For years, Guy Fieri has been the epitome of a classic American Dad. With his trademark red bandana and bow-tie, the Food Network star has embodied the spirit of the Great American Dream: owning your own restaurant in which you cook whatever you want, all for the love of food and family.
But while we’ve been eagerly awaiting the next installment of the quirky dad-of-four series, the 66-year-old father of three isn’t a dad anymore. In fact, he’s more like a kid at heart, having spent much of 2015 indulging his passions for music, travel, and food.
Let’s explore what happened in the life of Guy Fieri during this extraordinary year.
New Restaurant Ventures
For years, Fieri owned Guy Fieri’s New York restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, where he would experiment with different Italian recipes, sometimes getting up to six hours of sleep a night to ensure he got everything done in time for the restaurant’s 5:00 pm closing time. In February 2015, Fieri finally decided to retire from active cooking and opened a series of pop-up restaurants across the country as a way to indulge his passion for food and music, while also exploring the country’s most unique restaurant vegetables. (To see the full list of restaurants and food trucks, visit the Guy Fieri restaurant website.)
Believe it or not, we haven’t seen the last of Guy Fieri. After years of being tied down to his restaurant life, the Food Network celebrity has spent much of 2015 on the road, touring the country in support of his new album, Eat What You Want. (The trip to Ireland was not indulgent though; he was there to promote his new restaurant in Dublin, which he plans to open in the near future.)
While Fieri didn’t set any records for the number of countries he’s visited, he did manage to see a lot of the country in 2015. The restaurant author and TV celebrity visited 38 states and the District of Columbia alone, and that’s not counting the number of times he drove through the midst of a storm to make it to a restaurant on time.
A Year of Eating Well
While Fieri wasn’t exactly health-conscious in 2015, he did make it a point to eat well. The celebrity chef says he was inspired to eat better after watching the documentary The Food Network Guides you through the process of planning a restaurant diet. Inspired by the restaurant’s owner and chef, Al LaMarca, Fieri adopted a plant-based diet that consists of vegetables and small vegetable fryers (à la Marcella Veneziale’s italian vegetables) and avoids frying and grilling meat. (Most restaurants use oil in the form of animal fat in their fryers, so you’re avoiding that as well.)
According to the New York Times, Fieri has lost a significant amount of weight, dropping from 258 to 229 pounds, since he began following the plant-based diet. (He also cut down on the wine because of its high alcohol content.) But the celebrity’s thinspiration didn’t come from a desire to fit in with the millennials, as he says his diet has inspired him to do more for the planet. “I wanted to eat healthy and cut back on the drinks because I wanted to prevent climate change,” Fieri told the Times. “I mean, it’s not like I’m seeing any results yet, but at least I’m doing my small part to help the world and our planet.”
Although Fieri’s 2015 was a year of traveling and eating well, it was also a year of struggles. The restaurant owner and chef confessed to the New York Times that he struggled with anxiety, depression, and an alcohol addiction. (He also revealed that he is in the middle of recovering from an exacerbation of his multiple sclerosis, a brain and nerve disorder, which he sustained in 2004.) Fieri hopes to continue to eat well and lose weight in 2016, as part of his plan to retire from active cooking. He’s currently enjoying his new found love for cooking and traveling, while also being a dad to his teenage son, James.
So will Guys Fieri continue to evolve as a restaurant owner and chef in the years to come? Only time will tell. For now, let’s bask in the warmth of a perfect summer night and relax while waiting for the next season of Guy Fieri restaurants.