This story appears in the May/June issue of R&T Crew, Road & Track’s magazine and subscription box for kids. For more information, click here.
Super chef Guy Fieri entertains us with shows like Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and Guy’s Grocery Games and makes us drool with recipes like Mac Daddy Mac ‘n’ Cheese and Guy-talian Nachos. And even cooler than all of that, the famous TV star is also an incredibly generous person who has raised millions of dollars to help those in need.
When he’s not in front of a camera or cooking at a stove or out there doing charity work, there’s one place you can likely find him: behind the wheel of one of the cars in his amazing collection. Fieri, also known as The Mayor of Flavortown, told Road and Track about his love of all things fast.
What do you love more, cars or cheeseburgers?
Well, if I was choosing between cars and food, it would be food. But if the question is cars or cheeseburgers? Cars. I couldn’t sell out all of my cars for a cheeseburger!
When you were a kid, were you always obsessed with cars and food?
Obsessed is an understatement! I’ve always loved them both. I had the die-cast toy cars of the ones that I wanted to buy, and I would just look at them and dream. I’m a big Chevy fan, so I had all the cars that I wanted in the Chevy world: Corvettes, Chevelles, C-10 pickups. Cars were my jam! I could not wait to get my license, and I could not wait to get those cars. And now I own them for real!
What’s that like to have your dream cars in your garage?
We all have to find the things in our life that fuel us. And fortunately for me, those cars were a tangible goal that I was able to work really hard to achieve. Everybody has to set goals for themselves, no matter what they’re doing, or no matter how smart they are, if they have money or don’t have money. You’ve got to set goals and start making progress, getting momentum. I didn’t buy all of those cars at once. The first hot rod I bought was a 1971 Chevelle—Super Sport, big-block engine—an awesome car that I still have to this day.
How do you decide which one you’re going to drive each day?
That’s always a discussion! It comes down to what I’m doing. Am I driving for fun? What’s the weather like? Do I need to be on the phone? Who is coming with me?
Did you have a favorite subject in school?
Lunch! I loved auto shop, wood shop, and when I was a freshman, I took home ec. I loved it. I can work a sewing machine, I can work the pedal! There are times in every person’s life where you need to know how to sew a button back on a shirt.
When did you realize that you could be a huge TV star?
That was never something I thought was going to happen. I thought I’d run restaurants and ride dirt bikes, and I would have been very happy doing that. Being on TV? That was like saying I wanted to be an astronaut! But I just gave it a shot, and it turned into something I would never have imagined.
What’s your advice for kids who dream of being the next Guy Fieri?
It’s unbelievably fun making these TV shows and doing all of this stuff, but like anything else that you care about, there is a lot of responsibility and hard work that goes into it all. If you’ve committed to showcasing someone’s restaurant on DDD, but you don’t feel so great that day? Too bad, they’re counting on you, and you can’t let them down. And I’d also say that no matter what you want to do in life, to be successful, a big thing is that you need to be polite. Good manners open doors to opportunities more than anything else. And you gotta be a member of your community. You need to be helping, giving, participating, creating, supporting. You need to be doing a lot of INGs to become a real-deal person.
To read the rest of the interview, subscribe to R&T Crew for the young car lover in your life. Your little one will receive a themed box stuffed with custom wearables, activities, and the latest issue of R&T Crew magazine every other month. The magazine (think: Road & Track for kids) includes 24 auto-inspired pages of fun features, educational stories, and quizzes designed to keep them entertained.
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