How Visiting France Changed The Way Guy Fieri Thinks About Food

It can be easy to form an opinion about Guy Fieri, one of Food Network's TV icons, and feel like you personally know him from his show. If you've been a Guy Fieri fan for a while, then you likely know him from the show "Guy's Big Bite" that launched in 2006. He gained even more of a following from his enviable show, where he drives around in a hot rod visiting "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" and then eats and chats about the food. Yet, the truth is, we don't often hear about Fieri's personal stories or moments that changed his trajectory, long before he became famous.

Although he eats a lot of meat and carbs on screen, many would be surprised to learn that he grew up in a household where eating healthy was commonplace and his dad always encouraged him to try new foods, according to Insider. Despite having a father that exposed him to different types of cuisines, it was a trip to Europe that helped Fieri expand his horizons, per Thrillist.

France inspired Guy Fieri's way of thinking about food

Guy Fieri had an interest in learning French and living in France. As a sophomore in high school, he struck up a deal with his parents that if he learned French and earned a B or higher in a junior college school, they'd let him attend high school in France for a year.

He kept up his part of the bargain and when he was 16.5, he flew to France solo and lived in a boarding house, according to Thrillist. He admits that despite a year of studying French, he could barely speak the language.

It was during his yearlong stay that he had an "ah-ha" moment. "Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait — these are all different worlds that have their own thing about food," he stated to Thrillist. Fieri realized that each country and culture have different ways of preparing, cooking, and eating food. "That's where I really got the simplicity of food and the appreciation for quality ingredients," he told Thrillist. "We would eat simple things that were just phenomenal, and it was because of the ingredients, and the method of preparation, and not overdoing it."

Today, Fieri incorporates a lot of what he learned while in France and applies it to how he cooks. Cooking doesn't have to be complex, and often it's the quality of the ingredients that makes all the difference.

Who knows what Fieri would be doing today if he never embarked on a trip to France!