals on the wall. Do something like that. I actually tried it. I tried it, and I still didn't like it. I didn't like it. I wouldn't recommend it to anybody, but I will say, if you're adventurous with food, at least try it once.

I had the option to go ahead and fling it, throw it. But then, I stopped, and I thought about it, and I said, "I've never had the experience, and if Netflix could take a chance on me, someone they don't know, I can take a chance with some food for Netflix, for something I'm not familiar with." 

Maryland's fried crab made a big impression on Daym Drops

So, on the flip side too, what was like the best thing that you got [to eat]? Because it does not sound like it was Rocky Mountain oysters.

Oh, no, no, no. Definitely not Rocky Mountain. So again, I'm bringing you right back over to Baltimore. And let me tell you something. I went to... is it Mount Vernon? I'm trying to remember the name of the spot where I was. I know it was The Local Oyster, inside of a building that had like four or five different eateries inside of it. I remember that. But I remember being in Local Oyster. I remember cutting the eyes off of a soft shell crab. I remember that bad boy getting fried up. I remember having crab cake on top of the soft shell crab. Then it was like lettuce and tomatoes. I threw that away, right? That wasn't happening.

I replaced it. You got to replace it with something, so I replaced the lettuce and tomatoes with Utz potato chips with Old Bay Seasoning on it. And now, for your bun, just think of like thick Texas toast, buttered up and toasted. The sandwich was like this. I compacted it down a little bit. I took a bite, and that's truly when I understood the name of the show "Fresh, Fried & Crispy." Because it was one of the freshest bites, it was crispy, it was definitely fried, but it had so much flavor, right? At the end of the day, if you want to talk about "Fresh, Fried & Crispy," that bite better have so much flavor. And when individuals watch that episode, yeah, they're going to feel it. They're going to feel it. But it was amazing. When I took a bite, but it was amazing.

Why it was important for Daym Drops to connect with the owners of each restaurant

When it comes to the filming, past the food, do you have a top memory that stands out?

For me, it was the time that I've taken with individuals who weren't comfortable with film. They wanted their establishments to be showcased, but they just weren't comfortable with being on screen. And so, basically what the producer would do was to kind of come over to me, talk to me, give me a little bit of background history about the individual saying, "Listen, he or she isn't 100% comfortable. Their energy is kind of low today. Go be Daym. Go do what you do. I ain't going to do what you do." And just to be able to sit and have conversations with somebody's pops or somebody's grandmother, whatever the case may be, just sit down, chop it up with them, and have a regular conversation, just like this right here, right?

You get people talking about things they love. It might not have nothing to do with food. Just get them talking about things they love. That's their comfort zone. That's the zone that they can plan. And they perform at the greatest peak possible when you can make them comfortable. And that's all I'd ever do. I don't care if that took 10 minutes. I don't care if it took 45 minutes. However long it took to get them in that zone, so they were ready to film, that's what I did, bro. And I enjoyed that the most.

The intimacy behind Fresh, Fried & Crispy

I think it's at the end of every single episode, you do have a sit-down with just like family, friends, et cetera, just in their home, and they're doing their own thing. How did that experience, just talking about that level intimacy compared to going into somebody's restaurant?

I think for me, bro, it brought me back home every time I was able to do it. Because you know what it feels like when you go over to a relative's house, they're cooking for you, but then you can sit down, and you can talk about whatever, play games, whatever you do before eating. You feel at peace at that very moment. So to be able to go inside of a person's home versus going inside their restaurant, I'm happy either or vice versa. It doesn't matter to me, but to go in your home when you invite me in, and then you cook for me, I'm like, "Yeah, this is like being at a family relative's house, and I'm about to sit down at the table with the family."

However it is that they say grace, learning about different foods like Polish foods, to have that experience after people bring me in, that touched me, bro. That touched me to the core. Because people don't have to invite you inside their home. But to find a total stranger, and to feed a total stranger, it just lets you know, that the world isn't as bad as people make it to be. There's individuals out there that will take you in and make you just like family.

What Daym Drops would change if he could do it all over again

So after going through this whole process [of creating the show], is there anything you would change or do differently?

You know what? No. There's nothing that I would change because I love the process of growing. From us not knowing as a team 100% what it was going to be to watching what it became over the weeks of us being together every single day, eight weeks straight on the road. To watch that process and to watch us work around each other. And the story began to tell itself. I was just dropped into the story, but it was already telling itself by the time that I arrived at the scene. Let's keep that going. Let's keep that energy going. Let's keep the energy of bringing strangers in, making them feel like a part of an experience versus just being on a show. I want you part of the experience in a whole, because that's what I'm going to remember. That's going to be my major takeaway at the end of every single episode and of every single day, so I wouldn't change it then.

Daym Drops is a big fan of this West Coast burger chain

So I know that a lot of people are going to be wondering what is your favorite fast food menu item?

Oh, Fatburger all day. I get the question, and when I had my first Fatburger experience, which of course is on YouTube, it was the same passion when I had the first Five Guys burger, but on a higher level. Because the way Fatburger goes about doing it, they got the mustard inside the beef. You see them chopping up the onions. You see them season them right there on the grill. I was actually in the Fatburger kitchen while they were putting together a masterpiece for your boy. And what I love most is, over the years, it hasn't changed. I can't say the same about a Five Guys. That changed over the years. But for Fatburger, they are very consistent, and I can't wait till I'm on the West Coast again to get back at it.

Over the years, too, menus have changed. Everything is totally different, like you said. Are there any discontinued items that you just really wish could make a comeback?

I want the Mighty Wings from McDonald's back, and I want them back yesterday. I want them back immediately. You see what I'm saying to you? I still remember having a Mighty Wing. Look, I get it. At the time, they were expensive. Folks were like, "I'm not paying a dollar per wing." They were big, though. That's why they're called Mighty Wings. They had like a little spiciness to them, and they were wild crispy. Bro, those with a little bit of sauce, be it ranch or blue cheese, oh my goodness. McDonald's we got to figure something out. We got to figure something out. I'm looking at them right in their eyeballs. We got to figure something out.

Daym Drops' favorite fried chicken sandwich

In your opinion, is there a single fried chicken sandwich that could take down all the others?

Oh, when we talk about fried chicken sandwiches at that time. At that time, Popeyes was number one, all right? And because of the success, the wild success that Popeyes had, everybody tried to duplicate it. And I do mean everybody. Straight across the board, nobody could touch Popeyes. However, they done change something. The chicken was not the same. The chicken got a little smaller. It's not in the gym, working it out anymore. That chicken got a little smaller. The flavor is there a little bit, but now you're allowing the contenders to come in and be better. But at a time, nobody could see the reigning champion that was Popeyes in the chicken sandwich game, not even Chick-fil-A. I know you want to argue it. I know you're really going to want to argue it. No, Chick-fil-A does not see Popeyes in the chicken sandwich game. It doesn't happen.

Is there anyone right now that stands out in your mind, or is it just fair game for chicken sandwiches?

For chicken? Not As far as fast food. Now, if we're talking about not main corporate QSRs, like a McDonald's or a Popeyes, Howlin' Ray's. Howlin' Ray's in Cali, they got it. They got it. A matter of fact, even if I had to put them up against Popeyes, I'd go a Howlin' Ray's. That was the very first time in my history of doing food reviews where I took a bite out of the chicken, and chicken juice jumped out on my beard in the video. You see it shoot out [at my] beard. Howlin' Ray's in Cali, hands down. They got the mild, they got the spicy, they got the country if you can't handle it, but that is an amazing chicken sandwich right there, yeah.

Daym Drops couldn't live without this fried food

If you had to choose one top fried food ever, do you have a particular item that you can't live without?

Ooh, top fried food ever. Ouch. Oh my goodness. Look, that was a real good question. You hit me with the curveball piece because, for a long time, it was fried chicken. Like no matter where I go, I'm going straight to fried chicken. But do I eat more French fries than fried chicken? Because here's my reality, McDonald's French fries aren't touched by anybody, right? like we understand the shoestring fries at The McDonald's, that's an evil necessity no matter if you're vegetarian, vegan, you know, if you just love food in general, if you have a fried craving, if you're just stepping into it for the first time, there's something about McDonald's fries, consistently, over the years, that you keep coming back to. And most individuals know you got to ask for no salt when you want them extra fresh. Put your own salt on them things. Put your own salt on them, but you have to have McDonald's fries. So I'm sitting, I'm thinking, "Fried chicken or McDonald's," And I might be at McDonald's fries, family. I might be there.

Daym Drops can't resist a po' boy when visiting New Orleans

If you could eat anywhere forever, what is your one true destination?

New Orleans. Flat out, put me out there in the French Quarter. I take the wife out to New Orleans. Bro, when it comes to flavors and consistency with flavors and pricing, pricing, you can get a shrimp po' boy for like three or four bucks, and that thing is bigger than your head. They give you so much shrimp you no longer see the bread. And they don't give you regular mayo. It is Hellmann's. You put the Hellmann's up over that thing. You squeeze a little lemon on there. The bread is crispy and extra fresh. You take a bike. You could feed two or three people with one sandwich.

Do you have a preferred restaurant in New Orleans?

So when I decide that I need crawfish in my life and some boo fries, grilled oysters, Acme Oyster House. Acme Oyster House is where it's going down. Now that's for like a lunch and dinner vibe. Cafe Du Monde right there, when I want the beignets in the morning with a little bit of that drink drank. Woo. Okay. Now we're talking.

Daym Drops' perfect meal

Say you're not traveling, you're just doing the regular thing. What's the perfect meal in a day look like for you?

All right, you ready for this one? I have this love affair with chicken cordon bleu. You will not see it on a lot of menus, at a lot of different restaurants. For me, I have to go to a spot that's called Mill on the River out here in Connecticut, in Simsbury, with a nice little casual dining. You sit down. You're right there by the water. Water just coming up off the rocks. You can hear it. Even on the inside, you can hear it. You can see it. The visuals are amazing. 

You order the chicken cordon bleu. It comes with like a dijon sauce that's on the inside that pours out once you cut it open. It comes out over your rice pilaf. And let me tell you something right there, that combination of chicken cordon bleu, that chicken tender, that ham on the inside got football snap on it. They got a football snap when you take that bite, and then you hit the rice pilaf with the dijon sauce right there. Amazing. It's an experience. For me, it's Mill on the River. That's the only place I've found chicken cordon bleu out here in Connecticut.

What Daym Drops eats in a typical day

So how does that compare to what you actually eat on a regular day, breakfast, lunch, and dinner? What's your typical meal?

Now here's a fun thing. Breakfast is like 50/50 for me. Because of the schedule that I keep, I don't always have breakfast, so I do have to go right to lunch. And with me filming as many videos that I film, my lunch ends up being whenever I'm filming that day, right?

So if I have a "off day," I can run through a quick ham and cheese sandwich. I don't get crazy. I have this strange love affair with hot dogs from Max Burger. I still do my little classic cheeseburger. I just don't get the bread all the time because I want to keep the calorie count down. Just regular, quick American bites I still have a passion for at the end of the day. And I don't get all extra crazy. I don't have nothing exquisite. A steak and potatoes at night for me, and I'm good to go. So just quick basics, man, and just a quick bite just to keep my energy at a normal rate, so I can keep doing what I do every day.

It's all about finding the perfect balance for Daym Drops

Back in 2016, you took a break from reviewing all the foods. I thought it was for health reasons too, so how does that figure into going straight into a show called "Fresh, Fried & Crispy"?

It's finding a balance, right? I mean, when you're filming the show like "Fresh, Fried & Crispy," you're not filming it from January 1st to December 31st, every single day. You're filming it, you're creating your balance, like, "Okay, I can do this much when it comes to fried goods." But then, I still got to work it out. I still got to make sure that I'm in the gym still going at it. You can create a balanced lifestyle. People honestly believe that you cannot. They're saying, "Hey, listen. You're either healthy or you are not."

And I have watched a lot of competitive eaters live the lifestyle of still being able to compete, but still being able to take down some fresh, fried, and crispy goodness, and still be in the best shape of their life, visually, to you. You don't know what they're going through a home, but, visually, to you like, "Oh. Oh, they're doing good. They must be just a straight water, lettuce diet." No, let me tell you something. They just polished off a bucket of 30 pieces of fried chicken, 16 biscuits. You know what I'm saying to you? Like they done ate some things that you be like, "Oh my, it's not what they really doing?" Like yes. Yes. Because when it comes to competitive eating, to keep your body at that level, you can't do that with lettuce. You're not going to do it with lettuce. You're not going to do it with celery. No, that doesn't happen. You got to make sure that you eating good-good if you're going to be sitting there working that thing out. That's how it is.

Champions don't need spit buckets

Did you ever use a spit bucket, or were you just finishing meal after meal?

No, there was no time that I actually finished up the whole entire thing. I know a lot of shows have the spit takes. I don't need no spit bucket. What I'm going to do, I'm going to take one or two bites, and same way I do on my YouTube channel, and if something's amazing, I might go ahead and polish it off, but for the most time, again, for me, it's all mental. I've treated it the same way I treat my YouTube videos. I create the balance. I take enough bites that I can break it down for you. That I can get all the flavors. I can talk about the flavors along with the experience and make you understand what it is that I'm holding before you. But I don't need no spit bucket. I'm a champion. Champions don't do spit buckets.

Daym Drops wants to focus on the forgotten gems

Do you have a hit list of the places you want to go for season two already in mind? Or are you going to get there when you get there?

I mean, I have some spots in mind that I'm definitely going to throw out there on the table. I have to come home. At the end of the day, I have to come back to Connecticut because now it's like the restaurants here, I could choose those. I know where I want to go. I know what "Fresh, Fried & Crispy" needs when it comes to Connecticut. We go to New York, I know where to go. You know what I'm saying? If we in the tri-state, I'm popping.

But at the end of the day, still, I want to make sure we keep a strong focus on the areas that do not receive the love. Where every other network goes, I don't want to go. I don't want to be there. Let them cover that. They're going to cover that. And every show they put out, you know what I'm saying? Put me somewhere in west bumblebee area, in the cut, in a dark corner that has amazing foods that nobody knows about. And they're like, "We didn't even know that spot existed, and we've been living here all of our life." Put me there. I'll go there. I'm going to go where other hosts are afraid to go. They're like, "I'm not going over there because they said, 'Don't be over there after 6:00 PM'." Nah, let's go film at seven. I'm going in.

Don't expect New York City to be at the top of Fresh Fried & Crispy's spots to visit

So not going to see New York? There's not going to be an LA episode and there's no Miami?

Anything's possible because at the end of the day, once we start really expanding, and once we really start blowing up "Fresh, Fried & Crispy," everybody's going to be like, "How come you didn't come to my city? How come you didn't come to my town?" They're going to want to know. They're going to want us there. They're going to want us to go to the restaurants that they love going to. And that's what the show is for. The show is not for me. It's for the viewers. It's for every last one of you, so we can open up that dialogue and say, "Hey, listen. Where should I be going If I happen to go to North Dakota or South Dakota?" You see what I'm saying to you? "Where do I need to be?" You know? That's what it's going to be about at the end of the day. And if that is New York, so be it, then we're in New York. But I want to make sure that if we're running 8 episodes, 10 episodes, 12 episodes, you're going to see more episodes where I'm not in the normal areas. That's all.

Daym Drops is "ready to get his hungry on"

Did you have a bigger list of cities, and then you had to cut it down to eight cities?

We always knew it was going to be eight. Netflix let us know, "This is where we're going to start. This is where our opener's going to be. We're going to put the feelers out there. We're going to see what the people need." You know? And the people have been waiting for a show like this, especially on Netflix. Netflix has amazing food shows that are out there, and there's a lot of chefs out there, individuals that cook, love cooking. I don't know how to cook, bro, but I know how to eat. You and I, we're the same. We know how to eat. We know when we're going to go to a restaurant or a relative's house or a friend's house or an after party game, whatever the case may be, and we know the foods we like to see, what we're going to attack first.

I want this show to be that. I want them to show to be that tailgating party for the football game. You see what I'm saying to you? I want the show to be, "Hey, the baseball stadium just opened. Let's hit up all these food carts." I want this show to be that. I want to be able to speak to the everyday person versus the individuals that are in the upper echelon of the chef world and everything else with the suit and tie. I'm not the suit and tie. I'm just your everyday guy ready to get his hungry on.

The full rundown of what fans can expect from Daym Drops with the new show

If you had to give a rundown to tell us about "Fresh, Fried & Crispy," what do you think viewers can come to expect?

You just got to understand the fact that this show is all about friends, family, fellowship, and about your everyday bites that you didn't even know you needed in your life. This show is about mom and pop establishments out there that have been struggling for the past year and a half, bringing them together, showcasing them, making sure that people are now reaching these mom and pop establishments, eating at these mom and pop establishments, keeping them in business, and figuring out a way that we can all work together where we could do this for more mom and pops out there every single day. It's about bringing us back, letting us know, "Hey, listen. COVID thing is starting to lighten up a little bit. Masks are on, masks are off, but it's time to eat. It's time to eat happy. It's time to eat fresh, fried, and crispy with your main man, Daym Drops."

Make sure to catch the premiere of "Fresh, Fried & Crispy" on June 9, only on Netflix. With any luck, you might just find your next favorite fried meal, all thanks to the help of Daym Drops.