You’ve probably seen those tabloid-like stories online about what a badass Guy Fieri can be. A number of folks who worked with him on the sets of his TV shows have ‘told all’. But others say that’s not who he is at all. So… Who IS the real Guy Fieri?
I was delighted to read a story (albeit from 2018) that reveals the other side of mega-celebrity chef Guy Fieri. By that I mean a softer, more sensitive side. Today, I want to share with you some of the insights into ‘Guy the guy’ that Delish contributor Candace Braun Davison exeperienced when she interviewed him at his hotel in the middle of a toad trip to Miami. It wasn’t as easy a job as you might assume…
He’s one of a kind
“There’s no hiding Guy Fieri,” says Davison. “Even halfway tucked into a supply closet, on a secluded terrace of the Loews Hotel in Miami, ‘Fieriacs’ can spot his signature platinum spikes.”
“You know what? You rolled out the ‘please’ right off the bat,” he notes. Without another word, he grabs one kid’s phone and spends the next few minutes hamming up for the camera with the intrepid twosome.
A philanthropist and a philosopher
Fieri – as fans will vividly recall – is pretty conprehensively tattooed. On the parts you can see on screen, at least. On his arm is the word ‘Namaste’. Most folks assume it means ‘Welcome’. But it’s more than that. It’s an ancient Sanskrit word adopted by Hindi. He learned it from his late sister.
“She’d always say that — namaste – and I never understood it until her passing,” Fieri explains. “Namaste means ‘the god in me sees the god in you.’ There’s different ways people say it, but the way I recognize it is acknowledging the power in somebody.”
And that principle, Davison says, underlies his mantra: “If people would just let each other be instead of trying to control them, just imagine,” he enlarges. “Those little boys had power, so you celebrate that power with them! That empowers them!”
Is this really the guy who styles himself the Mayor of Flavortown? Is this the Guy Fieri who explodes with nervous energy and madcap antics on TV? Definitely not. But as Davison observes – this may be the real Guy Fieri.
Feeding those in need
When Davison interviewed him, Fieri was just getting into a new, philanthropic project. And by anyone’s standards it was a huge undertaking. Inspired by the efforts of fellow celebrity chef José Andrès, feeding folks who’ve lost everything in natural disasters and epidemics. Andrès is the founder and face of World Central Kitchen, which most recently established a system of field kitchens in Ukraine to feed thousands of civilians who had been ‘de-homed’ by the war with Russia.
The core of Fieri’s effort is a fleet of mobile kitchens built into transport trailers that can be deployed on a moment’s notice to wildfire, earthquake, hurricane or other disaster zones, and immediately start feeding survivors and first responders. It’s pure, selfless charity work. And Fieri funded the project almost single-handedly at the start.
So… How does Guy see himself?
“My goal’s to be a great dad. That’s always been the benchmark of my life. If I could be half the dad my dad was to me, then I’d be a great success,” he told Davison. “I think that just dovetails into trying to be a good person — that I make a commitment, that I offer something to the world.”
Not the ‘Guy’ you thought he was?
~ Maggie J.