As Seen On TV (Or, An Open Letter to Guy Fieri)
GUY FIERI, have you ever received media training in your agent’s office or your publicist’s office in New York or LA? Have you ever been a part of a pre-interview process where you were given certain talking points so as to communicate a positive message about you, your restaurants and your brand? Did you use those talking points? Did your on-air performance live up to your handler’s expectations?
Did panic grip your soul as you stared at the New York Times Restaurant Review this past week, much like when you gripped the armrests of your seat while flying first class air to New York City this morning as you winged your way to the set of The Today Show where you sat opposite Savannah Guthrie? Was this at the request of all your restaurant investors and future dependents — desperate to be sure that your eleven hundred and sixteen chicken mcnugget-style food establishments didn’t go down the drain in a financial crisis the likes of which no one had ever seen?
Did you realize, by any chance, that since you were the subject of a Today Show segment, where your New York Times restaurant reviewing nemesis was completely absent — that this was now the time for you to do a thing they call “damage control” and spin the buzz about your garlic-buttered brioche to your advantage? What exactly was going through your head when you sat Savannah down in front of your Salmon sliders and your simply named “burger” and exclaimed quite comfortably that said restaurant reviewer’s plan all along was tied to some sinister “agenda”? Did this week’s news cycle about General Petraeus give you silly ideas about covert ops and black book style food insurgencies? When you said, “I think we all know what’s going on here” did you mean that you really know what’s going on here, or you just wanted the American Public to wonder if Paula Broadwell had something to do with your latest culinary crisis?
Seriously, has your brain’s ability to process logical thought and reasoning been clogged up by the garlic butter and pickled hot peppers that everyone is now talking about?
How could you even say what you said on The Today Show, Mr. Fieri? Even if your food is made from chopped up animals from a South American game reserve, the last thing you should be saying to our girl Savannah is that you’re not quite sure about being perfect and all. When asked if you were perfect, did you really say no? If you can lie about making mashed potatoes by hand, for sure you should be able to lie and tell everyone that your kitchen staff is perfect. Did you know, Mr. Fieri, that people turn away from restaurants with the letter B or C on the doorway. A is perfect. Did you know the letter “A” represents perfection? Did your business partners not tell you that by admitting your kitchen staff isn’t perfect, you’re going to lose patrons?
Perhaps the kitchen culture in Flavor Town is like Stalinist Russia, where everyone tells you your ideas are the right ideas. Even when those ideas compel you to admit that, yes, only two months in you are not expecting to knock anyone’s socks off with the food. Seriously?
And we also have to wonder, what kind of crazy cross promotion and sponsorship opportunity you are doing with Walt Disney Pictures, now that they own the Star Wars universe and those Jedi Mind Tricks. The only reason we ask you this, Mr. Fieri, is because we believe you tried to use some kind of failed Jedi Mind Trick when you mumbled on about how your team is “forming this by hand” (??) and that “this is more heart and soul” (???) and that this writer must obviously be “going after a non-New Yorker to improve his career.”
These are not the droids, er words, you should be looking for Mr. Fieri.
It’s great that you admitted that we all make mistakes and that you stand by your food and your team and you’ll continue to be great, but I guess I’m just wondering why, Mr. Fieri, you couldn’t just stick to that talking point through the entire interview? At least that way, you wouldn’t have come across like a guy who is already licking his wounds.
Lick the Cajun Chicken Alfredo, Mr. Fieri. Then at least you’d convince us there was something good to eat.