PIGEON FORGE, Tenn. (WATE) — Celebrity chef, restauranteur and TV host Guy Fieri was in Pigeon Forge on Monday to visit his Downtown Flavortown restaurant for a special ribbon cutting and VIP event.

The 43,000-square-foot restaurant and entertainment destination opened at the Mountain Mile in Pigeon Forge in March and showcases some of Fieri’s signature fusion cuisine. It also features a 14-lane duckpin bowling alley, 10,000 square-foot arcade, full-service tropical Tiki bar, and a photo opportunity with a 1968 Chevrolet Camaro similar to the one featured on Fieri’s hit show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.”

Fieri said it was his first time in Pigeon Forge but offered high praise for the community when describing his experience visiting with his family and friends.

“If Flavortown is a mythical place, so is Pigeon Forge,” Fieri said. “When you come from Northern California and you hear about what’s going on, you guys have created one of the greatest opportunities for fans, visitors, families, you name it! It is thriving out here and the energy and the attitude of everybody around it is outstanding.”

-Guy Fieri

“We were on the outskirts fishing the other day at a little park and everybody is about taking care of the community. Everybody is about supporting one another,” he said.

“Every year we take this big family vacation. It’s easier for us to do it on the West Coast when we take our RVs but we brought all the RVs out here, that’s a haul from Cali,” he said. “We brought all our friends and family and said, ‘I promise you, I know none of you have been, I haven’t been, but trust me this is gonna be worth it.’ And it’s been overwhelming. We’re really happy.”

On Saturday, Fieri also paid a visit to Pizza Palace in Knoxville. The unique drive-in has been in operation for over 60 years and was featured in the second-ever episode of Fieri’s hit show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.”

“It’s been 15 years since we were here shooting Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. We’re back at the Pizza Palace in Knoxville and I brought the family, brought the film crew, everybody is here and this is gonna be awesome!” he said in a video posted to Twitter.

Another Guy Fieri restaurant, Chicken Guy! opened in Gatlinburg last year. The fried chicken eatery is the second Chicken Guy! location in Tennessee after it opened in Nashville.