It often feels as if there’s more than one Guy Fieri.
Given how often he’s on Food Network — “Guy’s Grocery Games” is the latest — and his frequent appearances on other shows, Fieri is ubiquitous.
A larger-than-life character with his shock of bleached hair, Fieri chomps on carrots and takes stock of his empire.
He has seven restaurants in California, the massive Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square, one opening on the Las Vegas Strip, and burger joints on six cruise ships. At Montclair (N.J.) State University, he has Guy Fieri on Campus.
“Being that I still think I am a college kid, that I think like a college kid,” Fieri tells Zap2it. He recalls eating too much processed food in college, so he serves fresh foods.
Fieri answers a question that dogs those who haven’t eaten in his restaurants. What is donkey sauce, and how did that name come about?
“When I was building my concept for Carnival Cruise Lines, there was a discussion of what we could and not put on the burgers,” he says. “I made a sauce out of mustard, garlic aioli and Worcestershire.”
One of his friends said he didn’t want that on his burger, so Fieri told him, “If you don’t put it on there, you are a jackass.” And donkey sauce was christened.
Of his many projects, Fieri is amped about the latest show.
“Take what you love about food competition shows,” Fieri says. “You like the craziness, the competition, the timing, the creativity. You like the elimination, the anticipation, all of those things. This show is all that, plus, plus! We have a situation [where] not only are the people preparing but shopping for it.”
Contestants are given a tour of the Los Angeles grocery store where it’s set so they know the layout before the challenges. In one, chefs make a Mexican dinner — not a big deal, but they cannot leave the canned foods aisle.
“It is a blast to see these chefs getting a chance to compete for that kind of notoriety in that kind of environment,” Fieri says. “It’s the challenge of all challenges. I have a blast. My only challenge is I don’t turn off very well. I am fortunate to have the crew I have because they have to keep me controlled.”
What are you currently reading?
“Cookbooks. I am in the middle of about 10 of them.”
What did you have for dinner last night?
“I ate at a fantastic Italian restaurant on West 54th, San Pietro. I had a veal consomme with fresh white truffles and chanterelle mushrooms, and it was unbelievable. I had pickled vegetables and amatriciana (a pork dish) and bucatini (pasta) and a mixed salad, and Pellegrino (sparkling water) and a glass of prosecco (sparkling wine).”
What is your next project?
“The new Food Network show.”
When was the last vacation you took — where and why?
“I just got back from Rome.”