Guy Fieri has somehow morphed into a scapegoat of sorts over the years: The affable celebrity chef has been the butt of existential jokes, the recipient of bad restaurant reviews, and the subject of some odd headlines. But we've got the 52-year-old foodie all wrong, writes Scaachi Koul for BuzzFeed. Koul gets the impulse that—quoting comedian Shane Torres—"because [Fieri's] hair looks like he was electrocuted while drinking Mountain Dew, people act like we need to saw his head off and put it on the internet." But, she adds, "in a world where everyone's struggling through the quicksand of reality, Fieri is a king among slugs" who seems to be a "deeply non-awful human being."
To back up this claim, Koul goes down the list of praiseworthy Fieri feats: He officiated at the 2015 weddings of more than 100 same-sex couples as a tribute to his late sister, fed evacuees from the California wildfires in 2017 and 2018, and most recently raised money for restaurant workers affected by the coronavirus (at least $20 million so far). He also seems to be a generally nice guy overall, with "remarkably few stories" suggesting otherwise, Koul writes. As for his decidedly non-gourmet fare, which often gets panned? "It's big, it's flavorful, it's easy to make, and it's dumb as hell," Koul writes. "Is any other chef making food so perfectly attuned to this current moment?" In short, Koul writes, Guy Fieri is "the hero we need." Read the full column. (Read more Guy Fieri stories.)