Celebrity chef Andrew Gruel has blasted Governor Gavin Newsom’s lockdown and said he will refuse to shut his California restaurant when there is ‘zero scientific evidence’ linking outdoor dining to COVID-19 cases.
Gruel posted a video on Twitter Thursday where he ranted about the state’s new stay-at-home order and hit back at critics who branded him a ‘grandmother-killer’ for saying he would defy the rules.
‘I’m not an a**hole, the governor is,’ the chef fumed in the 1 minute 32 second clip.
This comes as Newsom announced Thursday he will plunge regions of the state into lockdown within a matter of days, banning outdoor dining for restaurants already teetering on the brink of collapse amid the pandemic.
California’s virus outbreaks is rapidly getting out of control, with the state smashing its own record for new daily coronavirus cases Friday, with more than 22,000 infections in a single day.
Celebrity chef Andrew Gruel has blasted Governor Gavin Newsom’s lockdown and said he will refuse to shut his California restaurant when there is ‘zero scientific evidence’ linking outdoor dining to COVID cases
Gruel, the former star of Food Network’s Food Truck Face Off, posted the scathing video Thursday and vowed not to stop serving outdoor diners at his Huntington Beach seafood restaurant Slapfish.
‘Okay, I’ve got everybody blowing up my replies right now, saying I’m a grandmother-killer, and that we don’t take this pandemic seriously. So I’m just going to address it all right here, so that I actually don’t have to individually go back and forth and box with every single one of these fake accounts,’ Gruel raged.
‘So, here’s the situation… Do we take the pandemic seriously? Of course we do. Am I saying that we shouldn’t close outdoor dining? Yes, I am.
‘At every single juncture along the way here, from the beginning shut-down to today, we’ve listened to all of the advice from our government officials, only to be shut down over and over and over again, and then not compensated for the elements that we put in place in our businesses in order to protect our customers.’
The famous chef grew more heated as he said he had followed all the rules to date and blew ‘thousands of dollars’ on outdoor heaters so he could continue to serve diners as temperatures plummet over winter.
‘We shut down indoor dining. No problem. I got a warehouse full of plexiglass right now. Okay? We went outdoors. All right? Now that’s getting shut down. I just put thousands of dollars into outdoor heaters,’ he said.
He went on to question why people can fly on an airplane but not visit a restaurant outdoors under the governor’s rules.
The chef also fumed that ‘big businesses’ are ‘getting rich’ during the pandemic whereas small businesses like restaurants are being crippled by the restrictions.
Gruel posted a video on Twitter Thursday where he ranted about the state’s new stay-at-home order and hit back at critics who branded him a ‘grandmother-killer’ for saying he would defy the rules. Chef Andrew Gruel attends the 2015 Art Of Elysium dinner with photographer John Russo on April 22 2015 in Los Angeles
‘I’m not an a**hole, the governor is,’ the chef fumed in the 1 minute 32 second clip and vowed not to stop serving outdoor diners at his Huntington Beach seafood restaurant Slapfish (above)
‘There is zero scientific evidence that proves that outdoor dining is contributing to a rise in cases related to this, all right?’ he said.
‘I am only saying that we are going to continue dining outdoors, because I can get on an airplane, and I can fly and eat and do whatever I want – and don’t tell me it’s the HEPA filters, okay? Because that’s not the case. You don’t turn those on until you get onto the plane.
‘Before that, everybody’s fornicating on top of each other. I can go into WalMart. Heck, I don’t even have to wear pants. Nobody wears a mask at WalMart.
‘I can go get a pink cockatoo for my Christmas tree, but I can’t go and dine outdoors at a restaurant.
‘I can go to Target. Amazon is making a ton of money. All big businesses getting rich.’
He concluded by reinforcing his refusal to comply and slamming Newsom an ‘a**hole’.
This comes as Newsom (above) announced Thursday he will plunge regions of the state into lockdown within a matter of days, banning outdoor dining for hard-hit restaurants
‘Okay outdoor dining does not lead to any of that, therefore screw that,’ he said.
‘We’re staying open outdoors. It’s that simple. I’m not an a**hole, the governor is.’
Gruel sparked debate on social media earlier Thursday when he said he would not follow Newsom’s new stay-at-home order with some slamming his actions and others vowing to support him if he stays open.
‘Newsome bans outdoor dining for the entire state of California. What did I say yesterday? I will not comply,’ he tweeted.
He fired off several tweets asking if the government would reimburse him for the cost of outdoor heaters and calling the lockdown ‘unconstitutional’.
‘Just spent thousands on these outdoor heat lamps. Will be dropping these off at my local gov office for a full refund plus 10% interest,’ he tweeted, alongside an image of outdoor heaters.
When asked by one social media user ‘What part of pandemic don’t you understand?’, Gruel responded: ‘The part where we can fly on airplanes and shop at indoor Petri dishes like Walmart but can’t eat food outside.’
Gruel fired off several tweets blasting the lockdown and Gov. Newsom
After his first video rant, Gruel posted a second Friday where he hit out at Newsom again and accused the governor and several other state officials of ‘hypocrisy’ after they have been caught flouting – or at least bending – their own rules
On Thursday, Newsom issued a new stay-at-home order for regions of California where fewer than 15 percent of intensive care unit beds are available.
The new order divides the state into five regions – Northern California, San Joaquin Valley, Greater Sacramento, Southern California and the Bay Area
But Newsom said four of the regions are on track to hit that threshold within a few days and the fifth – the Bay Area – is expected to meet it by the middle of the month.
When they do surpass 85 percent capacity of ICU beds being full, the state will order affected regions to close hair salons and barber shops, limit retail stores to 20 percent capacity and only allow restaurants to offer take-out and delivery for at least three weeks.
Rather than wait to meet the threshold, Bay Area health officials said Friday they would enter lockdown and close outdoor dining from Sunday as cases soar.
But despite the soaring cases, the news of a lockdown has sparked outrage as it comes as a major blow to the already-struggling restaurant industry.
After his first video rant, which has since garnered more than 10,000 retweets, Gruel posted a second Friday where he hit out at Newsom again and accused the governor and several other state officials of ‘hypocrisy’ after they have been caught flouting – or at the least bending – their own rules.
‘Alright everybody here’s a quick update on my thought process okay because we’re being told we can’t have people dining outdoors yet there’s the backdrop of the information we’re also hearing,’ Gruel began.
‘Governor Gavin Newsom is banning dining indoors when he dined indoors with 22 people,’ he said.
‘He is banning groups of people of more than four or five people when once again he was with 22 people indoors.
‘He’s putting virtue-signaling tweets out there about eating with a mask on and putting a mask on in between bites when he and those 22 people weren’t even wearing masks they were basically slobbing all over each other.’
Gov Newsom dined at French Laundry on November 6 in a group of 12 in a partially enclosed room at a time when he warned Californians about gatherings. Pictured the birthday dinner
This week it emerged Mayor of San Jose Sam Liccardo (pictured) broke state restrictions on the number of households permitted to come together for Thanksgiving celebrations
Liccardo was forced to issue an apology on social media Tuesday after he spent the holiday at his parents’ home where he dined with people from five other households – despite state public health protocols limiting private gatherings to three households
Newsom’s new lockdown rules
California’s latest lockdown order will go into effect in regions that drop below 15 percent available ICU bed capacity, with restrictions lasting for three weeks.
– Limit mixing with other households as much as possible
– Retail held to 20 percent capacity
– Restaurants limited to takeout and delivery
– Full closure of: Playgrounds; indoor recreational facilities; hair salons and barbershops; personal care services; museums, zoos, and aquariums; movie theaters; wineries, bars, breweries, and distilleries; family entertainment centers; cardrooms and satellite wagering; live audience sports; amusement parks
Travel for essential services such as medical care and groceries
Distanced outdoor activity such as hiking
Schools already holding in-person classes
Outdoor religious services
Offices where remote work is not possible
Gruel was referring to Newsom’s now infamous dinner party at Michelin-starred restaurant French Laundry.
The governor was pictured dining with a large group at the restaurant on November 6 in a partially enclosed room at a time when he had hit out at Californians for ‘letting their guard down’ and issued strict Thanksgiving rules.
Photos show he was dining in a group of 12 not 22. The group sat closer than six feet and were not wearing masks.
The full guest list is unclear but it included Newsom and his wife, lobbyist Jason Kinney and California Medical Association’s Janus Norman and Dustin Corcoran.
The room was closed on three sides and open on the fourth, technically falling within the boundaries of outdoor dining.
However the woman who took the photos of the group and provided them to Fox 11 said the sliding glass door on the fourth side was later closed after Newsom’s group became loud.
Newsom faced a backlash when the images emerged and issued an apology saying it was a ‘bad mistake’ and promising to ‘own it’ and move forward.
Several other California officials have also been rocked by accusations of COVID-19 rule-breaking or hypocrisy.
This week it was revealed that San Francisco Mayor London Breed dined at French Laundry just one day after Newsom.
She was there to celebrate socialite Gorretti Lo Lui’s 60th birthday on November 7 with seven guests just three days before she banned indoor dining across the whole of San Francisco amid a surge in virus cases.
It then emerged the Mayor of San Jose broke state restrictions on the number of households permitted to come together for Thanksgiving celebrations.
Mayor Sam Liccardo admitted Tuesday that he spent the holiday at his parents’ home where people from five households dined together – despite state public health protocols limiting private gatherings to three households and him urging San Jose residents to ‘cancel the big gatherings this year and focus on keeping each other safe’ in a message sent out the day before Thanksgiving.
Fresh anger erupted when it was revealed that Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl voted to ban outdoor dining at restaurants in the county and then headed to her favorite restaurant for some outdoor dining that same night.
Kuehl was seen eating outside at Il Forno Trattoria, an Italian restaurant near her home in Santa Monica, California last Tuesday – hours after she described outdoor dining as ‘a most dangerous situation’ in a meeting of the LA County Board of Supervisors.
Gruel hit out at Kuehl and other political figures in his video, saying they are ‘virtue signaling’ and not following their own rules.
‘We find that LA County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl bans outdoor doing but then goes to a restaurant that night to eat – outdoors,’ he said.
‘San Jose Mayor same situation.’
He also pointed to Austin Mayor Steve Adler who apologized Thursday after reports surfaced that a video in which he told residents to stay home was filmed in Cabo, Mexico, while he was on holiday.
‘The Austin mayor is telling everyone they need to stay indoors and need to take one for the team and he is giving that message from Cabo after taking a private jet there with a handful of people,’ he said.
‘What’s happening is we’re being told to do one thing when the people telling us to do that aren’t even following their own rules.
‘There is not science to back up the fact that dining outdoors is leading to a spike in coronavirus cases – you see the hypocrisy.
Gruel added: ‘No one is following their own rules so how serious can these rules be if they’re not following their own rules. Virtue signaling.’
California broke its record for daily new cases on Wednesday with more than 20,000 infections in the last 24 hours.
On Friday, the state smashed this record yet again with 22,018 new daily cases recorded – a 380 percent surge in a month.
The state’s current test positivity rate is now 7.3 percent and hospitalizations are at an all-time high of 9,948.
Statewide 1.28 million people have been infected and 19,623 have died.
Thursday also marked America’s deadliest day on record since the virus first started ravaging the nation.
A total of 2,879 Americans died of coronavirus yesterday, up from its previous single-day record of 2,804 just one day earlier and equivalent to one American dying every 30 seconds.
The number of daily cases and hospitalizations also reached single-day highs with 217,664 new confirmed infections and 100,667 patients.
Of those hospitalized, 19,442 are in the ICU and 6,967 are on ventilators, according to the Covid Tracking Project.