Guy Fieri's wife, Lori, has been with the celebrity chef through it all: winning Food Network Star, filming 1,100-plus locations on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives; even his long, short, and now-famous bleached hair phases.
The couple's been married for 22 years, but when Guy first met Lori, it was more like love at first fight. He was running a restaurant in Long Beach, California, and swooped in to do damage control when he realized he'd met his match.
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"Her friend had been let go from the restaurant, and they weren't supposed to be there," Fieri explained. "I was talking to her friend and saying 'Hey, listen, wait a few weeks before you come in,' and standing behind her is this blue-eyed, blonde girl giving me this mean mug."
Lori wasn't having it, and immediately jumped to her friend's defense.
"She said, 'You can't make us leave,' and I was like, 'You don't have to.'," he said. Guy asked them to keep a low profile. They agreed, and the three got to talking. Lori wasn't from Long Beach; she was just driving through the city to meet up with her friend as part of her cross-country move from Rhode Island to San Diego.
"She never made it to San Diego," Guy laughed.
Even while Lori was glaring at him, he knew there was something different about her; he had to get to know her. "I knew as soon as I saw her," he said. "I just knew."
Naturally, the Guy's Grocery Games host did what he does best to win her over — and no, it didn't involve picking her up in a red Camaro and taking her to the nearest greasy spoon. He cooked. Just don't ask him what, exactly.
"That was a long time ago. I don't remember what I made, but I do remember it was quite an epic time," he said. "The first time I cooked for her, she was just like, 'You made all this?' We both love food, so being able to cook, that was one of the things that impressed her."
"I knew as soon as I saw her. I just knew."
The two have been together ever since. Guy credits his wife with being game to tackle every project or crazy idea he's had over the years — like the time he decided to take over a cruise ship's kitchen and flip burgers for hundreds of people.
The Fieri family — Guy, Lori, and their two sons — had been invited on the ship when Carnival tried to sell the chef on opening a restaurant on one. Initially, he wasn't sold on the idea. At all.
"I am the least likely person you'd ever catch on a cruise. I'm an outdoors guy. I don't like big crowds," he explained. "But when this opportunity came up, my dad — who's the wise philosopher of the family — asked, 'Have you ever been on one? Then quit telling people you don't like it!'"
Guy took his dad's words to heart, so he decided to go. And after dinner one night, had the sort of lightbulb moment that could make any wife eye-roll so hard she gives herself a headache.
"I said, 'I want to do a pop-up restaurant on this ship.' The bigwigs thought I was crazy, but they agreed, and I rallied all my boys to help out," he said.
Lori also thought he was out of his mind, Guy said, but she cheered him on.
"In three hours, we served 700 burgers to I don't know how many people," he said."It got out of control; they had to come in and start putting up barriers because people were going so crazy."
They wound up having such a good time they decided to sign on the dotted line. (To date, the Fieris have launched 19 restaurants on Carnival's cruise ships, including an upcoming beer-and-BBQ-themed joint, Guy's Pig & Anchor Smokehouse Brewhouse, set to open on Carnival Horizon in May 2018.)
It seems it's that mutual support and down-to-try-anything mentality that's been the key to their marriage over the years. And, apparently, their willingness to butt heads — then talk it out.
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