Food programming has taken over a large chunk of television both in the US and in the UK. Celebrity chefs really are that: celebrities, and often spend more time in front of the camera than they do in front of the stove. However, despite the enormous popularity of this brand of television personality, it's rare for these foodies to hit the headlines, directly or vicariously, but now, an abjectly scathing review of Guy Fieri's new restaurant in New York has done just that.
Paul Wells' review was a tongue in cheek piece built entirely of ironic questions that are rooted in the very problem of celebrity chefs becoming more celeb than chef. His first question was "GUY FIERI, have you eaten at your new restaurant in Times Square?" followed by other questions such as:"Did you notice that the menu was an unreliable predictor of what actually came to the table?" and "Hey, did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste?... Any idea why it tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde?" Despite the whole thing being hilarious, many people have criticized him saying that it seemed a personal attack.
Guy Fieri himself has released a statement, reported by the Washington Post, in opposition to Wells' onslaught. "I wholeheartedly disagree with The New York Times' Review of Guy's American Kitchen & Bar." He said, "My philosophy on life is what drives my attitude towards food... At my restaurants, we always try to live by a very simple notion: that food brings people together. I've learned that not everyone agrees with my style. The Times' critic, Pete Wells, clearly did not enjoy his experience. I normally do not respond to reviews or critics, however, given the tone of Pete's piece, it's clear to me that he went into my restaurant with his mind already made up. That's unfortunate... I'm proud of the food we put out, and always will be."