"I think for many people that are going to watch this, they're going to just be so inspired by how, when pressed beautiful things come from that," Joanna Gaines says of the restaurant's founder, Erin French.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
August 17, 2020
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Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Is it time for the Magnolia Network to debut yet? Sigh. We're all eagerly anticipating the launch of Chip and Joanna Gaines' Magnolia Network, which has been moved back to 2021 amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

But Chip and Jo haven't let the delays prevent fans from getting an inside look on the forthcoming television network, thanks to a new digital series titled "On the Road to Launch" with stars from the network. In the first mini-episode, Waco's First Couple sat down with Erin French, owner of Freedom, Maine's The Lost Kitchen restaurant, which quickly had to pivot its business in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak. (The upscale bistro, in addition to having renowned food, is known for taking reservations by postcard, an old-school sentiment straight after our hearts.)

Some of the innovative ways French has changed up their operations? “We started doing this idea of this online farmer's market so that people could come and pick up fresh local food that's supporting local farmers. They could pull up, we put it in the back of their car and it would just keep local food pumped through our community…We started doing lunch. We've never done lunch before, and we're doing prix fixe fried chicken, outdoor lunches. We made this beautiful outdoor space that sets overlooking the pond," French says in her chat with the Gaineses.

French and her team have also worked to create accommodations for guests to stay by the restaurant site. “I always wanted places for people to stay the night when they would roll out of here after a four hour dinner and just walk across the bridge and listen to the waterfall and fall asleep and like some beautiful glamping cabin," shares French. "Here we go. So this is it…You're sitting here in this structure, the glass looking up above you, the stars up here and look out this way, the same place where the lettuce on your plate came from. The same from right here.”

Later on, French reflects on the important of perseverance with a touching metaphor after Chip asks if she's optimistic for what's to come post-coronavirus: "I think that I feel really fortunate that I grew up in Maine because there's something I think about winter that you always know that there will be spring on the other side. I've always just had it in me to think of spring and know that you're going to get through it," offers French, conceding that there are certainly plenty of moments where she's overwhelmed.

Joanna, too, turns the conversation to persevering through life's difficulties. “I think in moments like this, when you feel pressed, there are those who may freeze and shut down. What I'm seeing with you is like, oh, this is where all the ideas [happen], it is a gift," says Joanna. "So it's amazing to see the process and how you've worked through that. So I think for many people that are going to watch this, they're going to just be so inspired by how, when pressed beautiful things come from that.”

I mean, hard times, that's where real adrenaline comes from. Right? You don't get it from your easy days….everything that I've ever accomplished or ever done, it always came from hard days and it was what you did with it and what you made of it and how you pushed yourself. So it's taking the challenge and trying to find some, something better out of it," French says. Watch their conversation below.

You can also check out the show's full preview below. (Warning: It might make you very, very hungry.)

We're more excited than ever now to tune into The Lost Kitchen. And when the time is right, you can bet we'll be planning a road trip up north to visit.

This story originally appeared on southernliving.com.