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Who is Guy Fieri?

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  • Written By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 18 September 2016
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Guy Fieri is a restaurant entrepreneur and well-known TV chef. Already a successful restranteur in Northern California, Fieri gained fame when winning the second season of the reality program The Next Food Network Star. The win brought Fieri his own television show, Guy’s Big Bite. Since then he has created two more shows with the Food Network, and continues to operate several outlandish restaurants.

Fieri had a passion for food and success from a young age. With his father, Guy built a pretzel machine and began selling his “awesome pretzels” at local events. Through this and several other odd jobs, the young chef saved enough money to study in France, gaining insight into food and his future. After working in various restaurants for several years, Guy Fieri opened his first restaurant in the low-key Wine Country town of Santa Rosa. Johnny Garlic’s, a pasta and steakhouse with an emphasis on extreme use of garlic proved a local favorite.

Buoyed by the success of Johnny Garlic’s, Fieri opened an even more ambitious restaurant, Tex Wasabi’s. Featuring an eclectic mix of tex-mex and sushi, the restaurant was a true expression of Guy Fieri’s fusion style and unconventional ideas about food. Both Johnny Garlic’s and Tex Wasabi’s have expanded, with branches throughout Northern California.

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In 2006, Guy Fieri beat out the competition to win The Next Food Network Star. His upbeat personality, casual and cool sensibilities and famous catch phrases made him a consistently popular contestant on the show. Many believed the vibrant and hip Fieri is what the TV channel was in need of: a young and cool image for the 21st century. The network quickly renewed his show, and Fieri became a star chef.

In addition to Guy’s Big Bite, he began production on a show close to his heart. In Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Guy Fieri travels the country visiting local haunts known for their killer biscuits and unbelievable greasy-spoon treats. His third series, Ultimate Recipe Showdown, premiered in 2008 and was co-hosted with fellow Food Network star Marc Summers.In 2008, Fieri also was hired as a spokesperson for restaurant chain TGI Fridays, and currently appears in many of their commercials.

As a TV celebrity, Fieri may be best known for his vocabulary. He is credited with popularizing the phrase “off the hook,” meaning crazy and wonderful. Other frequent Guy-isms include “everybody in the pool” and “it’s going to be money!” Guy’s hip and modern personality injected a much-needed aura of California coolness into the Food Network, and many credit him helping to revitalize the image of the channel.

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