Gwen Fowler



Food Network's Fieri entertains and feeds the Myrtle Beach crowd

Posted 5/14/2010 9:09:00 PM

Food Network star Guy Fieri kept the crowd laughing through much of his cooking demonstration in Myrtle Beach Friday, but he also showed off some food techniques, prepared a couple of seafood dishes, and shared some parenting advice.

The California chef with the trademark spiky blond hair told the audience at Taste, a food show in Myrtle Beach that runs through Sunday, that he had visited the state to film segments for “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” one of his three Food Network shows.

Every time he visits South Carolina, he says “y'all” for a month after he goes home, he said. “People ask me if I’ve been hanging out with Paula Deen.”

Fieri demonstrated how to make Spaniard’s Shrimp Cocktail and Malibu Oysters Rockefeller.

The typical shrimp cocktail involves serving boiled shrimp in a glass with cocktail sauce, he said, but not Fieri’s. His cocktail sauce included roasted red peppers, chopped avocados, cucumbers and onion. He mixed his shrimp with olive oil, Italian parsley, garlic, salt and pepper before grilling it.

After he mixed the shrimp with the cocktail sauce, he poured it into a giant martini glass and stuck two oversized crackers on the side. Servings were passed out to those lucky enough to be sitting at small tables near the stage, and they were delicious.

Before he made oysters Rockefeller, he demonstrated how to shuck an oyster without destroying it. His version included spinach, Havarti cheese (“It’s not a party without the Havarti,” he coaxed the audience into chanting) and a no-longer secret ingredient: potato sticks.

He also talked about the Guy Fieri Foundation for Inspiration and Imagination to encourage children to reach their goals.

“I remember sitting in a milk crate and pretending it’s a car,” he said. Now children have little cars. “Where has the imagination gone? We’ve got to get back to basics.”

That’s also true for food, he said. Children are lured by beautiful pictures of fast food that have no nutrition.

“That’s over processed, crappy food.”

Your kids won’t eat salad? Fieri’s solution: “Try it when they’re hungry.” If they’re hungry, they’ll eat it, he said.

He spoke often of cooking with his oldest son, Hunter, 13. The two fixed dinner for Fieri’s wife on Mother’s Day, including two types of pasta made from scratch.

“When you teach kids how to cook, don’t give them the laborious tasks,” like peeling potatoes, he said. “Let them feel that victory.”

In an interview before his appearance, Fieri said he and his wife had been planning for about six months for his family to come to Myrtle Beach with him, but a relative’s illness prevented that.

“Hunter was all ready to surf,” he said. He and his wife, Lori, also have a younger son, Ryder. Fieri built a home for his parents next door, and they often help out with the boys.

Fieri is a busy guy. In addition to “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” -- which he calls Triple D because he had trouble getting the three words our correctly on air – he also stars on the Food Network’s “Guy’s Big Bite" and “Ultimate Recipe Showdown.” Now he’s also a game show host, since NBC’s “Minute to Win It” premiered in March.

He also co-owns five restaurants, three Johnny Garlic’s, an Italian restaurant, and two Tex Wasabi’s, a Southern barbecue and California sushi restaurant.

Before TV, he was in the restaurant seven days a week, he said, but he has a great business partner and a good team who function fine when he’s on the road or on the air. Still, he calls it his “heart and soul.”

He has cookbook No. 3 coming out soon; his first two were based on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” The new one will be full of recipes and stories.

Fieri is without a doubt one of the biggest celebrities of the food world, and it all happened fast. In 2006, he won season two of The Next Food Network Star, and later that year his first show, “Guy’s Big Bite,” premiered.
“It makes my head spin every day.”