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In Which Guy Fieri Answers Pete Wells' Many Questions

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New York Times critic Pete Wells absolutely panned Guy's American Kitchen & Bar — the newish New York City restaurant from culinary titan Guy Fieri — and gave it zero stars. Every sentence in the review was a question (51 in total). But Fieri never got to respond, which seems a little unfair? So here now, quotes from Guy Fieri — pulled from various sources and taken completely out of context — in answer to every single one of Pete Wells' questions:

GUY FIERI, have you eaten at your new restaurant in Times Square?
"I'm really fortified with a great team. I have a fantastic family: great wife, a couple young boys. Everybody over at Food Network makes it a rock 'n roll show. I mean, We are on tour, baby!"
[Source]


Have you pulled up one of the 500 seats at Guy's American Kitchen & Bar and ordered a meal?
"There are 10 different styles of seats there."
[Source]

Did you eat the food?
"There's always going to be craziness, but opening in New York City? Wow!"
[Source]

Did it live up to your expectations?
"Everything that I do is done at the next level."
[Source]

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?
"Never had a plan, my friend. It was not a design."
[Source]

When you saw the burger described as "Guy's Pat LaFrieda custom blend, all-natural Creekstone Farm Black Angus beef patty, LTOP (lettuce, tomato, onion + pickle), SMC (super-melty-cheese) and a slathering of Donkey Sauce on garlic-buttered brioche," did your mind touch the void for a minute?
"Don't eat the whole plate of food and then tell me you didn't like it. We know that's bullsh*t."
[Source]

Did you notice that the menu was an unreliable predictor of what actually came to the table?
"Well that question's a Pandora's box to open, now isn't it?"
[Source]

Were the "bourbon butter crunch chips" missing from your Almond Joy cocktail, too?
"I don't separate fancy food from the rest. Good food is good food, though there's definitely way too much fussing and phoniness out there in the food world, with people talking about ingredients you need an advanced degree to pronounce."
[Source]

Was your deep-fried "boulder" of ice cream the size of a standard scoop?
"It's a little colorful bowl of wow!"
[Source]

What exactly about a small salad with four or five miniature croutons makes Guy's Famous Big Bite Caesar (a) big (b) famous or (c) Guy's, in any meaningful sense?
"I'm a small plate kind of guy and like to have a variety of stuff."
[Source]

Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are?
"I think critics are necessary because some people read what they write. It's what their opinion is and I don't base anything I do off of what they say."
[Source]

If you hadn't come up with the recipe yourself, would you ever guess that the shiny tissue of breading that exudes grease onto the plate contains either pretzels or smoked almonds?
"[I]t's painful for everybody, me included."
[Source]

Did you discern any buttermilk or brine in the white meat, or did you think it tasted like chewy air?
"Brother, exactly what you're seeing is what I'm making at home."
[Source]

Why is one of the few things on your menu that can be eaten without fear or regret — a lunch-only sandwich of chopped soy-glazed pork with coleslaw and cucumbers — called a Roasted Pork Bahn Mi, when it resembles that item about as much as you resemble Emily Dickinson?
"Women who know how to cook are hot. Especially when you're together in the kitchen, it's sexy. You're activating each other's senses – the smells, the flavors, the textures. Baby!"
[Source]

When you have a second, Mr. Fieri, would you see what happened to the black bean and roasted squash soup we ordered?
"I take everything very seriously, but I also take it lighthearted to recognize that you can't control it."
[Source]

Hey, did you try that blue drink, the one that glows like nuclear waste?
"My first restaurant was going to be named 'extremes'!"
[Source]

The watermelon margarita?
"I love spray paint!"
[Source]

Any idea why it tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde?
"My palate is across the board. I don't get set in one ethnicity."
[Source]

At your five Johnny Garlic's restaurants in California, if servers arrive with main courses and find that the appetizers haven't been cleared yet, do they try to find space for the new plates next to the dirty ones? Or does that just happen in Times Square, where people are used to crowding?
"Stop stealing stuff. People steal things from restaurants, anything with a logo on it..."
[Source]

If a customer shows up with a reservation at one of your two Tex Wasabi's outlets, and the rest of the party has already been seated, does the host say, "Why don't you have a look around and see if you can find them?" and point in the general direction of about 200 seats?
"Like I tell folks, if you're given the opportunity, you really have to dig down deep inside and say am I ready to do this?"
[Source]

What is going on at this new restaurant of yours, really?
"The thing I have to be willing to do is work -- I think I'm the one that is going to actually copyright the term '25/8.' You ever hear of the term '25/8?' It's the cousin of '24/7.' I have to go '25/8.'"
[Source]

Has anyone ever told you that your high-wattage passion for no-collar American food makes you television's answer to Calvin Trillin, if Mr. Trillin bleached his hair, drove a Camaro and drank Boozy Creamsicles?
"I love the mom-and-pop joints, I love giving them recognition..." "What this show does for American mom and pop joints who all need a leg up in today's economy and world is unquestionable."
[Source]

When you cruise around the country for your show "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," rasping out slangy odes to the unfancy places where Americans like to get down and greasy, do you really mean it?
"The No. 1 thing I hear from people when I meet them in the airport is,'Oh my gosh, you're just like you are on TV.' Well, I'm not an actor. I don't think anyone could figure out how to be this weird."
[Source]

Or is it all an act?
"I'm proof that you can be anything that you want to be."
[Source]

Is that why the kind of cooking you celebrate on television is treated with so little respect at Guy's American Kitchen & Bar?
"Combining eastern traditions of making sushi and using western cultural ingredients like brisket, French fries, avocados, BBQ sauce, makes it real fun."
[Source]

How, for example, did Rhode Island's supremely unhealthy and awesomely good fried calamari — dressed with garlic butter and pickled hot peppers — end up in your restaurant as a plate of pale, unsalted squid rings next to a dish of sweet mayonnaise with a distant rumor of spice?
"If we're gonna start pointing that finger at what's healthy and what people are doing to themselves, there's gonna be a lot of things I'll call the ball on before it'll be a Ritz Cracker."
[Source]

How did Louisiana's blackened, Cajun-spiced treatment turn into the ghostly nubs of unblackened, unspiced white meat in your Cajun Chicken Alfredo?
"Are you kidding? Okay, first what you don't know is my Mom is from North Carolina, so I know Southern food."
[Source]

How did nachos, one of the hardest dishes in the American canon to mess up, turn out so deeply unlovable?
"I have a huge organic garden that I am looking at right now with 10 different peppers, three different kales and tomatoes galore."
[Source]

Why augment tortilla chips with fried lasagna noodles that taste like nothing except oil?
"People are worried about food borne illness, they're worried about this cross-contamination that happens. I really can't say I'm down with it."
[Source]

Why not bury those chips under a properly hot and filling layer of melted cheese and jalapeños instead of dribbling them with thin needles of pepperoni and cold gray clots of ground turkey?
"I think everything in moderation."
[Source]

By the way, would you let our server know that when we asked for chai, he brought us a cup of hot water?
"It's on like Donkey Kong."
[Source]

When you hung that sign by the entrance that says, WELCOME TO FLAVOR TOWN!, were you just messing with our heads?
"I know what I make, I know how I cook. I know the success of my food."
[Source]

Does this make it sound as if everything at Guy's American Kitchen & Bar is inedible? I didn't say that, did I?
"I mean, you can't have eight restaurants and be doing it wrong, or that wrong."
[Source]

Tell me, though, why does your kitchen sabotage even its more appealing main courses with ruinous sides and sauces?
"I don't sit there and reflect on it often."
[Source]

Why stifle a pretty good bison meatloaf in a sugary brown glaze with no undertow of acid or spice?
"I learned to cook from my mom and dad. But I am a huge Mario Batali fan."
[Source]

Why send a serviceable herb-stuffed rotisserie chicken to the table in the company of your insipid Rice-a-Roni variant?
"When people come to the restaurant, I think they'll get a really good understanding as to what I am as a chef and as a person."
[Source]

Why undermine a big fist of slow-roasted pork shank, which might fly in many downtown restaurants if the General Tso's-style sauce were a notch less sweet, with randomly shaped scraps of carrot that combine a tough, nearly raw crunch with the deadened, overcooked taste of school cafeteria vegetables?
"People are always putting you in check, and that's what makes us play harder."
[Source]

Is this how you roll in Flavor Town?
"I own 120 pairs of sunglasses."
[Source]

Somewhere within the yawning, three-level interior of Guy's American Kitchen & Bar, is there a long refrigerated tunnel that servers have to pass through to make sure that the French fries, already limp and oil-sogged, are also served cold?
"The big payoff is making people happy. That big smile when people enjoy my food. Also, I'm big into cars, hot rods, dirt bikes. For Thanksgiving, I took the RV and a bunch of my buddies and went up into the middle of nowhere. No running water, no anything. And cooked Thanksgiving for 30 people on a Weber."
[Source]

What accounts for the vast difference between the Donkey Sauce recipe you've published and the Donkey Sauce in your restaurant?
"Liver. I hate beef liver!"
[Source]

Why has the hearty, rustic appeal of roasted-garlic mayonnaise been replaced by something that tastes like Miracle Whip with minced raw garlic?
"It's very much a reflection of me."
[Source]

And when we hear the words Donkey Sauce, which part of the donkey are we supposed to think about?
"Besides pig ears, a few lamb tongues and maybe two or three cat balls..."
[Source]

Is the entire restaurant a very expensive piece of conceptual art?
"Sometimes people like to cruise in and take a look around. So, we wanted to make a 'cruise in and take a look around' environment. You can hang out, get some cocktails, some marinated olives, and just kind of cruise."
[Source]

Is the shapeless, structureless baked alaska that droops and slumps and collapses while you eat it, or don't eat it, supposed to be a representation in sugar and eggs of the experience of going insane?
"When I was 18 or 19 I got a job as flambé captain at a hotel, cooking table-side with the brown polyester outfit, the dickey, the whole getup. I realized success is all about your style."
[Source]

Why did the toasted marshmallow taste like fish?
"Money."
[Source]

Did you finish that blue drink?
"It's bananas! And bananas is good!"
[Source]

Oh, and we never got our Vegas fries; would you mind telling the kitchen that we don't need them?
"I'll always be a chef, I'll always cook, always own restaurants. That's my core."
[Source]

Thanks.
"No problemo."

· All Guy Fieri Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Pete Wells Coverage on Eater [-E-]

Guy's American Kitchen and Bar

220 W 44th St New York, NY 10036

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