The New York Times' savage review of Guy's American Kitchen & Bar wasn't the first bad press TV chef Guy Fieri's new eatery in Times Square has got from food writers and restaurant critics, prompting much speculation about how Fieri might react.
Here is one possibility . . .
INTERIOR: GUY'S AMERICAN KITCHEN & BAR / IT'S AFTER HOURS AND THE PLACE IS EMPTY
Guy Fieri sits alone at a table near the bar. That day's edition of the New York Times with Peter Wells' devastatingly negative review of his restaurant is before him. He is in despair. A big-screen TV over the bar is showing episodes of Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives with the sound off.
Suddenly, the screen flickers into static and another image appears.... first very fuzzy then clearer and clearer... it's Julia Child!
Yes, Guy, it's me, Julia Child, patron saint to every television chef in America. I'm here to help you.
(Squinting at the TV)
Wait a minute... you're not Julia Child, you're Meryl Streep reprising your role as Julia Child from the movie Julie & Julia!
JULIA CHILD / MERYL STREEP
Okay, yeah, you got me. I'm actually rehearsing my new one-woman tribute to Julia Child's erotic inner life, Fifty Shades of Foie Gras, and I thought I'd stop by and help you out by sending over three spirits to guide your way.
Uh, thanks, I guess... Hey, if you need someplace to have your cast party...
JULIA CHILD / MERYL STREEP
Not on your life...
(Back in character as Julia Child)
The big-screen TV flickers then goes dark.
On the table in front of Guy, Remi, the rat chef from the Pixar movie Ratatoullie appears with big smile.
Hi, guy, I'm here to....
(Jumps up, moritified)
Holy shit! A RAT! First thisreview and now I'm gonna get shut down by the Health Department?!
But I'm not just any rat, it's me, Remi, the genius chef rat from Ratatoullie!
(Grabbing a broom and chasing Remi around the place)
Yeah, and you're from the Disney Channel, not the Food Network... the last thing I need now is an army of Disney lawyers on my ass...
(Breathless and bobbing and weaving away from the broom Fieri is swinging at him)
But I'm here to... remind you that... anyone can cook... that is, apparently... anyone... except... the people in your kitchen...
Fieri finally makes contact with Remi and in a hockey goal-scoring move sends him flying outside, smashing through a front window.
Next to the now-broken window, the front door bursts open. Dramatically backlit from the glow of his camera crew's lights stands Restaurant Impossible's Robert Irvine. He is holding a sledgehammer.
Restaurant Impossible's Robert Irvine!
I'm here to save your bacon, Fieri. Let's have a look in your kitchen.
Fieri, Irvine and his camera crew stroll through the kitchen as Irvine samples bits of dishes on counters and directly from pots on the stoves, resulting in spit take after spit take...
(choking and gagging on some bacon)
Good God, this is awful... just terrible. This is the worst, most horrible food I've ever tasted -- and I'm British! I'm sorry, I can't help you. This restaurant really is impossible.
His camera crew also retching, Irvine walks out.
Paula Deen enters
"Oh, I wasn't talking to you, honey"
She blows by Fieri, picking up a 20-pound bag of sugar on the bar, then lovingly cradles and caresses it.
Oh, come to momma...
I'll be in the kitchen a spell... y'all are gonna wanna knock before comin' in there."
Deen exits toward the kitchen
The darkened big-screen TV over the bar flickers on again, this time revealing the image of Alton Brown.
Well, Guy, now you've seen what trying to slide by on your name and TV show's reputation alone gets you, a restaurant so crappy — even for a tourist-trap in Times Square — that the New York Times feels obligated to warn people away from it. You kinda brought that on yourself — I mean, how do you mess up mac & cheese with bacon in it? — but you can redeem yourself and be proud of the result.
(Sarcastically and rolling his eyes)
And how do I do that, oh great and all-knowing, Mister Food Dweeb?
Hey, put a cork in the attitude, bleach boy, they could've sent Gordon Ramsay... Anyway, first, shut the place down and revamp the menu to reflect and celebrate the kind of food you've tasted in your travels around America. Visitors would love to come into a restaurant of yours and try regional favorites that you've reimagined with your own unique culinary spin. You'd pull in curious tourists as well as New Yorkers originally from other parts of the country for a welcome a taste of home. The place will become a gold mine!
And then what, throw a party to announce that I'm not screwing it up anymore?
Sort of... start by reopening with a Thanksgiving special serving just for the New York Times staff and give them something traditional but fun and unusual — off the hook, as you say — like, oh, I dunno, deep-fried turkey! That'd be perfect! Just be careful with the deep-frying since more than 1,000 people burn down their houses doing it every year.
(Suddenly more interested)
House fires, you say? Thousands of 'em?
That's right. And the amount of grease and propane necessary to deep fry as many turkeys as you'll need for this shindig could be a recipe for disaster in the wrong hands...
(Taking notes while rifling through a folder marked "Restaurant's Insurance Policy")
Propane, grease... yeah, yeah, uh, huh...
Now, you could also try... hey are you even listening?
(On his cellphone)
Midtown restaurant supply? Yeah, I'm gonna need some propane and some grease... lots and lots of grease...
Good God, Guy! You're not gonna burn down your own ...
(As he grabs the remote to turn off the TV)
That's right, science boy, I'm taking this place from Restaurant Impossible to Restaurant Inflammable! I'll be totally off the hook, baby!
As Alton Brown looks out horrified, Fieri clicks the remote and the screen goes dark.
(Speaking into cellphone)
Yeah, I'm still here... eh, Mastercard...
(Going through cash drawer)
No, wait, make that cash...