Guy Fieri’s multitude of zany quips and catchphrases -- as anyone who’s watched Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, will tell you -- have rendered him the most divisive and linguistically dextrous chef in Flavor Town, USA. Similarly integral to Fieri’s brand are his culinary creations, chief among which is Donkey Sauce. The fabled Fieri-born condiment graces the menus of the restaurateur’s many establishments across the country.
Now, Donkey Sauce flew under the radar for quite sometime, with foodies surmising that the enigmatic slather was really a concoction dreamt up in the spiky head of Fieri himself. Oh, but how we were duped. As Fieri revealed in an exhaustive interview with Thrillist, Donkey Sauce is pretty much standard fare throughout the eateries of America, because it’s far less mystifying than previously believed. As the chef explained, Donkey Sauce is really just aioli.
“If we called it aioli, does that make it sexier? It's aioli,” Fieri explained. In reality, a simple aioli masquerading as a different kind of sauce just plays into the chef's marketing genius. If it were just aioli, Fieri reasons, no one would care. Donkey Sauce, on the other hand, makes a lasting impression.
“This goes back to that exact comment that I said in the beginning: it's about moderation," he said. "I called it Donkey Sauce because you have to make fun of it. It's a quintessential ingredient in so many aspects of food, yet probably not the most beneficial except for flavor, probably the least beneficial, but it does have its place.”
Then, Fieri assumes the position of foodie-philosopher-king, discussing the role that food plays in our lives more generally. (Somehow, this all still relates to Donkey Sauce, or aioli):
“All food has its place," Fieri said. "Pepperoni pizza has its place. Pastries have their place. Croissants have their place. The thing is picking when, where, how, what, and why you eat them. I think if you are going to eat a croissant, you should eat a really great one. I don't know that you should eat the one that came packaged that was made three weeks ago in Schenectady and shipped in a box to your store in California.”
For more musings on the deep-fried life and times of Guy Fieri -- including his thoughts on the Fieri Effect -- check out the entirety of his interview with Thrillist.