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BILL MANN ON TV
Santa Rosa chef Guy Fieri revels in TV success
With three hot shows on cable's Food Network, he's working on a fourth

  • Santa Rosa restaurateur Guy Fieri found stardom on cable TV's Food Network. (Food Network)

Theres no such thing, says bling-wearing TV star chef Guy Fieri, as biting off more than you can chew.

If anyone is proof of this, its the hard-working 41-year-old Santa Rosan who hosts the Food Networks Guys Big Bite: He has three shows on that cable network and may soon have a fourth. Plus, hes doing the national TV commercials for restaurant chain T.G.I. Fridays. And, Fieri still keeps his hand in the restaurants he and partner Steve Gruber run in Northern California, including Tex Wasabi's Rock-n-Roll Sushi-BBQ and Johnny Garlic's in Santa Rosa.

Only two years after winning The Next Food Network Star competition, Fieris hotter than the Red Chili Brisket Tamales he whipped together recently on Big Bite.

His road show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, has become the Food Networks top-rated program. Plus, Fieri also hosts Foods Ultimate Recipe Showdown. And just last week, the network had Fieri shoot pilot shows at its New York studios in front of a live audience (think Emeril Live) for a fourth show, Guy Off the Hook.

Know whats funny? said Fieri, whose trademark spiky white hair looks like it could cause severe tire damage. Guy Off The Hook was the name I originally wanted for Big Bite.

How meteoric has Fieris TV career been?

Last year, the Navy flew the mesomorphic, hip-hop talking chef to the Persian Gulf to entertain and cook for the troops.

But an episode at New Yorks Shea Stadium last month when he was singled out from the stage at Billy Joels huge concert amazed even Fieri. Joel stopped in the middle of his signature tune, Piano Man, after spotting Fieri in the crowd.

Hey, youre that chef guy from TV. I like you! said the pop star. Say hi to my wife! Joel added.

Its still giving me goose bumps, Fieri said by cell phone the other day as he tooled around Connecticut, scouting out-of-the-way local eateries for future Diners episodes. I just about died. This happened in front of 45,000 people.

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