By Susie Timm, Head Cheese
Within six months of leaving my ten-year banking career in 2009, I found myself conducting a 45 minute phoner with one of the biggest food personalities in the world: Chef Guy Fieri. The experience came as part of a gig I scored coordinating the Arizona restaurants who have been featured by Fieri on Triple D into a pre-party of sorts for his 2009 roadshow.
It was a whirlwind experience that was almost surreal. I created friendships with many of the Triple D restauranteurs that have spanned the 18 months since the event in 2009.
Last week I received an email from the Mesa Arts Center asking me to again work with the Fieri folks to promote the Guy Fieri Food Tour 2011 coming to Mesa on June 7.
I jumped at the chance. I found Fieri to be every bit as witty, intense and genuine in person as he is on TV and it was a true pleasure to help him promote his event.
I also had the pleasure of speaking to Fieri about his Food Tour last week among other amusing topics.
Here’s a little bit of our chat:
GMF: What can fans expect from upcoming tour?
Fieri: It’s a lot of music, food, and interaction with audience. It’s a Foodapalooza. If you love food and being around food, you want to immerse yourself in it—I asked myself, how can we give the ultimate food experience? We’re pairing humor and food together and then we bring in wild flair bartender—it’s a gigantic food party.
GMF: Is it a cooking demo of sorts?
Fieri: It’s not a cooking demo; no, I don’t play the guitar, I play the griddle. We’ve got a guy spinning tunes, sitting in a 6 foot high DJ booth with a light bar, siren and furry orange walls. This is what it’s like when I cook at home, lots of people, fun, music, food. Just blow it — 5000 person style. It’s a crazy party.
GMF: So you have a cookbook coming out May 3–how does that play into the script of the show?
Fieri: That’s what the tour really is pinpointing this round since the book launch ended up at same time as tour was ready to happen. The book is a monster. Over 400 pages, 150 recipes. It is everything up till now in my life of food. From when I started as a kid, through restaurants, through food network.
It has multiple components. It’s basically all the stuff I wanted to do in the last 30 years in one book. Guy Fieri Food.
GMF: What was it about food as a kid that shaped your career?
Fieri: I had a rock and roll moment of food as a kid. I was lucky. I was ten years old, I knew what my life motivation was. Food. I’d wake up in the morning and think about food. I was not allowed to ask my mom what is for dinner until we had lunch. Everything was food centric. Food in my wheelhouse.
For some people it’s music, books, vacation. Food has always been my heartbeat.
GMF: How many recipes in your new cookbook are kid-friendly? Do you have a fave? Do your kids have a fave?
Fieri: Everything in the book is kid-friendly? (except deep frying stuff—take super caution with kids working with hot oil)
I don’t make different foods for my kids than we (my wife and I) are eating. Even if I’m making super spicy Thai food—I’m a big advocate of diversifying lots of food for their kids. It gets their minds open to food–it gives a broader perspective on the world and issues etc. I’m a big believer that it can all be kid friendly.
We’re not making tempura calf fries—it’s pretty tame. I cook these recipes for my kids. Kids like to get messy. Some are more kid interactive—generally the recipes cover all spectrums.
GMF: Last time around we got all the Triple D chefs together for your tour–got any plans to visit Arizona again for an episode of Triple D?
Fieri: Phoenix was the crescendo of the entire tour last time around. If that event was your idea I give you massive props. I wish every city had done what you pulled off. When I came here and guys like Roger Wagner from Thee Pitts Again show me their new shiny truck and tells me it was because of me that he is so successful, tears come to my eyes.
Every time I get near Phoenix I look for a reason to stop in to places like Chino Bandido, Los Taquitos or Matt’s Big Breakfast.
GMF: So any immediate plans to film again here?
Fieri: Not on the horizon now for 2011–but tell people to write in about their favorite place–the squeaky wheel gets the grease. Those letters are what get places on Triple D.
So the promotion wheel is already turning–I’ve reached out to the Triple D restaurants again and asked them to help me get as many people to the show as possible.
Mesa is the only stop Fieri is repeating between 2009 and 2011. I think our community of restaurants is one of the reasons.
Here’s a quick list in case you haven’t tried them all:
Thee Pitts Again
Joe’s Farm Grill
Giuseppe’s on 28th
La Piazza al Forno
Brandy’s Bakery & Cafe
Roberto’s Mexican Food
Matt’s Big Breakfast
Check out promotions and information at many of these places during the next couple of months. Click here for more information and to purchase a ticket!