Discovery Channel's 'Dirty Jobs' features Gills Onions

02/10/2012 04:08:00 PM
Mike Hornick

(UPDATED COVERAGE, Feb. 13) Gills Onions is scheduled to appear in a Feb. 14 episode of the “Dirty Jobs” program on the Discovery Channel.

Filmed in March 2010, it airs for the first time at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on Valentine’s Day.

The show features host Mike Rowe working as an onion processor at the Oxnard, Calif.-based company’s processing facility.

Courtesy Gills OnionsNikki Rodoni of Gills Onions, left, worked with "Dirty Jobs" television host Mike Rowe during filming at the company's Oxnard, Calif., plant. The show premieres Feb. 14 on Discovery Channel.“He did everything from driving the fork lift and loading onions in a bin dumper to working on an inspection line trimming the unwanted onion parts,” said Nikki Rodoni, director of sustainability. “At our waste-to-energy project, he worked underneath the screw press in the extraction process where they separate the juice from the solids and divert it to the biodigestor. That’s when he got dirty, but really he came to see the process and worked at every level of the operation.”

In 2009, the company introduced its biodigestor to turn onion waste into methane fuel.

Rowe also worked with plant manager Fernando Luna and plant engineer Arturo Coronado.

And the Dirty Jobs host fried onion rings with co-owner Steve Gill.

“We were the first episode to film for 2010,” Rodoni said. “We wanted to invite Mike Rowe to our processing facility and make him cry. But it didn’t air then for some reason. He may have had dirtier jobs.”

“Mike is pretty much the same person on and off camera,” she said. “He’s exactly like you would imagine him to be.”

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