Earlier this week, FN Dish caught up with Guy Fieri for a Facebook chat before Guy’s Grocery Games premieres this Sunday at 8pm/7c. The brand-new show puts chefs in real-life grocery shopping situations and challenges them to cook meals in a real supermarket — for a chance to win up to $20,000. Guy answered questions about the competition, the show’s concept and the various challenges, and he also revealed some fun details about himself.
Jacqueline: One of my favorite shows is Triple D. Will this show be just as great?
Guy Fieri: I think it’s a different type of show, but it’s got the ingredients to be one of the best: great chefs, great judges, difficult challenges and crazy outcomes.
William: How are you going to work the Camaro into this show?
GF: You know what, as you’ll see in upcoming seasons, or if you look at my segment on Good Morning America, you can see the new Triple G hot rod. It’s awesome: a huge street-legal shopping cart.
Juanita: How did the concept develop into a show? And the ideas for making the dishes?
GF: I think a lot of people remember Supermarket Sweep. I always thought: What happened to all the food? So I figured why not continue that excitement and actually have them cook the food. It’s a crazy show!
MeLynda: Do you have to be a professional chef to audition for the show, or can you be a home cook who gets rave reviews?
GF: I don’t set those parameters, but here’s what I say: The squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you think you’ve got the goods and you have people that will testify on your behalf, bring it!
Jan: What is it about this show that you especially like?
GF: Watching the chefs react to the challenges. It’s priceless. It’s kind of like a surprise birthday party every challenge. They look at me like, “You’ve got to be kidding me!” P.S. I want to do Triple G live in a stadium with an audience of 10,000 watching. It’s that crazy.
Emily: So do they have only 30 minutes to shop and cook, or is it 30 to shop and 30 to cook?
GF: Emily, it’s a real 30 minutes. No pretend time, no mumbo jumbo. There’s one challenge called Closing Time, where they have three minutes to shop and 27 minutes to cook.
Omc: You know I sometimes will find that I am out of an ingredient and I don’t want to go to the store for just one thing, and if it isn’t a main ingredient, I will substitute it with something else. Will this show show what to do if you are out of something?
GF: Omc, OMG! You got it right. That’s exactly what you should be able to take away from this. I’m glad you’re seeing the forest through the trees.
Robyn: Will you be cooking on the show?
GF: I don’t get to cook on the show, and it kills me because I’m around all this great food and I see what the contestants are doing. OK, Robyn, just between you and me: On the set, I would talk about some of my favorite dishes to make. So as a thank you for my team that shoots the show, I set up a huge burger cooking station and made some burgers with the help of some buddies.
Joseph: Do you and the crew get to taste the food the contestants make?
GF: A little bit. But the judges usually keep it all.
Lori: Will you be filming at the same market again? It’s my local market where I shop!
GF: I’m not sure if we’ll be shooting at Fields Market again, but a BIG shoutout to the crew there. What an awesome store, and I’m very sorry to all the locals who weren’t able to shop there for a few weeks because Triple G took over the store.
Delia: Being that you spent so much time in a grocery store during shooting, what food trends are you most excited about right now?
GF: My food trend is not just in the grocery store, it’s in the garden. I’m a big fan of organic food, farm-to-table food — locally produced, locally harvested. I try to stay as seasonal as possible.
Jackie: Do you ever just want to jump in and start cooking with someone just to help them out?
GF: Back in the day I did a show called Ultimate Recipe Showdown and it would drive me nuts wanting to help someone. As a chef the last thing you want to do is watch someone fail at something they want to achieve. So, yes, more times than you can imagine.
Debra: How has shooting Grocery Games affected what you and your family are cooking and eating for dinner? Any cool ingredient that’s blown you away?
GF: It hasn’t really affected what we cook and eat because it’s pretty eclectic in our house, but it did give us an appreciation for frozen foods and the vast inventory that’s available.
Sarah: Do you foresee playing an at-home version of Triple G with your family?
GF: My life is an at-home version of Triple G. I’m just like everybody else. I do the supermarket shopping in my pantry, in my freezer and even next door at my parents’ house, trying to come up with what I’m going to make on a weeknight coming back from Ryder’s soccer game. If I’m going to a grocery store, I’m rolling out with at least five bags of groceries!
Mary Ann: Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives became my favorite show when I was pregnant earlier this year. I even watched DDD when I was in labor at the hospital! I think it’s even my daughter’s favorite show now.
GF: Thank you, Mary Ann. I know that Triple D has done a lot of things and made a lot of smiles, but this is the first of hearing that it helped induce labor. Good luck with Triple G; I don’t know what it will bring you!
Marty: When are you going to do a show called Guy’s Garage? You seem to have a real love of things automotive, as well as cooking, and a blend of the two would be awesome.
GF: My brother Marty, you have a keen sense of awareness. Unfortunately, time is not permitting me to do Guy’s Gourmet Garage, also known as Triple G, but hold tight. It may show up one day.
Amy: What is the one food you won’t eat?
GF: I’ll eat just about everything. I challenge myself every year to revisit things I don’t like. I’m not a huge egg fan, but the one food I won’t eat without question — you could hide a key to a brand-new Ferrari under it and I wouldn’t eat it — is beef liver. Blechhhh!
Nikki: Are you as crazy in real life as on TV? We love you in the UK.
GF: Nikki, thank you for taking this Facebook discussion international. All I can tell you on this one: You can judge the book by the cover.
Watch Guy’s Grocery Games on Sundays at 8pm/7c, and keep coming back to FN Dish for exclusive behind-the-scenes content.
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