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Mount Airy's Cryin' Johnnies hot dogs to appear on 'Carnival Eats'

The Cooking Channel airs "Hogs and Dogs" their season premiere featuring Hurley, Cryin' Johnnies and their iconic crab meat hot dogs.

Inspired by her love of shows like "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," Stacy and Scott Hurley purchased their Cryin' Johnnies hot dog cart in an attempt to live up to the foods seen on TV. Now, six years later, the Hurleys' dreams are coming true as The Cooking Channel airs an episode of "Carnival Eats" entitled "Hot Doggin,'" Thursday, June 2, featuring Hurley, Cryin' Johnnies and their iconic crab meat hot dogs.

Stacy Hurley, after years of working as a bartender and waitress, decided to open her own food business along with her husband Scott. In their search for a unique niche to fill, the pair settled on hot dogs with elaborate toppings, from crab meat to pretzel dogs sold out of a vintage hot dog cart. Today, the pair continue to operate the hot dog cart on special occasions, but they also sell a variety of foods from dogs to homemade mozzarella sticks, burgers and more at their restaurant at 235 S. Main St. in Mount Airy.

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Last August, while preparing for an appearance at the Great Frederick Fair, Stacy said they were contacted by producers of "Carnival Eats," made for the Canadian Food Network, and the Cooking Channel in the U.S., where host Noah Cappe travels across the U.S. and Canada taking in the best and most outrageous regional foods at carnivals, state fairs and festivals.

"We had never done anything as big as the fair before, so we were already freaking out," she said. "Then they called and asked if we wanted to be on their show. We had always been big fans of shows like [Food Network's] 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,' so we didn't have to think twice about saying yes."

The show only needed one member of the restaurant to show off the food, so the couple chose Stacy as Cryin' Johnnies' representative. Choosing Stacy for the appearance on television, however, did lead to some added preparation for the show itself.

"I'm not really the cook. That's all my husband. So when they told me I had to make the crab dog on camera, I knew I had to practice," she said. "I did the crab dip here for the entire month. You can't read the cue card or anything. You have to have it all set out."

The crew ended up filming for about three hours, Stacy said, including watching the crab dip process, tasting the finished hot dogs and interviewing Cryin' Johnnies customers throughout the fair.

Stacy said she was surprised by the labor-intensive shooting process, which required multiple takes on everything from hot-dog assembling to eating the final dish.

The episode will pair the Cryin' Johnnies segments with other hot dog creations and will air 9:30 p.m. Thursday, June 2.

"It's such a big deal for us," Hurley said. "People keep asking how it feels to be on national TV. I don't look at it that way. I look at it as if we're representing [Mount Airy]. That's the important thing for me. Hopefully I make us look alright."

To watch:

"Carnival Eats: Hot Doggin'" will debut on The Cooking Channel at 9:30 p.m. Thursday, June 2. For complete listings, visit www.cookingchanneltv.com/shows/carnival-eats/300/hot-doggin.html.

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Twitter.com/Jacob_deNobel

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