Ottavia Bourdain Incites ‘Steakgate’ in Vegas

July 19, 2012

By Karen

But first… Congratulations to Anthony Bourdain and No Reservations on 4 Emmy nominations. I didn’t notice any other Travel Channel blockbusters on the nominees list; they must be eating their hearts out at TC about Tony’s defection to CNN. The categories are:

  • Outstanding Nonfiction Series
  • Outstanding Writing – Cuba
  • Outstanding Cinematography – Mozambique
  • Outstanding Picture Editing – U.S. Desert

Back to Ottavia’s brouhaha… It all started when Grub Street innocently published her “week in the life of” guest blog post. What that woman eats is mind-boggling, but it was her description of a bad steak in an unnamed restaurant in Las Vegas while attending a UFC event with her husband that lit up the ‘Net.

So this guy named John Curtas rebuked Ottavia’s unsophisticated palate in his column at Eating Las Vegas, and Tony leaped to his wife’s defense on Twitter, calling the column “idiotic” and “based on a false premise” (which was where they stayed, which supposedly housed the offending restaurant) — and Tony even stooped to spelling the columnist’s name “Curtass.”

The foodie world went into overdrive trying to ascertain the chef, throwing names around that included Tony’s pal, Mario Batali. But finally the culprit revealed himself to be Charlie Palmer. Since Ottavia didn’t send the steak back, Palmer rued being unable to make things right on the spot and apologized.

On the other hand, you have to appreciate Ottavia’s dilemma. Sitting there with the well-recognized Bourdain, she either had to choke down that steak or earn herself the reputation of being Tony’s picky-eater-bitch-wife.

Personally, I think she took the high road. There’s no sin in describing a bad meal, yet much virtue in concealing who prepared it if the intent isn’t to slam the chef.

And there’s nothing more amusing than watching foodies work themselves into a lather over a freaking steak, how it was cooked, and who cooked it. If the words “GET A LIFE!” have any significant context, this is it.

Moving on to the must-see Web TV department…

Eric Ripert has a new web series, On the Table, on the Reserve Channel, and Tony was his first guest. Without a doubt, it’s the most candid, natural, and informative interview I’ve ever seen Bourdain do. Eric knows Tony so well, he provided the perfect atmosphere (they cooked together in a home-like kitchen), asked the right questions to get Tony on new ground, and provides a bit of commentary on his best friend. It’s in 3 parts for about 22 minutes.

As a sidebar, talking to Grub Street with Eric about that show, Tony revealed that Ariane is a big Katie Perry fan and has a crush on Ripert’s son, among other things.

Other news…

If you’re interested in Get Jiro! (which took the No. 1 spot on the NY Times Bestseller List for graphic novels), Tony talked to MTVGeek about it at San Diego Comic-Con recently.

Here’s another Comic-Con interview.

July 30-Aug. 5, Bourdain will be hosting “Mob Week” movies on AMC in prime time.

Treme Season 3 begins September 23 with 10 episodes, and Tony is back, writing the New Orleans restaurant subplot for Janette.

And if owning one copy isn’t enough for you, a new edition of Kitchen Confidential is coming out this fall, with Bourdain’s handwritten margin updates.

No Reservations: 3 Emmy Noms + Australia

July 20, 2009

By Karen

Anthony Bourdain seems to be walking on Cloud 9, wherever he is. No Reservations got an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Non-Fiction Series, and the Laos episode netted two more nominations for photography and editing. Tony has covered it in depth on his own blog.

Tonight, No Reservations goes to Melbourne, Australia, and Ingrid at Room214 provided a few details and a peek:

Tony visits the Queen Victoria Market with British chef buddy, Paul Wilson, where Tony sees a lot of fresh meat, fish, and produce. Then he eats at Wilson’s restaurant, Half Moon.

Tony plays trugo (whatever that is) and WINS! Now, that’s something I want to see. Bourdain the jock. But I’m guessing trugo is some kind of board or card game.

Tony tries Middle Eastern street food, visits Chinatown, and ends up at a BBQ where roast lamb is featured.

Here’s the Travel Channel run-down of his Australia itinerary.

Someone at the Examiner spotted Tony in New York City at a restaurant called Michael’s with an “unidentified guest.”

In case you’ve been skipping past comments…

Cats Working reader Cindy tipped us off to the possible sale of the Travel Channel. No telling what that could mean for the talent, but somehow I don’t see Bourdain returning to the Food Network stable. He works like a cat, and he’ll land on his feet, no matter what happens.

Meanwhile, reader Petunia thinks she heard Bourdain doing a voiceover on a TV commercial for Glad storage containers. I haven’t heard it yet myself, but keep your ears perked and check in when you hear it. Tony has wondered if he should be cashing in on endorsements like so many of his celebrity chef friends. Maybe this is his way of testing the waters.


Sillymharia writes about her admiration for Bourdain and her despair over the lack of his female equal on TV, enumerating the shortcomings of female hosts she watches. Her humorous style puts her in Bourdain’s league for snarkiness and wit, and she’s only 23. Recommended reading.

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