‘Let’s do this’: LA-based celeb chef Andrew Gruel says he’ll run against ‘inept’ Gov. Newsom in 2022

Celebrity chef Andrew Gruel has been a fierce critic of California’s Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is feeling the heat over lockdown efforts imposed to counter a COVID-19 surge.

Newsom is facing a recall effort that’s gaining momentum, with petition signatures nearing a million, and should the governor survive the recall he may have acquired an early opponent in the 2022 midterm elections in Chef Gruel.

The Los Angeles-based owner of the restaurants Slapfish and Big Parm, Gruel vowed to defy orders shutting down outdoor dining, going so far as to call Gov. Newsom “an *sshole,” and now he’s taking that opposition to a whole other level.

“I think it’s time we have a chef as a governor in a state where waste runs rampant. We are trained to reduce waste. Let’s do this,” Gruel tweeted.

Restaurant owners and small business owners in California are reeling from a recent crackdown, joining Gruel in his frustrations of spending thousands to adhere to ever-changing government restrictions.

“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,” Gruel explained.

Robbed of their livelihoods by restrictions being put in place by officials, desperate business owners are struggling to stay afloat and feed their families, pay their bills, and keep their staff employed ahead of the Christmas holidays.

Adding to their angst, Newsom recently issued regional stay-at-home orders.

One of those owners, Anton Van Happen, Nick the Greek restaurant owner in nearby Ventura, Calif., was just captured in a gut-wrenching viral video facing down public health inspectors trying to shut him down.

Overcome by emotion and anger, Van Happen was forced to fight to earn a living, as an official tells him he was violating local orders.

“I follow the rules!” the exasperated owner yelled. “I continue to follow the rules and you guys still, time after time, are giving me citations, telling me I have to close my business. What about my employees?”

Gruel appeared on Fox & Friends and slammed Newsom for his “ineptitude” and “gross mismanagement” of the pandemic.


He was asked about reports that California likely paid at least $2 billion in fraudulent coronavirus-related unemployment benefits since March.

“This is what we’ve always been taught. Never trust the government with your money and this is exactly why. They’re going to lose it all,” the chef said.

As for Newsom, Gruel said criticism is coming from all sides.

“You’re hearing it from both sides of the aisle. This is no longer a political issue,” he said. “This is a state with a Democratic supermajority and I think that everyone has laid bare Gov. Newsom’s hypocrisy and his mismanagement throughout this crisis.”

Gruel also teased, challenging Newsom in 2022.

“This will be my announcement right here,” Gruel said. “Because I think as a small business owner, I can actually manage the entirety of the economy probably better than Newsom has.”

“In addition to the fact that he’s just so disconnected from reality,” he added.

Here’s a quick sampling of responses to the story from Twitter:


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