fieri lives in Santa Rosa, California with his wife Lori and their two sons, Hunter and Ryder. When he and Lori wed in 1995, the chef switched his last name to "Fieri" to honor his original family name, which his grandfather had changed upon leaving Italy.
In 1996, Fieri started his first restaurant with partner Steve Gruber. The pair launched an Italian eatery called Johnny Garlic's in Santa Rosa, California. They eventually open two more locations. Fieri and Gruber branched out from Italian fare to launch Tex Wasabi's in 2003. The restaurant is a fusion of Southern BBQ and California-style sushi.
Egged on by his friends, Fieri sent in a videotape to the reality show Next Food Network Star in 2005. He told the network that he likes to "live big, laugh hard, and cook wild" in his audition video. His rock 'n' roll attitude helped earn him a chance to compete, beating out more than 1,000 other entrants. Fieri tackled challenges from such television culinary stars as Giada De Laurentiis, Paula Deen, Rachel Ray and Bobby Flay. In 2006, he emerged victorious, becoming the second person to win the cooking reality show.