Diners Declassified: Behind the Scenes with Guy Fieri

Food Network Magazine has the real story behind Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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The filming continues: the foie gras and fries, then a portion of fish and chips so big that Guy redubs it "whale and potatoes." Lamb Chop calls the final "cut," and Guy pulls Tony and his co-owner, Gary Strauss, aside for a chat. They look surprised, and a little bit scared.

"Get your game together," Guy whispers. "Get ready. Have shirts and sweatshirts and bobbleheads. Your business is going to increase at least 100 percent." He isn't exaggerating. Most restaurateurs featured on the show say that after the episode airs, their worlds turn upside down. Out of nowhere, lines start wrapping around the block, people drive hundreds of miles out of their way, wait hours for a table and ask the owners for autographs. "It's a huge responsibility," Guy says of his Midas touch. "One owner told me it changed the economic profile of his family."

After wrapping at Big & Little's, Guy stands next to the show's iconic red 1967 Chevy Camaro, waiting to film the "We're in Chicago at?" part of the show. Cars are slowing down to catch a glimpse of the action. Fans are honking. Gawkers are collecting across the street and snapping pictures with their phones. Someone yells "Yo, Guy!" from the passenger seat of a pickup truck, and Guy lifts his index and pinkie fingers in response.

Everyone in Chicago seems to love Guy Fieri. Everyone, that is, except the security guard at the Wrigley Building downtown. Guy has arrived to record some voice-overs for an episode at a studio on the 16th floor, but he doesn't have his driver's license on him and the security guard won't let him past the lobby.

"Who are you?" the guard demands.

"I'm filming a TV show here in Chicago," Guy responds patiently.

"Well, you need an ID."

Guy convinces him to call the studio and have the folks up there vouch for him. After a short exchange with someone on the other end of the line, the guard turns to Guy with the phone still to his ear.

"So, you know how to cook or something?" he asks.

"Yeah," Guy says, "something like that."