"It made it a lot easier to explain to [my wife] Lori how I'm buying a house in Florida," Guy Fieri tells PEOPLE of inking his contract

By Ana Calderone
May 27, 2021 03:22 PM
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Guy Fieri
Dina Litovsky

Guy Fieri is now reportedly the highest-paid chef on cable TV.

According to Forbes, the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives star signed a new three-year deal with the Food Network worth $80 million. To celebrate, Fieri did some real estate shopping.

"We've been trying for a long time to get a place in Florida," he tells PEOPLE. "It's been an ongoing joke that whenever I would go to the South Beach Food and Wine Festival, someone would say to me, 'So when are you going to move to Florida?' I would always say, 'We're looking. We're looking for a house.' Because I love Florida. I love the people. I love the culture."

Fieri and his wife of 26 years, Lori, finally pulled the trigger on a place in West Palm Beach shortly after he signed his new contract with the network that made him a household name.

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"We've been talking about it, talking about it, and talking about it, and we just happened to be back there shooting Triple D and doing some projects, and we contacted a real estate agent who took us around and showed us some stuff," explains Fieri, whose home base is in Northern California.

"It wasn't because of the contract, but it did coincide. It makes it a lot easier to explain to Lori how I'm buying a house in Florida, when you go, 'I did just do a new contract,'" he adds with a laugh. "But no, we got an awesome place and we're super excited."

The property is on the water, which was a must for Fieri, a self-proclaimed "water junkie." But the father to sons, Hunter, 24, and Ryder, 15, says it may be a while before they get to fully enjoy it.

"We won't be there for quite a while because Ryder is still a freshman in high school," he says. "But it will be neat for my mom and dad to be able to bounce over there."

In a recent feature, The Hollywood Reporter described Fieri's contract as in the "high eight-figures," though Food Network's parent company Discovery Inc. would not comment. According to Forbes' estimation, the contract is a $50 million raise from his previous agreement. 

As his career reaches an all-time high, Fieri is also giving back more than ever. Throughout the pandemic, the chef raised more than $25 million to give as $500 grants to restaurant workers affected by COVID-19.

His latest philanthropic venture is a free live stream event on June 12 to support the restaurant industry, inspire the next generation of cooks, and of course, hand out more money to those who need it.

For Guy's Restaurant Reboot, airing at 7 p.m. ET on LiveXLive, YouTube, Twitch, TikTok, and Twitter, the Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives star called upon celebrities like Shaquille O'Neal, Rob Gronkowski, Wale, and Adriana Lima, and chefs like José Andres, Cat Cora, and Buddy Valastro to host different segments throughout the night.

"The restaurant industry is going through such a tough time so we're trying to build energy, build momentum, enthusiasm, and talk about everything and anything that has to do with the restaurant industry," says Fieri. "This is about money, but it's also about awareness. This is about recognition and inspiration."

Watch Guy's Restaurant Reboot on June 12 at 7 p.m. ET on social media, or go to guysrestaurantreboot.com.