Guy Fieri is delightfully game about trying all manner of foods as he traverses the country in his vintage Camaro on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. He's tucked into a pig head platter in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, a bacon-wrapped meatloaf in Islamorada, Florida, and grasshopper tacos in Miami Beach. If someone's cooking it up for him, he'll eat it, but there's one food item that's daunted Fieri since childhood. Loyal viewers of his shows have noted that if you put a plate of eggs in front of him, he'll get palpably queasy—but that isn't just coming outta nowhere. Extra Crispy cracked open the mystery of why Guy Fieri hates eggs during an interview at this year's South Beach Wine and Food Festival.
Extra Crispy: So you're very into sustainability?
Guy Fieri: Have you ever had chickens? Chickens, you wanna talk about sustainability—I love sustainability. I live in Northern California. My vineyard is organic. My goat ranch is organic. Everything I do—I really believe in footprint. It's so funny because this happened to my wife just the other day: In the winter the chickens don't lay as much and I'd just used two eggs that were left in the carton for Caesar salad. The next morning was breakfast. So she went out and checked the coop and there were no eggs in there. My buddy said, "Well, I'll go to the store," and she just goes, "Naahhh."
You can't go back!
It is the gospel that once you start raising chickens and and have your own eggs, it's like cheating on your chickens. You've gotta stick to organically grown and raised chicken, fed with natural ingredients. We take all of our scraps from our garden and then go over the fence to the chickens and it changes the yolk, the flavor, everything. And this is from a guy that doesn't like eggs.
Eggs. What's the deal, man?
I love eggs in all aspects of food. I used to eat fried egg sandwiches like they were going out of style. Crushing it. We didn't have white bread when I was a kid, my parents were…
You grew up hippie?
OK. My mom always says make sure you tell people we weren't smoking dope—they don't want you to think they were that kind of hippies. So a fried egg sandwich with processed cheese on white bread when I would go to my friend's house was the greatest thing in the world. But when I was about ten years old, I came to a very clear understanding of how chickens grow—when we opened the egg.
So you open it up, you maybe see the blood spot?
Mmmmnnhhh. [Lightly shudders.]
You just kinda felt it?
Mmmmnnhhh. [Shakes his head in horror] A whole chicken.
Oh geez! Like balut?
Mmmmnnhhh. So I came to understand the whole process. And that didn't really freak me out, but you know what it was? It's that I had a bad hard-boiled egg. It was the chalky yolk.
After that, I just kind of took a different spin. But I've I've never really been a breakfast person anyway, because I'm pretty high-energy and I'm on the go, so usually by the time my feet hit the floor, I'm out and going.
So what do you eat instead?
I have my breakfast staples that I am 100 percent about. If I was walking through and you said "Free car! Metallica in concert out there!" I might pass by but if I was walking through and you offered me a bowl of grits and ham and redeye gravy—I just said that to you and my mouth started to water.