Why Guy Fieri Loves Going Grocery Shopping — Guy's Grocery Games
"Going to the grocery store is one of my favorite things to do," says Guy Fieri, host of Guy's Grocery Games. Now in its fifth season, there's a reason why the show is so popular. That's because everyone shops. Everyone has to get to the store, whether they like it or not, unless they're grocery shopping online, something you'll never find Guy doing. But the point is that grocery shopping affects us all. And Guy's Grocery Games turns the mundane chore into a fun game. Who hasn't dreamt of running down the aisles of the supermarket in a shopping spree?
We recently caught up with Guy on the set of the show to find out what grocery shopping is like for him, his tried-and-true method, what he likes to buy (what he can't leave without) and what's the absolute top thing he hates about going to the supermarket — it's something that probably has happened to you before.
FN Dish: What's your favorite kind of market, big or small?
Guy Fieri: I prefer a quality market that is properly stocked. I love to look at food, I love to look at new foods. I love to look at fresh foods. The more fresh foods, the better. Going to the grocery store is one of my favorite things to do. I love going to the grocery store, especially a great one. [When] there are a lot of organics, unique ethnic foods, real nice big produce sections, that's always one of my favorites.
Is it impossible for Guy Fieri to go shopping? Do you put on any disguise?
GF: Where will you find bees? At a beehive. Where will you find Food Network fans? At the grocery store. So I don't really wear any disguise. I just account for an extra 45 minutes when I go to the store, because I answer more questions and talk about more recipes, but I also love it.
Who is the spendthrift or penny pincher in your family when it comes to food shopping?
GF: Without question my wife, Lori. I mean, she holds the ground on what's going on, what we're buying: "We don't need that." You know what I always get busted for? Tomato sauce. Every time I see San Marzano tomatoes and I buy them, she's like, "Enough." I'll put them in the cart and then I'll walk away to go do something else. I'll come back and the tomatoes are gone. She's had them put back. "We have enough tomatoes." So once in a while through the course of the year when I go to make sauce for when I'm doing something, and when we don't have tomato sauce, I give her the big "Aha! You see?"
GF: I always start veggie … I don't know, maybe because it always seems like it's at the front of the store, but I always start with veggie. I try to make my meals vegetable-centric as opposed to protein-centric. … I think that's not been the method or the course for most folks in this last three or four decades, but I'm excited about what my veggie options are, and then I'll put the protein to them.
Who makes the executive dinner decision in your family?
GF: That's very clear, and it has all to do with age. It starts with Ryder; it starts with the 9-year-old. But everybody weighs in. It sounds like trading on the floor of the stock exchange: "C'mon, but we did that last week." "But we can …" "It's nice weather, so let's …" "We're going to watch the football game." "Who's going to help me?" "But I've got homework." And then finally out comes an idea.
What do you think about the future of grocery shopping, i.e., self-checkout, online ordering? Are you a fan?
GF: I don't think I will ever be a fan of online ordering. I can't buy things on the Internet. I'm the worst at trying to buy things on the Internet. And then I wait with worry and anticipation of what's coming, especially when it comes to food. ... I want to smell those oranges, I want to see those bananas, I want to feel, I want to look at those beets. I want to see the asparagus. I know the picture, but you're not going to send me that exact asparagus. You're going to send me those pencil ones. I don't want those pencil ones. I want the medium to large. I think it works for some folks, but in my style, in my food, in my way, in my desires [it doesn't]. Now, I love going to the grocery store. And I don't shop for the week. We have the core essentials, but when I have my choice I go the day of. That's when you can find out what's freshest.
Is there one thing you can't leave a grocery store without?
GF: Yeah, it's sad. Usually it's bread. (I feel like I'm in a self-help right now.) You know, a baguette of sourdough, just really good, crunchy. We get two, because one will be halfway gone by the time we get home.
What's the one thing you love/hate most about grocery shopping?
GF: Carts with the wobble wheel. … I got one the other day. I was at a store and I got a wobble wheel. And I even do mini test drives. Like I'll get it, I'll walk about 10 feet with it before I'm out of the cart area, to grab another cart. But you look funny when you're taking it for a test drive down the parking lot. So I took it for a test drive, but it wasn't a wobble wheel on the asphalt, because it was faking its wobbliness, but when I got it in on the linoleum, it had a wobble wheel. It was horrible! I was already halfway through the store. So then I loaded up some heavy stuff on that front corner on that wheel. It kind of mellowed it out a little bit. But a wobble wheel is really what I can't stand, especially on a big cart like a big flatbed cart.