Bourdain’s Gone Fishin’

January 24, 2011

By Karen

Anthony Bourdain took No Reservations back to Brazil, where he fished in the Amazon and made an impressive catch. Is it a trick of light, or does he look unusually svelte? (Tony, not the fish.)

Meanwhile, controversy simmers back in the States after Hannah Hayes, daughter of a Cargill executive, publicly called Bourdain out on Chapter 9 of Medium Raw, his rant on “Meat” where he named food giant Cargill as a force of evil.

Bourdain was surprisingly benign in his blogged response, although he stood his ground (beef) on treating meat with ammonia.

A Faustian Bargain declared “Bullshit!,” saying Bourdain at any other time is “the Glenn Beck of the food world.” He also claims his comment on Bourdain’s Travel Channel blog got deleted, so he posted it himself and expanded upon everything that he thinks is wrong with Tony.

I’m going to claim non-foodie neutrality here and not pick sides. However, I do think that Faustian may be spot-on that Bourdain softened (or was advised to soften) his stance because HarperCollins’ lawyers smelled a potential libel suit cooking.

In the Win Some, Lose Some Department…

The 2011 Producers’ Guild Awards were held on January 22 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. No Res lost to Deadliest Catch for Outstanding Producer of Non-Fiction Television.

And on a lighter note, Chicago Foodies posed an interesting question: Is Bourdain starting to look like Eric Ripert? Hmmm…

Tony returned as a judge for week 7 of Top Chef All-Stars. If the Quickfire Challenge of filleting fish at Le Bernadin really was his brainchild it was, hands down, his finest hour ever on TC. Not only did he refrain from gratuitously making the cheftestants look silly just because he could, but he gave them an opportunity to display real-world skill.

Bonus: Padma was nowhere, which instantly elevated the challenge’s stature.

Tony shared judging duties with Justo Thomas, Le Bernadin’s resident fish prep chef and the hero of Medium Raw’s Chapter 18, “My Aim is True.”

Dale won the Quickfire, but the ensuing Restaurant War made me a bigger Fabio fan than ever. Last week, Fabio launched his own hilarious blog, and one of his first posts was about the Restaurant War, where he distinguished himself with a superior dessert and his management skills.

I’d like to see Fabio with his own cooking show. He could be the Italian Emeril.

Bourdain also blogged about the Restaurant War. In case you missed it, the increasingly scary/delusional Marcel had to pack it in with the foam and go.

There are many great recaps of this episode in the blogosphere, but David Dust’s had me laughing out loud.

Gawker was also hilarious. You know how I love a good Padma joke.

Tonight, I’m off to Sur La Table for Session 2 of Bourdain’s Kitchen Basics class, where I’ll learn about Stocks, Soups, and Sauces. Our dishes include: Rich Chicken Stock, Fish Stock, Mushroom Soup, Mussels Steamed in White Wine (Moules à la Grecque), and Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Bearnaise Sauce.

Full report on Wednesday…

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