‘I’m Not An A**hole, The Governor Is’: Celebrity Chef Blasts Newsom’s COVID-19 Regulations


A celebrity chef in California posted a video on Twitter explaining why his restaurant chain will remain open despite Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom’s lockdown mandate.

Chef Andrew Gruel, who is the founder, CEO, and executive chef of Slapfish, which is a seafood restaurant franchise based in Huntingdon Beach, California, responded to backlash he has received for criticizing the onerous lockdown edicts in California.


“OK, 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 began.

“So, here’s the situation,” he continued. “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.”

“We shut down indoor dining — no problem. I got a warehouse full of plexiglass right now, okay? We went outdoors, alright? Now that’s getting shut down. I just put thousands of dollars into outdoor heaters.”

“There is zero scientific evidence that proves that outdoor dining is contributing to a rise in cases related to this, alright?” Gruel went on. “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.”

Gruel then noted how large crowds are free to meander about in big-box stores such as Walmart and Target while state and local authorities clamp down on activities such as outdoor dining.

“Therefore, screw that,” Gruel concluded. “We’re staying open outdoors. It’s that simple.”

“I’m not an a**hole, the governor is,” Gruel added.

Gruel has been vocal on Twitter about his frustration regarding the lockdown on California restaurants and the hypocrisy of California politicians such as Newsom.

Following the ban on outdoor dining in Los Angeles, Gruel tweeted, “Outdoor dining is now banned in LA – but we can fly and eat side by side in a small box with masks off. Also, this move was sponsored by DoorDash. Get ready for your local Walmart pop-up restaurant.”

“Newsom’s Twitter has been silent and void of nauseating platitudes for a day. That means he’s getting ready for a massive blow to the plebeians,” he also tweeted.

In another tweet, Gruel urged Californians to “eat as much pizza as possible before Newsom bans pizza.”

“In Gruelandia, my new autonomous zone, I’ll be giving every citizen free pizza, unlimited cannibas [sic], vitamin D, and tons of toilet paper,” Gruel jokingly tweeted Thursday. “In exchange I ask for peaceful productivity and everyone contribute 5 daily hours of skill towards our economy. I’ll post address on MySpace[.]”

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