Guy Fieri has visited every kind of — as the title of his show says — diner, drive-in, and dive on his Food Network travels, but with his newest series, he's taking cooking shows to a place every cook, from pro to frozen dinner lovers, can relate to: the supermarket. "Guy's Grocery Games," developed and hosted by Fieri, takes experienced chefs into a grocery store (the show's shot on location at a real Los Angeles-area supermarket), and challenges them to complete various meals, using food they gather in the store. Of course, it's not that simple; they'll also have various time, budget, cuisine style, and ingredient restraints as they compete to whip up tasty food that will wow the judges and win them a $20,000 prize.
"They're coming in with some swagger," Fieri says of the chef contestants, some who have competed on other series, like "Chopped." "'Yeah, I've done this. I've cooked in culinary competitions.' But nobody, and I mean nobody, has had to go through a grocery store, source out all their own ingredients, especially with situations put upon them, like shop for everything in three minutes, or you can only spend $6.73, or you can only shop in the canned food aisle. ... I have watched people, I've read their résumés. I've seen their bio tapes. They're warriors. And I've watched them crumble and fold in this competition."
Fieri celebrated his new show by sharing his pop culture favorites with Yahoo TV, including a gift that will be the envy of every "Caddyshack" fan.
1. Have you ever dressed as a celeb for Halloween? Who? Mario Batali. The orange clogs, the shorts, the Patagonia vest, the pink shirt, the red wig, the whole enchilada. I love Mario. He's one of my favorite people. He's my No. 1 favorite chef.
2. What article of clothing could you not live without? Probably my shorts. I'm a big shorts fan.
3. What do you eat or drink while watching a movie in the theater? I've got to say, good popcorn. Not the popcorn that was in a bag that we put into the popcorn maker that we warmed up with the light that looks like popcorn. The stuff that has just come out of the popper. And no fake butter. And good salt, and that's it. I'm not a big soda drinker, so I drink water.
4. What was the first movie you saw? I don't know the first one, but I know the one that made the biggest impact. I was at a movie with my parents. We were seeing the movie "Reds." Remember the movie "Reds"? OK, so we're seeing "Reds," and I couldn't stand it, so I got up, went to the snack bar, and when I was on my way back, I looked to the movie theater to the left, and it said "Scarface," so my parents sat there and watched "Reds" for two and a half hours, and I sat there and watched "Scarface" for two and a half hours. Greatest movie ever, I'm still a huge fan.
5. What song was playing during your first kiss? I think it had to be something from Journey. I think it was something from Journey at a school dance. It was one of the slow songs, one of their ballad jams.
6. Did you have a poster of a celeb on your wall when you were a kid or a teen? I had the poster, the only poster that mattered when you were in fifth grade at Ferndale Elementary School. I had ... wait for it, wait for it ... Farrah Fawcett. The [swimsuit], with the feathered hair. That poster … "Charlie's Angels" … come on now.
7. What movie makes you cry? I don't have any movies that make me cry. But the Cat Stevens song "Cat's in the Cradle," when he's talking about the son and the dad … I can't listen to that song. I have two boys, and that's my whole life, and I can say that that song just crushes me.
8. What's the guiltiest pleasure currently on your DVR? I'm a big fan of "Ridiculousness," and it was "Sons of Anarchy," but I just got so sidetracked on projects and things, and I got behind, and now I'm seasons behind, so we had this big battle in my family. My wife and my kid, Hunter, are caught up on it, so they're watching all the new stuff, and I'm still back at Season 3, and they are not allowed to talk about it or watch it when I'm in the house, because I don't want to know what happens before I watch. I'm going to have to take a week when I'm not working, and sit there and get caught up.
9. What movie character do you wish you could be? John Travolta in "Staying Alive." Or Carl Spackler in "Caddyshack." "So we finish the eighteenth, and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, 'Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know.' And he says, 'Oh, uh, there won't be any money, but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness.' So I got that goin' for me, which is nice."
Every year for my birthday, I have a huge birthday party called Festivus Maximus. It's just a party for my friends, to say thanks, because I have great buddies, but it's a huge party. And each year there's a theme, and two years ago it was "Caddyshack." Everybody dresses up, and I was Carl of course. My friend, a really close friend of mine who's a DJ, a really awesome DJ, drives down to San Luis Obispo, interviews Kenny Loggins, has Kenny Loggins sign an album for me and sing "I'm Alright." He posts it on YouTube, and gives it to me, and says, "I can't make your birthday, but here's the greatest gift in the world," and I just died.
10. What's the best birthday present you ever received? (See above). I've gotten some crazy stuff in my day, though. I had a buddy give me a catapult that launched watermelons. I've been given some incredible, incredible gifts, but I think that the Kenny Loggins singing "I'm Alright" … that's it.
11. Who is your TV crush? Let me think here. You know what? Not my crush, but my hero is the Fonz, Henry Winkler. There was no one cooler than the Fonz. There is no one cooler than the Fonz. I got a chance to meet Henry Winkler and actually kind of become friends with him, and he is the nicest guy. Henry Winkler is the nicest guy you will ever meet, and just such a dear person, just a really cool dude. He gave me a great compliment. He told me I was the hardest working guy in the business, and he knew about "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." I just about fell over.
12. Who is your favorite tweeter? I'll just say this. I enjoy people who tweet with reservation. It's hard when people tweet so much that you can't even follow it, because there's so many in a day. I like just really good, quality content, a funny here, a sentimental there, love pictures. But it's when it becomes too much, when it's blowing your phone up, that's when it gets hard to stay enthusiastic. That's kind of how I like to tweet. I don't like to tweet so much. I just send stuff when I really feel it's worthy … I saw Duff Goldman in the elevator at "Good Morning America" this morning. That's a cool thing to send out. You're not expecting to see your bro, you throw out a little tweet.
13. What TV theme song do you still remember the words to? (Sings) "Schlemiel! Schlimazel! Hasenpfeffer Incorporated. We're gonna do it!" I'm riding on the back of the bike. I've got my arms and legs out … I love "Laverne & Shirley."
14. Did you collect anything when you were a kid? I'm the worst at collecting, because I love all things. I hate parting with stuff. As a matter of fact, my wife even says that I'm a hoarder. Especially sentimental things. But yes, I did collect baseball cards. 1978, my recollection is I had every single football card that came out from Topps. Had them all. 1985, 1984, I went to France for a year as an exchange student. My parents did me the gracious favor of clearing out my room and giving away all my "little kid's stuff," as they called it. They gave away all my football cards.
Watch a preview of "Guy's Grocery Games":
"Guy's Grocery Games" premieres Sunday, Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. on Food Network.
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