What's cooking with chef Guy Fieri

Chef Guy Fieri with Kidsday reporters (l) Connor

Chef Guy Fieri with Kidsday reporters (l) Connor Bove, Matthew Levonick, Alexandra Rivera, and Emily Larson, all from Rocky Point, at Guy's American Restaurant and Bar in Manhattan (May 15, 2013) (Credit: Newsday / Pat Mullooly)

We visited celebrity chef Guy Fieri at his Times Square restaurant, Guy's American Kitchen & Bar recently. But we didn't just talk with him, we cooked with him as well. We made our own spaghetti and meatballs, and it was delicious! Guy called the spaghetti sauce gravy. Guy told us the secret to good pasta is the pasta needs to be al dente. After cooking for an hour or so, we sat down, ate together, and then he answered some questions. It was a great afternoon.

Whom do you look up to in the cooking field?

Well, I've got a lot of favorites. I would say one of my favorites is Mario Batali. Another favorite is my son Hunter. He's 16. Hunter's learning and it's always interesting to be around people that are learning because they're trying out new things and new styles. I would say those guys.


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How can our school get involved with the Cooking with Kids Foundation?

Excellent question. You have to be a non-profit, have to involve kids, and the best way to get all the information is to go to the Cooking with Kids Foundation website and they could send you the requirements. And you go from there. You got two of the three requirements fulfilled. You got kids and you're non-profit.

What do you enjoy cooking most, and what is your least favorite?

My favorite is probably Italian. I like Italian food, but I also really like Mexican food and Asian food. But I'll say probably Italian. My least favorite is processed food. I don't like pre-cooked food. I prefer to make it from scratch. Not a big frozen-food kind of guy. If you're thawing out some meatballs that you made last week, that's ok. But I don't want to buy meatballs that somebody else thawed out.

Would you ever consider writing a children's cookbook?

I have thought about writing a children's cookbook many times, and I think one day it will happen. My good friend Mario Batali -- his two sons just wrote their own children's cookbook. There's some out there, but yeah, one day you'll see one from me.

How long are you away from home while shooting the show?

That's a tough one. When I go away to shoot "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives," I'm sometimes gone up to a week. That's the sad part. Everybody thinks, "Wow, how cool you get to shoot these television shows," but being away from my kids and my wife is really tough.

When did "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" first air?

It first aired in 2006.

Are you allergic to any kinds of food?

I am allergic to one kind of food, bad food. I'd rather not eat than eat bad food. I don't eat a lot of fast food. I'm not a real fast-food person. Don't get me wrong, I like a french fry like anybody else.

What is one of the secrets to your success?

When you get a chance to talk to people, you get to ask some questions, but you also need to listen because they may ask you questions.

Then, Guy turned it on us! He asked us questions to see if we were paying attention while cooking:

Guy: I have questions for you now. You have to tell me one thing you learned today. You can't repeat the other person's question. So you have to pay attention to what they asked. One thing you learned today.

Connor: There are different types of bread crumbs, like Japanese bread crumbs.

Guy: Excellent answer. There are Italian bread crumbs, Japanese breadcrumbs. I like it.

Emily: I learned that eggs help keep foods together.

Guy: Excellent. We call it a binder. Very nice answer.

Guy: You're the one who told me what time and temperature we cook at?

Alexandra: 370 degrees. Also, you should eat more vegetables than meat -- five times more vegetables than meat.

Guy: I'm looking for you Matt. What don't we want to do to the meatballs?

Matt: Make different sizes, because the little ones will cook faster than the big ones. The little ones will be all burned up and the big ones still raw.

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