Anthony Bourdain Still Not a Fan of Guy Fieri

Bourdain calls Fieri's new restaurant a 'terror dome'

You didn't think opening a New York restaurant would make Guy Fieri a culinary star, did you? Because Anthony Bourdain is here to shut that idea down.

Eater posted this video of Anthony Bourdain on Sirius XM doing what he does best: bashing his opponents. First he calls Guy Fieri's American Kitchen and Bar a "terror dome," with 600 seats and a gift shop. "First of all, he single-handedly turned the neighborhood into the Ed Hardy district which I'm a little pissed off about," he said.

Then there's the food, including the $18 burger, which is hardly a diner-worthy price. "The french fries are like $12? By the time you buy a drink you're out of there for what?" he said. To be fair, fries are some $7, but that's still pretty pricey.

And of course, Fieri's notorious middle-school-esque spelling gets in the hot seat, too. "I tell you what, that guy has set back spelling like two decades," Bourdain said. Bad spelling is not kewl, bro. Watch it all below (some NSFW language here).

The Shady Side Of Guy Fieri

Guy Fieri is one of the Food Network's most beloved stars, but the spiky-haired chef's career has been riddled with scandals, lawsuits, and wild accusations about his behavior — Would you believe he was actually caught on camera getting into a fight with his hairdresser? Actually, that one seems like it should have happened many, many bleach sessions ago.

Anyway, just how bad have things gotten for the Ohio-born foodie? Well, on top of constantly feuding with another celebrity chef, being accused of being a nuisance neighbor, and having some serious issues in his restaurants, Fieri has also weathered accusations of racism, sexism, and homophobia. In other words: the road to Flavortown hasn't exactly been a pleasure cruise.

As a result, the host of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, Guy's Grocery Games, and Guy's Ranch Kitchen has found his reputation on the chopping block. This is the shady side of Guy Fieri.

Anthony Bourdain Says He Can Live with Guy Fieri, But He&rsquos Not Happy About It

There are few television personalities as uncompromising as Anthony Bourdain. The chef holds all the keys to his creative kingdom, save for the actual platform to air his show on. And in reading his views on work, life, and future plans, one gets the feeling Bourdain doesn&apost even care if he has a show on the air. He&aposs still in it for the art, man. That&aposs the gist of his recent cover story interview with Adweek, which delves into, among other things, his love of mac and cheese, his position on Chic-FIl-A’s politics, and at what point he&aposs willing to sell out. Here are a few highlights:

"…if you think you have a disease as serious as celiac disease, shouldn&apost you see a fucking doctor before you make this big move? I don&apost think half of these people even understand what they&aposre talking about. I&aposm quite sure of it, in fact—juicing and all the rest."

On "ugly Americans" abroad:

"We&aposve definitely evolved, and I think a lot of people I meet around the world now are surprised by the Americans who come. They expect the worst they expect the cliché, but there are more and more Americans with good chopstick skills and a reasonable, working knowledge of their cuisine, a reasonable attitude, an openness, an eagerness and a willingness to say, &aposI don&apost really know what you do, but I&aposm very interested and open to trying whatever it is that everyone says you&aposre so great at—give me something in a bowl, I&aposll eat it.&apos"

"I could only think of one area where I might bend at this time on this. If we were flying to Hanoi, I get the front end of the plane, but my crew sits in the back. You&aposre telling me if we include a shot of Vietnam Air so that my crew gets to sit in the front—it&aposs a quick shot. I&aposm not pure in this regard, you know—that&aposs a long flight and some of them are tall [laughs]."

On boycotting Chick-Fil-A:

"I support your inalienable right to say really stupid, offensive shit and believe really stupid, offensive shit that I don&apost agree with. I support that, and I might even eat your chicken sandwich."

On what&aposs in his fridge/pantry:

"I love macaroni and cheese. I&aposve always got some elbow macaroni around and some processed or not particularly good, easily meltable cheddar-like stuff that I can make macaroni and cheese with. I have a deep love for that."

"I find Guy Fieri a rich and deep vein of comedy, there&aposs no doubt about it, and he&aposs worthy of a solid and maybe relentless mocking as anyone who has made his sartorial choices deserves. But is he bad for the world? On balance, probably not. I would greatly prefer to not have a Guy Fieri restaurant in Times Square. It hurts me. It offends me. But somebody clearly loves it."

Read the entire interview, including previews of his upcoming cookbook and the ongoing Pier 57 food market project over at Adweek.

Masaharu Morimoto

Flay isn't exactly the most gracious of celebrities. He pretty much does what he wants, when he wants. This attitude hasn't done much to gratify him to the public, and has also alienated Japanese chef Masaharu Morimoto. Morimoto competed against Flay on an episode of Iron Chef, and to say things did not go smoothly would be an understatement. Flay declared victory toward the end of the episode, jumping up on his cutting board in celebration. Not only was it a jerk move, but it was also a premature one — Morimoto ended up being the actual winner of the showdown.

Morimoto accepted his win with grace, although he couldn't help but throw a little bit of shade at Flay. "He's no chef," Morimoto told a reporter after the win. "He stood on the cutting board. In Japan, the cutting board is sacred to us." Flay's antics proved that he's a sore winner. and he didn't even win!

Pete Wells

We can't fully confirm that restaurant critic Pete Wells personally hates Fieri, but his 2012 review in The New York Times of Guy's American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square seems to indicate more than ambivalent feelings towards the chef. To say that Wells tore the restaurant apart would be an understatement. His review was addressed to Fieri himself, asking if he has ever eaten at his own restaurant.

"Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex?" wrote Wells. It gets worse from there, as Wells proceeds to tear down various dishes and drinks, criticizing everything from the food itself to the names of the dishes. This is no impartial review. Only someone who truly detests Fieri would compare one of his drinks to "nuclear waste" and ask why the watermelon margarita "tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde."

Anthony Bourdain, at Fox, mocks Guy Fieri, 'Man v Food,' touts respect to guests

And to a packed crowd of acolytes at the Fox Theatre, Bourdain minced, sauteed and sliced up poor Guy Fieri. He then mocked a vast array of foodie trends, from self-satisfied vegans ("I don't want to beat up vegans but I'm gonna!") to chefs baring bacon tattoos to the silly concept of "farm to table" to the evils of gluten. ("Apparently, it's a national security threat," he joked.) He also figured Adam Richman's former Travel Channel show "Man vs. Food" is actually a recruiting tool for ISIS. (More on that later.)

But at the same time, as seen on his Emmy-winning travelogue shows "No Reservations" on Travel and his current "Parts Unknown" on CNN, he is a man who respects his guests from all over the world, who is insatiably curious and never turns down what is offered him. If you watch him on screen, he never complains about what he eats, whether he likes it or not. (Yes, even a warthog colon: "I had a pretty good idea what was coming next.") Why?

He likened this to going to his grandmother for Thanksgiving, where the Butterball turkey is dry and overcooked, the same salty gravy from the jar, the stuffing is Stove Top and the cranberry sauce has the markings still from the can. He never complains. He's in her home. He eats what she's given him and has seconds. That's respect.

Bourdain loves his job and how can he complain? He travels the world, sampling cultures and foods from Beirut to Peru, from South Africa to South Korea. "My career," he joked, "is proof there is no God."

He said some of the nicest people he's ever met are from overseas, including, of all places, Iran. "Governments are not their people," he said, to applause.

He marvels that 15 years ago, he was a broke chef being chased by the IRS. After several hit TV shows and best-selling books, he can now pocket more than $50,000 just by talking on stage for 90 minutes.

Sure, he spent an absurd amount of time targeting the easiest of targets: Guy Fieri, the embodiment of Food Network's cult of personality. He admires the guy's pluck, just not his look, his style, his general state of being. He said when he took off, post "Food Network Star," Food Network thought it could generate stars on its own and dumped the likes of Mario Batali. But the farm team never really materialized. He knows that Guy is on several shows for the Food Network but couldn't help but wonder why they are hitting the bottom of the barrel with "Guy's Grocery Games."

Bourdain is glad Emory grad

Adam Richman

gave up on "Man v. Food" a few years ago for his health. But he is alarmed how popular the show is in repeats in places like Libya, Afghanastan and Iran. Watching Richman eat more protein in one sitting than many families consume in an entire year in some parts of the world confirms all the worst in terms of what foreigners think of Americans: boorish, obese idiots. And he noted that Richman doesn't even look like he's enjoying what he's consuming while frat boys cheer him on.

And while this has nothing to do with Richman himself, Bourdain seriously wonders if this is simply positive propaganda for the likes of ISIS.

Personally, he said having an eight-year-old daughter has made him grow up. He was able to shed the Ramones t-shirts and leather jackets and act (a bit) more like a mature human being.

"You are no longer the star of the movie," he noted. "Everything revolves around the child. Everything."

He also notes the irony that his mixed martial arts fighter wife Ottavia Busia is always on a high-protein, low-carb diet. That means she frequently can't eat what he makes or consumes.

His daughter Ariane is obsessed with Atlanta's own Alton Brown. He told her about how he tricked Brown into visiting the strip club the Clermont Lounge. He also received a reprimand from Ariane's school after she began telling that story to her classmates.

And he said he finds it annoying how obsessed her second-grade classmates were about "Bizarre Foods" guy Andrew Zimmern and kept asking him about Zimmern's odd food fetishes. The story got rather profane but involved repeated references to president Richard Nixon's more casual first name.

Bourdain isn't above self deprecation. He said he knows how ridiculous it is when people Instagram their food. But he isn't above doing it himself when he sees a fabulous, mouth-watering dish at a fancy restaurant. The subtext? "I hope you are at home sitting in your underwear eating a mustard and butter sandwich," he said. "It's not even passive aggressive. It's aggressive."

He is also of mixed feelings about the celebrity chef phenomenon of the past two decades. While it has brought out excesses and absurdities, it has also made people more willing to try unusual foods, to respect the chef's palate. "The customer is not always right," Bourdain said. "You don't go to your dentist and neurologist and say, 'You know, I have some ideas!' "

During the Q&A session, Bourdain readily admitted his guilty pleasure is going to "the Colonel," as he calls Kentucky Fried Chicken. Not for the chicken, mind you. "It's the mac and cheese!" he said. And when fans catch him there, he likens it to being recognized leaving a porn shop.

After the show, I asked a few fans and they enjoyed the experience. "A great balance about the challenges with food," said Hunter Bradley, of Dunwoody, and a long-time fan. "We have to be grateful of what we have. We can't be high falutin'."

He was also aware (as was I) that this was a highly lucrative engagement for Bourdain.

"I did the math on number of seats, price and production costs," Bradley said, "and somebody's making out like a bandit. Good for him!"

Anthony Bourdain and Guy Fieri battle it out on bookshelves with new family-inspired cookbooks

Rival celebrity chefs Guy Fieri and Anthony Bourdain both have new cookbooks out this month, and the hefty hardcovers will be battling it out for sales and attention.

The pair's comical culinary feud began around 2012 when Bourdain — who hosts CNN's travel and food show, "Parts Unknown" — skewered Fieri's Times Square restaurant (Guy's American Kitchen & Bar), dubbing it a "terror-dome" for its massive size and overpriced burgers and fries.

The low blows continued when globetrotting gourmand Bourdain claimed on a radio show that Fieri — the spiky-haired, convertible-loving host of Food Network's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" — "singlehandedly turned the neighborhood into the Ed Hardy district, which I'm a little pissed off about."

Fieri later fired back in a 2015 GQ interview, saying: "I know he's definitely gotta have issues, 'cause the average person doesn't behave that way . You have nothing else to f---ing worry about than if I have bleached hair or not?"

Since then, the duo's beef seems to have simmered down slightly. Fieri tells the Daily News he may even read Bourdain's new book, "Appetites" — his first cookbook in 10 years — when it hits shelves Oct. 25.

"He's a great writer and has great insight," Fieri, 48, says. "I don't know what his book is about. I imagine it'll come by my path one way or another."

But Bourdain, 60, was still serving up opinions on Fieri with a massive side of snark as recently as this past spring.

"I have no hate in my heart for the guy. He doesn't make me angry. He's just low-hanging fruit," Bourdain told The News in April. "He's a rich and deep source of comedy."

Here, we pit "Guy Fieri Family Food," out Oct. 11, against "Appetites" — declaring a winner in different culinary categories.


Fieri and Bourdain agree that even the most perfect sandwich can be destroyed by using bad bread.

Fieri: "If you don't have the bread, go to bed," Fieri writes, opting for rhymes over logic.

Bourdain: He agrees, aggressively asserting: "If the rye bread surrounding it falls apart, you may as well eat it out of a f---king trough."



Bourdain believes this all-American staple should be free of lettuce, while Fieri's all about the veggies.

Fieri: Go green. "The vegetables are an essential part," he writes in bold, adding that they contribute to the texture, acid and moisture, three elements he believes are crucial to building a better burger.

Bourdain: He couldn't disagree more, saying he's not a fan of lettuce and prefers it in a side salad. "If you're putting mesclun baby arugula on your burger, Guantanamo Bay would not be an unreasonable punishment," Bourdain writes.



Working as a former catering chef has taught Bourdain a thing or two about finger foods — they must be mess-free, contained and easy to pick up while guests move around and mingle. Fieri focuses on heartier, easy-to-eat fare like tacos, kebabs and chili in his "All Hands on Deck" chapter.

Bourdain: The chef has everyone's best interests in mind when he whips up morsels like chicken satay skewers with spicy peanut sauce, duck rillettes and deviled eggs with caviar. "Hopefully, some of your guests will be having sex after the party. . Even if they're not, you need to consider the residual effects of the hors d'oeuvres you serve them. Excessive garlic, raw onions, lutefisk, and durian fruit would all be, for this reason, inadvisable," he writes.

Fieri: He stresses choosing the right skewer for kebabs. If you're cooking over high heat, metal skewers work best. If you're camping, opt for bamboo or wood sticks. Double-skewering prevents ingredients from moving or falling off when you turn them.



Bourdain has a simple approach, with recipes for staples like scrambled eggs and omelets. He gives critical advice on how to cook bacon and home fries, which, according to him, "almost always suck." Fieri puts a little more flair into the morning meal with inventive gut-busters like ancho skirt steak hash a breakfast burrito loaded with bone-in ribeye steak with habanero butter and a bagel with smoked salmon cured in vodka.

Fieri: He has a resourceful way of using leftovers for breakfast. He encourages frying up whatever leftover meat, vegetable and starch you have in a skillet with, if desired, an egg on top for his ancho skirt steak hash with red pepper hollandaise. For the perfect, crispy and browned hash, never start with raw potatoes in the skillet. "They tend to steam more than brown, so even when they're cooked, there's no texture," he writes.

Bourdain: He implores home cooks to "toast your goddamn muffins" on both sides when attempting eggs Benedict. He also stresses the importance of grilling the Canadian bacon. Hollandaise sauce should be prepared ahead of time and stored in a thermos while it's still warm. And poached eggs, he says, are best made using a wide-based pot, not a deep one. The best way to cook bacon à la Bourdain is in the oven, set to 350 degrees on a sheet pan.

Macaroni and cheese

Anthony Bourdain's new cookbook "Appetites" (Ecco, 2016) showcases food he makes for his family and friends. (Photo: Ecco/HarperCollins)

"Get that damn lobster out of my mac and cheese," writes Anthony Bourdain in his new cookbook "Appetites" (Ecco, 2016). The CNN travel show host says he also doesn't want to see any truffle oil, which is 'made from a petroleum-based chemical additive and the crushed dreams of nineties culinary mediocrity." If you add it, Bourdain writes, "you should be punched in the kidneys."

1 pound dry elbow macaroni

5 tablespoons unsalted butter

5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons mustard powder

2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper (Note: If you don't like much heat, dial back the amount of cayenne)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

8 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

4 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated

5 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, grated

3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, grated

4 ounces cooked and thinly sliced ham, julienned (optional)

Freshly ground white pepper to taste (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a large, heavy-bottom pot, bring salted water to a boil and add the elbow macaroni. Cook according to the package instructions until just al dente, then drain and set aside. Make sure you have both a whisk and a wooden spoon nearby, and something to rest them on. You will be switching back and forth between the two utensils as you first make a roux and then build on that to make a bechamel. In the still-hot macaroni pot, heat the butter over medium-high heat until it foams and subsides. Whisk in the flour, then switch to a wooden spoon and stir steadily over medium-high heat until the mixture begins to turn a nutty golden brown, about 2 minutes.

Do not let the mixture scorch. Whisk in the milk and bring the mixture just to a boil, stirring with the wooden spoon and making sure to scrape each part of the surface of the pan so that hunks of flour or milk do not stick. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook and stir until the mixture is slightly thicker than heavy cream.

Whisk in the mustard powder, cayenne, and Worcestershire, the add half the Parmigiano-Reggiano (you'll sprinkle the rest over the top) and the rest of the cheeses and,if using, the ham, and stir until the cheeses have melted completely. Stir in the cooked macaroni and mix well. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and optional pepper.

Transfer the mixture to a glass or ceramic casserole, top with the remaining Parmigiano, and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until the top is golden brown and the mixture is bubbling slightly.

Serve hot, or refrigerate and gently reheat the whole thing, or in portions as needed. Makes 8 servings.

Macau-Style Pork Chop Sandwich

From page 90 of Anthony Bourdain’s Appetites.

This sandwich, loosely inspired by a pork chop bun served to me for television in Macau, is possibly the most delicious thing in the book. We had a hard time shooting it, because everyone in the room kept eating the models.

Pound the pork to ¼-inch thickness, using the meat mallet. If using a rolling pin, be sure to wrap the meat in plastic before whacking it (and consider getting yourself a meat mallet).

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, rice wine, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, five-spice powder, and sugar. Place the pork in a zip-seal plastic bag or nonreactive container and pour the marinade mixture over, turning the chops to ensure that they’re evenly coated with liquid. Seal the bag and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 12 hours.

Remove the chops from the marinade and brush off the garlic. Beat the egg in a shallow bowl and place the flour and bread crumbs in separate shallow bowls. Season the flour with salt and pepper. You may need to add a tablespoon of water to the beaten egg, to loosen its texture so that it adheres evenly to the meat.

To a large, heavy-bottom frying pan, add the peanut oil and heat over medium-high.

While the oil heats, dredge the chops in the flour, batting off any extra, then in the egg, then in the bread crumbs.

Test the oil with a pinch of bread crumbs. If they immediately sizzle, carefully slide the chops into the hot oil, working in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan and bringing down the temperature of the oil. Cook for about 5 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Remove the cooked chops from the oil and let drain on the lined sheet pan. Season lightly with salt.

Toast the bread until golden brown.

Assemble the sandwiches and serve with the chili paste alongside.


4 boneless pork rib chops or cutlets (about 6 ounces each)

4 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon five-spice powder 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar, packed

1½ cups panko bread crumbs Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 cups peanut oil, for frying, plus more as needed

8 slices white sandwich bread Chili paste, for garnish

Special equipment:

Meat mallet or heavy-duty rolling pin

Sheet pan or platter lined with newspaper

The Fieri-ssance is here: Sorry, Anthony Bourdain — it's no longer cool to hate on Guy Fieri

By Scott Timberg
Published September 22, 2016 3:00AM (UTC)

Guy FIeri (Getty/Christopher Polk)


Remember when rock critics — typically more comfortable championing The Velvet Underground, forgotten blues guitarists, and obscure indie-rock bands — began writing apologias for Billy Joel and composed learned deconstructions of Britney Spears? Love or hate what is called poptimism, the impulse seems to be coming to food and restaurant criticism, where Guy Fieri — the celebrity chef that many food insiders love to hate — may be on the verge of an “in defense of” movement. Call it the Fieri-ssance.

Let’s back up. While Billy Joel is disliked by many critics and music fans for strained over-singing and derivative songs, Fieri is disliked for his wild-man behavior and trite, peacock-ish appearance on his Food Network shows like “Guy’s Big Bite” and “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

Critics have not always been kind to his restaurants either like Johnny Garlic’s or Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen and Bar. In fact, Pete Wells’ New York Times review of Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar, Times Square, addressed to Fieri himself, has become legendary. (“Hey, did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste? The watermelon margarita? Any idea why it tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde?”) Anthony Bourdain, who has developed a large and wide-ranging following by managing to be both macho cool and a elegant writer, mocks Fieri as a culinary clown.

And that’s not even mentioning the reports of live roaches in his restaurants, accusations of sexist and homophobic behavior on the Triple D set or the fight with neighbors over his proposed Santa Rosa, California, winery. When you add it all up, it makes songs like “Movin’ Out” or “We Didn’t Start the Fire” seem benign by comparison.

Well, all of these transgressions may soon be downplayed, as the Fieri-ssance emerges.

It started with the November 2015 issue of GQ, which included an extensive profile on Fieri’s new winery (which produces, apparently, “bomb-ass Pinot”): The writer, Drew Magary, found himself charmed by the chef’s bluster and saw a caring and responsible side (Fieri says “sustainable” a lot) to a guy whose neighbors can’t seem to wait for him to leave.

Magary opened his profile with an anecdote of Fieri introducing him to his pet tortoise, whose favorite delicacy is dog feces. "And if you’re looking for a metaphor of how the food-and-wine establishment views Guy Fieri," wrote Magary, "it’s hard to top a man who feeds dog shit to slow-moving animals and calls it foie gras."

So while Magary was careful to establish the image factors working against Fieri ("He looks like every Sublime fan rolled into one."), he also painted a portrait of Fieri as a devoted cool dad ("It’s gotta feel pretty bawse to roll up to school in a Camaro.") and the mature voice rising above petty criticism. Fieri responded to a question about Bourdain's attacks on him with an empathetic, "I know he’s definitely gotta have issues, ’cos the average person doesn’t behave that way." It added up to a bit of a sly indictment of the superficiality of the haters:

And the interesting thing is that if you close your eyes and listen to Fieri speak, he doesn’t sound so different from the chefs and the foodies who so gleefully despise him. He composts. He hates soda. He doesn’t like hunting. He doesn’t even like fried food all that much (“As soon as you wanna take away the flavor of anything, just fry it”). Ask him about why he started an organic winery, and he’ll launch into a disquisition about how Europeans are so much more enlightened about alcohol consumption. He’ll talk about putting his hands in the soil and making a connection with THE LAND and keeping “lost arts” alive.

In the new Esquire, Jason Diamond made a populist case for Fieri, who champions what he calls “real food for real people.” (“I feel as if I have pretty decent taste by the standards of those strange enough to share them,” Diamond wrote, “yet when I mention that one of my favorite things to do is to sit on my couch with my dog and watch any of the Fieri shows that pretty much make up the bulk of the Food Network's programming, people tend to laugh — or worse, assume I'm hate-watching.”)

While Magary's profile made Fieri sound not so unlike his celebrity chef peers, Diamond made the case for Fieri's unique role in American food culture — a Brooklyn bartender told Diamond, "a lot of us pay our rent because Guy Fieri tourists come here to eat" — positioning Fieri's "Triple D" approach to food discovery as a noble undertaking in its own right:

I also love Anthony Bourdain's many shows and books, and I understand why he'd find a person like Fieri such a personal affront. But while Bourdain looks at the bigger picture on his shows, examining the political economy of every city he visits, Fieri visits the real unknown. He takes that bright red convertible to little spots that are uniquely unexciting, places that aren't owned by celebrity chefs, and parks firmly outside of the hype stream that steers the bastions of good taste.

The groundwork was laid. This week writing about the press preview of a new Fieri restaurant Smokehouse that just opened in a Louisville, Kentucky, tourist mall, Michael C. Powell, a writer for the city's local alt-weekly, scorned those who look down their noses at the chef’s rock 'n' roll style and called himself “an unironic fan and an unabashed defender of Guy Fieri.” Powell suggested it might be self-loathing that fuels a lot of the Fieri-hate:

Guy Fieri is the personification of the outsized American appetite, a totem of the American gastronomy — artificial dyes and all. Guy is the avatar of our collective vision quest, Route 66-style, toward Flavortown — satiating an insatiable appetite in the land of plenty, which includes the buffets, endless apps promotions, State Fair fare, Epic Meal Time recipes, pizza-stuffed pizza and every other slice of Americana, pushing continental cuisine to its gluttonous limit. Guy Fieri is a mirror of what our palate actually looks like — and we don’t like what we see.

So what’s going on here? Critical opinion follows a pretty predictable path. There’s only so much abuse even an obnoxious celebrity can take before someone jumps to his or her defense. In some cases, it's a manifestation of the American urge against snobbery and in favor of underdogs. In other situations (such as when people defend The Eagles), it’s purely opportunistic. When it comes to Fieri, he is also benefiting from the long-practiced tendency of men’s magazines to champion reviled figures for being tougher, cruder, ruder and more ruggedly individual than all those prissy doubters around them.

In any event, Fieri seems to be back in the charming rogue category, and hating on him will quite possibly be seen as beyond passé soon.

Could shifts in media opinion and the way trends get recycled over the decades mean that Fieri’s bleached hair, which makes him look like a cross between Sammy Hagar and a second-string member of Korn, could become cool again? Well, some things may be too tall an order even for the Fieri-ssance.

Scott Timberg

Scott Timberg is a former staff writer for Salon, focusing on culture. A longtime arts reporter in Los Angeles who has contributed to the New York Times, he runs the blog Culture Crash. He's the author of the book, "Culture Crash: The Killing of the Creative Class."

Watch the video: People Who Loathe Guy Fieri (January 2022).