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Foodie News Direct to Your In-Box (Plus Guy Fieri - Douche or No Douche?)

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Posted: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 10:26 am

In two hours, 21,253 plugged-in Weekly tastebuddies will receive their regular Wednesday serving of Wine & Dine nuggets via e-mail.

The midday-humpday insights, which were originally called "In Box Lunch," include everything from local wine finds to fast updates on foodie events to sneak peeks at new restaurants.

Of late those have included a spotlight on local sparkling wines for the holidays, slideshows of killing and plucking organic turkeys and a video of eating 75 types of fried chicken.

We aim to offer exclusive content not found in print or elsewhere in local media, like our ahead-of-the-opening slideshow of The Bench at Pebble Beach.

This week we peek at Carmel's newest Italian restaurant, La Balena, which opened last week, anticipate all-you-can-eat crab and ask whether Chalone has lost its edge.

To sign up, visit Input your email, and you get an option to receive our other e-newsletter publications too. Hot Pick Weekend arrives Friday with trailers of movies debuting, staff picks for fun happenings and even notes on free activities. Extra Helping of Squid keeps news nerds and drama insiders a look into the often unseemly but interesting and important world of politics and general absurdity, plus a dose of Ask a Mexican and links to the top local news stories on the web that week.

This week, Extra Squid addressed an alleged Guy Fieri sighting in Hollister over Thanksgiving:

Guy Fieri: Douche or Genius?

Squid doesn't know much. Manners, electronics and hygiene rank among Squid’s many areas of ignorance.

But Squid knows how to have a good time.

Which makes Squid admire Guy Fieri. Dude may not be able to cook or lay off the peroxide, but he knows how to enjoy himself.

At Pebble Beach Food and Wine last spring, for instance, he didn't let the tricky concepts of education or ability gunk up his cooking demos, which were the most raucous and entertaining of the weekend. At last year's event he was the only "chef" brave enough to make that ever-elusive master dish, stir fry, accessible to the masses. He warned the crowd that they were free not to laugh at his silly humor, though that would mean his jokes "would only get worse," and proceeded to make several cocktails, infer there might be tastes coming for everyone else, then drink them while the $60-or-so-a-head audience tasted nothing. For dessert at the after-party, he courageously took on former Weekly intern Zeek Kim in a dance off. That rules.

In Hollister this Thanksgiving, Fieri was looking out for number one's good times again, or at least Gawker reported as much.

Asking "Was Guy Fieri the Biggest Douche in the Woods this Thanksgiving?," they cited a tipster, who alleged the following:

Techno music booming through huge speakers, camp fires burning, small motorcycles throwing up dust and exhaust all contributed to an apocalyptic scene. Unnamed officials approached a group of 10 to 15 RVs circled around a group of 100+ partiers. After a tense period of initial stare-down between John law and the party people (a macho ritual called "mad dogging") the music was turned down. Ring leader of this merry band of dickheads? Guy Fieri!

The author of the post, Myles Tanzer, took the opportunity to announce Fieri is "Mountain Dew in human form." He explained that "contrary to popular belief [Fieri’s] not a member of Smash Mouth." He reported the star of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives is trying to rehab his image after his Times Square Guy's American Kitchen & Bar was chewed up and vomited out by the New York Times. (The best line: “And when we hear the words Donkey Sauce, which part of the donkey are we supposed to think about?”)

Squid doesn't know about that, but Squid does know Tanzer and the Times' Pete Wells and many of the people who weighed in on Gawker question—"Isn't Guy Fieri the biggest douche in the woods every day of the year?" said one—miss the point completely. (Tanzer also missed the mark, later admitting the tipster was off.)

Fieri isn't a douche because he is making a mint serving subpar food to touristy knuckleheads in Times Square—apparently Wells was expecting the work of fellow PBFW regular, Thomas Keller—or acting however the hell he feels like in front of audiences. No, for that he’s a millionaire.

The octothorp guy who posted the comment “If you can't stand the heat, get out of Flavortown” is a lot closer to getting it than they are. (Same for natdog, who wondered, "Guy Fieri listens to techno? I always thought of him as more of a Limp Bizkit kind of guy.”)

To Squid, Fieri is a douche because he's started to care what people think, appearing on The Today Show to suggest the critic Wells had another agenda. Guy’s place isn’t for Wells, and is probably doing even better with all the attention.

Squid thinks not caring what people think has made Fieri what he is—so swerving course now and dedicating vital energy to whether people give a shit is a waste of rocket fuel that could be better spent elsewhere. Like having a good time.

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