UNLV grad Guy Fieri returns to Las Vegas to open a restaurant on the Strip.
He races across America in a 1967, Chevy Camaro SS Convertible in candy-apple red, searching for the country’s best Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives; watches as contestants race through supermarket aisles on Guy’s Grocery Games; and recently coached the Rio’s own Penn Jillette on Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off. Now, Food Network star Guy Fieri is returning to Las Vegas (he graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas) to open a restaurant at The Quad Resort & Casino.
You attended UNLV before the food revolution began here. Where does
Las Vegas now rank as a dining destination? We are talking night and day. It’s amazing to see where Vegas is now. It used to be all about buffets, and then consumers said, ‘We want more interesting food,’ and the casinos realized if they wanted to attract these people, food was a method of doing it.
Who inspired you to become a chef? It really was me. As a kid, when we were having breakfast, the first thing I would say to my mom was, ‘What are we having for dinner tonight?’ It used to drive my mom nuts. But my parents encouraged me. They said whoever makes dinner decides what we’re having. So on my way home from school, I would ride my bike to the grocery store, come home and make dinner. We had great dinners; we had not-so-great dinners. I was only ten. It was about making people happy and not having to do the dishes.
Tell us about your experience winning the second season of The Next Food Network Star. I didn’t see the show the previous year so I wasn’t aware what
was coming. It was a big eye-opener and tremendously challenging.
Where do you eat when you’re in Vegas? I’m a big fan of Asian food. Back that up. I’m a fan of all food. I’ve been to Gordon Ramsay Steak. What they’ve done with the food, the staff—it’s really sharp. Nobu Caesars Palace is mind-blowing. We were cooking our dinner on hot rocks at the table; it’s awesome. Beijing Noodle No. 9 is one of my new favorites. Who doesn’t love fresh noodles?
What’s your go-to comfort food at home? If you ask my kids, it’s pizza. We have a wood-fired oven in our backyard and the pizzas cook in ninety seconds. My little guy, Ryder, has become a pizza snob now. But I think if it came down to just one meal, it would be spaghetti: a really good pasta with tomato sauce. It’s not too exciting, but it reverts back to what my comfort food was as a child.
What does it mean for you to open a restaurant on the Las Vegas Strip? I’m a fan of Vegas, and to think I’m coming back twenty-five years later and not only opening a restaurant, but opening with the Caesars group—to me, it’s like being drafted to play with the Super Bowl champions. I think we’re going to do something different that nobody has seen before.
SEE WHAT’S COOKING AT GUY FIERI’S Vegas Kitchen & BAR @ THE QUAD RESORT & CASINO