Santa Rosa restaurateur and TV cooking show luminary Guy Fieri shared cooking and a little philosophy Tuesday with students at Comstock Middle School.

Fieri, winner of the Next Food Network Star contest in April, showed the students how to make sushi, including his "gringo sushi," which included french fries and barbecued pork with the seasoned rice.

He urged 40 students from two Teen Living classes to try cooking, to gain experience in local restaurants and to remember to give attention to the presentation of their dishes.

"We eat with our eyes before we eat with our palates," he told them.

Fieri, who already has taped six "Guy's Big Bite" episodes and is signed to produce 13 more in 2007, joked with the students about his trademark bleached hair. He also encouraged them to take risks, including with their cooking.

"We have big, fat dogs at my house," Fieri said. "One of the reasons is they eat a lot of scary things that didn't work out."

Comstock teacher Carolyn Hamill said she hoped Fieri's visit would prompt her students to consider what they might achieve "when you have a dream and you work really hard at it."