Truth Alert: What Bourdain REALLY Said to Bloggers

January 11, 2011

By Karen

I was just watching a rerun of the live streaming video Anthony Bourdain shot in Boston last week and heard in context his advice to bloggers.

(If this link takes you to a bunch of clips, it’s the 18-minute one labeled Jan 5 12:44:13 PM, and his comment on blogs appears at about 16:30.)

Bourdain was widely quoted in the blogosphere as saying…

“Try being entertaining. Try being didactic. Stop being angry. If you’re an angry person with too many cats and a grudge against the New York Times, maybe you shouldn’t be blogging.”

…and the bloggers mangled it pretty bad. First, he was responding to specifically to a request for tips on food blogging. He did say to be entertaining, and also to have a sense of humor and a point of view, but to be non-didactic, and that it helps to like food.

And he freely acknowledged the irony of his telling anybody not to be angry.

So, even though he mentioned cats, in no way could it be construed as a dig at Cats Working. In fact, even though I’m not a food blogger (Freudian slip? I originally typed that as “food flogger”), I hope readers think we aspire to Bourdain’s ideal most of the time.

Just had to set the record straight so I can start his Kitchen Basics class at Sur La Table next week without a chip on my shoulder.

I return you now to Adele’s shredding of Sarah Palin.


More Bits of Bourdain

March 22, 2010

By Karen

This week, No Reservations visits Provence. I love watching Anthony Bourdain in beautiful locales with clean sheets. There’s a dinner scene that sounds like the meal he cooked in Tuscany, where we unwittingly got our first look at Ottavia. She told me she was directed to say his cooking was “disgusting,” but it was actually quite tasty.

Apparently, Tony doesn’t fare much better in Provence, but blogger Miss Expatria defends him against his cruel hosts at the villa.

Ottavia just tweeted that Tony is in India again.

Thanks to another DVD recorder glitch, I missed NR in Harbin, China, last week, but I’m set to catch the rerun today. My recorder also trashed “Obsessed,” so I’ll need to recapture that to keep my collection complete.

Speaking of “Obsessed,” Bourdain must be learning you mess with food bloggers at your own peril. They will always have the last word. Tony allegedly dissed Steven Plotnicki of Opinionated About Dining in the special, who struck back via, DUH, a lengthy blog post I couldn’t get through. But then, I’m not a foodie.

In the Things to Do Department…

Take Travel Channel’s NR Knowledge Quiz. I’m embarrassed to say I scored poorly.

And watch the last episode of Alternate Universe,Duel Over Russia.”

Tony told ChicagoMag.com why Ottavia flew to Chicago alone.

SlashFood got him to answer 5 questions.

Cats Working reader Cindy provided this link to a preview of Bourdain’s new book, Medium Raw. I wonder if they’ve made the cover photo more menacing?

Village Voice got a bit about “Ruth Bourdain,” who’s tweeting as a cross between Ruth Reichl and Tony.

Tony discussed exercise and many other things with Anne Berry at Examiner.com in New Orleans in January, but her interview just appeared. Here are links to Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4, not readily found on the site.

PS: In December, a new book is being released, containing 15 years of Julia Child’s correspondence with Avia DeVoto, who helped her find a publisher for Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Julia in her own words. Yum!


Bourdain’s Better Half Tweets

March 15, 2010

By Karen

I just discovered Ottavia’s been tweeting for months and she’s really good at it. But first…

Anthony Bourdain returns to China in this week’s new episode of No Reservations — in the dead of winter during his crew cut phase. His head could have used the extra fleece.

Ottavia tweeted that Tony brought Ariane some “communist baby clothes,” I think, from that trip. I learned more about the Bourdains from her, but first…

Tony just checked in with a blog post from his current shoot in Liberia. He’s been very sick, so I feel a little guilty about the next few paragraphs. You know, kicking the guy while he’s down. But here goes…

As I watched last week’s “Obsessed” special, I wondered why they faked the blood in his butcher scenes. The spatters on Tony’s apron never changed. Was he hacking up a plastic pig, too?

Tony’s done many shows I hated to see end (Paris, Venice, Sardinia spring to mind), but “Obsessed” wasn’t one of them. In what felt like 2 hours, Tony proved that food bloggers in the flesh are as dull as I find their subject matter.

Gawker.TV ripped Bourdain a new one for hypocrisy in this episode, since Tony could be called a video blogger who just subs out the graphics.

Deceiver.com leaps into the fray with more backlash.

But Chef Diesel agrees with Bourdain about food bloggers missing the point, and furnishes video clips of the offending scenes if you missed them.

Eater got photographic proof that Tony and Guy Fieri made nice in Miami at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, but Ottavia sat between them, just in case.

Now, back to Ottavia. I joined Twitter just to follow her tweets, and while I was catching up on them, she signed up to follow me. But I never planned to tweet!

She revealed that Tony eats red velvet cupcakes, although he has expressed disdain for cupcakes and claims he never snacks and doesn’t like sweets. And she said that he pitched in to cook the Gala Dinner at the Cayman Cookout this year so he wouldn’t have to sit at the wives’ table again.

In December, she assertively tweeted, “Please don’t follow me if you don’t appreciate scatological humor,” to weed out annoying followers, I imagine.

Ottavia freely admitted that Ariane thinks Mom has a “big tushie.” She also says that the family is in the midst of moving, and she’d rather eat a dead rat — with fur — than pack. I hope they’ve found a bigger place where Lupetto can have a buddy.

Also on Twitter there’s someone posing as Ruth Bourdain who has “mashed up the tweets of Ruth Reichl with the mind of Anthony Bourdain” and it’s really weird.

Cats Working reader Cindy contributed this link to a good interview Daily Blender got with Bourdain (courtesy of Ottavia) at the Cayman Cookout.


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