Is Guy Fieri a real chef?

Guy Fieri is, without a doubt, one of Food Network's most well-known TV personalities. He's been hosting Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives for over a decade now and has a second gig on the channel with Guy's Grocery Games. Fieri is also one of the network's more polarizing figures and a lot of people seem to be put off by his personality, with many criticizing him as just a guy who likes to eat, but not a real chef of any merit.

Fieri does own some successful restaurants, but is he a qualified chef — or merely a famous face who is capitalizing on his TV success?

Guy Fieri is more successful than most chefs

Alright, let's just put it out there — no, the mayor of Flavortown isn't a classically trained chef. He didn't spend years under the tutelage of master chefs at Le Cordon Bleu, but he did acquire a degree from the University of Nevada in hospitality management (via Biography). After graduating, Fieri took jobs in different restaurants, such as California's Louise's Trattoria. Using the skills he learned there as a manager, he eventually opened his restaurant, Johnny Garlic's, in Santa Rosa. 

While Fieri may not be a chef by technical definition, he certainly has a lot of experience in the kitchen. In fact, he grew up cooking, as his father was instrumental in his development as a cook. "My dad's not a chef, but he's a really good cook," Fieri told chef Robert Irvine. "He said, 'Don't be scared. Don't make everything crazy, don't cook everything off the radar, but be willing to take chances. Be willing to try new stuff.'"  

Fieri's true success, of course, is as a TV personality and a businessman. Ever since winning the Next Food Network Star, he's been expanding his reach in the culinary world non-stop and today is involved in 63 restaurants (via Delish). That's not too shabby for somebody who isn't a real chef.