Exposing Chef Mike Fucci Part 5 – Fake Homeless Charity, Stealing From Jimmy Fund, Cookbook GoFundMe Scam, Fired From Restaurant
Read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4 of this series to catch up.
Mike Fucci has built his brand as a “celebrity chef,” and used it to scam many people over the years. But more recently he began to scam people using his newfound interest in coin collecting. His Tik Tok was filled with videos of “rare coins” he had, but according to commenters he was known for taking money from people and never sending them the rare coins he promised.
Mike Fucci has about as much expertise in coin collecting as he does with cooking, which begs the question, is he even a chef? He appears to have no culinary background or formal training. He worked at his uncle’s banquet hall and has done his own catering, but he has never been employed in a restaurant for a lengthy period of time. So how did he become the “famous” Chef Mike?
It began on YouTube. Mike started making food in his kitchen and posting the videos on the platform 9 years ago.
He sent these tapes into the Food Network repeatedly, hoping that they would see him as a big fat funny cook who could entertain viewers. Mike uses his loud and boisterous personality to make people think he’s this ultra-demanding chef who runs a tight kitchen. In reality it’s all just a performance. If he put as much effort into his fake accent as he did into cooking he might actually be decent at it.
Fucci ran a Twitter with the handle @foodindulgance from 2014-2015. It’s still up to this day but has not been updated.
He used the business account for personal purposes, like telling people to go f*** themselves, calling people cunts, complaining to gambling websites, telling Kris Jenner a bad mother, critiquing Real Housewives cast members, and trying to catch the attention of famous people.
Keep in mind, this is a man who impregnated a mistress on purpose after telling her that he was divorced and was worth $28 million, told her he was buying a $1.7 million home for her and the baby to live with him, and then abandoned her, accused her of raping of him, and has not paid any child support or made any attempt to have a relationship with his son. He probably shouldn’t be judging the parenting skills of other people on social media.
He also used the account to promote a GoFundMe (even though he claimed in his cancer scam that he’s never done a GFM before) to raise money for his upcoming cook book. He asked for media outlets to retweet him and said that all money raised from his book sales would feed the homeless. He later made up the lie that $2 for every book sale would go to the Jimmy Fund to help children with cancer. He even tagged the Jimmy Fund in the hopes that they would retweet him (they didn’t thankfully).
The GoFundMe is still up and its goal was $1,500.
It’s unclear how much he raised. Typically you don’t raise money to cover your costs of writing a book that you hope to sell, because it’s a business venture. Hardly anyone donated to it because of that, which is why he had to make up the lie that a percentage would be going to the homeless and the Jimmy Fund. Mike has recently shown that he isn’t afraid to lie about raising money for cancer treatment in order to solicit donations.
Except there’s just one problem – the book is self published on Amazon and cost him nothing to create.
There were no costs associated with publishing the book. Just time. Amazon pays you 60-70% on all book sales. There was no reason for Mike to need to raise capital for the “pre-sale” of his unwritten cookbook, which he said he would autograph free of charge. He also said that he needed to do the pre-sale in order to get an idea of how many books he needed to purchase.
Except that’s not how Amazon works. You write the book, you submit it to them, and every time someone orders it they print it for the customer. You never actually touch any of the books.
Mike’s nickname in high school was “Snacks,” and he is a joke to those who have known him for a long time.
One of these people purchased the book as a gag gift but never received it.
In 2017 he managed to somehow get on the Food Network’s Celebrity Chef, where he made Nachos and Ice Cream Sandwiches for Chad Johnson. He constantly reaches out to anyone who can platform him, telling them what a great cook he is, so your guess is as good as mine for how he got on there.
Appearing on this show increased Fucci’s credibility, and he has used it for several years to promote himself. Shortly afterwards he was invited to Watertown Middle School to speak to kids, and was featured in the student newspaper. He told the kids he was the #5 ranked chef in the Massachusetts, #20 in the country, and in the top 100 worldwide.
On Friday, March 17, 2017, Watertown’s best chef, Mike Fucci came to visit Watertown Middle School. Chef Mike has had a lot of success in the cooking industry. He says he is ranked No. 5 in Massachusetts, No. 20 in the country, and is in the top 100 in the world. He owns a catering business in Watertown, and has won an episode of Food Network’s “Cutthroat Kitchen.”
His ability to make up numbers in order to back up his lies is remarkable. Like how he had a 30% chance of surviving stomach cancer if he didn’t get the holistic treatment in Florida.
Fucci lied to the student reporter, telling them that he donated the money he won on the show to his charity Chef Mike’s Helping Hands:
He says his business has gone up since he won on “Cutthroat Kitchen.” It also gave him money to help his charity, Chef Mike’s Helping Hands, an organization that gives food to the homeless during the holidays. Chef Mike started Helping Hands in 2013. He has helped feed thousands of homeless children and veterans across Boston. He got this great idea from a family tradition.
“In the 1930s, my grandfather used to rent a bus and brought homeless people to his restaurant and fed them and gave them gifts,” he said, adding that his grandfather would also dress up as Santa and give all the kids presents. “Since then, I carried it on and that’s how Helping Hands began.”
Now, Chef Mike continues the tradition. Although for some chefs, being on “Cutthroat Kitchen” would be the height of their career, Chef Mike said he has no plans on slowing down! He has written a cookbook, “Delicious Attitude,” and is planning to be on another episode of “Cutthroat Kitchen.” He also would like to open a restaurant and is looking for a place right now — and he hinted that it may open in Watertown. He would like to have it open for 2018.
Except no such charity ever existed.
Mike also started a GoFundMe for this fake charity in 2017, but only raised $435.
This was all before he opened his restaurant in Needham, but he was using it to build his personal brand. It’s all part of the scam.
At this point Mike was a huge celebrity in his eyes, and although he was happy to have allegedly gotten calls from Watertown cops and firefighters praising him for his performance on the show, he was upset that the elected officials and Town Manager hadn’t done the same.
He didn’t need a parade. Just a personal phone call from every member of town government acknowledging his celebrity status.
He made this post a week after 20 year veteran Watertown firefighter Joseph Toscano died in a building collapse. A man named Michael Baccari said what most people were thinking in response.
But the famous celebrity couldn’t deal with the slightest of criticism, and Fucci challenged Baccari to meet him face to face in a Dunkins parking lot. Usually these online spats never turn into anything, but both parties ended up meeting up at the Dunkins, police were called, and video was posted on Snapchat.
A disagreement on social media turned into a police incident when two men from Watertown decided they should decide their argument IRL. At 11:10 p.m. on March 23, Watertown Police received a report of a two men fighting in the parking lot next to Dunkin’ Donuts in Watertown Square. The men were yelling at each other when police arrived and they were separated, said Watertown Police Lt. James O’Connor.
“Both had consistent stories. They were involved in an argument on Facebook,” O’Connor said. “It was a debate on the Facebook group ‘You Know You are from Watertown If.’ Both felt it would be better to express their respective opinions to each other in person.”
The two men, one 23 years old and the other 42, pushed and shoved each other, before police restored the peace, O’Connor said. Police then sent them on their way.
By 2017 Mike was just assumed to be this quasi-famous chef, and the positive press certainly helped. A local restaurant called The Talk bought into the hype and hired him to be their chef, assuming that having a “celebrity” would increase their business. He once again was featured in the local newspaper for getting hired as a “celebrity chef.”
He told them he was using this restaurant to “get my name out as Food Network champ.”
“It will get my name out as a Food Network champ,” Fucci said. “It helps when you have a restaurant under you.”
Translation – he was only in this for the fame and had no intention of doing a good job cooking.
But the problem is that being a cook is demanding work that comes with lots of pressure. You have to manage employees and make sure food is cooked well in as short amount of time as possible. Mike is overweight, extremely lazy, and had no idea how to do the job he was hired to do. Instead he spent most of his time at The Talk promoting himself on social media.
But no one was getting their meals in time, and many orders were sent back because he was so bad at his actual job. He spent more time walking around the restaurant, fishing for compliments from someone who would recognize him from the Food Network, than he did actually cooking.
Fucci was fired after just three days on the job. He reportedly begged them to let him stay one more day because his family was coming in and he wanted to impress them by walking around the restaurant while they were there. They told him no. From there it was back to Chef Mike’s Catering.
Despite being really bad at his job Mike loves to mock other people’s cooking. On his now deleted TikTok channel he posted dozens of videos making fun of women with YouTube cooking channels, as if he was somehow above them.
But he also used his “celebrity chef” status to bully other restaurants in town. He posted a bad review about Greg’s in Watertown.
This didn’t go over well because Greg’s was well liked. When people defended the restaurant Mike insisted that he was right, citing his professional background as a chef.
Reminder – Mike has 3 days experience as an actual chef at a restaurant.
When someone else said that his celebrity chef status could lead to an employee being fired, Chef Mike pointed out that his “celebrity status” was not to blame.
He then pompously gave the restaurant one month to improve the quality of their food, at which time he would grace them with his presence once again and give them an honest professional review.
This is a man with a YouTube channel who got fired after 3 days as a chef.
Stay tuned for Part 6, the final chapter in this series.