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Guy Fieri’s comeuppance is my Schadenfreude

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“And when we hear the words Donkey Sauce, which part of the donkey are we supposed to think about?” Fieri’s signature sauce is a roasted garlic mayo called Donkey Sauce. Wells nailed this one, since the sauce’s name conjures up an image about as appetizing as a stroll through a rendering plant. Also, there is another name for this sauce: aioli. Italians have been making it for years, Guy. It’s literally one of the first things you learn at culinary school.

But my favorite is “Why did the toasted marshmallow taste like fish?” Disturbing and graphic. Much like the phrase “donkey sauce.”

Overall, Wells rated the entire experience as “poor,” including the watermelon margarita which “tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde.”

He is not alone, either. Recently Steve Cuozzo of the New York Post said he “wouldn’t feed the mess to a cat.” Anthony Bourdain has criticized Fieri on his Sirius XM radio show. Yelp: 2 ½ out of 5 stars. Urbanspoon: 32% “Like” rating. By comparison, Vancouver diners give Denny’s a 52% “Like” rating. So New Yorkers enjoy Fieri’s place less than two thirds as much as Vancouverites enjoy a Moons Over My Hammy. Take a minute. Let that really sink in. The man who is famous for singing the praises of greasy junk food cannot himself execute greasy junk food.

This level of incompetence would be unacceptable from any professional chef, but it is especially bad when it comes from America’s tenth-highest-paid chef. That’s right. Only nine chefs in the entire nation get paid more than a man who puts “Pepperoni Mozzarella Stix” on his menu.

Fieri fired back at the reviewer, saying:  

“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 water.”

Again, look at the numbers. Look at the online reviews. Any place rated as poorly as that would be out of business in three months if its owner was not also a TV personality with an $8 million salary.

I am honestly thrilled to see this pointless idiot receive his comeuppance. And before you say anything, answer this: would you pity the failure of a truly incompetent doctor? Are you sad when a terrible politician loses an election? Is there any part of you that mourns when a company like BP has to pay to clean up its own mess? No? Of course not. You need not be sad for these people because their livelihoods are built around the service of some public trust. When you violate that trust, I mean really screw the pooch, you deserve to be fired (out of a cannon if possible).

Chefs are no different.

Behind the often gruff persona of a career chef is a genuine ethic of care for one’s diners and a deep belief in the sanctity of good food. Chefs, real chefs, want to make you happy, to challenge you, to transport you, and maybe even to change the way you think. The success of a so-called chef like Fieri taints the entire profession. He is an ambassador of all that is wrong with North American food culture, of attitudes and ideas at least a generation out of date, and of the foods which keep our minds small and our bellies large.

Now, I ought to admit that I am attacking Fieri without trying his food. This is almost always very wrong, but I’m afraid that we have a special case here. You don't need to try this chef's food to know what he's about and that is what I'm attacking. The food is clearly just a byproduct of the persona.

Besides, sometimes you only need to smell the can to know that it’s garbage.

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