Like Jay Z, Guy Fieri is not a businessman — he’s a business, man. The Spiky One has his bejeweled fingers in casino restaurants, cruise ship dining, an apparel line, Father’s Day bacon festivals, and even the California wine-making scene. Now that Fieri decided to shed a few under-performing strip mall restaurants, he’s freed up some time and energy to spread the Donkey Sauce gospel at the recently-revamped Planet Hollywood in Orlando, Florida.
The ailing chain — which once boasted nearly 100 outposts worldwide, but now has just six locations — decided to pump 25 million bucks into a head-to-toe renovation of the restaurant in Disney Springs, a shopping center that’s part of Walt Disney World Resort. The Planet Hollywood braintrust wanted to hire Fieri to create a special section of the menu because, according to founder/CEO Robert Earl: “People enjoy his twists on food and his attitude, as opposed to stuffy chefs."
The Fieri-fied menu at Planet Hollywood Observatory, as it’s now called, has a Turkey Pic-a-Nic sandwich, which includes “LTOP & Donkey Sauce,” and a Bacon Mac-n-Cheese burger, which also has “LTOP & Donkey Sauce.” Beef enthusiasts will be surprised to see that Fieri is serving a patty of American-raised Kobe beef under a pile melted cheeses, caramelized onion jam, and, of course, “LTOP and Donkey Sauce.” As a denouement, the culinary outlaw decided to hoist a pastrami and pretzel concoction onto the menu called the Mayor of Flavortown. (Flavortown, btw, is wherever Guy Fieri is currently standing or sitting.) Planet Hollywood Orlando is also now serving complete, shameless ripoffs of Black Tap’s milkshakes, but Fieri was only hired to make the burgers and sandwiches, so he’s off the hook for that one, pal.
Despite the fact that the TV chef is a super busy dude with throngs of adoring fans, he’s not ready to let fame or the stress of the job get to him. Fieri tells the Daily Meal: “I do run hot, very fast, and have no off button. I am positive that without the grounding blanket of my family, I would have spun out of this universe’s orbit a long time ago.” Of course, some people out there, like Times critic Pete Wells, don’t care for Fieri’s brand of acronym-heavy cuisine. But while the haters are busy hating, Guy is up on a hill in California, celebrating. He might even be raising a glass of his own hooch to his goatee, alongside a member of his crew, like this photo from his winery’s homepage:
• Planet Hollywood Observatory opens at Disney Springs [OS]
• Guy Fieri on His Current Food Obsession, Staying Grounded, and Feeding Kids [DM]
• Guy Fieri Is Taking Disney World to Flavortown [E]
• All Coverage of Guy Fieri [E]