December 25, 2012

"Has anyone ever told you that your high-wattage passion for no-collar American food makes you television’s answer to Calvin Trillin, if Mr. Trillin bleached his hair, drove a Camaro and drank Boozy Creamsicles?"

"When you cruise around the country for your show 'Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,' rasping out slangy odes to the unfancy places where Americans like to get down and greasy, do you really mean it? Or is it all an act?"

3 of the many questions in Pete Wells's now-legendary, all-questions review of Guy's American Kitchen, one of 6 "Must-reads of 2012" in the "food" category, according to the Columbia Journalism Review. Wait — actually, there's one non-question, the last sentence: "Thanks."

Also on the enticing list:

"How the Chicken Conquered the World." ("How did the chicken achieve such cultural and culinary dominance? It is all the more surprising in light of the belief by many archaeologists that chickens were first domesticated not for eating but for cockfighting.")

"Here Are Our Five Favorite Food-Cliché Sentences."
("The velvety-smooth bisque's unctuous mouthfeel is lobster-tastic with its toothsome tidbits. To. Die. For.") I prefer the article upon which this writing game is based: a list of food-writing clichés. ("Mouthfeel: The blow-job-iest of all food words.")

"An Oyster in the Storm." ("[O]ysters... once protected New Yorkers from storm surges [and] played a critical role in stabilizing the shoreline from Washington to Boston.")

"I Was a Cookbook Ghostwriter." ("I know a lot of chefs who write their first book themselves. Then they say "I’ll never do that again." It’s just not worth it.")

"The Twee Party." ("Is artisanal Brooklyn a step forward for food or a sign of the apocalypse?")(By the way: 1.  "artisan" is on that banned clichés list noted above, and 2. art is anal.)


DADvocate said...

"Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" is the only show I watch on the Food Channel. I'd love to follow him around and eat at those joints. True haute cuisine.

Chip Ahoy said...

This is my Christmas present, innit. Bless.

See, now it's just like you to put this much thought to deliver such a personal gift. I do appreciate that. Thank you.

Toni did that. She taught me to pay attention when people indicate what they would like, so that it goes *ding* and then do say something idly.

So I tried it. A woman said a strange thing, easy to dismiss. She mentioned she would like a flute to put on the wall above her bed.

"Where a headboard goes?"

"No, above that."


"So that my nighttime energy can flow through it and make spiritual music when I sleep"



I knew what she meant. A Pan flute. She said she couldn't find one and I know I can find one in 5 seconds, eBay, presently over 1200 Pan flutes. Bought one, a good one, as far as Pan flutes go. Presented it to her with nothing to link it, no occasion, just wrapped it like a valid present and gave it to her.

She opened it, said, "you listened ... " fell quiet slipped into feminine tears.

And stopped seeing me a week later.

So the moral of that story is, the first time of paying attention to people might not work out so well.

pm317 said...

Chip Ahoy, you are better off without that new age hussy.

Synova said...

Alton Brown did a "road food" show. Sometimes he said the diner or dive was great... but if it wasn't he pretty much said so, simply said it was inedible, though he stayed classy and didn't identify the guilty.

Cedarford said...

I must confess, I admire the Asia desire for keeping gambling clean and uncorrupted as possible led them to make games that involved an autonomous entity that couldn't be bribed - which meant fighting cocks, fighting cockroaches, Siamese fighting fish, etc., that were once global in use outside puritanical N European society. Which had a revolt against "sinful" medieval blood sports like bear-baiting.

I also confess, I really can't get too worked up about any "cruelty" to lower order animals like coackroaches that are not trained against their nature to fight, but bred with it hardwired in them. Chicken cocks kill other cocks in the wild..they have real fights to the death, unlike many other species where mating fights are "gentlemanly rituals" where the loser leaves relatively unharmed.
It isn't frikkin dogfighting, folks! And people that think they have to take their morality from being anti-gladiator to anti dogfighting down to pretending to express moral anger and profound grief over chicken or bug-fights are just posturing.

So thanks to the gamblers, a double wing order thanks, for helping spread the chicken globally!

Michael Haz said...

I watch and enjoy Triple D because (1) I like Fieri's energy for his work, (2) I prefer diner food to haute cuisine, and (3) Some of the diner chefs go to astonishing extremes to prepare food that some would deem ordinary.

ricpic said...

If it were only the Wells review I might have my doubts about how awful Fierri's American Kitchen is, but he also got a horrendous review from Steve Cuozzo, the food critic at the NY Post, I mean literally inedible food, so I'm sure it's a disaster.

The thing about Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is that whether Fierri takes a bite out of an overstuffed burger or some really creative Mexican or Cajun dish, it's always the same thumbs up. Suspicious.

The Guy's got charm, no denying that, but I'm beginning to get the sinking feeling that he's all about megabucks and has no genuine concern for the viewers of his show or the customers in his restaurant.

Methadras said...

I like the places Guy Fierre goes to, but I just don't like him. He's the quintessential epitome of the bro douchebag genre. I mean the mid 80's called and they wanted their Van Halen Cabo Wabo party boy schtick back.

Steven said...

To quote Homer Simpson:

"I don't even know how to pronounce art-is-anal."

Aridog said...

If Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive Inns, and Dives" for Detroit and Michigan is any indicator, he's positively a man with no taste for food ... of any kind. Everyone he picks here is pure kitsch and nothing more. Almost like he used Google and skipped actually trying places that locals suggested.

Oh, and as some one previously posted a while back...he's an unsanitary pig who should never be allowed near a kitchen for preparing food for others.

Astro said...

Seems to me the real service DDD provides is to remind folks that those non-chain restaurants can often create some pretty amazing food; that it might be worth your while to skip Applebees and try the blue plate special at your local Miss Mabel's Place. It's also an advertising bonanza for those mom n pop places who don't have much of an advertising budget.
Besides, Guy may be a bit too shtick, but why pick on him? There are worse Food Network shows - like that one done by the NY Governor's mistress. (Can't remember her name.) Or that Barefoot Contessa show.

Astro said...

Sandra Lee.

gerry said...

The artisan chocolatiers and their ensemble of devotees sound really pompous.

Does transporting the beans on an artisan three-master aid the product's taste somehow? Or does that make it simply more egotistic?

ndspinelli said...

ricpic, Rachel Ray gushes over every restaurant entre. Fieri gives subtle thumbs downs, you have to look @ his face and listen to his words.

Fieri is the type of guy I would normally hate. The concept is superb, but like Haz I just like the guy.

Synova said...

If I were doing it, I'd check the place out first and only go to the ones that were good.

I'd probably do the same thing if I was reviewing books. If I can say it's great... include the review. If it's a stinker... skip the review.

So sure, every place this guy goes to is great, yum yum, gets a big thumbs up.

Aridog said...

Snova said...

So sure, every place this guy goes to is great, yum yum, gets a big thumbs up.

Mostly his thumbs are in his food, and that possibly intended for others.

See Chip Ahoy's superb & hilarious comments the last time Fieri's antics were discussed here.