Fieri Mugshot - 300 - © anonymous

Sunday Musings: Celebrity Chef Salaries Completely Crazy?

Earlier this week, we shared one reporter’s insight into ‘a different’ Guy Fieri. But now, almost as if someone thought a contrasting view was needed, we get word that fiery Guy has signed a new $100 million contract with The Food Network (TFN)…

Fieri Star - © Guy FieriThe self-proclaimed Mayor of Flavortown is the only chef (so far)
to be awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame..

… It’s a record. And I think it’s just crazy. (But more on my personal views later in the post.)

He’s a brand

Guy Fieri has parlayed his off-the-hook kitchen persona into a huge business venture. According to a recent report in the entertainment world’s leading news beacon Daily Variety, he’s getting $100 million over the next three years to produce new episodes of his TV series, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, Guy’s Grocery Games, and Guy’s Tournament of Champions. He’ll also work with TFN to develop new projects.

“Recognized everywhere he goes, there is only one Guy Fieri,” Warner Bros. Discovery’s head of food content Betsy Ayala says. “Guy’s love of food, restaurants, and the chefs behind the dishes, combined with his extraordinary passion for crafting series with stories that resonate make extending this partnership a clear choice in our mission to deliver to viewers more of what they love.”

Fieri loves TFN, too: “For nearly two decades, Food Network has been my home and continuing to create great TV within the Warner Bros. Discovery universe is exactly where I want to be. Food is our most universal language so being able to unite people through highlighting chefs, restaurateurs and the folks dishing out incredible meals all over this country and world is a privilege and responsibility that I don’t take lightly.”

And you thought he took everything lightly…

Guy’s TFN story goes way back

Fieri actually got his break with TFN in 2006 when he won that season’s Next Food Network Star competition. According to his webography: “[He] was awarded his own series, the Emmy-nominated Guy’s Big Bite. Since that time, Guy has taken food television by storm as host of top-rated TV shows including the iconic, Emmy-nominated Diners, Drive Ins & Dives, Guy’s Grocery Games, Tournament of Champtions and Guy’s Ranch Kitchen.

But there’s much more

In the past decade, Fieri has build a personal army which spearheads his parallel career as a restaurateur. Knuckle Sandwich LLC has so far opened (and manages) more than 80 Guy-themed eateries around the world and has more on the way.

As we revealed a few days ago, he’s also been inspired by World Central Kitchen founder and guiding light chef José Andrès to devote a major part of his life to charity work. He’s built a fleet of mobile kitchens that can launch at a moment’s notice to feed survivors and first responders of natural and other disasters across North America.

He started the Guy Fieri Foundation (GFF), a charity whose mission statement broadly proclaims: “The Guy Fieri Foundation uses food, cooking, and education to support, uplift, and encourage our communities.” Most recently, the GFF has raised more than $1.5 million for Maui wildfire relief, largely through sales of its ‘Chefs for Maui’ t-shirts.

He’s a New York Times Best-Selling cook book author. And he’s the only chef (so far) to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

But what’s with all that money?

Is it just an entertainment world thing? Or is he really worth it to TFN? I guess the simple answer to that has to be, ‘Yes!’. But the network would have to bring in enough in advertising and licensing revenue to pay him AND clear a nice profit for themselves. The numbers just get too astronomical for my poor Boomer brain to cope with.

I’ve often asked myself what I’d do with celebrity’s mega-earnings. Fieri has anticipated my response in part with his charitable and food relief work. Basically… When you have more money than you can fit in your bedroom, in bank-banded stacks of Benjamins – it all becomes moot. Unless you give a bunch of it back. Somehow, somewhere.

Muse on that..

~ Maggie J.