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Food should be fun and not rocket science, say cooks on Diners/Drive-Ins

Dave Masko's picture

When Guy Fieri samples pizza - during the first episode of his Diners and Drive-Ins reality show tonight - he's saying from the bottom of his mouth that pizza and other foods should be fun to eat.

When listening to ego-bloated celebrity chefs explain how great their highly complicated recipes are to make is about as popular as a tax increase for Guy Fieri and the other food fans he meets when traveling around the country sampling the best that local diners and drive-in food joints have to offer. In general, these are somewhat obscure places to eat, but Fieri notes how the food being served is America’s favorite: pizza, burgers and real hand-cut fries, fried chicken and gravy made by somebody’s mother. In turn, tonight’s three-hour marathon - with six back-to-back episodes of “Diners/Drive-Ins” on the Food Network, beginning at 8/7c - is a lighthearted look at real food without all the “bull” of so-called chefs. That's the view of Nick who thinks most TV cooking shows “spend more time competing, and who cares, than just making simple foods to eat,” adds this veteran pizza maker in Eugene, Oregon.

In turn, Nick's claim to fame is “I once made a pizza pie for my piason Guy Fieri.” Piason means “friend” in Italian, and Nick told Huliq during a Sept. 13 interview – while tossing pizza dough in Eugene – that he makes his pizza simple, “the way Guy and my piasons like it with good fresh dough oven-baked with just some tomato sauce and cheese.”

In turn, Nick blasts those “so called chefs who make a big deal out of cooking. Give me a break, it you can remember how to make a simple pizza, than go to a doctor,” he quips with the cool elegance and refined sophistication of someone whose made “millions of pizzas.”

Also, Nick’s motto – that’s also expressed on Guy Fieri’s popular food nosh realty TV series “Diners/Drive-Ins,” is “don’t pamper the food you’re cooking, just enjoy it!”

Moreover, those diner and drive-in cooks - that Fieri interviews during episodes of this reality show series - often say just one thing: "Food should be simple and fun to eat."

Diners/Drive-Ins adds pleasure, and subtracts expense from food

During the six half-hour episodes of “Diners/Drive-Ins” - that airs this special marathon of host Guy Fieri on Sept. 14, starting at 8/7c – the focus is on enjoying simple fast foods prepared in both diners and other fast food joints that in no way resemble luxurious TV kitchens where “chefs” create drama out of what – asks Fieri – “making a salad.”

Thus, this latest offering from Diners/Drive-Ins is more about good pizza – that’s still the most popular dish in the U.S., state various food surveys – and what Fieri calls “reinvented classic dishes,” and “uniquely sauced dishes,” with the goal to have fun and really indulge in the “act of eating” without all the worry about some complicated recipe or high cost from some posh restaurant.

Instead, this fast food reality TV show wants fans to imagine the great panoramic expanse of great simple foods out there across America, and reject the bull of glamor-boy chef want-to-be who Nick says “are all about me. Look at me, the chef, look at me making food, look at me!” In turn, Nick’s philosophy is “life’s way too short for that crap because just about anyone can cook. It’s not rocket science!”

Pizza is a staple fast food on Diners/Drive-Ins

Ask Diners/Drive-In host Guy Fieri or Eugene pizza maker Nick about pizza, and they will surely tell you it was invented in Naples, Italy, and didn’t become “pizza as we know it,” explains Nick, “until our Italian immigrants made it so in our American culture.”

In turn, the usual scenes of Fieri first approaching a cool pizza joint – off a backstreet somewhere in America during the Diners/Drive-Ins reality TV show – is to understand that the best pizza, it seems, is made in those worn-out looking stone brick ovens. Thus, Fieri usually concurs with the pizza makers who explain that “you need heat, high temperatures” to make really good pizza.

Also, Fieri is found of wood-fired brick ovens that leave that “oh, my” flavor in the pie with Fieri reminding viewers that they don’t need to go to more expensive restaurants “for really good pizza.”

The best pizza is either Chicago or New York style

When it comes to "the best pizza," there’s something now dubbed a “Greek pizza,” that’s actually a Chicago-style deep dish pizza that’s baked in a pan rather than directly on the bricks of a typical pizza oven. Check out the deep-pan pizza in downtown Chicago and you will not be able to eat a whole pie (without lots of help), because it's sort of like a lasagna.

And, of course, the king of real, original pizza is the classic that one can only find in New York City – or parts of New Jersey where this reporter hails from – has its own distinct "thin crust" where one can actually fold the slice of pizza in half while walking down the street with the oil running down your leg. It’s messy, but MMM good.

Overall, this special airing Sept. 14 of six back-to-back episodes of “Diners/Drive-Ins” on the Food Network is also a shout out to the restaurant world and even its most famous chefs that the real concern is not how great their restaurant or chef outfit looks to the customers, but more about their next dish and is it fun and yummy to eat.

Image source of classic American pizza sold by the slice with no big drama about the look of the restaurant or the so-called “chefs” who make it; with the focus of the Food Network’s hit TV reality show “Diners/Drive-Ins” more aimed at where to find good food that’s fun to eat. Photo courtesy Wikipedia

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