Saturday, July 18, 2009

Guy Fieri at the Tahoe Golf Tourney

Guy Fieri was interviewed by Phil Weidinger at the American Century Championship golf tourney in Stateline (near Lake Tahoe), Nevada, July 18, 2009.

PHIL WEIDINGER: I don't know that we need to introduce you.
GUY FIERI: I'm telling you, I sometimes question who I am.

PHIL WEIDINGER: When is the last golf tournament you've worked at?
GUY FIERI: I was at the PGA tournament in Mississippi for the Viking Classic, and I cooked with the chairman of PGA and the governor of Mississippi.

Got a free round of golf and a pardon. So it's not often that you get that in the same day.

PHIL WEIDINGER: Good day. We're not going to have the heavies with you out there today, we'll have the people out there with you cooking on No. 17. What will you be cooking out there?
GUY FIERI: We had to make a real decision about what we're going to be doing. We're out here, in some heat, in Tahoe, a lot of factors. People need to eat on the fly, no pun intended. People need to be able to do it.

We were thinking of a pasta dish. We had to look at the elements, what we had to cook with. My buddy Irvine was here last year. He has done some cooking, had a preview about what was coming up.

We'll do a dish called Pork el Fuego, pork on fire. We take a pork tenderloin with some garlic and onions and peppers and tomatoes, deglaze it with some tequila and lime juice, serve it on a ciabatta roll. It will melt in your mouth. Humongous flavor. It was a dish I made actually for Jay Leno when I was on the Tonight Show. (Dirty P, at right. ~D)

They said this is going to be one of the last cooking segments that Jay has. Can you bring the heat? Can I bring the heat? So I brought the heat. And I think this stage, I think they've repaired the stage now-- just kidding.

PHIL WEIDINGER: Out on 17. I'll understand you'll cook for some of the players. As they come by they'll have some bite-sized shots.
GUY FIERI: We're going to be taking care of -- being that we're on the 17th, we're almost at the end. Those that are in the real competitive streak at that point I imagine will probably blow by. But those that are playing their game like I play, oh, they'll probably be looking for cold beer as well.

PHIL WEIDINGER: We'll try to help them there.
GUY FIERI: Load up a cooler on the back of the monster cart.

PHIL WEIDINGER: Tell us about the monster cart that you just drove through the front gate in. Give us the blow by blow on this one.
GUY FIERI: It's built by a place called Smitty's, Smith Carts in Rohnert Park (website). And when I started looking at different golf carts, I said: I want this in a cart. I want that in a cart and started putting the ideas together. I'm a yellow fan. I have a yellow Corvette and yellow Jeep and Lambo. All my cars are yellow.

I said: I want something yellow. And I want it lifted because I'm into monster trucks.
Can you really do all that really that fast? So I wanted to have my monster cart, and I wanted to have it that big, and wanted a big lift kit and big tires.

Did you get it all? (Laughter).

So a little ADD. I get sidetracked once in a while. Bring it back to the shiny bell. What happened, I wanted all these things. I sat there with Ed Smith and I said, "Here's the list of things I would like to have on the cart. You tell me if this is possible. Stereo, lift kit, big tires. And I want it yellow. And I want it flamed. And I want tattoo artwork in it. And I want the seats to look like baseball glove, leather, and blah, blah, blah, and went on and on. And my final thing I want on it is I want it to be board and I want it to have nitro on it.

And he looked at me and he said, "I think we can do that." With no hesitation at all. So it took him about three months to build it. The first time I used it was when I was the Grand Marshal of NASCAR at Infineon. And it's a kick. And actually here's the funny thing about it, it's licensed to be on the road. That's scary.

PHIL WEIDINGER: The sheriffs have no problem letting you through the front gate.
GUY FIERI: They weren't too interested in me hitting the nitros button and cranking the tunes. Has a big stereo and sub woofer and all that and had to dial it back for -- I don't know why people want it quiet when they golf. Me -- I call it the Happy Gilmore style, if you can make a little noise so I'm not so on edge and shaking, it would be better.

PHIL WEIDINGER: Tell us, in the last couple of years you've rocketed to stardom. How many different shows are you on with the Food Network and tell us about some of the things you're doing?
GUY FIERI: Well, I have four different shows on the Food Network. My main show which everybody knows me by "Diners Drive-ins and Dives" where we tour around the country, visit funky joints all over.

Just got back from Cleveland. Oh, my gosh, if you haven't been to Cleveland recently, go to Cleveland. Some killer, Momocho's, Melt, Lucky's Cafe, some of the bomb -- off-the-hook joints.

My cooking show is called "
Guy's Big Bite" and I have a studio live cooking show called "Guy Off the Hook" and then I'm the host of the another show, culinary competition against home chefs called "The Ultimate Recipe Showdown."

Between those four, I also have five restaurants in California. Just a couple in Sacramento and a couple in the wine country. Three called "
Johnny Garlic's." Two are called Tex Wasabi's. And Tex Wasabi's, if you understand the golf cart and understand me and shorts and the chef coat, you'll understand that Tex Wasabi's is southern-style barbecue and sushi together again for the first time.

I also have two great boys, Hunter and Ryder, 13 and three. They're both down here with me. I was at a big event last night. Flew on a plane this morning to be on time to do this gig.

We have about 100 pounds of pork that we're getting to ready to make about 400 sandwiches. I brought my Kulinary Krew up here. We all run together with the Kulinary Gangsters, which everybody, that's a nice name.

So my whole crew is up here. They're out at the 17th cooking it up, and we're going to go make fire. Oh, we brought our T-shirt gun. You can't go to an event like this without loud music, lifted golf carts, spiky hair, sunglasses and a T-shirt gun.

So what we will be figuring out is whether or not we can launch one of the Pork El Fuego sandwiches out of the T-shirt gun. So stand by for that.

PHIL WEIDINGER: Have you been to any of our diners or dives here in Tahoe?
GUY FIERI: I haven't been here yet. I come up here to go skiing. My son and I snowboard. We were up here last year. And we've eaten, we've eaten at quite a few places. But I traditionally like to see that the places are recommended from the viewers. That's probably about 90 percent of the locations we go to.

People go to, and there's a place that says "Tell Guy Where to Go" ( meaning places to visit. That's how the majority of them come about.

If you have any, we'd love to hear about it. For me, the real tough thing is when I have to go to a place I like to go to, oh, Tahoe, maybe we can just go there in the winter and shoot the show and I could snowboard and we can do that. Please, make the restaurants open around December-ish.

PHIL WEIDINGER: Where did the concept come from?
GUY FIERI: It came from our executive producer, crazy guy named David Page, who is an award-winning producer that won Emmies from Beirut and all kinds of, Berlin Wall, the whole thing.

He came up with the idea. He pitched it to Food Network. Food Network says, "Great, we'll take it." He said, "Okay, I've got my host ready and everything, we're ready to shoot." They said, "No, no, no. You're not going to use your guy. We have the guy we want you to use."

He said, "Oh, great is it Bobby Flay?" "No." "Is it Emeril?" "Not so much." "Rachel Ray?" "No, I don't think so. It's the guy that won the contest."

And he said he just saw all his hopes and dreams go down when it was me. Because I had won the show called "
The Next Food Network Star." Kind of like American Idol for Food. Four years ago.

I was doing "Guy's Big Bite." I was cooking. Food Network knew they wanted me to do some other stuff, but they didn't know what. This dude calls me up and said, "What days are you free in August?"

I sent him my schedule. Sends me back an e-mail. I'll take them all. He took like 17 days, 12 days, whatever it was; who's counting. I don't like getting the facts right in the middle of a good story.

So anyhow, we go to New Jersey. I roll out of the car service, taking the red eye from California. I come out. I've got a tank top on and board shorts and flip-flops, and he looks at me and he says: "Is Guy with you?"

And I said, "I am Guy." And he goes, "Oh, okay. Do you have anything else you could wear?"

So I reach in my bag, and I pull out a bowling shirt. And I throw it on. It's all wrinkled. I go, "How's this?"

"Okay." He said, "Here's what I want you to do. I want you to go inside this diner here," the
Bayway Diner in Linden, New Jersey. "Go interview this guy. Here's the questions I want you to ask."

And I'm just (snoring), "Uh-huh, I'll do all that."

I walk in. Next thing you know I'm serving coffee, flipping eggs, talking to the customers, talking to Mike the owner, going back and forth. It's crazy.

And he walks in finally after about 10 minutes. He goes, "Cut!" Jumps in front of the camera.
He goes, "Come here." Takes me outside. "What was that?"

"What was what?"

"The thing in there, the talking and the cooking and the moving and laughing and everything. I wanted you to interview the people. What was that part?"

I said, "I'm a restaurant dude. Restaurants, that's how we handle things. And that's what I think I'm doing."

He goes, "Can you do that again?"

"Can I do that again?" I said, "Oh, dude, I do that all day long."

He goes, "We have a winner!" And that was it, man. And then the show blew up. It's been the number one show on Food Network for about a year and a half, two years.

PHIL WEIDINGER: Where does the jewelry come from?
GUY FIERI: The bling. I get this at Blings R Us. Easy payment plan. I also got a blender with it.

No, the rings are my sons'. This is my son Hunter's ring. My son Ryder's ring. So my deal is I'll wear these rings until they're old enough to receive them, mature enough, mature enough to receive them.

And this is my wedding ring piston. There is a jeweler called 101, Room 101 down in Los Angeles
(no website), makes jewelry for rockers. I said, "I'm a culinary rocker. Got any jewelry?" So this right here is kind of my logo, the skull chef. And that's about it. And a bunch of tattoos.

PHIL WEIDINGER: This is the 20th anniversary of the Celebrity Championship --
GUY FIERI: Fitting I should be here.

PHIL WEIDINGER: -- and I can guarantee you we've entered a new edge with Guy Fieri. Thank you for being here. Appreciate it.

Related Posts:
Pix from Infineon Raceway
Pork En Fuego - as seen on The Tonight Show
Guy Fieri finishes up round of DDD joints in Cleveland
Interview with David Page

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