Assessing the Bourdain Backlash

By Karen

Travel Channel finally reran No Reservations in French Polynesia, the only episode I’d missed, but I’m bummed because Anthony Bourdain is crisscrossing the U.S. like a maniac with no signs of ever stopping in Richmond, Va.

Tony and ham sandwich at Parisian sidewalk cafe

Tony in Paris, my favorite No Reservations

Snipes at Bourdain have been crossing my radar lately, so I Googled “hate Anthony Bourdain” to see how bad it is and got only 80 hits. Rachel Ray’s fans apparently aren’t into defending her honor. Even so, I’m sure Bourdain knows that saying exactly what he thinks about everyone and everything may get him cornered in a dark alley one day.

To give you a few examples, in July 2006 he was just back from Beirut when he managed to slam everyone on the Food Network in the Washington Post while paying Emeril Lagasse the ugliest compliments I’ve ever read:

“I still hate his [Emeril’s] show and will continue to say so. Emeril the man, however, I have come to know, deserves a lot more respect than I’ve given him. He’s an accomplished chef and businessman in spite of what you see on TV. He has a sense of humor and given the current crop of talentless, cabbage patch kids, bobbleheads and dimwits on the Food Network, Emeril now looks like Escoffier by comparison.”

Hezbollah Tofu is a new blog by Sara that bills itself as a “Bourdain Veganizing Collective, meant to call attention and mockery to the absolute ridiculousness of Anthony Bourdain earnestly comparing vegans to the freakin Hezbollah.”

She’s steamed over this passage in Kitchen Confidential:

“Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn. To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food.”

To retaliate, Sara’s blog publishes vegan versions of his recipes.

There’s also a fake Gordon Ramsay blog at News Groper that skewers the new Top Chef cookbook and blasts Tony’s chapter for his lack of cred as a working chef.

I’m guessing Bourdain appreciates his bashers’ humor, even when it’s unintentional.

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3 Responses to Assessing the Bourdain Backlash

  1. Nix says:

    How have you and I not met? I also live in Richmond, have too many cats (and much love for the rest), am obsessed with Tony Bourdain, etc etc etc

    ::extends hand::

    Hi, I’m Nix! Nice to meet you : )

  2. catsworking says:

    Hi, Nix! I don’t have too many cats. I have just enough. Wish I had room for more. Maybe we have met but just didn’t realize it. You can always pick me out of a crowd. I’m the one coated with white car hair!

  3. Nix says:

    LOL my cat coat is multi-colored. We have one black/torti, one white, one seal point and two gray cats. You can pick me out of the crowd because I’m usually saying something absurd, offensive, or otherwise loudly inappropriate.

    And I agree, I could always use more cats (but as it is I have a hard time keeping up with two litter boxes). The adoption areas at the local PetSmarts are a mixed blessing. I love giving them love but it always breaks my heart that I can’t bring them with me.

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