April 23, 2007. Eleven years ago. That's when the Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives premiered. With the one-and-only Guy Fieri at the wheel (literally, of his red Camaro, and figuratively), the show is now in its 28th season. A television show doesn't last that long unless there's something about it. And as an avid fan of Triple D, I know exactly what that something is. Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives is about so much more than good food. It's about good people.
First, there is no Triple D without Guy Fieri.
And yeah, you better roll that “r” in his last name. Watching the show is a serene experience, entirely sublime, and no, I’m not referring to the band that’s probably in Fieri’s “top five of all time.”
Guy Fieri is the backbone of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and anyone who tells you differently is full of crap.
Sure, the bleach-blonde spikes and bowling shirts are definitely a lewk.
But the essence of Guy Fieri is a far cry from his loud, stuck-in-the-early-’00s vibe. If anything, the fact that Fieri is still rocking the goatee/Oakleys combination in 2018 just proves that he’s not afraid to be himself.
And that’s why Triple D thrives — because the show is a pure expression of one guy’s (Guy’s) unironic, undying love of food and the people who make it.
As much as Fieri is a polished TV host at this point, if you watch enough Triple D, which I definitely have, you get to know him on a much more intimate level than he probably intended. It’s bound to happen when there are hundreds of episodes to watch…and you actually watch them all.
In that sense, the show has become so much more than a cool show about fun restaurants. It’s a character study, a deep dive into the psyche of a man who was once an up-and-coming restauranteur but is now the Mayor of Flavortown.
You can watch Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives on its surface-level, or you can see it as the nuanced and celebratory learning experience that Fieri himself does.
After watching episode after episode of the show, I can tell you that despite the aura he gives off, Guy Fieri is/was/wants to continue to be considered a serious chef. He knows spices by the smell alone and can spot a mirepoix a mile away. As much as he’s showcasing these chefs and their techniques during the episodes, Fieri is also constantly learning from them, and yeah, showing off his culinary knowledge now and then.
You also get to know the man on a baser level. I can tell you with certainty that Guy Fieri does not like eggs, especially runny ones. He’ll push ’em to the side whenever possible or even ask for the dish without them. He doesn’t hide when he’s tentative about trying a dish, and likewise, he’s honest, in his own subtle ways, about his reaction once he’s sampled it.
My real-life superpower is that I can instantly tell whether or not Guy Fieri is enjoying the food he just put in his mouth. And that’s because…