Guy Fieri Didn't Graduate High School, According To Marc Summers

Chef, restauranteur, and TV icon Guy Fieri is pretty familiar to many folks, from the famous bright-red Chevy Camaro he drives on "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" to the sprawling supermarket replica of "Guy's Grocery Games." But his path to food celebrity was a somewhat unusual one — including not finishing high school!

While Fieri has publicly acknowledged this part of his past before, it was likely still a surprise to many listeners of the "Marc Summers Unwraps" podcast, including the eponymous host, best known for his time on Nickelodeon's "Double Dare" and Food Network's "Unwrapped" TV series. In the episode, the longtime friends discussed Fieri's upbringing and how it influenced his current food and entertainment empire.

Through a family friend, Fieri (a self-described "hardworking kid" who was always coming up with business ideas) was connected with a French high school and convinced his parents to allow him to attend at age 16. This independence allowed him to travel throughout Europe as a teen, developing and expanding his lifelong love of food. When Fieri returned to the United States a year later, he simply never went back to school, taking a job at a high-end local restaurant and quickly rising through the ranks. At the same time, he enrolled in classes at a local community college, which enabled him to later transfer to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Fieri graduated with a degree in hotel management, earning his GED along the way. 

No degree, no problem

The nontraditional path sure doesn't seem to have hurt, as Fieri leads a vast Flavortown empire with five Food Network shows, a growing number of restaurants, and a variety of other creative and food-related pursuits. And according to, he's worth approximately $70 million overall! Not bad for a "high school dropout!"

But no one should mistake Fieri for being anti-education, especially when it relates to food and the restaurant business. In fact, he's even recently used his Guy Fieri Foundation to fund large donations to a Florida high school's culinary program, telling students that, professional or not, cooking is a critical part of life everyone should learn. Fieri encouraged them to go to college, working in restaurants along the way if they want to gain experience in the food world while getting a parallel education of priceless life lessons. In an interview for SoCo Careerfest, he argued that restaurant work teaches young people versatile skills like teamwork, time management, communication, empathy, and responsibility that serve them well regardless of whether or not their eventual career involves food. 

All in all, it's understandable to hear Summers' surprise about Fieri's path through school in his young adult years. But, with the chef and restauranteur's offbeat personality and intense drive, he's shown that a nontraditional education can't stop you from finding your own unique success.