In the coming weeks, celebrity chef—and frequent Valley visitor—Guy Fieri will debut Guy Fieri Kitchen + Bar at Chase Field, his first sit-down restaurant in Arizona. A collaboration with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Caesars Entertainment, Inc., the Food Network star’s restaurant is located at the newly opened 20,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art Caesars locale adjacent to Chase Field. The restaurant, a year-round Downtown Phoenix entertainment and culinary destination, comes on the heels of Fieri’s Flavortown Kitchen delivery-only restaurant chain, which became available to Valley customers in 2021. Leading up to the opening, we had the chance to sit down with Fieri to learn more about the concept and his love of all things epicurean across Arizona.
You are no stranger to the Arizona food scene, are you?
Heck no! We’ve probably shot with 30 to 40 different chefs and restaurants across the state for Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (DDD) over the years. I could go on forever since so many are favorites, but love me some Salsa Brava in Flagstaff, Chino Bandido in Phoenix, and of course, Matt’s Big Breakfast, which has grown all over town.
Are there any memories that stick out from all the time you’ve spent here?
I’ve made so many great buddies here doing DDD, many right here in Arizona. Chefs like Aaron May, who is now also a staple on several Food Network shows, and John Conley from Salsa Brava. John actually won Guy’s Grocery Games.
What are your go-to restaurants in the Valley when visiting, and why?
I always have to check out what my bruthas, chef Beau MacMillan—who just opened Cala in Scottsdale—and Scott Conant—killing it with The Americano and Mora Italian—[are up to]. They are the real deal.
What do you love about Arizona?
First and foremost I love the weather, so let’s start there. Also—and this is one thing I think a lot of people may not know—but there is a great deal of diversity in the local food scene, both in people and the actual menu items. Many mistakenly assume it is just Southwestern and Mexican food, but there is so much more that Arizona offers.
How did this new concept come about?
I have worked with the Caesars team for nearly a decade, opening restaurants all over the country together, including Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen & Bar at The LINQ Hotel. They are the best of the best.
We have an open dialogue about what’s going on around the country and we share ideas about where we think we can collaborate. When the idea of coming to Arizona and working with the Arizona Diamondbacks came about, it was a no-brainer for me.
Tell us about Guy Fieri Kitchen + Bar?
Our Kitchen + Bar concept is all about scratch-made food, great cocktails, and a lot of fun. To me, it doesn’t matter if you’re on the Vegas strip, in the heart of Dubai, or magic of the Valley desert because good is good, and fun is fun. Expect us to serve up all of our greatest hits, from the world-famous Trash Can Nachos to our award-winning Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese Burger.
If we’re visiting for the first time, what should we order and why?
I’d go with those Trash Can Nachos. It is a tower of delicious power with layers of tortilla chips, cheddar, black beans, pico de gallo, jalapeños, cilantro, pickled red onions, Guy’s Super Melty Cheese Sauce, and Guy’s Brown Sugar BBQ sauce piled sky high.
Tell us about the cocktail and drink menu…
We aren’t snobby about our cocktails, but they are darn good. Of course, you know we must have a good margarita, and I am stoked for guests to try this one as it features Santo Tequila, which I developed with my friend and The Red Rocker himself, Sammy Hagar.
You also have a ghost kitchen concept here. Can you tell us about that?
Right, we’ve got our Flavortown Kitchen brand at 200-plus locations around the country. The ghost kitchen—or virtual brand idea—has been around for a while and we’ve seen a lot of iterations come and go, with the pandemic lockdowns really raising the profile of the delivery-only brand. As opposed to most delivery-only brands, our kitchens are all company-controlled, so you’ll never find our food coming out of the back door of an independently owned restaurant that isn’t under our direct supervision. Our philosophy is to always be looking for new ways and environments to present our food to people if we can properly express the brand.
Many people stepped up for the restaurant industry during COVID, but your work was truly inspiring.
I appreciate that but you know, it wasn’t about me. I’m fortunate to be in the position that I am. But since I come from the restaurant world way before I had the benefit of an international platform, I knew immediately that the day things shut down, how hard all my bruthas and sistas of the restaurant world were going to be hit. I got my team on the horn, and a conversation that started with buying gift cards turned into a partnership with the National Restaurant Association and a bunch of the biggest brands in the world to raise some impactful dollars. At the end of the day, as much as the money may have helped some folks, I hope it’s the spirit of it and the support and love that was shared that people will remember.
When you’re not working, what do you like to eat at home?
Believe it or not I’m a big veggie guy, so when I’m at home and I get to choose my own food destiny, I’ve even been accused of eating like a vegetarian … but let’s keep that between us.