Villopoto, center, in the test episode about his own Amante Pizza
Michael Villopoto loves food. His life revolves around eating, making and selling it. As the owner of the Amante Pizza
franchise, which started in Carrboro almost 15 years ago, Villopoto has long worked in the restaurant business.And now he has a new food-related venture—a weekly YouTube show called 3 Hungry Guys.
It aims to highlight local restaurants that are “off the beaten path that people might not know about,” says Villopoto.
Villopoto and a crew of five employees began filming the show in July and debuted five episodes at the end of October. “It’s like a local version of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives
,” says Villopoto. “I want to help out the little guy. I see so many good restaurants that go unnoticed because you don’t get a feel for what restaurants are like in recent media.”
The first episode was actually recorded at his own establishment, Amante Pizza. With two of his friends, Villopoto tried a variety of menu items, commenting on the quality of the food and the atmosphere. The pilot subsequently brought on Thu Do, a Vietnamese woman from California, as the semi-permanent second “guy” and co-host. 3 Hungry Guys
has already amassed 12 episodes, which run about 10 minutes each. The most popular clips include a review of LaPlace Louisiana Cookery
in downtown Hillsborough and a special episode the crew did on the Xtreme Park Adventure Xtreme Haunt
in Durham during the Halloween season.
Villopoto hopes to get at least 20 episodes done for the first season.
“For me it’s about helping out,” says Villopoto. “People can watch the videos, see the food on the plate and decide if they want to go there.”