FOOD NETWORK STAR Guy Fieri Interview With Playboy

Guy Fieri

FOOD NETWORK STAR Guy Fieri will be featured in the 20Q of Playboy’s January/February issue (on newsstands December 18). Check out an excerpt of the interview below:

“At a certain point I got to the reality I wasn’t going to be Evel Knievel or a pro football player, which were my childhood dreams. So I thought, Hey, why not be just as frickin’ cool with a frying pan in my hand?” says Guy Fieri in Playboy’s January/February 20Q, when asked about his career choice (issue on newsstands and online at www.playboydigital.com Friday, December 18).

The Food Network’s storytelling bad boy chef – who hosts Guy’s Big Bite; Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives; Ultimate Recipe Showdown; and Guy Off the Hook – sat down with Playboy Contributor David Hochman to discuss his favorite restaurants, recipes and chef; impressing women with culinary skills and pickup lines; and his worst cooking mishaps. Following are selected quotes from their conversation:

On his hair: “About 10 years ago I was in Vegas with a bunch of buddies. It was my buddy Reno’s birthday, and we were shaving his head…it gave me the idea to try something new. Next thing you know, I’m telling my hairdresser, ‘Do whatever you want.’ She sits me down and puts a plastic bag on my head. When she takes it off, my hair is Colonel Sanders white! And I go, ‘Oh no! Man!’ I used to dye it blackish purple in the winter, but now it just stays white.”

On the best chef alive: “It’s Masaharu Morimoto, the Japanese Iron Chef…In the Asian realm especially, nobody does it better. My greatest honor would be to work in Morimoto’s kitchen, even for a day. That dude will forget more about cooking than I’ll ever learn.”

On who’s hotter – Rachael Ray, Giada De Laurentiis or Padma Lakshmi: “Those ladies are all amazing and sexy, and I have my opinion, but I’m not sitting here playing candyass.”

On using his culinary skills to pick up women: “When I was 18 or 19 I got a job as flambé captain at a hotel, cooking table-side…I realized success is all about your style. I’d meet these families having dinner and would always find the older daughter who looked bored. [I’d say] ‘Hey, you want to see an extra-big flame on your scampi?'”

On tips for impressing a woman with your cooking: “Practice…Do a test run a couple of days ahead. And stick to dishes that aren’t too dangerous. Pork’s my favorite. Goggle a recipe for pork chops piccata style – grilled or pan sautéed with lemon, capers, garlic, white wine, parsley. She’ll be eating out of your hand, as long as you don’t overcook it.”

On cooking with women: “Women who know how to cook are hot. Especially when you’re together in the kitchen, it’s sexy. You’re activating each other’s senses – the smells, the flavors, the textures. Baby!”

On his worst cooking mishap in front of a crowd: “We were doing a show in upstate New York with 2,000 people in the audience…I wasn’t into this damn demo for more than 30 seconds and I cut this chunk off my finger. I thought it was my whole thumb. The butt of the knife had driven through. And it was so bloody. Ever seen blood when it’s blue? That’s what the hell I’m talking about. I was like, ‘Oh sh*t!’ Do I tell all these people who’ve paid good money that I don’t even know how to use a knife? I made the blink decision to keep going. I tied a towel around the thumb like a tourniquet and just barreled through. That finger was sore for the next four years.”

On his table-side Grey Poupon mishap: “One time my cart got stuck, so I yanked it, and ch-ch-ch, the Grey Poupon fell, hit the side of the cart, the lid clicked off and a globule of mustard flew through the air and shhhpwakked this grandma on the forehead. Her beehive hairdo flopped down, and there was mustard everywhere. It was the couple’s 50th anniversary, and I was thinking, I’m a dead man. But her old man thought it was the funniest damn thing he’d ever seen. Dude tipped me 40 bucks!”

On the dives worth driving across America for: “Ted Peter’s Famous Smoked Fish in St. Petersburg, Florida…that fish spread- pow! It’d knock your socks off. Number two, Mo Gridder’s BBQ in Hunts Point, the Bronx. You may not be able to find it because it’s in a trailer outside an auto parts store. Trust me, though. Finally, Emma Jean’s Holland Burger Cafe in Victorville, California. One family flipping burgers for 60 years on Route 66 – need I say more?”

On something he secretly wishes he could tell his customers: “Stop stealing stuff. People steal things from restaurants, anything with a logo on it…Also, don’t eat the whole plate of food and then tell me you didn’t like it. We know that’s bullsh*t.”

On fancy food versus diner food: “I don’t separate fancy food from the rest. Good food is good food, though there’s definitely way too much fussing and phoniness out there in the food world, with people talking about ingredients you need an advanced degree to pronounce.”

On what he’d want his last meal to be: “I’d love to say [exaggerated highbrow voice], ‘Oh, I would enjoy to have a dish I once had in France,’ but I gotta go with spaghetti and tomato sauce. It was my favorite dish as a kid, and it’s still my baby. Don’t get me wrong; it has to be done in the proper Italian way, not just ‘Here’s a jar of tomato sauce’ – blop.”

You can read the full interview over at Playboy.com/guy.

(Photo: Playboy)