Is Guy Fieri An American Hero? (Yes, He Is)
Have you ever noticed how often we spend years treating "dumb" celebrities like punchlines, only to later discover that they've been too busy doing insane amounts of charity work to listen to our sniping and griping? It's so commonplace that it's practically a genre here at Cracked. With that in mind ... it's time to talk about Guy Fieri.
It'd be an understatement to say that the internet went hard for Fieri following his rise to ironic fame in the late 2000s. His idiosyncratic hairdo, over-the-top personality, and constant pleas for us to visit "Flavortown" are so legendary that even if you've never watched a single second of Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives, thanks to the magic of the internet, you know what each of these things is.
Last weekend, however, Fieri went viral for a totally different reason. After a devastating wildfire broke out in Redding, California, he jumped into action and went to help the Salvation Army feed the 14,000+ people (and still counting) who've been forced from their homes. "My son and I, and his buddies, and a bunch of mine, we loaded up our caravan from wine country and drove four hours up here....we have a makeshift kitchen set up with one of my trailers and a bunch of stoves [and] just did lunch for 750."
He did the exact same thing last year, when another devastating wildfire in Santa Rosa, California (his hometown) broke out and made 100,000+ residents homeless. From a makeshift kitchen in a parking lot, he served evacuees, volunteers, and firefighters a veritable feast which included chicken, pork loin, braised cabbage, mashed potatoes, and baked beans. And that's before we get to his donations to World Central Kitchen, a nonprofit which provided meals to the people of Puerto Rico following last year's hurricanes.
Outside of his work supermanning kitchens in disaster zones, let's talk about the thing that made him famous: Diners, Drive-Ins And Dives. It wasn't some low-budget garbage reality show that only existed because Guy wanted to eat entire cows on the regular. It was a smash hit that was watched by millions of people and helped promote a shitload of small eateries, many of which saw (and still see, thanks to reruns) massive jumps in visitors following their appearances on the show. This is all, by the by, thanks to someone who (unlike his contemporaries) never graduated from culinary school and still went on to build a restaurant empire off of his own back.
You see, Guy Fieri just doesn't care. He's just out there, living his best life, and doesn't give a solitary fart about what randos think of his tattoos or car or ostentatious manner, because he's too busy running a charitable foundation that funds kids' cooking programs, or officiating weddings in honor of his deceased sister.
On the same weekend that Gordon Ramsay announced that his new show would feature him parachuting into foreign cultures and showing the "locals he can cook their cuisines better than they can," Guy Fieri was parachuting into a wildfire to help people in need. We don't need to tell you which type of chef we'd like more of in the future -- frosted tips and all.
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