Inside Guy Fieri's Crazy, Non-Stop Life on the Road
Guy Fieri pulls up to his latest restaurant—Guy Fieri’s Dive & Taco Joint—in Kansas City, Mo., not in the 1968 red Camaro convertible that’s become associated with his Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, but in a late-model silver Chevy Tahoe. It’s the eatery’s grand opening, and Fieri, 51, wearing dark sunglasses and a camo jacket embroidered with his nickname Guido, happily poses for photos with the screaming fans lining the sidewalk, then gets behind the bar to pour drinks. The next morning, on-set of Triple D, as it’s known to viewers, he reveals that although he played bartender, he barely drank. “I don’t have the liberty of going out at night—two half-shots and I’m done,” he says. “I have to be clearheaded to do this.”
That kind of discipline may be surprising to fans who know him as the gregarious, self-elected Mayor of Flavortown, but for Fieri it’s necessary: On top of those bleached-blond tips he has to wear many hats—Guy Fieri the TV star; Guy Fieri the restaurateur; Guy Fieri the family man.
Getting to a place where he can do it all has been an evolution. When he began shooting Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in 2007, he owned three restaurants in northern California and had two young sons, Hunter, now 22, and Ryder, now 13. Fieri won the hosting gig after taking home the top prize on season 2 of The Next Food Network Star. Then, his now-iconic spiked hair and loud shirts were not as well-received: “When I got outta the car to do the pilot, the crew was like, ‘Who are you?’ And I’m like, ‘I’m here to host the show.’ Then the audio guy comes walking up and goes, ‘Who’s that?’ And the crew guy goes, ‘That’s what they sent us.’ ”