Hunter Fieri, the oldest son of the Food Network’s most lovable star, was just ten years old when his dad won on Food Network Star and became the infamous celebrity chef he is today. As you might expect, Hunter grew up cooking with his father and has continued to follow his dad’s lead all the way through college at Guy’s alma mater and beyond.
Despite Guy Fieri’s son’s easy access to the vast world of celebrity chefs, he doesn’t like to use his dad’s connections to succeed. Instead, he emulates Guy’s discipline and hard work to achieve his goals in the food industry. Though some of those goals have been put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic (we can all relate), Hunter is still spending lots of time in the kitchen, both on-screen and off. He is slated to join his father on a new season of Guy’s Grocery Games.
Guy Fieri’s son has been cooking since he was a child
"My dad taught me at a very young age how to use a knife," Guy Fieri’s son told the New York Post. "He had me cooking at five years old, cutting onions for him." Thankfully, Hunter managed to avoid chopping his fingers off and has continued wielding knives and caramelizing onions since those early days as a child prodigy. In fact, that was just the beginning of his culinary education.
When Hunter was in elementary school, Guy decided that the days of cooking his son breakfast before school were over. Instead, Guy taught Hunter how to make delicious breakfasts himself, ensuring that at least once a day, Hunter would spend some quality time in the kitchen, preparing a dish for the most important meal of the day. Guy Fieri’s son said, "He taught me how to make a French toast sandwich and put cream cheese and sliced strawberries in the middle."
Guy Fieri’s son didn’t always want to be a chef
It took a while for Guy Fieri’s son to warm to the chef’s knife. As a child, his dream was to ride dirt bikes in Supercross competitions, not sear steak on hot pans. Hunter was an avid motocross rider in his teenage years, and he and his dad could be found outside in the dirt instead of their current hangout locale: the kitchen.
"At that point, I was young and crazy," the then-21-year-old Hunter said of his former supercross days. Racing motorcycles is dangerous in any context, much less a competitive one. As Jonathon Ramsey writes in The Drive, it’s a sport whose participants are never not at risk of injuring themselves or others. As Hunter grew up, he turned to cooking more and more, eventually choosing to study hospitality in college. With his Supercross days behind him, he’s putting all his energy into the culinary world. "I want the restaurants and the shows and the cookbooks — and more," he said.
Guy Fieri’s son cooked for the Obamas
When Hunter was just 13 years old, he joined his dad for dinner at the White House. Although Guy and his son weren’t dining with the Obamas, luckily for the first family, the Fieri’s were there to share their culinary prowess with them.
Guy was invited to cook a private meal for the White House during Obama’s first term in 2010. Instead of going solo, he brought Hunter along with him. Guy, taking a cue from Michelle Obama’s healthy-eating initiative, spoke of the importance of teaching kids healthy eating habits. "I have strong feelings about educating children through the empowerment of cooking," he said.
With Hunter by his side, Guy cooked the Obamas the BLT spinoff from his cookbook, using duck instead of bacon. At just 13, it had to have been pretty intimidating for Hunter to walk into the White House to practice his cooking technique — but with his dad’s infamous bleached hair lighting a beacon before him, this was just the beginning of Hunter’s well-lit path in the culinary industry.
Guy Fieri’s son has traveled the world with his dad
When Guy Fieri’s son graduated from high school in 2015, he and his dad set off on the adventure of a lifetime. The pair spent a month traveling through Europe together, tasting local cuisines and learning about food and history. They went to 13 different cities across England, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, and Switzerland. The pair drank cappuccinos in Rome and ate croissants in Paris — Guy even managed to visit a gyro joint in Athens.
According to Delish, the Fieris had been planning Hunter’s post-high school celebration long in advance. "We’d been talking about it for years, since he was in elementary school," Guy said. The trip was filmed by Food Network for an exclusive series called Guy & Hunter’s European Vacation.
Hunter described the trip as "one of the best experiences" he’s had ever had with his father, and he said his knowledge of food and cooking expanded exponentially. The pair were planning to set out again, this time to Asia, but their trip was put on hold when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Guy Fieri’s son followed in his dad’s footsteps and went to college at UNLV
Several years after a young, unbleached-tipped, goatee-less Guy Fieri could be found barbecuing in the University of Nevada, Las Vegas dorm parking lot, he dropped his son off at the same campus to begin his studies in the hospitality program. "I didn’t want to push my thing," Fieri said when his son started thinking about college. Hunter chose UNLV on his own, thanks to the school’s acclaimed hospitality program.
"That’s what I’m interested in, so coming here was a smart choice for me — not to mention the fact that Las Vegas offers endless opportunities to learn, gain experience, and succeed in the industry," Hunter said.
Guy Fieri’s son graduated in December of 2019, and while his plans were somewhat upended by the coronavirus pandemic — he had planned to travel and work at restaurants — he has managed to do just fine, appearing on new "takeout" editions of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives with his dad by his side.
Guy Fieri’s son doesn’t utilize his dad’s stardom to further his career
It would be easy for Guy Fieri’s son to use his dad’s fame to his advantage. But both Guy and his son are adamant about Hunter’s self-sufficiency. Hunter started out at the bottom of the service industry food chain, just like anyone. He spent nights washing dishes and working his way up to cooking on the line until he was running sauté on Saturday nights like a pro.
And even with all of Guy’s connections in the world of culinary celebrities, Hunter made a name for himself without his dad’s help. In college, Hunter was going to spend a semester training under Gordon Ramsay (because of a course credit issue, it didn’t work out), a deal that Guy had no part in. "The Gordon opportunity — that was Hunter talking to Gordon. I don’t call any buddies for favors," Guy told Delish. "Hunter doesn’t play it. That’s one of the things I’m most proud of."
Now that Guy Fieri’s son graduated, he’ll join his dad for the next season of ‘Guy’s Grocery Games’
Guy Fieri’s son graduated from UNLV in December of 2019, and since then, he’s been at his dad’s side shooting first Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and then Guy’s Grocery Games. A new season of the latter Fieri show, a grocery store competition, airs a new socially distanced season in October. Hunter and his dad cheer on the contestants from afar, video chatting with them while they come up with creative meals based on each episode’s challenge and the corresponding basket of food they receive. Right now, the Fieris are practicing safe social distancing from their home in Santa Rosa, California.
Though Hunter may have had other plans after graduating from UNLV, the coronavirus pandemic limited his options. But Hunter is excited nonetheless to focus his attention on "expand[ing] the Flavortown horizon" with his dad. Luckily, despite being camera shy as a child, he’s now a natural on the television screen, a trait he likely inherited from the Flavor King himself.
Guy Fieri’s son has big dreams for the future
Though Hunter Fieri is serving as his dad’s sidekick right now, he doesn’t plan to cook in Guy’s shadow forever. His father is both a friend and a huge inspiration to Hunter, and Hunter wants to follow in his footsteps — and beyond.
Hunter wants to have his own show like Guy and own his own restaurant. "My dad opened his first restaurant when he was 28. It’s crazy," he said. "I want to have the most knowledge that I can before I go and open a personal restaurant like that."
The Prince of Flavortown is taking his time after completing his degree, exploring the culinary world as much as he can and following his father’s advice: "Keep working, and keep your head up high. And learn everything you can."
"Don’t be Guy Fieri’s son," Hunter tells himself. "Be Hunter Fieri. Show them what you’ve got."