Meeting the man who lives below the frosted tips, and discovering why a little bit of him lives in all of us.
A mob of white middle-aged fans swells behind a black rope divider outside the kitchen. It's a little after 1 PM in the weeds of the lunchtime rush. Despite the scene, line cooks crank through service like it's any other day.
"Have you ever had trashcan nachos?"
Guy Fieri is standing at the pass inside the kitchen at his Las Vegas restaurant, Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen & Bar, a restaurant that in its prime can average 1,800 covers a day. His bleached blond frosted tips are glistening; his garish gold metal jewelry twinkles beneath the fluorescent lights. His wraparound shades, however, are nowhere to be found. He's holding a hollowed-out metal pitcher to one eye. "Like from a trash can?" I ask. Fieri lets out a guttural chuckle, shaking his head. "Sister… you have no idea," he says smiling as he's handed his distressed denim chef's coat, adorned with a leather collar and silver star buttons that look like they might belong to Ozzy Osbourne. I'm struggling to keep up with his fierce energy as I tuck my long hair inside a red and black Guy Fieri baseball cap, which also exhibits an intentional scuffed-up brim.
"You're in Vegas, the land of indulgence. People wear feathers on their heads and dance around on stage here, and people pay to see it… so this is far better than that," he says with a raised eyebrow. "You ready?" He quickly motions me over to the flat top grill while I tie the strings of my black apron—embroidered with a heart ensconced in flames—and put on latex gloves fit for a man. I didn't come here to learn how to make Fieri's Original Ringer Burger or the recipe for his Showgirls rendition of nachos, but it seems he has his own agenda. I've come to Sin City to spend some time with the Food Network star, hoping to meet the person who lives underneath the persona of the cartoonish hair, the flaming bowling shirts, the red '68 Camaro, and the sleeve tattoos and learn why this character as President of Flavortown has become an American icon.
Read more on MUNCHIES