Guy Fieri brands New York Times food critic as 'ridiculous, overboard and having an agenda' after scathing restaurant review
16:58 GMT, 15 November 2012
19:12 GMT, 15 November 2012
Guy Fieri has hit back at the restaurant critic who slammed his new Times Square restaurant with a scathing review yesterday.
The television chef, who opened the 500-seat Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar two months ago, accused the New York Times' Pete Wells of having 'a different agenda'.
Speaking to Savannah Guthrie this morning on the Today show, he said: 'To me it's impossible to come in and have a dining experience and have
every single thing wrong, unless you come in with a different agenda and
you want to sensationalize something and you want to blow it out of the
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Defending himself: Guy Fieri has hit back at the New York Times review of his new Times Square restaurant yesterday, branding it 'ridiculous, overboard and having an agenda'
Mr Fieri added that the critic was picking on him in order to raise his own profile.
'It's a great way to make a name for yourself,' he continued. 'Go after a
celebrity chef that's not a New Yorker, that's doing a big concept in
his second month. Great way to hit it.'
He admitted that while his restaurant was not perfect, Mr Wells' review was 'ridiculous' and 'overboard' in its criticism.
Rated poor: Mr Fieri's new restaurant in Times Square has been the target of such scathing reviews that one critic was prompted to ask the Food Network star if he had actually eaten there himself
No-go: Guy's American Kitchen & Bar, which seats 500 people, has been given nothing but ongoing 'poor' ratings since it opened in September
'IT'S NOT A PROPER RESTAURANT': WHAT THE CRITICS HAD TO SAY
'When you hung that sign by the entrance that says, WELCOME TO FLAVOR TOWN!, were you just messing with our heads'I wouldn’t feed the mess to a cat''Why did the toasted marshmallow taste like fish' 'The Baked Alaska tasted like the asphalt outside on West 44th Street''The Chicken Parm had the consistency of an old tire'
'The tone, the sarcasm, the question style, I mean I think we all know
what's going on here.'
Mr Fieri especially objected to the fact that Mr Wells visited his restaurant several times in its first eight weeks – a typical practice for reviewers in the U.S.
'He came in
four times to a restaurant that's only been open two months, that's
tough times,' he complained.
The New York Times review of Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar made headlines yesterday after Mr Wells branded it 'not a proper restaurant' with 'deeply unlovable' food and drinks that taste like 'radiator fluid and formaldehyde'.
Written entirely in sarcastic rhetorical questions, he questioned whether Mr Fieri is even worthy of his chef credentials and widespread praise from cable network fans.
Nerve-racking: His first solo venture has been such a flop that one Uproxx reviewer said, referring to the Sashimi Taco, 'If Kris and I die of food poisoning you'll know that these did us in'
Across the board: In his New York Times review, written entirely in sarcastic rhetorical questions, Pete Wells questioned whether Mr Fieri deserves his chef credentials and widespread praise from cable network fans
WAS THE NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW FAIR AN EXPERT VERDICT…
ANTONY RETTIE, Director at Anteater Public Relations, has managed publicity for restaurant launches in both London and New York. He says:
'We like to think that restaurant critics are appointed to give balanced and informed opinions of the restaurants they inspect. Their columns are widely read, trusted and used by readers to make decisions about restaurants, however they are also entertainment and, as any writer will tell you, it is easier to be funny when you’re criticising than when you’re celebrating. Ultimately, readers recognise that reviews are based on one single person’s impressions and opinion.
'Once a restaurant is fully trading and taking customers money, it is open to scrutiny just like anywhere else and needs to deliver quality and consistency.
'The Pete Wells review is unlikely to damage the popularity of Fieri's restaurant, given his mainstream audience and its Times Square positioning. The controversy surrounding the review has resulted in people talking about the restaurant far more than they would have otherwise.
'If the best way to kill a story is not to comment, Fieri's decision to appear on the Today Show only adds fuel to the fire. Perhaps Wells isn't the only one with an agenda.'
asks in a roll-out series of blistering questions: 'When you hung that
sign by the entrance that says, WELCOME TO FLAVOR TOWN!, were you just
messing with our heads' and 'Why did the toasted marshmallow taste like fish'
The Times was not the only publication to lay into the restaurant.
The New York Post also found little to praise, with reviewer Steve
Cuozzo writing that he 'wouldn’t feed the mess to a cat', while an Uproxx writer, who sampled the the Sashimi Tacos, added: 'If Kris and I die of food poisoning you’ll know that these did us in.'
Even Yelp users have been unimpressed, with an average rating of two-and-a-half stars out of five, Ms Guthrie points out.
But Mr Fieri, who points out that he
has been in the restaurant industry for 25 years, insists that the
scathing opinions are not warranted.
'Do I think I'm falling short By no means,' he said. 'We're
doing the type of food that America loves, and we're doing it the right
you look at the food that we're doing here, the cedar plank salmon, the
burger, I mean, we're … making it by hand, we make the mashed potatoes for every service… this is what's taking place.'
Unknown until 2006, Mr Fieri found fame when he won
the second season of The Next Food Network Star.
He co-owns 11 restaurants, seven of which are in California, and now ranks as
the tenth-highest paid chef in the country, according to Forbes.
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