Bourdain to Pull the Plug on “No Reservations”?

By Karen

Anthony Bourdain has lately been sending mixed messages about his plans for the future, but he may be contemplating the end of No Reservations.

He’s already committed to a publisher to write a book about spending a year in Vietnam. How he’ll pull off doing the Year in Provence thing in Southeast Asia while spending most of his time on the road filming is anybody’s guess.

Then he said he wants to buy a place in Italy so his daughter Ariane can be near her grandparents, the built-in babysitters.

But just recently he said in an interview posted on the Filipino site, which just moved and became difficult to access:

“I’m not as fit as you think I am. I’m giving myself another two years of this traveling (10 months of the year) and eating. I’ll probably hie off to some Caribbean island with a beer belly so low it’ll touch the ground.”

That sounds like the end of No Reservations and the move to Italy. But it seems unlikely Ottavia would let him get away with that.

Just to round up, here are a few other interesting Bourdain bits I’ve gathered lately:

More from He’s currently on Chantix in his ongoing attempt to quit smoking, and he says he doesn’t spend much time in the kitchen because, “My wife won’t let me; she hates my cooking.”

In Miami on November 13 at the Book Fair, Tony said if he could only eat one thing for the rest of his life, it would be sushi. He also admitted loving “that bright orange macaroni and cheese out of a box with lots of black pepper.”

His new least favorite Food Network personality is Robin Miller.

The Broward-Palm Beach New Times has a list of amusing things Bourdain said in Miami.

38 Responses to Bourdain to Pull the Plug on “No Reservations”?

  1. cpt/bustamante says:

    i really do hope that tony doesnt pull the plug on no reservations. come on ottavia do some martial arts cobos on him to make him change his mind.:) 😦

  2. Deb says:

    Maybe she will have him selling products on QVC for money….

  3. catsworking says:

    Since he has lately expressed some regret that he never hopped on the bandwagon of celebrity endorsements, and he loves all things Asian, we stand by our prediction that some day we will be seeing Bourdain’s smirking face on packages of ramen noodles. With the economy in the shape it’s in, their stock should be soaring, and they’ve doubled the price from 10 to 20 cents a pack at our grocery store.

    And not to forget all those new “designer” noodles on store shelves selling for $1+ that you just pop into the microwave in their own handy container. I believe you can even buy the “orange stuff” he loves packaged that way.

    Couldn’t you just see him and Ariane doing a Kraft Mac & Cheese commercial together? Maybe they could even get Ottavia in on the act, whipping up some grilled cheese sandwiches in the background with Kraft Singles. It could be more heartwarming than a Kodak moment. 🙂

  4. Adele says:

    Karen, once again, kudos for keeping up with the latest Bourdain info — I really enjoyed reading the Broward Palm Beach New Times articles. I loved it when he asked Mario Batali why he took someone like Gwynneth Paltrow on his Spain road trip,when she certainly doesn’t look like she eats much. And speaking of Batali’s show, it just reminds me of how well Tony does travel shows. I love all the Spanish scenery (I crave to go to Spain, but the economy . . .), but Tony’s snark and love for traveling are missing.

    I’ve actually thought that No Reservations only has a few more seasons left in it. Even with some of the recent shows, you can tell that Bourdain’s heart is not in them, and there are only so many places you can visit, even those that warrant 2 or 3 visits. Also, Ariane will start school eventually, and the family won’t be as flexible about traveling. I think you’re on to something with the endorsements, and I hope he sits down and writes a really good book.

    Alice just jumped on the keyboard — perhaps her way of saying hello to your feline trio.

  5. sh!tstarter says:

    That sounds like typical Bourdain, he’s always going back and forth about things. He has been going to Vietnam for a year since the end of A Cook’s Tour and even at one point said he already had a house to live in (several years ago). He seems to be less decisive than me. I think this is why so many people were surprised when he finally announced he was going to be a father, because he had just been quoted as saying he did not ever want to be one.

  6. catsworking says:

    Adele, I haven’t watched Batali’s Spain show with Paltrow. Somehow, the combination of those two spells “DULL” to me. Did you see Woody Allen’s latest film, “Vicky Christina Barcelona”? Spain has always taken a back seat to France and Italy with me, but now I’d love to go there myself.

    I agree about the longevity of the series. It’s a big world, but you can only return to the same places so many times. When I was able to catch some episodes of “A Cook’s Tour” on FN, I was surprised by how many places he revisited in NR. I guess it was the easy way to make the transition because he knew fixers.

    Sh!t, I guess if Bourdain were as certain about everything as we expect our political candidates to be, he’d be just as boring. There’d be no thrill of the chase in catching his inconsistencies. What keeps many of his fans coming back is the wonder of his infinite variety. 😉

    I am still wondering how he’s going to work out the logistical challenges of writing a book about Vietnam if he’s still filming NR. And will Ottavia stand for being left alone in Vietnam with a toddler for weeks on end? Somehow, I think not.

  7. MorganLF says:

    Well as far as Ottavia being left alone with a toddler, I hardly think that will be the case. As he has said they have a Philipina nanny, which I guess is how she is able to train 2 hours a day. Then he has stated his apartment is filled with toys and tents in the living room and is not entertainment ready so where does this nanny the tent?

    I think he should reformat to a travel with the Bourdain’s format. We could watch Ottavia buy $600 dollar Manolo’s in all the capitals of the word and pronounce all cuisines other than her native Sardinian, “deesgusting!” I would love to see footage of Arianne she must be so cute, but who will she take after? After all Tony had some grounding growing up here in “Cheeveresque” New Jersey. With all the globe trotting will she end up euro trashy and bratty?

    As for Spain been there and love it. I predicted a few years ago that he cuisine would be the next thing.

    Batali has seriously offended me with his new show. Paltrow is soooo awful. They have pet names for each other she calls him “Batals” and he calls her “GP”. They are sooo corny ooooing over bread and olive oil and grilled shrimp in almost every episode then she refuses to eat meat referring to it as traife. Bourdain must want to slam her head into the grill of the ubiquitous open pit fire…I know I do.

  8. catsworking says:

    Morgan, you’re right. It would be nice to see a recent shot of Ariane. She’s a little person now at 19 months.

    Hey, I thought you liked Ottavia after seeing her in adorable person? What’s with the claws? 😉

    I won’t believe Ottavia would actually spend a year in Vietnam until I see it happen. I suspect after a short time it will turn into an “Ariane and I will be staying in Italy for the duration. Take your chopsticks and shove ’em” kind of deal.

    Now you’ve got my curiosity piqued to watch that Batali/Paltrow show. I’ve never had any interest whatsoever in what she eats and didn’t realize she was vegetarian. But I guess it makes sense for someone who named her child Apple.

    It might be fun if Bourdain did another episode of “Around the Table” to have Paltrow as his guest so they could compare notes on Spain and he could shred her.

  9. MorganLF says:

    After that whole interview in the Phillipines when he kept referencing his wife and how hard she punches so he would not be cooking a seductive meal for anyone anytime soon…I turned. But I will stand by my observation they looked very sweet together. Felines can be fickle you know!

  10. catsworking says:

    Morgan, Ottavia doesn’t strike me as the cuddliest person either. I imagine Ariane will be studying martial arts before long, too.

  11. Bob says:

    I like most of us Bourdain Fans, have noticed that he seems more docile in this recent season.. I think married life must being agreeing with him.. That alone calms most wandering souls down for a bit anyways.

    But a comment on the show. Is it just me or did he do better TV with Nancy??
    He had the edge, the drive and the will to get his ass out of the kitchen.
    The Divorce must have been hard on him, and he does kind of elude to it in a strange way. The show where he met the Ebon Warriors was like a journey into the heart of darkness for him.

    Honestly I think for him to make truly good TV he has to be a miserable bastard, in his real life.

    My Two Cents
    Happy Thanksgiving to all of you South of the Border, if I don’t make an appearance here before your turkey day.


  12. catsworking says:

    Hi, Bob!

    I think you’ve got a point. In the opening to “A Cook’s Tour,” he said, “I’ve got nothing to lose,” and that’s when he was married to Nancy. Apparently, she gave him the long leash to feel that he was free to roam the world and do whatever.

    Now, he’s got plenty to lose and it shows in his demeanor. He’s said he’s not going to do any more of the crazy stunts of his earlier days. Who can forget the sight of him rolling down that hill in New Zealand with that ATV rolling over him?

    I don’t think he wants to come to a bad, avoidable end and leave Ariane to fend for herself like Bindi Irwin has been doing since her father Steve got killed by the stingray.

    Bourdain without his edge is a bit less interesting, but he did recently take a refreshingly unexpected jab at Padma Lakshmi, that strange host of “Top Chef.”

  13. Adele says:

    Bob does have a point, in saying that contentment has taken somewhat of the edge off our boy, Tony, and Karen, I was surprised,as well, by Tony’s jab at Padma Lakshmi, particularly since he’s been a judge and blogger for Top Chef — maybe not anymore. though. BTW, speaking of Top Chef, has named Tom Colicchio as one of its Sexiest Men Living — their response to the People Sexiest Man Alive issue.

    I’m just hoping we get some good books out of TB; the last book was just a rehash of what he’d said on No Reservations and various blogs, with some great pictures. I’m hoping for a novel and a book on Vietnam or some other place he loves. Hopefully the mordant wit will shine through once again.

  14. catsworking says:

    Maybe the rumor about a rift between Bourdain and Top Chef is true, although they got it wrong by saying his beef was with Colicchio. It was really Lakshmi. I find it a stretch to take her seriously as a judge of food myself, although she may possibly be very knowledgeable. The packaging just looks ditzy.

    I agree with you on NR: The Book. I found it rather disappointing. Good photography, but not enough Bourdain. I thought the pacing was choppy, too. Just when I was getting into the pictures on one country, I’d turn the page and that was it. I felt like it was intended to be a scrapbook for the crew, with a lot of insider significance to the pictures we just didn’t get.

    Bourdain has committed to 3 more books, and when his travel hosting tanks eventually, writing will probably be his mainstay.

    He’s supposed to be working on a book called “Cooks,” about the food scene today. Then there’s the Vietnam book. And he’s doing another crime novel. I’ve posted about them here somewhere.

    His snark does still seem to come through in his writing. Ottavia may whip him into the perfectly docile husband, but he’s still our bad boy at heart!

    I’m into bald guys, but somehow I don’t see Colicchio as one of the sexiest men living. I guess I don’t get enough of his personality on Top Chef to fall for him.

  15. Adele says:

    I really thought Tony and Colicchio were friends, but maybe the rift came when Tony made some rude remarks about Padma. We’ll see if he shows up this weekend. I do recall your post about the 3-book contract; I just really want to read some Bourdain again.

    Remember when you posted that TB had dated one of this year’s Top Chef contestants? I don’t know if you’ve been watching this season, but I think it’s Ariane (what a coincidence!). You can probably catch her in next week’s episode, but she’s been on the bottom for the first 2 weeks, so I don’t expect her to be around very long. She’s attractive and about the right age.

    I know what you mean about Colicchio; he’s very attractive and no doubt an accomplished chef and restauranteur, but I just find him lacking in that je ne c’est quois. Now Eric Ripert, on the other hand . . .

  16. catsworking says:

    Adele, why do you think it’s Ariane?

    I just watched the first 2 episodes last night, and must confess there’s such a crowd in the beginning, I’m having a hard time recalling which one Ariane is. I taped it, so I’ll have to go back back and refresh.

    If Bourdain isn’t guest hosting this season, it could possibly point to some relationship that he preferred not to revisit.

    But now after what he’s said about Padma, it seems unlikely he’d be invited back – ever. Wonder why he chose to burn that bridge? Would make a nice interview question instead of the eternal, “What’s the worst meal you ever ate?” he always gets asked.

  17. st says:

    Would Tony be interested in Ariane of Top Chef? Doesn’t seem the tough as nails type, and her comments during the first episode of this new season really made Colicchio cringe. Something about using books instead of traveling to NYC to discover/explore world cuisine. I can’t imagine Tony being interested in her for that reason. Also, they’ve finished shooting this season, so maybe this is Tony’s last appearance or maybe he won’t appear at all. After reading an interview with Padma and Tom about this new season, I was surprised I didn’t see Tony’s name mentioned as a judge for this season. The article mentioned Martha Stewart, Wylie Dufresne and one of Padma’s favorites, Eric Ripert.

  18. Adele says:

    Let’s hope my computer will let me send this . . . my thinking about cheftestant Ariane was that she is attractive, in her early 40’s, cooks in New Jersey, and has a look about her that makes me think she might be no stranger to NYC chefs’ bars. At least one of the other women, this season is a lesbian, several seem to be in their very early 20’s. Yes, I know Ottavia is considerably younger than Tony, but not that young, and for me that left Ariane as the only likely candidate to have had a tryst. But I’ve been wrong before.

    I’ve been wondering whether Tony’s absence from this season’s Top Chef goes back to last season. He was the chief judge, subbing for Tom, in the Restaurant Wars segment. Dale, the guy, who was sent home, had a lousy on-screen personality, but was thought by most to be one of the most talented cooks of the season. He assumed the role of executive chef and had a very difficult team, and made what by all accounts, was a terrible dish. There was considerable outrage however, that he was sent home and less talented people remained — so much so, that Tony felt compelled to blog about it on his No Res blog. Tom never said anything directly about Tony, but he did say, more than once, that if he’d been in the viewing audience, he would have thought Dale’s dismissal was a mistake. Perhaps that was the source of the pisstivity.

  19. Adele says:

    P.S. I know cheftestant Ariane seems to be a bad cook; she’s ended up just scraping by the last 2 weeks, but dating has nothing to do with judging cooking. But again, I say, I’ve been wrong before . . .

  20. catsworking says:

    I went back and watched the end of Top Chef episode 2 where Padma spit Ariane’s dessert into her napkin. Adele, I think you’re on to something for a couple of reasons.

    1) I agree that Ariane looks like the brass nails type Bourdain seems to find appealing, although she was playing marshmallow here, crying about being kept over Jill of the ostrich egg debacle. And of the women she probably is the likeliest candidate if he did have a fling with anybody.

    I seem to remember reading somewhere him saying that when he met Ottavia, he was really only looking for a f**k buddy to hang out with. Ariane looks like she could have filled the bill when he was in that phase.

    2) Padma’s reaction to the dessert was way over the top. If there’s bad blood between her and Bourdain, and she knows Ariane was once his girlfriend, Padma would want to crush her, if only because she knows Tony watches the show and it’s vicarious revenge.

    I think there may have been some fallout over Dale getting kicked off for his butterscotch scallops on Tony’s watch, and it pissed Bourdain off enough to sit this season out. Otherwise, he’s a big draw for the show, and his blog at Top Chef was the BEST writing about the show. So whatever happened, it didn’t benefit TC in the long run.

  21. Adele says:

    My thinking about Ariane, exactly; the only thing that makes me dismiss her as a former Bourdain “buddy” is her name. I know Ariane Bourdain is named after Ariane Daugin, but Tony’d really have to admire Ariane Daugin tremendously (and have some cojones) to give his child a name shared with a former tryst.

    I’m really hoping Bourdain’s peeps aren’t monitoring this exchange too carefully, I’m beginning to be embarrased about going on and on on this subject, but I find it fascinating.

    I agree about Bourdain and Top Chef; his blog was not only the best thing about the show, it contained some of his best recent writing.

  22. catsworking says:

    He SAID his daughter was named after Ariane Daugin, but it may have been convenient happenstance if he also had the Top Chef Ariane in mind. If she really has the soft side she’s shown on TV, maybe she was his rebound girl after Paula and before Ottavia and he remembers her fondly.

    Weird how that particular name seems to be popping up more these days, isn’t it?

    However, if Ottavia thought for a moment their daughter was named after an old squeeze, I can’t imagine her agreeing to that name, so maybe Tony never mentioned it and he stayed away from this season’s Top Chef to keep from arousing any suspicion whatsoever in Ottavia. Maybe his dig at Padma was just a deliberate extra layer of padding to justify why he’s suddenly shunning a show he has been so enthusiastic about until now.

    It’s the only sensible thing a man married to a martial arts expert known to have a temper could do.

    Adele, you’ve definitely sprinkled some spice on Top Chef, and I will be watching more closely until Ariane gets eliminated. I hope she pulls herself together and sticks around a while, although she’s got some stiff competition.

  23. Petunia says:

    Ladies, ladies! How could you not find Tom Collichio the bee’s knees? I’d do him in a heartbeat! YUMMY YUM YUM!
    Who is Ariane Daugin?
    Funny re Padma–there was gossip after she left her hubbie Salman Rushdie (yuck) that she was having an affair with a NY chef–Page Six or someone even said it was Tony–altho I suspect Eric Ripert may have been the culprit if the story was true–so I don’t know why TB is not on Top Chef’s radar this season–altho I’ve always gotten the impression that Tom didn’t really like him. Perhaps the Dale thing was a problem…Then again, maybe TB and Padma DID have an encounter and TB’s wife caught the gossip…or maybe they didn’t but TB’s wife heard the gossip and got mad at TB and he blames Padma for making his life unneccessarily difficult…or maybe it WAS Eric Ripert and TB dislikes Padma for screwing with his friend’s life (Ripert is married with child). My head is spinning!
    As for the Ariane Top Chef woman, I think you guys are way off base…I rechecked that gossip and it said that one of the TC contestants had a fling with a “NY rock star chef” in 2004 while at CIA–this Ariane is way too old for that….there are a number of TC women who could have been at CIA at that time- the blond lesbian (so it’s not her), Leah (definite possibility) and the woman who lost right off the bat (pretty but she is married (now) and seems too born again). But maybe the gossip was about the guy who had the Restaurant show (sorry, blanking on name). Both he and TB could have been guest speakers at CIA in 2004. Rocco DiSpirito, that’s who I mean.

  24. catsworking says:

    Petunia, I wouldn’t turn Colicchio away, but one of the sexiest men alive? No.

    Adele may have a better memory for this than mine, but Ariane Daugin has something to do with producing foie gras and she appeared on some special Bourdain did. My mind is drawing a blank.

    Excellent deductive sleuthing on Bourdain’s TC girlfriend, Petunia. Somehow, I don’t see him going after Padma, even in a drunken lust. Supermodel with the stick figure – not his type. Salman Rushdie seconds – never.

    Now I can see him taking the fall (while he was single) for one of his married chef friends in the gossip columns, just as a favor. No skin off his nose. He was on the loose anyway.

    I haven’t done any research on the Top Chef Ariane, so I’m open to all ideas there. I think I’ve gone on record as saying I didn’t think it was Bourdain when it first came up (or maybe not – boy, a weekend goes by and I need retraining!). But if the age and timing don’t seem to fit, Petunia, I’ll agree with you that it’s not her.

    I guess the bottom line is that any of the cute young heterosexual chefs could have had a romp with Tony. If he showed an interest in any one of them, would they have had the strength to turn him down?

    So we’re still left wondering exactly why Bourdain sat out this season of Top Chef…

  25. marylou says:

    Well, Padma hardly has the stick figure of a typical model–she’s quite voluptuous and certainly far more beautiful than the current Mrs. Bourdain. That said, the whole chef-Padma gossip was pretty recent, after Bourdain got remarried and the Tony -Padma connection was printed up in New York magazine and on the Gawker website, so even if not true, it was kind of embarrasing to implicate such a recently married guy like Tony–I’m sure Ottavia was aware of the rumor and I doubt she was pleased. And the Top Chef gossip was confirmed by someone who was at CIA in 2004–so it is definitely one of the TC women who trained at CIA but pretty impossible to know if Tony was the culprit or it was another “rock star” chef–there certainly are a lot more of them nowadays!
    Hey, maybe THAT is the issue with Tony’s absence on Top Chef–maybe he did have an affair with a contestant and they feel he can’t be an impartial judge. Maybe he’s ticked off at Padma because she was involved with Collichio or Eric Ripert and they allowed her to continue on. Anyway, his venom makes me think he was personally insulted or rejected somehow…Ah, the possibiities are endless!

  26. catsworking says:

    Marylou, I’ll take your word for it on Padma’s figure. I’ll admit I don’t pay much attention to her because I find her highly annoying, especially when she’s melodramatically spitting things into her napkin.

    Even if we never know who Bourdain has or has not hooked up with, it sounds like there’s enough smoke on that fire to make Ottavia say, “Hey, Tony, you’re never going to do that show again, so don’t even ask.”

    Sooner or later someone’s bound to ask him about his absence, since he was such a star presence in previous seasons, and maybe he’ll throw us a bone and divulge a little something. Or maybe he’ll just say it was a scheduling conflict, which could very well be true because the man hardly stays in the same place for 5 minutes at a stretch.

  27. Adele says:

    Petunia and Mary Lou, you’re sending me back to the drawing board on cheftestant, Ariane. It seems unlikely t hat she attended the CIA in recent history, and I hadn’t heard any of the Tony-Padma stuff.

    Ariane Daugin is the woman, who heads D’Artagnan Farms, producing duck and foie gras. Tony once referred to her as the most courageous person, he knew.

    Anyhow, in Bourdain’s absence, all this intrigue will add interest to what seems to be developing as a rather dull Top Chef season.

  28. MorganLF says:

    Gee I’m thinkin’ maybe the “bad boy chef” is TB.. I always thought it was Rocco who is pretty full of himself and a brat, but oh well if I was around Bourdain and he made a move….. talk about no reservations!

    Since all here pretty much agree Tony is irresistable he and Padma may have hooked up. She is known for prowling the rich and famous. I advance the theory that he just thinks she’s stupid and maybe she dallied with one too many. Eric is french so face it, he’s a dog . Tom is another Jersey boy and Tony admires him, but sexy? Nope not like Eric or Tony. If there is bad blood between Tony and Top Chef it is their loss.

  29. MorganLF says:

    Here is the post from Gawker: Many comments also put forth Bobby Flay as a possible but Bourdain won.

    June 29, 2007 — THERE are rumblings of trouble in the mar riage of Salman Rushdie and his model wife and “Top Chef” host, Padma Lakshmi. While Rushdie was being knighted by the Queen of England last week, Lakshmi was spotted hang ing out into the wee hours at the Rose Bar at the Gramercy Park Hotel with a well-known chef who was there without his spouse. “They seemed to be quite interested in what each other had to say,” said a witness. “They were oblivious to the people around them.” Sources say Lakshmi has also forged a friendship with an unidentified billionaire. A friend of the model said she and the chef “are just friends – and like any marriage, she and Salman have their ups and downs.” A rep for Lakshmi de clined to comment.

  30. marylou says:

    One more thing on Ariane the Top Chef contestant. I read that she owns her own restaurant in New Jersey and apparently it’s great, so no idea why she is overcome with feelings of unworthiness on the show. And that Rose Bar tete-a-tete could be either Tony or Eric R but really bad if it was TB, he had just gotten married two months earlier–that would make him a super-dog.

  31. catsworking says:

    Morgan, if that was Bourdain, he was barely past his honeymoon and Ottavia was sitting at home with a 2-month-old baby. I hope it wasn’t him – not for Padma.

  32. catsworking says:

    Reading the bios of the female cheftestants, my attention turns to 27-year-old Leah. She attended CIA, and she’s got some stuff in her background that would seem to make her a good fit for Bourdain, and prelude to Ottavia:

    “Leah currently works as a Sous Chef at Centro Vinoteca in New York City. Apart from the year and a half that she worked at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Italy, she has spent her entire life in New York and comes from a Filipino, Russian-Romanian Jewish background. Her favorite chef is Marco Pierre White and she counts salt, olive oil, butter, garlic and any pork product as her must-have ingredients. She loves Italian, Filipino and Thai cuisine, but homemade pasta is what she enjoys making the most.”

  33. Nickole says:

    Regaring the Padma/Rose Bar comment – I saw that same story earlier this year, and they printed the name of the chef she was with as Tom Collichio. Personally I don’t find that too incriminating, considering they could have been having business drinks. Tom used to run the kitchen at the Gramercy Hotel (which holds the Jade and Rose Bar) years ago before Craft. Wouldn’t be a good hiding place if you were trying to keep an affair on the DL.

  34. catsworking says:

    Nickole, I tend to agree with you. Padma has that hungry predator look about her that would make any guy standing next to her seem to be having an affair with her. And keep in mind that she was days away from officially splitting from Rushdie, so she was probably on the prowl.

    Colicchio and Padma I find as unlikely as Bourdain and Padma. I may not find him the sexiest man alive, but Colicchio seems to have too much class to create such a conflict of interest on his own show.

  35. Adele says:

    Ladies, I stand corrected about cheftestant, Ariane — I think. This only proves one should do some research before one shoots off one’s mouth. Once I read the cheftestant bios, and learned that Ariane is married and has a couple of kids, it made it seem less likely that, as I thought, she would have been frequenting chefs’ bars. If the “rock star chef” is, indeed, Bourdain, Leah does seem to be the likeliest candidate. I think I dismissed her, because she looks so young, which probably means that I’m getting really old. I hadn’t heard any of the Padma and ? stuff; that certainly adds a little spice to what is shaping up as a rather dull Top Chef season. And today, I learned that the scandale in the British press is about Gordon Ramsay’s mistress.

    Someone asked about Ariane Daugin; she owns D’Artagnan Farms, where foie gras and other duck products are produced. TB has said that she’s one of the most courageous people he knows, and I think they’ve been friends for some time.

    In any case, Happy Thanksgiving to all; I saw a card that said, “This year, we all have something to be thankful for . . . Bush can’t run for a 3rd term.” Fred, Yul, and Adele, I hope you do well in the turkey leftovers department.

  36. catsworking says:

    Adele, I was just in Kroger and saw on the front of one of the tabloids that Bush broke down after meeting Obama, he’s terribly depressed, his drinking is out of control, and he’s begged Laura, “Please help me!”

    And Gordon Ramsey thinks HE’S got problems.

    I agree with you that Top Chef this season is tame. I’m most intrigued by Stefan and Fabio (mostly Fabio) and hope they go far. There seem to be a bunch of expendables who should get winnowed out pretty quickly.

    But like most of these reality shows, it’s become a one-trick pony. There’s only so many weird combinations presented in ultra-artsy ways I can take before they all start looking alike and nothing is special. And I think the unreasonable time limits create artificial stress so the chefs really can’t ever show their best work.

    Yes, there are time constraints working in a restaurant kitchen, but nobody’s developing new menu items every night, either.

    Ferran Adria and other innovators don’t whip up brand-new dishes in 20 minutes. They’d spit in your eye if you tried to make them. Yet that’s what these poor schmucks are forced to do, then get raked over the coals if they fail.

    I’d almost rather see them make the same thing, given room to innovate, and see who does the best job. For example – everybody make a meatloaf. Too many times, the judges are literally comparing apples to oranges.

    The cats do look forward to a bit of fresh leftover turkey not out of a can because I never make it myself during the year. 🙂

  37. marylou says:

    I vote for Leah as the girl in the Top Chef-rock star chef gossip, no matter who the guy was…the reason I love TC is that, while I’m a good cook, I could never come up with some of the creations some of the contestants manage to do–such imagination and skill…of course, some are just not that good and they quickly get weeded out. My only complaint is with the push for “drama”–last season that mean girl was in the final (I forget her name) and that was an obvious ploy by the producers to up the ante, I guess because winner Stepahnie was so nice…The year Elian won was a disappointment in terms of his victory–he was a manipulative snake whose cookinig was too one-note for the win…The first year was fantastic because people were less self-conscious. who could forget Dave’s crying, the junk food contest, the brilliant yet people-skills-challenged Tiffany, fan fave Lean losing out late in the game…and I have to say Padma is an improvement over Billy Joel’s wife.

  38. catsworking says:

    MaryLou, I agree with you that Leah seems the most likely one to have hooked up with anyone, if only because she the only one who lives in NYC. The rest, if single, are from all over the country so they wouldn’t have the opportunity to meet a “rock star chef” that Leah would.

    I like to make up dishes as I go along, but I’m far below the league of these contestants. I wouldn’t make it through one episode.

    I didn’t watch TC the first season, or any season until I realized Bourdain was on it. Then I started tuning in. I think I saw all of last season when Stephanie won. Good to see a nice person finish first for a change. I stopped watching Survivor after the first season when the evil Richard won.

    If Padma’s an improvement over anybody, that’s saying a lot about her predecessor.

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