The restaurateur, 54, got the chance to meet the Oscar winner, 82, while cooking for a party at Sylvester Stallone‘s house that was also attended by Arnold Schwarzenegger. “I’m there and I’m cooking … [and] Sly says, ‘Hang on,'” the Emmy winner exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, January 17, while promoting his partnership with King’s Hawaiian. “I’m like, ‘Who is coming through this door?’ They’re building this up so big, in walks Al Pacino.”
The Food Network personality noted that he doesn’t often feel “starstruck,” but meeting Pacino was a different story. “I am a humongous Godfather fan, I am a humongous Scarface man,” Fieri explained to Us. “I mean, Al Pacino! Dog Day Afternoon, you name it. I’ve seen every movie.”
The Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives host served him in the kitchen after Stallone, 76, made the introduction. “[Al] takes a few bites and I am just — I don’t know what to do,” Fieri recalled. “I said, ‘Uh, Al, how is it?’ And he looks up and he goes, ‘Woo!'”
Fieri added that he was impressed by what a “genuine” person Pacino was. “Growing up, watching this guy and then seeing what a nice, gentle, cool dude [he was],” the Guy’s Grocery Games host continued. “And when somebody likes what you make, it’s pretty special.”
As for how Fieri connected with Stallone, the chef explained that they met in Beverly Hills a year before the Rocky star invited him to the aforementioned party. The Tulsa King actor only wanted him to attend in a guest capacity, but Fieri insisted on cooking.
“[Sylvester] says, ‘Bring it.’ He says he’s gonna invite a few friends though, if that’s OK,” Fieri recalled. “I’m like, ‘It’s his house! I’m there. And I’m cooking.'”
The Best Thing I Ever Ate alum is an expert when it comes to prepping snacks for football viewing parties, even though his team of choice — the Las Vegas Raiders — is out of Super Bowl Contention. King’s Hawaiian rolls are a key ingredient for his game day menu, which includes his Nacho Average Torta Sliders.
The bakery is currently running a contest called the King’s Hawaiian Slider Sunday Showdown, and one lucky winner will receive $1 million and a trip to Super Bowl LVII. “A million dollars will change somebody’s life,” Fieri told Us of the sweepstakes. “It’s about positive energy. … That is the same kind of feeling and energy that the food is about.”
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi