Finally answering the question of what it would cost to be Guy Fieri’s friend—in terms of dollars, not deep-fried chunks of the soul—Allen Salkin’s new book From Scratch: Inside The Food Network claims that Steve “Stevie” Cohen, hedge-fund billionaire, once paid $100,000 to hang out with Guy Fieri, millionaire hedgehog. Cohen—who is close to settling charges of insider trading for more than $1 billion, and who is a famed art collector of wildly undiscerning taste—reportedly thought nothing of handing Fieri $100,000 to “be his friend for the day,” despite the multiple less expensive alternatives out there. Such as dipping the money in ranch dressing then frying it in Dr Pepper, until it forms a lump shaped for snacking. Such as putting a flame shirt on a sausage ball, then listening to Sammy Hagar-era Van Halen way too loud for way too long. Or, even not doing any of that.
In return, Cohen got to drive around Connecticut with Fieri while they lived out “a fantasy episode of Diners Drive-Ins And Dives”—one that eventually inspired a real episode, where Fieri visits a hot-dog joint he learned about from his “friend Steve,” which turned out to be the Fairfield-based Super Duper Weenie. Indeed, Cohen is such a fan of wieners that, in addition to paying to talk to Guy Fieri, he once hired the Super Duper Weenie truck to provide free lunch for his employees, as a way of lifting their spirits in the immediate wake of those insider-trading charges. (“Would that I could clone a thousand Guy Fieris to be your friends, so that each of you might know a more lasting happiness,” Cohen no doubt said, while looking down benevolently from his office window.)
A representative for Cohen has already denied the story to Page Six, but admits that Cohen and Fieri do know each other—not in a way that requires the vulgar exchange of money, but presumably in the way all awful people naturally gravitate toward each other. Theirs is a true friendship, built on a shared love of stomach-churning excess, and smothered with a wasabi-buffalo-wing-Starburst-shredded-cheese-and-money gravy of not giving a fuck. [via UPROXX]