Guy Fieri, Food Network host of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Guy's Big Bite, may be best known for his enthusiastic love of food (and spiky peroxide-blonde), but this California-native has just as much passion for food as he does for cars and sports. Here, we talk to him about all three.
Which cars do you currently own?
2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible, 2011 Cadillac Escalade ESV, 2009 Smith's Custom Golf Cart, 2007 Chevrolet Corvette, 2006 Chevrolet C4500 Kodiak Pick-up, 1976 Jeep CJ5, 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle SS 454, 1967 Chevrolet C10 Full Custom "in process," 1965 Carroll Shelby continuation 427 Cobra.
Why did you choose these models?
I have very particular expectations about cars. They have to be iconic in their own way. I'm a big Chevy fan from old school Chevy to the new Chevy. For the Chevelle, I had to save money, borrow money, and give dinners at my restaurant for a year to get the car. I bought the Jeep stock and built it ground up. My Camaro was the first yellow Camaro convertible that came from Chevy and my Cobra was from Carroll Shelby and Denbeste Motor Sports. The Kodiak is one of the biggest trucks you can own privately. The '68 Firebird was set up the right way. If you're gonna have a drag car, this was how I wanted it. Corvette dollar for dollar, car for car, is hands down one of the best automobiles I've ever owned. From power to performance to dollar value, you can't beat it.
Where and when do you drive them?
The Corvette and the C4500 are my daily drivers. The '71 Super Sport Chevelle never sees a wet day nor does the Cobra because there's no top. The Camaro's still a little too new to drive in the rain. The Jeep also has no top, so it's a fair weather car. The Firebird's too radical to drive on the street. The '67 C10 pick-up is still being put back together. The Lamborghini is in sports car heaven.
And everything except the Cobra is yellow?
I swore in a million years I'd never own a yellow car, but the Chevelle was yellow and that changed my whole attitude about the color.
What makes your '71 Chevelle your favorite?
It was my quest to find a Chevelle. I call it the SS Hunter (for my son). I saved the money for two and a half years in my boot in my closet. It was my first real hotrod. I told the owner I bought it from that I'd never sell the car. I'd be homeless and live in it before I gave it up.
What are a few of your dream cars that you don't own yet (and why those)?
ZR1 Corvette. I spoke to Jay Leno and he had a lot of things to say about it. And an old school '70 RS split bumper Camaro. It's a one of a kind car. When I was a kid, someone in town had it, and that was the car I wanted to have. A '77 Trans Am Smokey & the Bandit special. Burt Reynolds made that car look like a NASCAR. I want the antenna and the whole thing. I also want a monster truck… you know, nothing big. I like to keep it realistic.
What kind of car do you drive on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives?
It's a '67 Camaro. It was originally a 327 car, now a 350 4-speed Chevy Camaro Convertible. Black on red.
Is there a car element to your upcoming US tour (a two-hour live show that combines food and rock 'n' roll)?
We have two big Prevosts fully decked out with satellite, three TVs, wireless. I gotta have it the right way for the crew. Leather couches, pop-outs, you name it.
Which recipe from your new cookbook works for the following events?
- Watching a NASCAR race on the couch at home: Bloody Mary Flank Steak. When it's an afternoon at home and you get to enjoy a cold one watchin' the race, this steak has as much flavor and attitude as the NASCAR race.
- Tailgating before a football game: Jambalaya Sandwich. It's big, hearty, flavorful and easy to cook in one pot.
- Ultimate BBQ Recipe: Gaucho Steak with 4 Herb Chimichurri. Skirt steak is one of my favorite cuts. It has great texture, fat and flavor. This recipe rocks it to another level with the chimichurri.
Guy Fieri Food: Cookin' It, Livin' It, Lovin' It is available now at Amazon.com.
Tickets for Guy Fieri's live show can be purchased at GuyFieri.com.