“We just opened Chophouse, and the summertime beach concerts were happening,” explained John “Blaze” House, of Guy Fieri’s Chophouse at Bally’s Atlantic City, as he recalled one of the most memorable experiences at the restaurant. “Guy set-up a reservation for Blake Shelton.”
House admitted he “didn’t know who Blake Shelton was at the time. ”
“I knew he was in commercials,” House explained with a chuckle. “When Blake Shelton walked in - it was like Darth Vader being escorted by the stormtroopers because he had security guards all around him.”
House knew Shelton was an important guest at the restaurant, so he thought to himself, “what would Guy Fieri do?”
That was the moment House transformed into a customer service entertainer known as John Blaze.
“I noticed every time I approached their table Blake Shelton would take out his phone, so House had a feeling something was up and kept the persona going,” said House. “By the end of the meal, Blake showed House the videos and that he texted the videos to Guy."
A short time later, Fieri came into the restaurant and House said he did the same thing for him.
“Guy said pack your stuff, you are coming with us,” said House.
Fieri loved House’s impersonation so much that now if there is a new restaurant opening or a training opportunity, he brings House along with him.
House has traveled with Fieri and his team to Mexico, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Bakersfield, and Baltimore.
“Most people look at a job and think they just come for the money and go home,” said House. But he has a different philosophy about work. “If you deliver great service, then you will end your day on a good note, so I focus on my work, and the rest works out.”
House’s hard work has not gone unnoticed. He recently won the 2019 Caesars Award of Excellence, an award that recognizes team members across the Caesars Entertainment empire.
House said he never expected any accolade or award from his 31 years of work at Caesars Entertainment, but he was honored to receive the recognition and had a few people he wanted to thank.
“Anthony Llompart, Bill Fritz and Chef Giancarlo for trusting and believing in me. I want to thank Joe Guinta and Lou Dimino for all their support, Jerry Beaver, for giving me an opportunity when no one else would. Thank you to east coast Bartender of the Year, John Santini and my sisters Debbie Vrba Black and Pyro and last but certainly not least, Guy Fieri, Reid Strathhearn, Anthony Hoy Fong, and Caesars Entertainment for taking someone they never met before and changing my life,” he said.
For anyone who hopes they will get to take a trip to “flavor town” with House… well, he said you can find him at Guy Fieri’s Chophouse in Bally’s Atlantic City Thursday through Sunday.
Meet all 13 Caesars Awards of Excellence winners: