Guy Fieri has come a long way in the last decade. From relative TV obscurity, to international stardom, the world’s spikiest chef is now the proud face of the Food Network and owner of restaurants across America. Not bad for a man who’s food was once described by The New York Times as “tasting like chewy air”.
Despite this less-than glowing review, Fieri’s food empire has grown to include an array of aggressively eccentric fusion kitchens, including barbecue-sushi chain “Tex Wasabi” and self-described “California pasta grill”, “Johnny Garlic’s”. As mad as the cooking may sound, there’s no denying that it has proved a hit with customers. For the thousands who visit Fieri’s joints every year, his latest announcement promises to be one of his most exciting yet.
After launching his first ever dedicated chicken tenders restaurant with “Planet Hollywood” owner Robert Earl last year, Fieri has decided that the time has come to show the rest of America what it’s been missing. Expanding from their original location in Disney Springs, Orlando, the duo have revealed plans to launch a second “Chicken Guys!” site in nearby Miami - intending to turn the business into a national franchise as soon as possible.
It goes without saying that, at “Chicken Guy!”, chicken plays a prominent role. The menu offers grilled or fried tenders, stuffed into sandwiches, salads, or just served solo. Together with sides that include “Loaded Mac Daddy Mac ‘N’ Cheese”, “Loaded Fries” and ice creams that have enough calories to satisfy a fully grown African elephant, the restaurant is as much about chicken as it is about comfort food.
However, despite all the poultry on display, the real star of “Chicken Guy!” is the restaurant’s almost impossibly extensive range of 22 signature sauces. Tantalisingly described as “meant to please all palates,” the vast condiment collection provides a ready-made bucket load of dips for turning standard chicken strips into a sticky, dripping delight.
The full list of available sauces, which naturally includes Fieri’s infamous “Donkey”, allows customers to choose from Ranchero Sauce, Curry Mayo, Wasabi Honey, Cumin Lime Mojo, Garlic Parmesan, Avocado Crema, Bourbon Brown Sugar, Buffalo, Bleu Cheese, Buttermilk Ranch, Lemon Pepper, Honey Mustard, Teriyaki, Sweet ’n’ Sour, Chipotle Ranch, Nashville Hot Honey, Peri Peri, Habanero Hot Sauce, Spicy Mayo, Sweet Sriracha BBQ and, rather cryptically, “Special”. If, for some unknown reason, this list doesn’t deliver the required flavour injection, guests can presumably request a cauldron and mix them all together.
Though there is as yet no news regarding openings outside of Florida, it seems likely that Fieri intends to make good on his promise to roll out “Chicken Guy!” nationwide. How long it takes the rest of America to taste Guy’s “Special Sauce” remains to be seen. Given how quickly the good people of Florida have taken to the franchise, it seems unlikely that they will have to wait another year.