6 Chefs Who Love Guy Fieri And 5 Who Can't Stand Him

On The Food Network, and food television in general, there is a serious argument to be made that Guy Fieri is the most recognizable face (and hair) nationwide. As he catapulted himself from winning the second-ever season of "Food Network Star," Fieri built an empire. Since then he's hosted over 25 shows including "Guy's Big Bite," "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives," "Guy's Grocery Games," "Tournament of Champions," and more. His success has even earned him ten Emmy Nominations and two Emmy wins to solidify his stardom.

When you make it to the top, as they say, it can come with equal parts love and hate. Fieri could be looked at as a sort of bombastic everyman representation of Americana. This archetype goes against what many more craft-laden, worldly, culture-driven chefs consider to be of value. As he has risen in the ranks, Fieri has had his fair share of skeptics. But he has also had chefs admire the accessibility of his televised delivery to American audiences. Though support does seem to outweigh the negativity, we have put together a breakdown of the chefs who uplift Fieri and those who can't seem to stand him.

Buddy Valastro is Guy Fieri's dad pal

It is not a surprise that two big fun-loving Italian celebrity TV chefs get along splendidly. The two chefs even have restaurants in Las Vegas near one another; Guy Fieri's Vegas Kitchen and Bar and Buddy V's Ristorante. In 2021, Valastro posted a wholesome father-and-son lunch picture to his Instagram expressing the duo's deep friendship. It was not the first or last time the two dad pal's have been seen together as the two Food Network favorites cross paths at many events and show tapings.

In May of 2020, Valastro even appeared on an episode of "Guy's Grocery Games." He featured as a boisterous guest judge and even proclaimed the day to be "Dessert Games." When one watches the episode the chemistry between the two chefs and hosts is palpable. As the contestants peruse the shelves for ingredients to fulfill Fieri and Valstro's challenges, the two banter with sheer delight.

Guy Fieri loves to feature Benny Lin on his show

When Guy Fieri calls you one of his "favorite chefs" and you own a Chinese American restaurant in the not-so-destination-friendly North Pole, it's safe to say you are gonna have some affection for the celebrity chef. Benny Lin and his flagship Pagoda restaurant cooks up high-quality Chinese American staples with a focus on local seafood in the frigid arctic temperatures. He has appeared on "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" twice to feature Pagoda and even competed in a 2016 tournament featuring chefs highlighted on the show.

Fieri hangs out with Lin much more than just on set and in TV studios. The duo can even be seen hiking together with Chef Aristo from Aristo's Greek Restaurant, another chef featured on "DDD." Fieri's relationship with Lin is very representative of Fieri's ethos at its best: highlighting high-quality restaurants in places you may have never considered would be food destinations.

Richard Blais and Guy Fieri call each other friends

To say "Top Chef" winner Richard Blais is a regular on "Guy's Grocery Games" would be an understatement. He has judged countless episodes and even competed on the show multiple times with varying levels of success. Blais can also be seen out at many of Fieri's events for charity or even when he's being honored as a chef preparing the congratulatory meal.

Blais is not shy about mentioning his friendship with Fieri in conversation and even interviews. Blais praises Fieri for his household name status, a label he hopes applies to himself someday. But Blais doesn't just hold reverence for Fieri's ability to climb the TV ladder. He also makes sure to let people know that Fieri got to where he is through a top-tier work ethic. Blais is well on his way to the status of those TV chefs he has worked alongside and doesn't seem to take his relationship with Fieri, Gordon Ramsey, or Rachel Ray for granted.

Guy Fieri mourned Carl Ruiz when he passed away

It seemed that Chef Carl Ruiz's death affected no one more on the TV chef universe he occupied than Guy Fieri. Ruiz first garnered exposure from Fieri himself. His Italian deli Marie's was featured on "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" in 2013. But that was just the beginning. Ruiz appeared on a staggering 64 episodes of "Guy's Grocery Games" from 2016 to 2020. He first began as a contestant and won so many times that Fieri eventually made him a regular judge.

On "GGG," Ruiz would regularly praise Fieri for helping to turn his life around and become a family man. This, Ruiz claimed, is what sent him on a path to sustained success in his culinary career. Fieri showed Carl Ruiz much affection in return confirming their friendship. After Ruiz' tragic passing, Fieri sent out countless messages honoring his legacy. He even started a tipping campaign in his friend's honor where he encouraged everyone to leave generous tips at local restaurants. 

Marc Marrone called Guy Fieri's energy incredible

As much as career chefs at times have had a distaste for Fieri, chef Marc Marrone is a staggering exception. The New York Post reported on a delightful meeting between the two at Marrone's Salt Lake City restaurant Italian Graffiti in 2023. Fieri went to the restaurant and was bombarded with dish after dish from the chef. Marrone even commented to The Post about how much he admired Fieri's energy and reverence for the entirety of the kitchen workers. He even further went on to acknowledge that Fieri was a unique guest in terms of how he acknowledged and showed gratitude to the entire staff.

Fieri continued, after this encounter, to show up for Marrone. He even stood by his side at his cooking demo at NBA All Star weekend later in 2023 about which Marrone posted gloatingly on Instagram. Once Fieri finds fellow chefs he reveres, who treat him with respect, he seems to make sure to support them in a variety of ways. It's safe to say the Guy Fieri food TV universe is vast and constantly growing, so it's hard to wonder why someone like Marrone wouldn't want to be on his good side. This rapport proves Fieri may not be as obnoxious as people think.

Guy Fieri gave Brooke Williamson career-changing advice

Not only does "Top Chef" winner Brooke Williamson work with Fieri on food TV constantly, but she credits him with giving her advice that changed her culinary trajectory. This shifting moment occurred as she was judging contestants on Fieri's show "Guy's Grocery Games." As Williams was much more used to being on the cooking side of the table, she confessed that this new authoritative position felt out of her wheelhouse. Fieri suggested a way to help was slowing down in the delivery of her feedback giving the contestants more time to process her critique for improvement. Williamson expressed admiration for this simple feedback as it made her more effective in assisting those who were pouring their hearts out onto plates.

Williamson is not only aligned with Fieri for his sage direction. She also clearly thrives within the structures of his shows as a competitor. Williamson even won the first season of Fieri's most recent hit show "Tournament of Champions." Fieri praised Williamson after her underdog win against seasoned chef Amanda Freitag claiming she was "the fiercest competitor in the culinary battlefield."

Tom Collichio isn't a fan of Guy's Grocery Games

One of the hosts and judges of the most decorated food competition shows ever, "Top Chef," is chef Tom Colicchio. It is not all that surprising that he would throw some shade at his competitor's competition shows especially when they air on different networks. Colicchio was also an accomplished chef well before his TV stardom taking a more traditional path in showing his culinary expertise. As the two now TV celebrities come from different worlds and backgrounds, their differing executions in style make sense.

Colicchio was not shy at all when appearing on his network partner Andy Cohen's show. He sharply wondered aloud how "Guy's Grocery Games" was even aired in the first place. When you think about the integrity of a show like "Top Chef," this feedback holds up. That show strives to test top tier chef's craft much more than seeing how they will respond when put in kooky circumstances. Different points of view on what is presentable will always stir conflict.

David Chang doesn't like Guy Fieri's style

David Chang and Anthony Bourdain share a disdain for the TV world of Guy Fieri. At a 2009 NY Food conference, Chang did not mince words about how he thinks Fieri's presentation is culinarily distasteful. His main critique of the celebrity tv chef was using his seemingly goofy appearance to hold the audience's attention rather than it being a laser focus on the food itself.

Since these statements, it's safe to say Chang has forayed himself much more into the TV world and even in 2023 executive produced a show, "Secret Chef," which featured an animated chef's hat as host. Yet still, Chang comes from a different ethos than Fieri. Chang cut his teeth with his restaurant Momofuku Noodle Bar in the treacherously competitive Manhattan dining scene. Fieri came up directly on The Food Network. One could say they were destined to always be a bit at odds.

Alton Brown thinks DDD needs to cut down on airtime

Food Network stars dishing Food Network shade?! It can't be. Alton Brown broke the shared station code when he threw a bit of shade towards Guy Fieri during an interview at a convention in 2017. Brown's return of his show "Good Eats," he sharply teased, would be cutting Fieri's daytime runtime of "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives" from eight hours to seven and a half. He then went on to retort insinuating that Fieri was hogging all the air time rather than allowing others space to show some diversity in programming on the network. It could be said that this subtle critique was in jest (or jealousy), but there was a time where "DDD" was absolutely on The Food Network so often it was staggering.

While Brown is no stranger to the gimmick, take his show "Cutthroat Kitchen" for example, he does sit more on the technical side of food TV than Fieri. This could be an explanation for why the duo have been at odds before as Brown may wish his ideas for more niche audiences had more staying power. Fieri is a food TV people person and Alton is a history and science food tv person, simple as that.

Mario Batali wasn't impressed by Guy Fieri's culinary skills

Mario Batali was a long time culinary behemoth who was known as an arbiter of Italian cuisine and an "Iron Chef." It checks out that he would think someone whose come-up was on food TV rather than in restaurants wouldn't hold water to he and other more skilled chefs. During a taping of ABC's "The Chew" in 2016, Batali critiqued Anthony Bourdain's preparation of the Korean dish Budae Jjigae saying the recipe was so simple Guy Fieri could execute it. Bourdain was of course enthused yet insulted by the insinuation.

Batali probably should have been much less concerned with Fieri's skill level at that time and much more focused on his behavior which would lead to his shunning from the food entertainment space. In 2017, Batali was hit with a barrage of sexual misconduct accusations which sent his career on a downward spiral. In 2023, Batali tried to attempt a slow comeback via a livestream but former fans were not having it.

Guy Fieri and Anthony Bourdain had a years-long beef

Guy Fieri's most legendary hater was Anthony Bourdain. Bourdain pretty simply and blatantly did not think Fieri's style represented the culinary world well. He also didn't particularly like Fieri as a figurehead for what food was good food on a show like "Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives." Bourdain came from a more trained and traditional background while Fieri made his way up through the ranks of food entertainment. Fieri at one point even called out Bourdain for what he viewed as hatred fueled by snobbery.

One could say that Fieri stands for more of middle America (plus where they like to visit as tourists ie. Times Square and the Vegas strip), while Bourdain stood for the country's culturally diverse urban epicenters. This is a feud that was built on ethos. Bourdain cracked joking digs in Fieri's direction whenever he got a chance during their tragic feud and once even claimed comedy would be dead if he was ever expected to stop doing so. When Bourdain passed away, Fieri was not surprisingly quiet.