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Guy Fieri has come out swinging his kitchen knife against a particularly scathing critic. The Food Network personality stopped by Today on Thursday to defend himself against a New York Times review that trashed his new Times Square restaurant, Guy's American Kitchen & Bar. Written entirely in questions, the review has gone viral -- but Fieri says it "went overboard" and reeks of an "agenda" on the writer's part. Watch the segment below!
"To me, it's impossible to come in and have a dining experience and have every single thing wrong... you want to sensationalize something and blow it out of the water," Fieri told Today host Savannah Guthrie. "It's a great way to make a name for yourself, go after a celebrity chef who is not a New Yorker."
The New York Times piece, which is being called the worst restaurant review in the paper's history, finds fault with every aspect of Fieri's restaurant, including the service, the menu descriptions and the decor. But the most pointed insults are reserved for the food. "How did nachos, one of the hardest dishes in the American canon to mess up, turn out so deeply unlovable?" asks critic Pete Wells. He also asks rhetorically why a watermelon margarita "tastes like some combination of radiator fluid and formaldehyde," why a toasted marshmallow "tastes like fish," and how he managed to cook carrots that "combine a tough, nearly raw crunch with the deadened, overcooked taste of school cafeteria vegetables."
It's a very funny review, which is why so many people are sharing it on Facebook. But Fieri says that it was entirely unfair for the Times to review a large restaurant in its first two months of business, when they're still working out the kinks.
"He came in four times to a restaurant that's been open two months? That's tough times, especially in this size of a restaurant," sniffed Fieri. " I've been in the restaurant business 25 years. This is an ever-changing, ever-evolving process... Do we do it perfect? No. Are we striving to do it perfect? Yes."
The chef, who is best known for his TV appearances, said that his eleven restaurants are where his "heart and soul" lie -- the Times Square one included. Fieri pointed out that he personally wrote the menu, worked with the kitchen and trained the staff. "I was here painstaking hours... but this is what I love," he told Guthrie.
While Fieri stands by his food, the New York Times is also standing by its review. "I did go in there hoping there would be good things on the menu," said Wells, quoted in a follow-up piece. "This is important American food that makes a lot of people very happy. And since that’s the case, you ought to do it right."
Which is exactly what Fieri believes that he's doing. "I'm doing the type of food that America loves, and I'm doing it the right way," he said on Today. Guess the hungry tourists of America will have to be the final judge!