Visiting Oahu’s ‘Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives’
Wednesday - November 04, 2009
Guy Fieri, host of the TV Food Network’s most popular show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, was in Honolulu last week hanging out and enjoying some of our best food. Considering he’s currently the most recognized host on the network, he kept a fairly low profile while visiting restaurants that included The Poke Stop, Highway Inn, Hank’s Haute Dogs and Murphy’s Bar and Grill.
And that’s just the way he likes it, because things haven’t really been low key for Guy since, oh, around 2006. That’s when he went from being a chef/owner of a few restaurants to a nationally recognized star.
“I was busy doing my thing,” he says as we sit down in a booth at Murphy’s for a chat. “I was running my restaurants, having my kids, just living my life, when a couple of friends told me about The Next Food Network Star.
After that, things got a little crazy.”
With his trademark bleached, spiked hair, Fieri in person is pretty much the guy you see on TV. But while his show is now rated No. 1, it’s not the high profile that makes him smile. It’s the people at those diners, drive-ins and dives who make him happiest.
“Personally this show is the most important thing that has ever happened to me,” he says. “It’s given me the chance to show the love and devotion my brothers and sisters in the restaurant business put into their kitchens every single day. When I can help them, that’s the greatest thing I can do.”
And when he says help, he means it.
“The average restaurant featured on Triple D improves its business by 100 percent,” says Fieri.
His onscreen personality is what’s made him famous, but it’s behind the scenes that he loves.
“I like talking to the people, of course,” he says, “but really, I just can’t wait to get into the kitchens. Walking through someone else’s kitchen is like a mechanic walking through a garage. You get to see the tools and you get a real sense of who these people are.”
As host of two other Food Network shows, Guy’s Big Bite and Guy Off The Hook, and the owner of five California-based restaurants, there’s not much time left for the thing Fieri loves most.
“I love cooking in my kitchen with my boys,” he says. “I can’t even talk about it without getting goose bumps. In fact, I brought my youngest son, Hunter, with me to Hawaii for a few days. I went to his school and asked for permission, and he was on stage with me doing a cooking demo at Pearl Harbor.”
Kids, says Fieri, are in the “moment of now” and should be encouraged to come into the kitchen and participate at an early age.
“Don’t have them do the boring things like prep at first,” he offers. “Get them engaged and addicted first, and then they can do the chopping.” Cooking, says Fieri, gives kids a sense of empowerment and achievement.
And with that it’s back to filming and to the dozens of people sneaking into Murphy’s despite the signs on the door asking them to stay out.
You can catch Guy Fieri in Hawaiiin early spring 2010 on Food Network. Watch this space for details.
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