HOLLYWOOD — Guy Fieri, who went from winning “The Next Food Network Star” to becoming one of the cable network’s best-known personalities, received a star May 22 on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“To say that this is an honor and a highlight of my career would be a gross understatement,” Fieri said at the ceremony in front of the Eastown apartment complex on Hollywood Boulevard. “I don’t know. I was on a plane to Miami, I ended up on the moon. This I didn’t see coming.
“I thought I had it going, I thought I’d figured it all out. I will tell you what, I’m pretty blown away. A writer asked me the other day on the way to school, ‘Did you ever dream of this?’ I said, man, this wasn’t even in the dream world. So when it gets to this level, I gotta tell you, there’s a lot of special people making it happen, so thank you.”
Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, a longtime friend of Fieri, Kathleen Finch, chief lifestyle brands officer at Discovery, the Food Network’s parent company, and Fieri’s oldest son Hunter were among those joining him at the ceremony.
Born Jan. 22, 1968, in Columbus, Ohio, and raised in Ferndale, California, near the Oregon border, Fieri began his interest in food when he was 10 years old and sold soft pretzels from a three-wheeled bicycle cart he built with his father called “The Awesome Pretzel Cart.”
After selling pretzels and washing dishes for six years, Fieri earned enough money to pursue his dream of studying abroad as an exchange student in Chantilly, France, where he gained an appreciation for international cuisine.
Fieri received a degree in hotel management from UNLV in 1990, then was hired by Stouffer’s as a manager for its Long Beach restaurant operations.
After working at Stouffer’s for three years, Fieri joined Louise’s Trattoria as a district manager, supervising its six restaurants.
Fieri opened his first restaurant, Johnny Garlic’s, a pasta grill in Santa Rosa, in 1996. He would go on to open more than 63 restaurants around the world, including in New York City, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, South Africa and Dubai, and a winery in Sonoma County. He is also the author of six cookbooks.
Fieri’s television career began in 2006 when he was the second-season winner of “The Next Food Network Star.” His first series on the network was the cooking show “Guy’s Big Bite,” which premiered that year and brought him a Daytime Emmy nomination in 2017 for outstanding culinary host. He was also nominated in the category in 2018 for “Guy’s Ranch Kitchen.”
Fieri also hosts “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” a four-time Primetime Emmy nominee for outstanding structured reality program. A special he hosted, “Guy Fieri’s Family Reunion,” won a Daytime Emmy in 2013 as outstanding special class special.