I’m addicted to the Food Network. One Saturday morning about six or seven years ago, I got totally sucked in. I was awake early for some reason and there wasn’t much on TV. As I surfed around I found Paula’s Home Cooking and she was my gateway drug. I love her down-home cooking style—with lots ‘o buttah, naturally—and her food was delicious. Watching the Food Network and trying new recipes allowed me to actually enjoy cooking again.
Over the years I’ve added plenty of Food Network shows to my roster of regularly watched/Tivo’d programs. Giada, Barefoot Contessa, Alton Brown, Bobby Flay—anything they do, I watch. These chefs are like rock stars to me. I’ve also become addicted to Iron Chef America and, of course, The Next Food Network Star.
I have no idea how I missed the second season of The Next Food Network Star with Guy Fieri but after watching him on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives I became a fan of his other shows—Guy’s Big Bite and Guy Off The Hook.
Which is why I was totally excited this weekend when we saw Guy Fieri hanging out in the pool at our hotel in Vegas.
Bill and I were lounging in our chairs when I suddenly saw the unmistakable platinum blond spiky hair bobbing in the pool. At first I wasn’t sure it was him, but then I heard his voice and knew it was Guy. I nudged Bill and tried to subtly point him out. Bill didn’t see him right away so, of course, I pointed:
“There. In the middle of the pool.”
“Where? I don’t see him.”
“See? Right there. In the center. With the spiky hair. Look! [stands up and points because I'm totally subtle like that]
Bill finally spots him and says, “We should go tell him he needs to go visit that place we love in Hollywood for Diners, Drive-In and Dives.” (Which is a great idea except the place is so busy already that you have to wait an eternity to get in.) It’s only open for breakfast and lunch and the food is amazing. The pancakes are bigger than a dinner plate and the French toast is like crack. But better. Like crack with vanilla.
Oddly, after making sure half the pool saw the poor guy, I was the one who was like, “Nah, that’s obnoxious. He’s probably on vacation and trying to relax.”
Bill’s like, “Aw, c’mon, he’s probably cool about it.”
So Bill got up and got in the pool. I was on the phone and wasn’t totally paying attention, so Bill’s side of the story is that he was easing into the pool and Guy made a comment to him first about the water being cold. For all I know, Bill walked right up and pitched him the idea. Either way, they started chatting.
After a few minutes, I got in and swam over to them, and Guy introduced himself and he was very nice. We were talking for a few minutes about different shows and restaurants and what it was like to win The Next Food Network Star. Guy also hosts The Ultimate Recipe Showdown so we told him that a friend of Bill’s won the first episode with his Mac ‘n Cheese recipe.
Finally, Guy looks at us and says, “My name really isn’t Guy Fieri. I’m an impersonator.”
At first I thought, “Okay, right, he’s sick of talking to us, so it’s a nice way of cutting us off.”
Then he points to his tattoo—he’s got the WSU logo on his arm—and says that Guy went to UNLV, not WSU, and that he’s really an ER nurse and bleached his hair to look like him for Halloween and never changed it back. He told us he felt bad because we seemed really nice and he didn’t want to mislead us.
Bill was laughing because he realized when he was talking to him about our friend winning Fake Fieri was a little fuzzy on the details. Fake Fieri said he gets stumped every once in a while on certain things but can usually play along.
Of course, I immediately turned to Bill and told hm that this was going into the blog. Duh.
So Fake Fieri offered to take a picture with Bill for the post.
It’s funny because after that, we ran into him a few times over the rest of our stay. At one point he came up to us to tell me he read my blog and would look for the post (hi Paul!). The second he walked away the people sitting around us were whispering “Was that Guy Fieri? Staying Here! In our hotel!” We just smiled.
Over the next couple of days we’d hear people talking about Guy sightings. Everyone was giddy over it.
At least we weren’t the only ones who were fooled! (Of course, if I had followed Guy on Twitter before today, I would have known it wasn’t him.)
Update: Paul read this and sent some pictures to me. See? Dead ringer.