Saturday, May 30, 2009

Guy Fieri on macrobiotics and favorite ingredients

Guidposts Magazine recently interviewed Guy Fieri about "his macrobiotic childhood, love of garlic and a complex personality that few know."
Q: What inspired you to start cooking?
A: Very simple. The deal in my family was whoever cooked made the decision of what would be made. My parents were into macrobiotics, and I was a carnivore as a child. So [by cooking] I could make people happy, I could decide what we’d eat, and I didn’t have to do the dishes. If that doesn’t channel you as a child I don’t know what does!
Macrobiotics use whole grain cereals such as brown rice and buckwheat pasta, fish, nuts and seeds as a staple ingredients with legumes, vegetables, seaweed, fermented soy products and fruit, combined into meals according to the principle of balance (known as yin and yang).

Nightshade vegetables, including tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant, spinach, beets and avocados are not recommended or are used sparingly at most. (More on macrobiotic diets)
Q: What three ingredients are always in your kitchen?
A: Fresh cracked pepper, garlic and I can’t decide between soy sauce or olive oil.

On pepper
If we went through my kitchen, there are probably 100 seasonings and sauces. From 20 different seasoned salts to 10 different vinegars. But when you get to the core basics, the taste of fresh cracked pepper is immeasurable. Salt and pepper are the simplest. It’s the Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers of food.

On garlic
The bodacious garlic. I call it “Vitamin G.” Its versatility is unparalleled. It can be sweet and creamy, sharp and bitter, can support or be lead character. I have to put that ahead of everything. At any given time there will be 10 bulbs in the jar when I’m home.

On soy sauce
We often add sodium to things and soy sauce has a rounded flavor. I do a lot of Asian food, and it has a nice complex taste that works well--not a “Boom!” here’s my sodium.” I love it when people say, “But there’s no soy sauce in there!”

On olive oil
Extra version olive oil is great for gentle, subtle things like dipping sauce or salads. Good plain olive oil can play a real nice role in many dishes. And it does not have a high smoke point. Often people don’t realize it can go bad. You need to keep it in a dark bottle, out of the heat. People will say, “This olive oil has a big flavor,” but actually it’s rancid.
Try Guy Fieri's Spicy Cherry Ribs and Asian Slaw

Q: If you were a dish, what would you be?
A: Hong Kong noodles. It’s one of my favorites when I do demonstrations.... I’m a deep person. Things in my life are flavorful. And, it’s crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. That’s something people will see in me, too.... I get people to see the other side of things. People might think that I’m a certain way, but there are other sides to me.
Try Hong Kong Style Noodles with Chicken and Vegetables

Related Posts:
A product of his parent's cooking?
Guy's Oak Town Garlic Vinegar Chicken


Satchel said...

Hey Dora, I need some help. Just a quick point of clarification, and I think that you could be the one to help out. Guy is of Italian and Irish heritage. Is his father Irish and his mother Italian, or the other way around? Hopefully you'll know the answer, and be able to provide some background. Cheers!

Dora said...

If memory serves, Guy is of Italian descent on his father's side, and Irish on his mother's side. I'll see if I can't find some documentation to support what I remember reading.

Satchel said...

Thanks Dora! Any info would be appreciated. There is a debate growing online over which side of his family is Italian vs. Irish