Ten years after his first appearance on Food Network, Guy Fieri‘s (‘Fee-eddy’) plate is very full. The iconic Emmy Award-winning chef, restaurateur and author’s inaugural series, Guy’s Big Bite, has aired its 18th season, he also hosts the top-rated Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and popular Guy’s Grocery Games, and journeyed abroad with his son for the recent Food Network special, Guy & Hunter’s European Vacation. Guy’s corporate entity Knuckle Sandwich encompasses 45 restaurants across the country, developed with partners that include the world’s largest casino company, one of the largest privately held developers in the country, and the largest cruise line in the world, where he has the most restaurants at sea of any chef. He has authored five New York Times bestselling cookbooks and will release his sixth, Guy Fieri Family Food, in October, 2016.
Cooking Up a Culinary Empire
Guy’s love affair with food began at the age of ten when he and his father built a bicycle cart christened “The Awesome Pretzel,” and from which he began selling soft pretzels. Supplementing the pretzel income with six years of dish washing wages, Guy earned enough money to pursue his dream of studying abroad as an exchange student in Chantilly, France. There he gained a profound appreciation for international cuisine, the rigor of technique and the importance of fresh ingredients, and the experience further strengthened his passion for food. Guy returned to the U.S. to attend the University of Nevada Las Vegas, where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management.
In 1996, Guy launched his culinary career with the opening of Johnny Garlic’s, his first restaurant based in his hometown of Santa Rosa, California. Since then, he has created a thriving culinary empire on land and sea that includes concepts such as Guy Fieri’s Kitchen & Bar (Las Vegas, Baltimore, Mt. Pocono, Playa del Carmen, Cancun & coming soon to Foxwoods Resort ), Guy’s Chophouse (Atlantic City), El Burro Borracho (Las Vegas & Laughlin, NV), Guy’s Bar-B-Que Joint (Atlantic City, Baltimore, Kansas City), Guy’s Burger Joint (15 Live Nation Amphitheaters & 5 Carnival Cruise Lines), Guy’s Pig & Anchor Bar-B-Que (Carnival Cruise Lines) and Guy Fieri’s Smokehouse (coming soon to St. Louis, Louisville, Norfolk, VA and Arlington, TX).
From BBQ to Bordeaux
In 2011, Guy further expanded his brand to grocery store shelves, launching his own line of Guy Fieri BBQ Sauces, Salsas and frozen and fresh entrees, which are available nationwide. The following year, he released a line of cookware, including a range of stainless steel, porcelain cast iron and non-stick aluminum products and decorated skillets featuring artwork from his personal tattoo artist, Joe Leonard. Guy simultaneously introduced the “Guy Fieri” and “Signature Series” lines of gourmet knives, and kitchen tools. Guy Fieri cookware and cutlery are available online and at retail stores nationwide.
With his Food Network shows and growing restaurant brands to satisfy his culinary drive, in January 2013, Guy finally fulfilled a personal passion with the purchase of a 5-acre vineyard in northern California. With winemaker and Sonoma County guru, Guy Davis of Davis Family Vineyards, he created Hunt & Ryde wines, named for his sons, Hunter and Ryder. The vineyard’s first vintage (2013) was released in December 2015 and includes an Estate-Grown Pinot Noir featuring his own Russian River Valley grapes, an Old Vine Zinfandel, and Trophy, a blend of 5 Bordeaux varietals, which received double Golds and Best in Category at the 2015 Houston Livestock Rodeo Wine Competition. Hunt & Ryde wines are available online at Huntrydewinery.com, and at a selection of Guy’s restaurant properties.
A Family Affair
While work takes him on the road to regional dining hot spots and hidden gems across the country, Guy’s top priority remains seated around his own dinner table. His sixth cookbook, Guy Fieri Family Food: 125 Real-Deal Recipes-Kitchen Tested, Home Approved (HarperCollins, Oct. 11) features dishes Guy prepares for and with his wife and children. An indispensable resource that simplifies meal planning with truly useful tips, fun-filled ideas, and family-approved recipes, Guy Fieri Family Food helps answer the eternal question, “What’s for dinner?.”