The New York Times published a scathing review of Guy Fieri's new restaurant, Guy's American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square. Reviewer Pete Wells wrote just a series of questions including the following:
- 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?
- How did Louisiana's blackened, Cajun-spiced treatment turn into the ghostly nubs of unblackened, unspiced white meat in your Cajun Chicken Alfredo?
- What is going on at this new restaurant of yours, really?
- Does this make it sound as if everything at Guy's American Kitchen & Bar is inedible? I didn't say that, did I?
To respond to the review, Fieri appeared on The Today Show. When asked whether reading the review felt like a "punch in the gut," Fieri said he thought the review was "ridiculous" and "overboard." He took issue with the tone and question style, and implied that the reviewer might have had another agenda:
"It's a great way to make a name for yourself: go after a celebrity chef that's not a New Yorker that is doing big concept, and in the second month [fist punch into his hand]..."
The interviewer also pointed to less-than-stellar Yelp reviews, to which Fieri admitted that the food isn't perfect but noted that it's still early in the restaurant's tenure.
Saturday Night Live produced a skit about Fieri, although it didn't appear on air:
- What's your assessment of the review? Is it probably fair, a personal attack, or something else?
- How effective is Guy Fieri's response on The Today Show? How could he have taken a different approach?