Celebrity chef Guy Fieri, the iconic Food Network host of the hit show “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” is a United States restaurateur. Now famous as an author, television personality, and game show host, he’s best known for his crazy bleach-blonde hair than he food he sells. But what happens when such a world-famous restaurant owner gets royally flamed by a food critic in a well-respected news publication? Suffice it to say, somebody’s going to have their feet held over the fire long enough to get burned.
As the co-owner of a handful of restaurants located in sunny California, the colorful Food Network personality Guy Fieri fancies himself an all-American man. His cosmopolitan savoir-faire might have gotten him into a bit of hot water with the people of New York City when he opened his new restaurant and the food (and service) were so bad they received a scathing review in the New York Times. Now, he’s upset with the food critic who wrote the review but many foodies are sounding loud applause.
Going on the Today Show to defend his honor, Fieri said, ““We’re trying as hard as we can to make it right, to do it right,” he told “Today’s” Savannah Guthrie. “Is it perfect right now? No. Are we striving for it? Yeah.” Did he sound snotty when he said it? Not as much as the Lamborghini driving chef could have under the circumstances, but viewers could still see the look on his face, note his body posture, and tell by the sound of his voice he was totally unhappy with having to force himself to appear apologetic.
Written by a New Yorker, the alleged “ridiculous” and “overboard” article in question was a two page list of rhetorical diatribe questions. Brilliant as literary prose, the author spoke volumes about the problem so many guests at tourist traps and chain restaurants feel with sub-par dining experiences. Although Fieri’s rage may leave his blood boiling long after the incident, foodies everywhere implore he and celebrity chefs like him to mind their management and their manners both when writing the menus and training food service prep staff in the kitchens.
You see, when a food critic is forced to endure sitting through a bad dining experience with orders mixed up, low quality service, poorly prepared dishes that don’t match menu descriptions and then are presented with an outlandish bill, he gets to submit the bill to his employer. We (the collective fine dining enthusiast general public) have to eat it.
So, to that end when Pete Wells wrote the now infamous lines, “Does this make it sound as if everything at Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar is inedible? I didn’t say that, did I?” it signified a change in the Times. No longer will diners put up with paying big money for inedible food because someone who is allegedly a smart chef writes up a literary masterpiece to promote a vaguely recognizable menu item. Gone are the days when people who know how to cook are willing to pay exorbitant prices for sub-par food just so we can hang out at the trendy new corner bar while we have to sit there (or stand in some cases) sipping drinks we only pretend actually taste good.
Take the food critic’s words to heart, dear Guy — rather than hearing the individual phrases and picking them apart in anger pay attention to the entire message. Why? Because in the midst of this country’s worst economic recession since the Great Depression it is much cheaper to hit the local package store for a bottle of liquor and to throw our own potluck dinner parties at home.
And guess what? We even know how to cook now… at least most of us.
Because we’ve been watching your contemporaries on the Food Network; there’s no question about it.