11/26/2013 01:38 pm ET Updated Jan 26, 2014

7 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Guy Fieri

You most likely know Guy Fieri as the host of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on Food Network, singing the praises of blue-collar, honest grub, and as the chef behind Johnny Garlic's, Tex Wasabi's, and Times Square's infamous Guy's American Kitchen & Bar. But behind the spiky bleached-blond hair and backward sunglasses there's an actual guy, and what we see on television is just one facet of him. Using some info from writer Allen Salkin's new book From Scratch: Inside the Food Network, we found 15 cool bits of information that you probably didn't know about the King of Flavortown.

Fieri was actually born Guy Ferry, but changed it back to his old family name when he married his wife Lori in 1995, in order to honor his grandfather who changed it to Ferry when he immigrated from Italy. If you hear Guy say his own last name, he pronounces it almost like "Fieddi," rolling the "R" in what's called an alveolar trill. In Italian, fieri translates more or less to "proud."

He never attended culinary school, but got his bachelor's degree from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in Hospitality Management in 1990. While there, he was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity.

  • 1 Jewish Penicillin
    The first time one of the chefs featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives referred to chicken soup as "Jewish Penicillin," it cracked Fieri up: he had never heard the term before and thought the chef had invented it. Photo Credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock Click Here to see The Complete List of Things You Didn’t Know About Guy Fieri
  • 2 Friend for a Day
    Hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen, a big fan of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, contacted Fieri's handlers and asked how much it would cost to hang out with him for a day. The price tag was $100,000, and Cohen gladly forked it over. The two eventually became close friends. Photo Credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock
  • 3 Entourage
    While it’s just Fieri on camera, he actually travels with a huge posse, and sometimes they get rowdy. One time, one drunk entourage member broke an elevator by jumping up and down in it, and yelled at the hotel staff after he was freed. The whole gang was almost kicked out of the hotel after that. Photo Credit: iStockphoto/Thinkstock Click Here to see The Complete List of Things You Didn’t Know About Guy Fieri
  • 4 Morgan
    In 2010, Fieri's sister Morgan sadly passed away after a bout with cancer. Fieri was scheduled to appear at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival soon afterward, and was told that if he needed to cancel the organizers would understand. Fieri soldiered on through his grief, however, and said that his sister would have wanted him to be there. Photo Credit: Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
  • 5 David Page
    In 2011, Fieri had a major falling out with the creator and producer of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, David Page. Page was fired and sued the network for breach of contract; the network sued him back, claiming that he mistreated staff. In return, Page claimed that Fieri plundered the budget, had issues with Jews and gays, and never paid attention to notes. The lawsuit eventually settled out of court, and a new producer was brought on. Photo Credit: Vegas Click Here to see The Complete List of Things You Didn’t Know About Guy Fieri
  • 6 Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar
    Emeril Lagasse, who’s never opened a restaurant in new York City, warned Fieri about opening a restaurant in the most competitive, dog-eat-dog restaurant marketplace in the country. His main concern was that Fieri didn’t have a trusted team, like Bobby Flay and Mario Batali. Fieri pressed on and opened the restaurant, and the reviews were incredibly scathing. Photo Credit: © Flickr /Dion Hinchcliffe’s
  • 7 Damage Control
    Fieri was furious about the reviews, and his PR firm almost suggested to him that he apologize for the poor quality of the food and shut the restaurant down until the issues could be resolved. Instead, Fieri fought back and said that the reviews were filed too soon. Photo Credit: © Flickr /missmengClick Here to see The Complete List of Things You Didn’t Know About Guy Fieri

After graduating, he took a job at a popular California restaurant chain (more on that later) before opening his first restaurant, Johnny Garlic's, in Santa Rosa, Calif.

His star really took off after winning the second season of The Next Food Network Star, and today Fieri hosts a handful of TV shows, including the newest addition to his roster, Guy's Grocery Games, which premiered on Oct. 27 on Food Network. He also owns seven locations of Johnny Garlic's, Tex Wasabi's in Santa Rosa (a second location in Sacramento closed down recently), and the infamous Guy's American Kitchen & Bar in New York City's Times Square, which warranted one of the most scathing restaurant reviews ever written.

Click Here to see The Complete List of Things You Didn't Know About Guy Fieri

While other stars of Food Network come and go, Fieri's star is burning as brightly as ever, as he maintains a reputation as one of those people that you either love or hate. Either way, you've got to admit that he's a hard-working dude who's carved out a major niche for himself in the American culinary scene.

And while you might think you know everything there is to know about Fieri, we bet that there's plenty you don't.

-Dan Myers, The Daily Meal

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