Yes, I want this

There are good guys  in the cable Food Network family. Guy Fieri is one of the good guys. When I read the scathing review by Peter Wells, about his new restaurant, Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar, I had to wonder why Peter Wells was reviewing a restaurant that is not trying to be a Michelin Star restaurant. What is ironic is that the New York Times  had a party at Guy’s restaurant the day the review came out. If you wish to read the review it is here.

Two good guys in the Food Network.

If you read Mr. Well’s columns you will learn: he doesn’t like celebrity chefs, and he doesn’t like chains. Of all the celebrity chefs to pick on, Mr. Wells decides to pick on one whose food is not food that he regularly reviews. So in the spirit of the interview, I decided to answer Peter Wells column – remember, I’m a professional eater, not a professional cook, and I am a doctor – so while I give Mr. Wells a diagnosis of narcissism it is done purely so he can get help, as his status as the food writer at the NY Times has not given him the stage he clearly wishes.

Mr Wells:GUY FIERI, have you eaten at your new restaurant in Times Square? Have you pulled up one of the 500 seats at Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar and ordered a meal? Did you eat the food? Did it live up to your expectations?

Dr. Simpson: Mr. Wells, you set a tone of hostility. First, he was not only there from the start, but brought in staff from other restaurants to run this. Why open with the sneer? Oh, wait- lets start by letting everyone know we will topple the celebrity chef. A key of narcissistic  personality, and common among newspaper people these days. Key feature: Mr Wells you clearly show you  think everyone who is not special and superior is worthless. By definition, normal, ordinary, and average aren’t special and superior, and so, to narcissists, they are worthless. So, it didn’t live up to your expectations- and you went there four times.

Mr. Wells:Did panic grip your soul as you stared into the whirling hypno wheel of the menu, where adjectives and nouns spin in a crazy vortex? When you saw the burger described as “Guy’s Pat LaFrieda custom blend, all-natural Creekstone Farm Black Angus beef patty, LTOP (lettuce, tomato, onion + pickle), SMC (super-melty-cheese) and a slathering of Donkey Sauce on garlic-buttered brioche,” did your mind touch the void for a minute?

Dr. Simpson: You are the wordsmith, and you are asking a guy whose name is Guy about words and acronyms. Do you have to prove your superiority at being a wordsmith? You are a writer for the New York Times – he is a chef. You went to college, crafted words for a living – he spent days slinging hash while you sipped beer at college and debated Plato.

Mr. Wells:Did you notice that the menu was an unreliable predictor of what actually came to the table? Were the “bourbon butter crunch chips” missing from your Almond Joy cocktail, too? Was your deep-fried “boulder” of ice cream the size of a standard scoop?

Dr. Simpson: I’ve had a drink or two that miss the mark. I send it back and ask for another.  These people have been here for two months. But wait, you should know that. You should know that if something comes that isn’t complete it is the mark of a good place to make it right. But when you order it, smile and then write about it for the world to see, well, we have a name for that “passive aggressive.”

Mr. Wells:Were you struck by how very far from awesome the Awesome Pretzel Chicken Tenders are? If you hadn’t come up with the recipe yourself, would you ever guess that the shiny tissue of breading that exudes grease onto the plate contains either pretzels or smoked almonds? Did you discern any buttermilk or brine in the white meat, or did you think it tasted like chewy air?

Dr. Simpson: So the chicken tenders were overcooked in grease. Did you ask for a new plate, or were you being passive-aggressive again. Brine in chicken – oh, I hate when that happens, but you didn’t taste it- well, difference of opinion, but as a physician who deals with food, when you taste brine in chicken you will be getting too much salt. And a chicken tender that tastes like chewy air (what does that mean). Well, most chicken breasts are flavorless, but you should know that.

Mr. Wells:Why is one of the few things on your menu that can be eaten without fear or regret — a lunch-only sandwich of chopped soy-glazed pork with coleslaw and cucumbers — called a Roasted Pork Bahn Mi, when it resembles that item about as much as you resemble Emily Dickinson?

Dr. Simpson: Personal attacks – or is it good he doesn’t resemble Emily Dickinson, or was that just you being cut with sarcasm (meaning to wound and to cut). In many of your columns you praise an interpretation of a new dish, but now you want them to resemble them, and yet you say it can be eaten without fear or regret. So I am confused. The purpose of that question is not to provide an answer.

Mr. Wells:When you have a second, Mr. Fieri, would you see what happened to the black bean and roasted squash soup we ordered?

Dr. Simpson: Why did you wait to ask in the column instead of asking at the restaurant? Oh, another passive-aggressive moment. Do you see a pattern here? Your job is to review a restaurant, it is not to show superiority.

Mr Wells:If a customer shows up with a reservation at one of your two Tex Wasabi’s outlets, and the rest of the party has already been seated, does the host say, “Why don’t you have a look around and see if you can find them?” and point in the general direction of about 200 seats?

Dr. Simpson: Its a 500 seat restaurant. Now, I have this great device called a phone, and if I walked into a restaurant where all those people were seated, I’d call my party and ask where they are, or text them (since in a 500 seat place I can imagine noise is an issue). This isn’t Neta, there are a lot of places, and they don’t always say which table someone goes to, they go where the table is first cleared. But you don’t go to places like this do you? Sorry, it offends your sensibilities.

Mr. Wells: “What is going on at this new restaurant of yours, really?

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?”

Dr. Simpson: Watching Calvin Trillin on television is about as exciting as watching paint dry. Sorry, Mr. Wells, but Guy is the real deal- bigger than life, and since he is good friends with Robert Irvine, who is also the real deal- I would say that I while I would love to have had a cup of coffee with Mr. Trillin and talk food, I would rather spend a day hanging out with Guy.   You are – well, elitist.

Mr. Wells:Tell me, though, why does your kitchen sabotage even its more appealing main courses with ruinous sides and sauces? Why stifle a pretty good bison meatloaf in a sugary brown glaze with no undertow of acid or spice? Why send a serviceable herb-stuffed rotisserie chicken to the table in the company of your insipid Rice-a-Roni variant?

Dr. Simpson: One of the patterns is feeling grandiose with no empathy. You, like myself, are a professional eater, and not a professional cook.Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a pattern of self-centered or egotistical behavior that shows up in thinking and behavior in a lot of different situations and activities. We would put you at moderate impairement because your style seeks to hurt someone, and although it is with writing. It is clear that your aim was to hurt a restaurant, its employees, and to do it without empathy.  You exhibit a sense of self importance and ignore and denigrate the abilities and contributions of others and complain that you receive no help at all; you may inspire your sympathy or admiration for your stoicism in the face of hardship or unstinting self-sacrifice by getting free meals but it is all for the good of (undeserving) others.

Your desire to have everything done in a specific manner, even to having a personal guide show you your table with friends shows you expect automatic compliance with your wishes or especially favorable treatment, such as thinking that you should always be able to go first and that other people should stop whatever they’re doing to do what the narcissists want, and may react with hurt or rage when these expectations are frustrated. Your column was pure rage.

Another trait, Mr Wells, is that you arrogant, haughty, patronizing, or contemptuous behaviors or attitudes. Perhaps you didn’t at the restaurant, but it came across loud and clear in your column.

So Mr. Wells, you fit the criteria of a personality disorder.  Trust me, as a doctor and a foodie, your column is a cry for help. Here is the sad thing, you won’t get it. You not only won’t get help, but if you do this is a disorder that takes years to correct.  Most are intelligent, think they are smarter than the psychiatrist, and will continue to seek to hurt others.