“I Got a Ph.D. in Baguette.” — Guy Fieri at NYC Wine and Food Fest

by in Events, Food Network Chef, October 4th, 2011

The crowd hissed, hollered and applauded as he walked on stage. Rock star? Icon? Celebrity? Pretty much. Clad in his signature spiked wristband and sporting his classic bleached-blonde ‘do, Food Network host and chef Guy Fieri spoke to a sold-out crowd on Saturday during a New York City Wine and Food Festival event at the Times Center. Interviewed by Julia Moskin of The New York Times, Fieri explained that he did not grow up with the traditional makings of a chef but instead a “funky food style” defined by “floor-of-the-earth bread” and school lunches that looked more akin to science projects than grade-school fare.

Guy recalls fondly the one dinner in particular that solidified his passion for food and set him on the road to culinary stardom. After he questioned his mother about why she was making eggplant parmesan instead of chicken like “the normal families,” she charged the young Fieri with the task of cooking dinner for the family. A few perfectly grilled rib eyes and a botched batch of pasta later, Guy realized three things about his place in the kitchen: “I cook, we can eat meat. I cook, [it] makes people happy. I cook, I don’t have to do the dishes.”

After time spent in France earning “a Ph.D. in baguette” and experiencing local delicacies, including Chicken Feet Soup, Guy returned stateside, eventually opened his first California restaurant, Johnny Garlic’s, and later turned Food Network star.

Though often portrayed as the guy with the biggest bite and taste for all things double-stacked, greasy and cheesy, Guy promises that he prefers “real food,” including salads loaded with fresh greens and vegetables, perhaps the most atypical Diners, Drive-ins and Dives dish. Regardless of what he is eating, Guy said simply, “I want it right.” And for that he has taken to his own California kitchen, in which he roasts healthy cauliflower and makes a mean Neapolitan-style pizza with thin, crispy crust.

Read more about Guy Fieri.

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Comments (10)

  1. Andrew H. says:

    This probably isn't the place to put this, but I do not care. I watch DDD all the time, and have for some time. I love the show. PLEASE do not ruin it by playing loud, annoying diner music in the background! I like the show because I can usually hear what ingredients are in the food. I'll never watch it again if that loud elevator sounding music is blaring the whole time. Turn it off.

  2. Nancy G says:

    Guy has so much personality! And I mean that in a good way. He makes everything fun. I love that he encourgages and compliments others. He sure was the right choice as a Food Network Star!

  3. Frannie says:

    I think Guy Fieri is a very entertaining person, however it really pains me to watch his program late because of his unsanitary habits in other peoples kitchens. Guy has a habit of putting his hands un-gloved in the restaurants that he visits. Sticking his bare hands into other peoples food is a very unsanitary thing to do.

  4. Max Jr Martinez says:

    He (Max Jr) your not THOMAS AVILA and your shows are gross. All you do is stuff your mouth. Humiliating. Your style isn't presentable. All those rings got to go and tell SANDRA I said hi.

  5. tigh clark says:

    Guy. you are the real deal. You seem to be comfortable with who you are. No need for iron chef competition to "prove" anything. I like the way you roll. Lot''s of talented chefs out there. You are #1 on my list. Then there is Robert Irvine. I don't know know why he is allowed to have his own show. He doesn't even cook.

  6. Tara says:

    Frannie, I thought I was the only one who noticed that!! It drives me crazy when he does that!! You are not supose to put your hands in other people’s food!!
    Other than that I do like hi how…

  7. Tara says:

    His show, I meant…

  8. Hey Guy! We are the Casey family and we don't know how to tell you on the diners, drive-ins, and dives page so we r gonna tell you hear. We know this great dive called the whip tavern. It is an English pub andbisbknown for fish and chips, pork chop, and curry. There best dessert is the sticky toffee pudding. It's to die for!!! Please visit it on your show!

  9. louie says:

    lOVE YOUR SHOW, WE WATCH IT ALOT. VERY ENTERTAINING.

  10. Jimmy says:

    is that buddy from the insane clown posse without his makeup on!!!???

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