Guy Fieri, the excitable, spiky-haired host of Food Network’s popular “Diner’s, Drive in’s and Dives,” will be coming to Atlanta next month for a concert/food demo at the Cobb Energy Centre.
Fieri already shoots three shows for Food Network, including “Diners, Drive in’s and Dives.” He has two books based on that show. He operates five restaurants. He’s a busy man who decided to add a live road show, too.
“I think anybody who has a million things to do has to have a million and one,” he said in an interview late last month. “I can’t sit still for long. The road shows came out naturally. I’ve done live food demonstrations forever. My first cooking job was as the flambe captain at a table at a fine dining restaurant.”
His goal with the show: “make it a damn rock concert.” He’s had girls throw lace bras at him, like it’s a Van Halen show.
“Expect the unexpected,” he promised. “I don’t know what the hell’s going to happen. I know how we’re going to open the show and close the show. I know a few things in the middle of the show. But on the most part, what happens is anybody’s game. I mean, sometimes the audience takes over with questions and antics. It’s jokey and tongue and cheek.”
He relishes his “rock and roll” image. “I’m not posing,” he said. “That’s the way I want to act. But keep it lawful. Be respectful. And I try to live my life as a good person and be a great guy to my two boys. Otherwise, there are no boundaries. Life is to be lived. I can get 25 hours out of a day or eight days out of a week. Not everybody wants to sit here and watch some maniac up on stage cooking eight different things and talking 80 miles an hour. I have to dial it back to keep everyone entertained but keep it in a period of time so they can still get home and live their life.”
Pause. “I didn’t breath one time in that whole sentence!”
Fieri knows he’s not a picture of svelte but he’s okay with his “gentle stocky 215.” “You can get hit by a truck,” he said. “Live every day to the fullest. All in moderation. I don’t eat a bunch of food and go into a food coma. I enjoy a variety of things. My goal is to be around for my kids to have kids.”
His thoughts on Marietta’s Alton Brown (”Good Eats”): “No BS, straight up truth. Alton Brown is the man I watch the most. I’m a food junkie. I’ll watch him like I’m in school. He was such an inspiration when I was on ‘Next Food Network Star.’… Hopefully when I’m in Atlanta for the show, he’ll be able to come by.”
His connection to Sammy Hagar: “He’s crossed so many generations of people. I don’t think I’m at that level by any means. It’s a nice compliment [to be compared to Hagar.] Sammy is one of my good friends, someone I really admire. He gave me advice about getting a voice coach. I’m always going so hard and fast night after night. It’s important to keep my pipes the right way. He’s inspired me in so many ways. I don’t play the guitar. I play the griddle.” He’s often mistaken for Sammy, though there is a good 20 year gap in age.
Of the 300 locations he’s done over the years on “Diners, Drive Ins and Dives,” the Marietta diner stands out, along with the Silver Skillet in Midtown and Matthew’s Cafeteria in Tucker among Atlanta stops.
Then Fieri goes into humble mode: “This could all go away tomorrow. All I can do is just say thank you. It’s been the most blessed opportunity. I sign every autograph, take every picture people wants. I say thank you as much as I can.”