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Anthony Bourdain dishes on Food Network stars


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The short article:

Anthony Bourdain's Celebrity Chef Smackdown!

Tony Bourdain minces no words about his dislike of some of the stars of the Food Network.

PAULA DEEN - "The worst, most dangerous person to America..."

GUY FIERI - "I look at Guy Fieri and I just think, 'Jesus, I'm glad that's not me.'"

RACHAEL RAY - "Does she even cook anymore?"

SANDRA LEE - "...I hate her works on this planet..."

See the article for the complete quotes.

Chef Bourdain has tweeted in response to the firestorm of criticism he's received over his comments “Maybe I’ll just shut up.”

So was this unfair criticism? Is there any truth to his remarks?

Or is this just a case of Tony being Tony?

 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I can't believe people care from the opposite side of the fence. Who the [censored] watches Food Network anymore? It's all cleavage and crap out of a can these days. Why bother?

I can see much better cleavage elsewhere. And I can get much better food info elsewhere -- here, for instance.

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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Sandra Lee scared him? I would have loved to have heard that conversation.

Probably started with "My husband, the governor of New York" and ended with "in a cement-filled burlap sack in the Hudson."

Who cares how time advances? I am drinking ale today. -- Edgar Allan Poe

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Bourdain is freakin' hilarious, and pretty darned smart. His palate is much more adventurous than mine (my most ambitious food experiences have been crunching tasty bugs--but at a bug museum--in Costa Rica, and spending an entire day in San Jose del Cabo seeking out huitlacoche (dragging a somewhat willing Merchant Marine family member from one hole-in-the-wall to the next, and convincing him eat tripe tacos for lunch), finally stumbling on the only restaurant that would promise it for that evening, dragging my entire adult family there for dinner, then spending most of the wee hours of the morning in the john--but it was worth it!), and I enjoy the televised results of his mania.

Would never make a recipe from Paula, Rachel, Sandy, or Guy (though I admit I WILL watch marathons of Diners Drive-Ins and Dives while I'm cooking/cleaning the kitchen, just because I love made-from-scratch diner food and I honestly think I learn something just by hearing the rapid-fire list of ingredients the chefs recite. (E.g., there was a Polish restaurant featured earlier this month whose stuff I'm totally stealing.)

The most appropriate appreciation of "Aunt Sandy" would have to be the survivorsucks.com forum for her show (which is called "Putting the 'Ho' in 'Semi-Homemade'":

My link

Today's postings celebrated her latest invective-filled You Tube outtake clip (the part where she grabs her own boobs and proclaims them "semi-homemade" is particularly noteworthy):

My link

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I love Sandra Lee. She makes everyone else look so good in comparison.

On-topic, ScoopKW already said everything I'd want to say.

This is my skillet. There are many like it, but this one is mine. My skillet is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it, as I must master my life. Without me my skillet is useless. Without my skillet, I am useless. I must season my skillet well. I will. Before God I swear this creed. My skillet and myself are the makers of my meal. We are the masters of our kitchen. So be it, until there are no ingredients, but dinner. Amen.

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I can't believe people care from the opposite side of the fence. Who the [censored] watches Food Network anymore? It's all cleavage and crap out of a can these days. Why bother?

I can see much better cleavage elsewhere. And I can get much better food info elsewhere -- here, for instance.

I call that "Hooters Syndrome..." :laugh:

If you ate pasta and antipasto, would you still be hungry? ~Author Unknown

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The most appropriate appreciation of "Aunt Sandy" would have to be the survivorsucks.com forum for her show (which is called "Putting the 'Ho' in 'Semi-Homemade'":

My link

Today's postings celebrated her latest invective-filled You Tube outtake clip (the part where she grabs her own boobs and proclaims them "semi-homemade" is particularly noteworthy):

My link

A fellow suckster?

Dear Food: I hate myself for loving you.

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Frank Bruni weighs in.

I'm generally not a fan of Frank Bruni's writing, but he makes some interesting points here.

When Deen fries a chicken, many of us balk. When the Manhattan chefs David Chang or Andrew Carmellini do, we grovel for reservations and swoon over the homey exhilaration of it all. Her strips of bacon, skirting pancakes, represent heedless gluttony. Chang’s dominoes of pork belly, swaddled in an Asian bun, signify high art.

There’s some class-inflected hypocrisy in the food world, where the center seems to be ceding territory to two wings: the self-appointed sophisticates and the supposed rubes.

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Anthony Bourdain's entire goal has often seemed to be to shock the plebeian masses in order to gain notoriety and fame. He has gotten far more attention throughout his career for being unpleasant, arrogant, profane and abrasive than he ever did for his actual cooking. Because some of his fans adore that sort of behavior, he has to keep at it, or be considered to have "sold out" and gone wimpy.

There's nothing new in this latest burst of condescending invective. It's just more of the same.

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Frank Bruni weighs in.

I'm generally not a fan of Frank Bruni's writing, but he makes some interesting points here.

When Deen fries a chicken, many of us balk. When the Manhattan chefs David Chang or Andrew Carmellini do, we grovel for reservations and swoon over the homey exhilaration of it all. Her strips of bacon, skirting pancakes, represent heedless gluttony. Chang’s dominoes of pork belly, swaddled in an Asian bun, signify high art.

There’s some class-inflected hypocrisy in the food world, where the center seems to be ceding territory to two wings: the self-appointed sophisticates and the supposed rubes.

Well, I finally agree with Frank about something, bless his heart. I keep waiting for Tony to discover biscuits and gravy...in Chinatown.

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I think that Bourdain HAS jumped the shark. I mean, I've met him, he's smart, charming and nice. Hey, he bought be a drink and kissed my cheek.

That said, I can't imagine why he's flogging Food Network types except for the media buzz. No serious food person gives a flying about FN and their peeps. He seems obsessed by them. Why? Because they didn't have the sense to renew Cook's Tour?

I'm as cynical about Bourdain's blather on this subject as I am about Sandra Lee. I feel he's let me down.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Frank Bruni weighs in.

I'm generally not a fan of Frank Bruni's writing, but he makes some interesting points here.

When Deen fries a chicken, many of us balk. When the Manhattan chefs David Chang or Andrew Carmellini do, we grovel for reservations and swoon over the homey exhilaration of it all. Her strips of bacon, skirting pancakes, represent heedless gluttony. Chang’s dominoes of pork belly, swaddled in an Asian bun, signify high art.

There’s some class-inflected hypocrisy in the food world, where the center seems to be ceding territory to two wings: the self-appointed sophisticates and the supposed rubes.

When has Bourdain ever been on the side of elitism for food? No Reservations has consistently been championing street food, home cooking and an aggressive lack of pretension. Sure, it ventures into the high end occasionally but most of the food on the show is exactly the type of "cooking for regular families" that Paula Deen is wrapping around herself.

PS: I am a guy.

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I think that Bourdain HAS jumped the shark. I mean, I've met him, he's smart, charming and nice. Hey, he bought be a drink and kissed my cheek.

That said, I can't imagine why he's flogging Food Network types except for the media buzz.

Years ago (back when I was "Nick" at egullet) TB had a thread here, or was contributing to it, and I sent him a PM asking how he stayed so slim while eating so much. He replied he smoked three packs of cigarettes a day...

Maybe he's recently given up smoking. That could do it.

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I think that Bourdain HAS jumped the shark. I mean, I've met him, he's smart, charming and nice. Hey, he bought be a drink and kissed my cheek.

That said, I can't imagine why he's flogging Food Network types except for the media buzz.

Years ago (back when I was "Nick" at egullet) TB had a thread here, or was contributing to it, and I sent him a PM asking how he stayed so slim while eating so much. He replied he smoked three packs of cigarettes a day...

Maybe he's recently given up smoking. That could do it.

I read that he gave it up a few years back when his daughter was born.

James.

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I think that Bourdain HAS jumped the shark. I mean, I've met him, he's smart, charming and nice. Hey, he bought be a drink and kissed my cheek.

That said, I can't imagine why he's flogging Food Network types except for the media buzz.

Years ago (back when I was "Nick" at egullet) TB had a thread here, or was contributing to it, and I sent him a PM asking how he stayed so slim while eating so much. He replied he smoked three packs of cigarettes a day...

Maybe he's recently given up smoking. That could do it.

I read that he gave it up a few years back when his daughter was born.

Then the fabled "midlife crisis"? TB's one of a kind and it's worth cutting him some slack. :smile:

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The only reason I care at all is because this culinary WWF-style nonsense of trash-talking cooks on TV, this "I-don't-give-a-hoot" attitude, is what TB does least well, in my opinion. He absolutely shines when it's clear that he does care (the Lebanon show comes to mind), when he's genuinely interested and curious. He can be very funny, in a bitter and grim sort of way, but he does other things much, much better.

"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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The most appropriate appreciation of "Aunt Sandy" would have to be the survivorsucks.com forum for her show (which is called "Putting the 'Ho' in 'Semi-Homemade'":

My link

Today's postings celebrated her latest invective-filled You Tube outtake clip (the part where she grabs her own boobs and proclaims them "semi-homemade" is particularly noteworthy):

My link

A fellow suckster?

Yup!--there are things Aunt Sandy does so very well, and bringing to light her terrorizing of other food stars is one of them....

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Frank Bruni weighs in.

I'm generally not a fan of Frank Bruni's writing, but he makes some interesting points here.

When Deen fries a chicken, many of us balk. When the Manhattan chefs David Chang or Andrew Carmellini do, we grovel for reservations and swoon over the homey exhilaration of it all. Her strips of bacon, skirting pancakes, represent heedless gluttony. Chang’s dominoes of pork belly, swaddled in an Asian bun, signify high art.

There’s some class-inflected hypocrisy in the food world, where the center seems to be ceding territory to two wings: the self-appointed sophisticates and the supposed rubes.

What Bruni misses is that Deen doesn't season well, or interestingly, or even appropriately to appeal to an investigative palate. And she doesn't spend enough time/effort creating contrasting textures. Hell, I love salt pork as much as the next girl, but something creative needs to be done with heavy food, or it's just--heavy and uninspired....

It's not a difference in class; it's a difference in a thoughtful approach to food and making it great.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Frank Bruni weighs in.

I'm generally not a fan of Frank Bruni's writing, but he makes some interesting points here.

When Deen fries a chicken, many of us balk. When the Manhattan chefs David Chang or Andrew Carmellini do, we grovel for reservations and swoon over the homey exhilaration of it all. Her strips of bacon, skirting pancakes, represent heedless gluttony. Chang’s dominoes of pork belly, swaddled in an Asian bun, signify high art.

There’s some class-inflected hypocrisy in the food world, where the center seems to be ceding territory to two wings: the self-appointed sophisticates and the supposed rubes.

Thank you for this JAZ (and Frank Bruni).

I am an overall fan of Bourdain but I too am somewhat confused about his dissing of Paula Deen on behalf the obese of America. I mean I've watched him for quite some time now and thoroughly enjoy his shows but can't help but remember that he is a remorseless, unapologetic eating machine. Great white sharks could learn from him. As I recall he regularly swoons over (and proceeds to devour) mountains of roast pork, ate an astonishing multi-course meal of foie gras until it was coming out of his pores, and, along with his brother on a trip to a South American country, devoured mass quantities of animal flesh cooked on a device I nicknamed "the flaming wall of meat." All of which I myself would enjoy as well, btw.

I can't see why he is so offended by Paula's remorseless use of butter or loving all things deep fried (INCLUDING BUTTER)! :laugh: Is it because his gluttony is done as a coolest of the cool globetrotting sophisticate? Or, even worse, because he can eat with abandon and remain disgustingly and handsomely thin while she (like myself) is somewhat zaftig (or, as my niece would say, :wub: "fluffy") and thus sets a bad example? Nothing more offensive than us plump chicks eating in public and unashamedly enjoying every bite? :hmmm:

No matter. Her mac and cheese (now mine) kicks ass and I will be forever grateful to her for showing me exactly how to make collard greens with corn dumplings the way I remembered them from my childhood.

All of a sudden I am so hungry.

Inside me there is a thin woman screaming to get out, but I can usually keep the Bitch quiet: with CHOCOLATE!!!

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