Food Network Star Guy Fieri Heats up Mesa Arts Center

Categories: Events

This past Friday evening, hundreds of Food Network fans crammed into the Mesa Arts Center for an evening of fast paced, rockin' fun at the Guy Fieri Road Show. This was the show's second to last performance on the 24-city tour (the last being Vegas, baby), so Guy pulled out all of the stops.

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​The evening kicked off with a pre-party hosted by Foodies Like Us and featuring tasty grub from Arizona eateries that have been featured on one of Guy's past shows.

Los Taquitos in Ahwatukee proved to be a crowd favorite -- or at least, a Guy favorite. While in town, Guy popped by the 10-year-old eatery run by five sisters for lunch. "Everyone was talking about it and coming in to see Guy," said oldest sister Adrianna. 

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Los Taquitos: The family that cooks together, stays together.

Over Easy in Phoenix showed off their mouthwatering brioche french toast with caramelized banana and pecans. ​​Joe's Farm Grill tossed in an unexpected ahi slider, and Haus Murphy's in Glendale brought out the apple strudel and hackbraten (German-style meatloaf). Add that to barbecued pork, mango mousse, Emerald Chicken from Chino Bandido and Salsa Brava's tacos and you had one satisfied and stuffed foodie crowd. 

The theatre was packed nearly to capacity -- according to Fieri, the high-priced VIP tickets sold out the first day they were made available to the public. During the show, Fieri also announced that his two Diners, Drive Ins and Dives books had just cracked #1 and #2 on the New York Times' bestsellers list. He'll soon be hosting a new game show on NBC in addition to his regular Food Network gigs.

We knew the Food Network star had fans, but we didn't know just how many. Or just how fanatical they are...

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This Guy Fieri lookalike fooled a few folks with Guy's signature bowling shirts and blond spiky locks.​ He even went so far as standing up in the audience every time Guy's name was mentioned during the opening acts, and disappearing out into the lobby before Guy's set as if he were the real thing. The real Guy noticed his twin in the audience when Mr. Lookalike asked a question. "I was born this way," quipped Fieri. "Why would you do that to yourself?"

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Mixologist Hayden Wood stirs up the crowd.
Before Guy came onstage, Chef John Conley of Salsa Brava in Flagstaff showed us how to whip up some pineapple-habenero salsa. Mixologist Hayden Wood had a few lucky audience members shaking their booties (and some cocktails) on stage. Then Guy showed up, and the crowd went wild. There was dancing. There were stories of Guy's fried turkey mishaps. There was even an American Idol-style singoff in which an 11-year-old girl took home top honors -- and a pair of Guy's sunglasses.

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Photo by David Blakeman, www.blakemanphoto.com
Guy tosses his noodles.
Somewhere during the show, in-between all the shtick and Guy's gaudy, hand-selected rock soundtrack of classics like Kung Fu Fighting, there was cooking. A "Foodapalooza," Guy called it. Guy made Hong Kong Noodles, a recipe inspired by a Chinese restaurant owner named "Mr. Lee" who fooled a young Guy into thinking he emigrated from China when the dude was actually Mexican.

Guy took a break from his stories to bring out a giant margarita mixer. We're talking a case of Jose Cuervo and garbage bins of margarita mix dumped into a homemade machine and poured into pitchers for the VIPs. "25 gallons in two minutes, two industrial garbage disposals... I could get rid of a body in here," quipped Guy. The VIPs got the pitchers that flowed forth from this beast, while the rest of us in the nosebleeds were forced to watch and drool.  

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At least everyone got a piece of Guy after the show. While he didn't have time to pose for pics, Guy signed one item for everyone waiting in line. Dude signed in a Lynyrd Skynyrd tee -- just more proof that Guy does, in fact, rock hard.  

 


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