Bourdain Gets Another Tasty Nomination

December 13, 2010

By Karen

The Tasty Awards released their last dribble of award nominees, and Anthony Bourdain’s up for “Best Male Host of a Series” category, so be sure to vote. (No Reservations also got 2 nominations). His competitors are Tom Colicchio, Eric Ripert, Andrew Zimmern (whose Bizarre Foods is nominated for “Best Comedy Series” — go figure), and just about every other guy who shares a show with food.

Top Chef’s Padma Laksmi is among the gazillion nominees for Best Female Host, so that should give you some clue as to what a distinguished honor this is.

Speaking of Top Chef, Bourdain didn’t judge week 2, when Eric Ripert’s employee, Jennifer Carroll, got sent home. I think I skipped Season 6, so I have no idea if Jen has always been so smug and arrogant, but my reaction to her elimination was, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass,” thanks to the attitude she’s shown this season.

But in fairness, here’s her exit interview with the Chicago Tribune. I have no doubt the episode was cut to make her come off looking super-bitchy, but she did provide the footage.

With that elimination challenge, the show crossed the line into gratuitous torture. There was absolutely ZERO need to allow the cheftestants almost no sleep before they had to mass-produce breakfast at 7 a.m. for a mob of kids. It ain’t Survivor.

What’s still unclear to me is if Team T-Rex had access to any seasonings beyond salt and pepper. It was mentioned they couldn’t use herbs. So sending Jen home for under-seasoned eggs could have been bullsh*t.

Bourdain blogged his opinion. According to the promo, he should be back at the Judges’ Table this week.

Sifu Renka snapped a nice photo of Tony when he was in Toronto. (Scroll down to the bottom.)

In case you missed last week’s No Reservations holiday special with Michael Ruhlman, Eater captured the best lines. And Gawker provides this clip of what’s become the standard gratuitous raw meat scene that sent me into another room until it was over.

December 7, Tony and Ottavia attended a party in the Empire State Building to help Mario Batali launch the Culinary Council, which will help the Food Bank of New York City fight hunger there.

Eater also reports that Helen Cho is the new resident social networking guru for Zero Point Zero Production, and she actually works with the crew, which means the No Res tweets and Facebook page may actually have something other than impersonal 3rd-party hype like we bloggers are supplied from Room 214.

Huffington Post just got around to putting up some video of Bourdain and Ripert spouting opinions while they were taping their Turn and Burn Sirius radio show.

American Thinker bemoans the “Ramsayization of Society” and uses Bourdain’s regular use of the word suck to appeal to a more youth demographic to make the tongue-in-cheek point that Jonathan Swift could have penned bestsellers  if he’d done likewise, and illustrates with a ludicrously “Bourdainized” passage from A Modest Proposal.


Bourdain’s Food Fight Sparks a Cat Fight

November 15, 2010

By Karen

I can’t often report on Anthony Bourdain from a personal encounter, but…

On November 11, Cats Working readers Adele, Cindy, MorganLF, Zappa’s Mom, and I met in Washington, DC, for the Capital Food Fight, a charity event that Bourdain has co-hosted with José Andrés for several years to benefit the DC Central Kitchen.

Before the festivities began, Tony spotted our crew in the crowd and came over to greet us. Unfortunately, there was no time to chat because he had to get right to work. I will say that for someone who just weathered Hurricane Tomas in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and entertained fans in Hershey, Pennsylvania, the previous night, Tony looked amazingly fit, well-rested, and gel-free.

You got it, Tony. Women know the secret: If you think your locks are feeling skimpy, go for fluff and volume, not wet Persian.

On stage, Tony was José Andrés’ comic counterpoint, trading insults with Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio and ribbing Eric Ripert, who both served as judges.

Washingtonian rates some of the evening’s highlights.

Local chefs, including former Top Chef contestant Spike Mendelsohn, competed in cooking competitions that required using unexpected secret ingredients (don’t ask — I’m no foodie). The most interesting matchup for me was when Bourdain and Ripert teamed against Colicchio and Andrés. By audience applause, Team B&R’s dish won.

The evening was a cocktail-party-style grazing occasion with 60 restaurants disbursing tasty morsels. Seating was scarce and coveted, but Morgan snagged us all chairs, which resulted in the cat fight…

Morgan was off grazing when a skinny, aging blonde had the audacity to take Morgan’s seat. Trying to dislodge her, I made the mistake of jokingly threatening that she’d have to deal with a Jersey girl when Morgan returned.

How was I supposed to know the bitch was from Brooklyn?

Morgan did assert her ownership of the seat politely, for a Jersey girl, only to be called a “f**king asshole” by Brooklyn and shoved almost off her feet when Brooklyn gave up the seat.

The next few seconds passed in slow motion, with white wine sailing through the air toward Brooklyn as she sidled past me. What didn’t hit the back of her head fell in my lap. The spray also christened Zappa’s Mom and an unsuspecting guy sitting beside me.

Immediately, a burly female Food Fight rep was on the scene to head off further violence. While she was piecing together what happened, Brooklyn had the nerve to come back, determined to have the last word with this catty put-down:

Leaning across me, she hissed at Morgan, “You must be a Democrat, with your sense of entitlement!”

Only in DC.

The night went without further incident (we got a last wave to Bourdain, Colicchio, and Ripert from the sidewalk as they left the building together), but I firmly believe some things — like horse races and cooking competitions — are best seen on TV. I’d rather watch mildew grow than chefs making steam, which was all the spectators could really see.

If you want a taste of being there, basically the view from our “entitled” vantage point, these videos capture it well. To fill the big screen above the stage for the sold-out crowd of 1,000, guys with cameras blocked virtually every possible glimpse of the live action.

Politico snagged a brief video interview with Bourdain before the Food Fight, and he revealed political leanings Brooklyn would find despicable.

Rather than trying to share the lousy shots I captured on my new Sony digital, here are many clear photos, probably from the guys who kept me from getting any.

This year’s event raised $501,000.

And now on the Bourdain awards front…

Eater recently bestowed 2010 honors. Bourdain was nominated for Television Personality of the Year, but lost to Eric Ripert.

The 2nd Annual Tasty Awards has nominated No Reservations for Best Food Program and Best Food Travel Series. Best Male Host in a Series nominees will be announced later today, and I’ll update here if he’s nominated. The awards ceremony is in Hollywood on January 13, but Tony’s supposed to be at the Cayman Cookout.

Seattle Weekly asked the burning question, “Bourdain v. Ray?” Guess who won as fan favorite?

In the “What do Tony and Elvis have in common?” Department…

An interview with Tony before his November 12 appearance in Charleston mentions that he was recently in Nicaragua. Was that during his trip to Haiti? I can’t keep up.

And Asheville’s (NC) Citizen-Times reported from Twitter many unconfirmed Bourdain sightings the weekend of November 6. I’m going out on a limb here to declare them bogus because Tony was really in Raleigh, NC, for an appearance on the 13th.

Sku’s Recent Eats discusses Medium Raw and offers Tony a few writing tips, which would carry more weight if Sku knew the difference between everyday and every day.

I just found out that a 9-hour audiobook of Medium Raw, read by Bourdain, has been available since July.

And while checking that out, I unearthed A Chef’s Christmas, a forgotten one-hour audio short story written and narrated by Bourdain in 2002. You can listen to a sample before you buy.

Where Isn’t Bourdain These Days?

January 18, 2010

By Karen

No Reservations visits Istanbul, Turkey, tonight. No advance showing was offered, but Wendy at Room 214 tells us Anthony Bourdain begins his visit with a hangover after over-indulging on the plane. (Tony, no! Such a rookie mistake!).

He samples the local cuisine, including a “throbbing missile of love” — meat on a stick — and tools around town with a freakishly knowledgeable cabbie named Ishaan.

Fine, but then Room 214 jumped the shark, offering bloggers an autographed Anthony Bourdain calendar for writing about this episode and sending the link and their mailing address to Wendy.

Quantities are limited, so post now!

Gentle Cats Working readers, I’ve never made a penny off this blog, and I’m not about to start shilling for Travel Channel for freebies. I know this wasn’t Tony’s idea, but I’m just saying, in case he ever wonders if I took the bait. No, I didn’t. I reserve the right to say later that I hated the episode, if necessary.

Julie Van Rosendaal of Dinner with Julie was emcee for Bourdain’s January 12 Calgary appearance and wrote, bar none, the greatest, most personal and detailed account I’ve read yet of what Tony’s really like at these things. I’ve always imagined him highly pampered, surrounded by fawning toadies, but that’s not the case.

Here’s a great photo of Julie and Tony. He must have really liked her because he’s showing teeth, which he rarely does.

Kitchen Scraps got another photo of Bourdain’s at the Calgary book signing. Yup, the crewcut was a temporary aberration. Tony’s silver mane is back.

And the Calgary Herald interviewed the chef who cooked for Bourdain in Calgary. What’s this rumor that Tony won’t eat anywhere but in his hotel room?

Tony himself blogged last week about Panama and this and that, and asked for donations for one of Mario Batali’s employees who was horribly injured in a freak accident on a New York street.

I was thrilled to read that Bourdain intends to return to PARIS! That was my favorite NR episode ever.

Tony talked to Slashfood about NR’s new season and professed admiration for Ina Garten, with Giada de Laurentis coming in second.

Rebecca Langlais writes about Tony’s appearance in Lowell, Mass., on January 9.

Men’s Journal interviewed Bourdain for the Dec09/Jan10 issue, discussing a variety of things, including Tony’s attitude toward women.

Harvey Pekar, the offbeat comics writer who was featured in NR: Cleveland has nothing but fond memories of Tony at the end of this interview.

Uncouth Gormand attended the Tasty Awards in San Francisco on January 14 and reported that Bourdain was a no-show on his Person of the Year award, but filmed an acceptance speech and asked his producers to tell lots of dick and fart jokes. I’m thinking the Bourdains were already on their way to the (Grand) Cayman Cookout for the weekend. Can’t blame them.

Bourdain’s on the Road Again

January 11, 2010

By Karen

Season 6 of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations begins tonight in Panama. I saw it online last week and exclaimed almost immediately, “WTF! He got another one??!!

I’m talking tattoo — BIG tattoo — right forearm. Then his left forearm. They kept appearing and disappearing, keeping my eyes glued to them.

Their presence was explained by the end of the episode, but they sure wreaked havoc on continuity.

Season 6’s promo theme is, “Which will it be? Nice Tony or Evil Tony?” Is that supposed to allay fears that Bourdain’s gone soft?

His Web site got a face-lift and they managed to reformat the episode schedule to make it utterly useless. (Thumbs up on the season recaps, though.)

On January 9, Tony spoke in Lowell, Mass. Cats Working reader Cindy found this pre-show phone interview. Tony’s appearing on Ariane’s favorite show, Yo Gabba Gabba.

The profane Anthony Bourdain doing children’s TV. What next? An F-bomb-spewing Vic Chanko puppet on Sesame Street?

Tony is in Calgary, Canada, on January 12. The Calgary Herald got an e-mail interview.

On the 13th, Bourdain’s speaking in Santa Rosa, California. The Press Democrat phoned him and Tony confided a “grudging respect” for — are you ready? — Guy Fieri. He also said they plan to shoot NR in Rome in black and white with subtitles, like a Fellini film.

This coming weekend, he’ll be barefoot on the sands of Seven Mile Beach at the Cayman Cookout, but apparently not before accepting his Person of the Year honor in San Francisco January 14 at the Tasty Awards, hob-nobbing with Meryl Streep, who won an Outstanding Performance award for her amazing portrayal of Julia Child.

The Daily Fork gave Tony only honorable mention on its annual list of sexiest culinary celebs, while the burger-blowing Padma Lakshmi from Top Chef made #5. Must be a guy thing.

Tony discussed his evolving fan base before his appearance in Lakeland, Florida, on January 8. I like to think he oh-so-obliquely acknowledged the existence of the Cats Working ladies.

Blog of New Orleans scored an advance interview before Bourdain’s January 7 appearance there and somehow managed to make it dull.

Tony was in Portland, Maine, January 2 – in a snowstorm – eating seafood for a NR episode set to air April 12.

Bangor Daily News reported Bourdain enjoying hot dogs and beans in Milo, hometown of crew member Zach. They said Tony’s next stop is Cuba.

I’ve got to quit now. His January travel schedule has my head spinning, and he’s still got a few more stops to make.

TasteTV Names Anthony Bourdain “Person of the Year”

December 7, 2009

By Karen

TasteTV is rolling out the red carpet for Anthony Bourdain. He’ll receive a special achievement award as “Person of the Year” at the 2010 Tasty Awards on January 14, 2010.

No Reservations was nominated for Best TV Food Program – competing with 30 Minute Meals, Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Man v. Food, Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie, and Top Chef. You can cast a Viewer’s Choice vote in that category.

No Res is also in the running for Best TV Food Travel Series, and Bourdain as Best Male Host in a Series.

No telling if Tony will be at the ceremony because the Cayman Cookout on Grand Cayman begins the same day.

When Bourdain was in Denver on November 18, he ate elk, wild boar, and reindeer hotdogs at Biker Jim’s sausage cart, proclaiming them the “pinnacle of American food.” He then bought and wore the T-shirt to his appearance and proceeded to diss New York City street food.

Commenters at Midtown Lunch responded to Bourdain’s blasphemy.

Tony also talked more trash about Guy Fieri, particularly his hair. Not sure if it’s the spikes or the color that inspire his ire.

And just to prove that Bourdain’s whining about there being nothing but chicken wings and fried mozzarella in Denver was unjustified, a special order of bacon-cashew brittle was delivered to his hotel.

Asian Foodie saw Tony with David Chang at the Union Square Barnes & Noble in New York on November 23. She found Chang dull, his constant cursing notwithstanding, and Tony tame (maybe in a mellow mood for Thanksgiving?). But he bad-mouthed New York City food AGAIN.

Joseph Bayot did a very thorough write-up on this appearance, well illustrated with shots of Bourdain’s spikeless new ‘do.

For every fan who goes sour on Bourdain, it seems there’s always a new one waiting in the wings. Things I Learned Watching TV has decided that Tony isn’t a douche after all and is now a NR devotée.

And Hey, Coach J admits she has a crush on Bourdain, even though she thinks he’s got terrible taste in clothes.

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