From bleached hair to bowling shirts, Guy Fieri is, without a doubt, one of the most hated celebrity chefs of all time. But what exactly is it that causes droves of people to disdain the seemingly happy-go-lucky guy in the first place? From his brash personality to his lackluster restaurant in NYC, reviews of Fieri fall flat. Here are 14 reasons why this chef is nothing but a culinary catastrophe.
1. He changed the Food Network, and not for the better
Gone are the days of peaceful cooking shows in sunlit kitchens — all thanks to one man, and one man only. We have Fieri to blame for this plummet in quality cooking programming. “The Food Network’s programming schedule should be populated with the pacifying voices of Ina, Martha, Nigella, even Mario Batali,” Farsh Askari writes in Salon. “Instead we get Guy Fieri screaming at us to adopt a diet that will at best yield diabetes.”
2. Fieri has been accused of being homophobic and anti-Semitic
This type of thing should never fly, but for some reason, it seems as though a handful of celebrity chefs have garnered reputations for being less than accepting of others (Paula Deen, we’re looking at you). And according to Complex, Guy Fieri is one of them.
Fieri sent offensive, threatening emails to other staff members, including former Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives’ producer David Page. One such example of the chef’s appalling dialect? “You can’t send me to talk to gay people without warning! Those people weird me out!” It’s quite possible all that frosting of his tips may have gotten to his brain — and better judgement.
3. He lacks culinary training
You don’t have to have professional training to host a food show, but for those who absolutely can’t stand Guy Fieri, they won’t let this one go. While the chef did go to college, earning his bachelor’s degree in hospitality management from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, he never actually went to culinary school.
However, Fieri did get hands-on restaurant experience after college, managing an Italian restaurant before going on to open — along with a partner — a Johnny Garlic’s in Santa Rosa, California. After opening two more locations, Fieri and his partner, Steve Gruber, went on to open Tex Wasabi’s, fusing Southern BBQ with California-style sushi.
4. He has a tattoo that reads “kulinary gangsta”
Sad, but true. Sketched on Fieri’s forearm are the words “kulinary gangsta.” The ink just proves how egotistical the self-proclaimed genius-chef-turned-Food-Network-star really is. Now, don’t get us wrong, we have nothing against tatted up folks, but this display, in particular, gives us even more ammunition.
5. He had no idea what a diner was when production started
This is yet another example of why some consider Fieri a hack, to put it nicely. In most cases, celebrity chefs and food show hosts alike are, at the very least, experts in the category being featured on the show. Fieri, however, was not. As the host of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, one would assume he’d be in the know of all things diner-related. But no, not Guy.
In fact, Fieri knew of no such thing. According to The Daily Meal, “Fieri hails from a part of the country that doesn’t really have many of the classic, Jersey-style diners, and on the first day of production he still really had no idea what a diner was.”
6. Fieri isn’t his real name
There are tons of folks out there who can’t stand Fieri for a whole host of reasons. And for those who don’t see why someone would change their name — except for taking a spouse’s name or for the sake of necessary protection — this is one of those reasons. Like it or not, some people can’t stand the fact that Fieri was originally born a Ferry.
7. He makes crude jokes
Fieri’s offensive nature seems to be a common theme in his over-the-top delivery during his hosting duties. Poop jokes? We’d say those are more suited for basically anything but a show featuring food. Furthermore, his TV producer claims that objectifying women wasn’t off limits either.
“Anytime any woman mentioned ‘cream,’ Guy went into a sexual riff,” Page told City Pages. “When cutting the show, you had to tell the editors to watch Guy’s eye line, because it’s always on breasts.” Personally, we’d want to stay far, far away from Fieri.
8. He has a huge ego
By this point, Fieri’s feud with Page has been well-publicized. And according to City Pages, the worst of Fieri’s egotistical attitude started once the fame bug bit him. One taste of being on top, and it was Fieri’s world from then on. He stopped showing up for shoots, canceled voice-over sessions, and refused to return his producer’s phone calls.
9. He has an obnoxious entourage
You are the company you keep, and, unfortunately for Fieri’s image, he was running with the wrong crowd. This crowd was so rough, in fact, that they were once almost booted from a hotel for being too rowdy, breaking an elevator and yelling at the staff.
“A posse of friends — a bawdy band of homeboys with names like Gorilla, Kleetus, and Dirty P. — trailed Guy everywhere, and his manager, Tom Nelson, took to calling himself ‘the consigliore,'” City Pages wrote. “The group became know as the Garlic Mafia, and Fieri styled himself as the mob boss.”
10. His lingo is annoying
The Mayor of Flavor Town knows how to deliver off-beat, sometimes corny, and always ridiculous slang in a way no Food Network star has done before. And the result? We watched. And then we watched some more. Are we, perhaps, to blame for Fieri’s wild ride to the top? Well, that’s neither here nor there. The fact of the matter is, some people absolutely despise Fieri’s vocabulary just as much as Bourdain does, which is saying a lot.
If you’ve ever watched his show, you’re no stranger to such off-the-wall lingo. Bomb-dot-com tasty. Lights-out delicious. Festival of Funk. Funkalicious. Apparently, the guy really loves funk.
11. His restaurant sucks
While Fieri has a whole host of spots offering mediocre American fare, the true star here is Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square, which opened to absolutely scathing reviews. In quite possibly the most impressive restaurant write-up of all time (honestly, it’s worth the read), Pete Wells writes that Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar is so terrible, it has him questioning whether the love and dedication to greasy joints that Fieri displays on television is nothing but an act. Yikes.
Even the reviews from the public were awful. So awful, in fact, that Fieri’s PR firm almost had him apologize for the food quality and shut down the restaurant temporarily. Not too surprisingly, though, Fieri claimed critics filed the reviews too soon, according to The Huffington Post.
12. He’s not doing middle America any favors by trying to represent them
We have to give it to them; some of Fieri’s top defenders come up with some pretty absurd cases for why he’s not a bad guy after all. But really, what they’re doing is nothing more than putting down certain groups of people by way of comparing them to Fieri in the first place.
As Wetword put it, Fieri isn’t actually as helpful as some people say he is. Fieri’s not, in fact, a “proverbial white knight of normal, average, hard-working, unpretentious Midwestern diners who are oppressed and marginalized by hoity-toity East and West Coast chefs …”
13. He wears a douchey get up
Fieri’s appearance is often likened to that of a douchebag — and for good reason. Frosted tips, backwards sunglasses, and flame shirts aren’t exactly classy. Fieri has so many critics, in fact, that it’s hard to know where to start. But luckily, we found the perfect place. In 2015, one of the chef’s biggest, most famous critics, Anthony Bourdain, took the opportunity to rip on Fieri during his standup tour, Close to the Bone.
According to Atlanta Magazine, Bourdain was quick to discuss Fieri’s famous look, post-kid. “So I sort of feel in a heartfelt way for Guy [Fieri]. I wonder about him. He’s 52 years-old and still rolling around in the flame outfit … What does he do? How does Guy Fieri de-douche?” And Bourdain isn’t the only one who’s put off by his getup. One Reddit user even took time to “un-douche Guy Fieri with Photoshop.”
14. Basically, he just thinks he’s the man
By this point, you’re probably well-aware of why so many people hate Fieri. And if you’ve never seen him in action for yourself, hopefully this list won’t sway your opinion too much (we kid). In all honesty, Fieri is brash, loud, and obnoxious. He rolls around in his red convertible, walking into establishments only to shout loser-like phrases at us, the viewers, with no sense of tact whatsoever.
Essentially, he’s suffering from a condition that’s hard to cure: “The Man” Syndrome. He thinks he’s nothing short of perfection incarnate, and for that, he’s one of the most hated celebrity chefs in America. Seeing as we don’t want to leave you on a sour note, though, we’ve managed to find a little bit of good in the guy.
Guy’s saving grace
While most things about Fieri are totally and 100% inexcusable, most folks have at least one saving grace. And for Fieri, it comes in the form of helping others. More specifically, the chef supports a charity dedicated to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Additionally, even if you hate his shows on the Food Network, here’s a little reason not to: A lot of the places featured often see a huge ramp in business after the show airs. So, at least we can take comfort in knowing he’s helping support small businesses across the country.