UPDATE, December 28, 3:03 p.m.: Bad news from the Fieriverse — Eater NY reports that Guy’s Times Square restaurant, Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar, will permanently close on December 31. Sorry to jinx you, Guy, turns out you had a great first 362 days of 2017.
Guy Fieri killed it in 2017. The Mayor of Flavortown, the Prince of Platinum, the Sultan of Spikes, the Oligarch of Oakleys, Fieri had a big year that included the 10-year anniversary of his ubiquitous Food Network travel show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives (“I’m just out there,” Fieri told Thrillist in a look back at the show. “I’ve always been witty. I’ve always had fun. I’ve always had fun with it. This is the truth”).
But in addition to celebrating that major benchmark, 2017 also saw Fieri making new restaurant plans, breathing life into old restaurant chains, getting more exposure on television, and committing some seriously good deeds. Here, now, are six of the best Fieri stories from the past 12 months.
Guy Saved Planet Hollywood With an Injection of Donkey Sauce
Planet Hollywood, the restaurant chain inspired by Tinsel Town, was a big deal back in the 1990s, but it’s been struggling in recent years and is now down to only six locations. Enter Guy, who was called on in January to create his own menu for Planet Hollywood Observatory at Disney World in Orlando. The Bacon Mac-N-Cheese Burger, which is topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and Donkey Sauce, perfectly embodies this revamp. It must be only a matter of time before Planet Hollywood is once again ranked among the world’s great dining establishments.
Guy Hosted a Ritzy Super Bowl Party
An extremely good example of the “high-low” dining experience is a shindig at a Toyota dealership that features Fieri food and commands $700 for admittance. Well-off football fans got a taste of this at Guy’s Super Bowl tailgate party in February. Among the spread was a “BBQ Butts & Brisket” station, a stand slinging “Mac Daddy Mac N’ Cheese,” and a “Flavortown Finale Ice Cream & Candy Bar” that provided dessert. Miss America showed up, as did some professional football players who weren’t participating in the big game. When it was all over, Guy celebrated with the world champion New England Patriots, for some reason.
Guy Made Plans to Expand His Restaurant Empire to South Africa
The Kulinary Kool Dude has cut down his roster of establishments in recent years, but he isn’t done expanding. Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar, which first opened in Times Square and earned a grand total of zero stars from New York Times dining critic Pete Wells, will set up shop at a casino in Pretoria, South Africa. According to Guy himself, diners can expect “real deal, scratch-made food, killer cocktails, and a rocking good time.” The citizens of Pretoria can’t possibly fathom the bold, out-of-bounds flavors that are headed their way.
Guy Proved That He Is an Honest-to-Goodness Hero
As wildfires ravaged Northern California in October, locals were forced to abandon their homes and were left without food and water. Guy, who lives in Santa Rosa County, stepped up big time for his community and cooked free meals for 5,000 evacuees per day. He called in the services of Operation BBQ Relief, a non-profit organization that “strives to provide compassion, and offer hope and friendship to those whose lives have been affected by disasters across the United States.” Fieri and his crew served chicken, pork loin, braised cabbage, mashed potatoes, baked beans, and similar fare — comfort food for folks in serious need of some comfort.
Guy Launched Not One, but Two New Television Shows
For those who can’t get enough Guy on their TV screens, November was a good month. First, the bowling shirt model announced Guy’s Big Project, a competition designed to find the next big personality for Food Network in a similar fashion to how Guy got his start. Second, it was revealed that he will host a series called Guy’s Ranch Kitchen, showcasing various Food Network chefs sharing recipes and dishes from the NorCal Fieri compound.
Guy Was Synced Up With So-Hot-Right-Now Rap Duo Run the Jewels
How could Guy possibly see his sky-high coolness factor increase? Association with Killer Mike and El-P might do the trick. RTJ songs sync up incredibly well with Diners, Drive-ins and Dives episodes, a fact that really does make the universe a little bit brighter. Los Angeles-based director and producer Anthony Troli discovered the glorious pairing and shared an example of this joyful noise with his followers on Twitter.
Yes, 2017 was a pretty great year for Guy — but really, every year is a pretty great year for Guy.