Though Fieri told Koppelman he doesn’t want to bring any negative energy to the table, he also admitted that doesn’t always love the dishes he’s fed on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, as Eater first reported. Koppelman pointed out that avid viewers of the show can tell the difference between when Fieri is amazed by a dish and when he’s…not.
“I’m not selling you a bag of beans, baby,” Fieri said, adding that chefs who have watched the show for years often question if he liked something based on his reaction. “We’ll go to commercial, and they’ll go, ‘Well, did you like that?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah it was good.’ And they’ll go, ‘Well you didn’t go, like, ‘This is off the hook!’ And I’m like, ‘Well, it was good.’”
“I’m like, ‘Don’t be offended,'” Fieri added. “I don’t like every song that’s on the Rolling Stones album. There’s ones that you like.”
The Guy’s Grocery Games host also shared his own experiences with receiving negative feedback, including Pete Wells’ famous New York Times zero-star review for the now-closed Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar in Times Square.
“It hurts my feelings if someone tells me that they don’t like my shoes,” Fieri said. “You know, I’m a person. I mean I’m tough, but I’m not gonna bulls— anybody to say that we don’t all have feelings. We have to get through very pivotal times in our life and not let them cement us in this catacomb of defining us, and by no means was that going to define me.”
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RELATED VIDEO: My Food Story: Guy Fieri
Although Fieri’s mantra is to spread positivity, and his primary job is to highlight a restaurant’s most famous dishes, he said sometimes chefs do ask for advice on how they could improve—and often, it’s in the small details. For example, Fieri told Koppelman that a common problem is that people don’t “treat” their bun. He tells them, “You’ve done all this work. You’ve got this fresh, local beef. You’ve grown the vegetables yourself. You make this fantastic aioli,” Fieri said. “And then you slap it on a bun out of a plastic bag and you didn’t toast it? You didn’t butter it? You’ve got to give it treatment.”
But instead of just giving the chefs advice, Fieri takes a more hands-on approach, and actually cooks the dish with them, or in this case, gives the bun a little love.
“I’m not there to tell them how to change their restaurant. That’s not my job,” Fieri said. “That’s not what my show is all about. But if they ever ask, I always want to offer advice to them if I can, and help them out. I mean, as we all do as chefs, we all support one another, and we all try to help each other grow.”