Guy Fieri is one person that hasn't slowed down a bit in the past year. In fact, last March he partnered with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, to create the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (RERF). Over 43,000 restaurant workers qualified for $500 grants, and 60% of the recipients were female. That money was raised in seven weeks, and put Guy on Bloomberg's '50 People Who Defined an Unprecedented Year.'

Gustavo Caballero

Guy didn't forget about his Food Network fans, either. He created fun new ways to showcase Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, by preparing meals from some of our favorite chefs. They had to send Guy all of the ingredients to his house in California, and walk him through prep via live stream.

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This season of Grocery Games turned into 'Grocery Delivery Games', with chefs playing those wacky grocery games in their own kitchens. Guy's older son, Hunter, is actually his co-host, and they film it in their kitchen. Now, you know that I'm a walking 'Guy Fieri encyclopedia', so you would think if he launched a new restaurant chain, I'd be the first to know about it. Nope.

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Flavortown Kitchen is a new delivery-only brand with Virtual Dining Concepts. VDC was created by some big names in the restaurant industry. Robert Earl is the Co-Founder and current founder / chairman of Planet Hollywood International. His company runs operations for many restaurants, including Chicken Guy! His son, Robbie, is the President and has the Hollywood connections. Chef Eric Greenspan is the Culinary Director. Together they create new restaurant brands with celebrities and influencers. There's one big difference in this company - They are all delivery-only.

Dear Guy, could we please have a Chicken Guy in Evansville? Thanks!

Restaurant owners can submit information to have one of their brands live inside their kitchen space. It's kind of like getting a roommate that comes with marketing, menus, training and supplies. All the restaurant owner and staff have to do is make the food and send it out to delivery using 3rd party apps. VDC then takes a cut from each sale, but there are no startup fees.

MAC & CHEESE BURGER

That's how Guy was able to launch his new brand, Flavortown Kitchen in half of the country, without us knowing. Of course, I downloaded the app to see the locations. Yes, there are 3 in Illinois, 3 in Indiana and 2 in Kentucky. The problem is that they are all too far away for us to try. It also has a trimmed down menu, with only 19 staple items.

I would be happy with the empty container.

I do hope that this new 'Ghost Kitchen' concept helps locally owned restaurants earn some of the money back, that they have lost in the past year. Flavortown Kitchen is not one that you can put in your restaurant (He probably has that covered). But there are many other cool concepts to choose from like Mariah's Cookies and Mario's Tortaz Lopez.

Let's bring a Chicken Guy! to the Tri-State!

 

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