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.”