Old hookers, cheap laughs and wild accusations – Anthony Bourdain weighs in on the James Beard Awards
March 29th, 2011
06:00 AM ET
Share this on:

Yesterday, author and No Reservations host Anthony Bourdain took to his Travel Channel blog to criticize the James Beard Foundation. Most days, that'd be akin to announcing that there was a slight chill in the air at the Vostok Station, but this time, I think the shot was cheap and the intended mark was missed. It hit elsewhere, and messily.

Bourdain has a longstanding beef with the James Beard Foundation. He asserts that the group - which among other functions, doles out prestigious annual awards to chefs, restaurateurs, restaurant designers, cookbook authors, television and radio producers and journalists in the food world - is an insular, elitist organization more interested in an ego-stroke than the well-being of the people it purports to honor. He has been, in his own words, "loudly peeing on this organization at every opportunity for years," and he's more than entitled to his opinion.

But did he really have to splash it all over the whole food writing community?

Bourdain wrote in part:

"I am, however, rooting for Ruth Bourdain to win in the new humor category. Because I’m pleasantly surprised to find the Beardies even discovering the existence of a sense of humor. ... And because, apparently, some in the food writing 'community' are said to be peeved that such an unserious, unidentified, uncontrollable–and well, funny, candidate might be honored by the purported 'Oscars of Food'. It is said that some feel his/her nomination 'cheapens' the enterprise."

"Coming from a profession whose vast majority spend their hours and days writing about 'kicky new muffin recipes' , 'Pie: The Next Big Thing' or attending launches for bottled water, restaurant openings, and anywhere they can fill their plastic lined pockets with free food and swag–the whole notion of someone–anyone–'cheapening' the business sounds like a bunch of old hookers complaining about the new girl who kisses on the lips."

"When one of the 'lions' of the food writing business–and I am NOT talking about Alan Richman–has been famously and openly shaking down the subjects of his 'reviews' for free food, drinks, vacations and other things of value for years with absolute impunity, it’s hard to imagine anyone 'cheapening' anything about the business. When your gold standard behaves like a shady garbage contractor, and you are complicit in your silence, you can hardly complain."

Bourdain (Anthony, not Ruth, but maybe her, too) is far, far more well-known, wealthy, influential, beloved, important, ad infinitum than I will ever be. He and his hundreds of thousands of devoted readers, viewers and well-known friends could at a moment's notice soundly ignore me or crush me like a scribbling little bug.

That doesn't mean that I've got to sit in the aforementioned complicit silence while he makes a hoary whore joke about my entire profession. He sure wouldn't.

As Grub Street noted, I responded in the comments to his blog:

"As one of the 'Beardies' on the journalism committee that established the Humor awards this year, I'll note that if you're thinking that every last food writer out there is either in the 'zOMG Cuppycakes!' 'The sanctity of perfect pie crust' or 'Free gum! Please permit me to shrimp you!' category, I've got to wonder where the hell you're doing all your reading."

"Plenty of us have read our Britchky and Liebling, same as you. Plenty of us getting dirt under the nails - or at least reporting on the farmers, workers and cooks who do - doing what we can on teeny budgets. See Barry Estabrook up for 3 journalism awards? See the unnamed schnorrer you cited up for none? One brush should not tar all."

Before I plunge further into the chum vat, I'd like to note that I'm actually the person who, as the Journalism Committee sat slicing, dicing and filleting the new structure for the 2011 awards, said, "Humor. We need to have a Humor category."

In the back of my head, I had a wacky notion that wouldn't it be delightful if Ruth Bourdain - a fictitious, anonymous Twitter-based character who's an amalgam of Mr. Bourdain and erstwhile Gourmet Editor-in-Chief Ruth Reichl - made it to the medal round. It's not, however, as if any of us were under the impression that food writing humor was born unto this world the day that RuBo belched forth her first 140 characters - or even with the publication of Bourdain's gritty, witty, bestselling memoir Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.

This was a room full of people who'd grown up giggling over A.J. Liebling's Parisian dispatches, Seymour Britchky's acid-penned, howl-inducing restaurant reviews, R.W. Apple's expansive and amiable accounts of global dining and Calvin Trillin's mouth-stuffing, gut-busting travelogues. Food is high-goldanged-larious. We all know it . No one's knickers are especially bunchy. We just didn't have a chance to reward it before now.

The other accusation - that of promiscuous freebie-grabbing and inconsequential subject matter amongst the entire food writing world - made my humorless little hooker heart sink. First of all, because Anthony Bourdain, a writer and food authority I've always held in great esteem, believed it enough to write it, and second, because many of his fans will think this to be gospel.

Every barrel of pros has its bad apples. We've got our swag hags and hacks, to be sure, but they're not stinking up the green room in which finalists like Barry Estabrook, Tom Philpott, Corby Kummer, Joe Fassler, Rachael Moeller Gorman, Katharine Shilcutt, Brian Halweil and others are standing.

The work these, and many writers who were not nominated or didn't enter (Kim Severson and Marion Nestle spring right to mind), put into the world improves the welfare of tomato farmers, effects change in school lunch policy, helps push through food safety legislation and shines a floodlight on the people and practices that are making a real world difference and saving lives. If they also teach us to make a bitchen pie crust along the way, I fail to see the harm.

If I thought there was a chance Mr. Bourdain was listening, I'd offer up a deal. He's a TV pro, host of a cable network show where he gets to travel hither and yon, exploring the foodways of faraway places, right? He's not the only one who does something akin to that. I'd ask him to dust off his reading glasses, take a gander across the new horizons of food journalism, and perhaps stop showering the whole profession in his acidic assessment. In exchange, I'd promise not to lump him under the same umbrella as that other guy. Sounds like a golden opportunity to me.

*As a Journalism Committee member, I don't actually have a say in who wins. Judges submit votes to an outside accounting firm, and we just make sure everything is properly categorized and gets in on time. Full disclosure: we also get sandwiches and the occasional cookie if we've done a really good job.



soundoff (81 Responses)
  1. Chef Paul Jardine.

    The James Beard Foundation Book Awards for 2011 completely ignored one of the best books by a professional Chef and written for professional Chef's and Culinary Arts Students ever written. It is available to download on Smashwords.com and is titled; 'The Working Chefs Edition of Classic and Traditional Sauces, Relishes and Dressings'
    A 30 year collection of the world's greatest classic and traditional recipes. Go to: http://www.workingchefseditions.com
    Shame on the book award judges for promoting the ridiculous crapola they did for 2011. It proved to me the James Beard Foundation is without credibility or honor, a sellout to the big vendors, special interests and TV worms.

    October 18, 2011 at 4:05 pm | Reply
  2. Chef Jack

    I agree wholeheartedly with AB's commentary on the JBF. It is a shameless and unquestioningly self-serving, elitist tableau macabre in the extreme. The JBF is a beached and bloated whale, (not unlike old jimmy himself). Although I am not in the least enamoured with AB as either a fellow professional culinarian or a person I could particularly admire, I do find myself in complete agreement with him on this issue of the JBF. I did read through AB's booze and drug-saturated book 'Kitchen Confidential', which reading through once was enough to know I would not consciously want to read anything else he wrote.

    October 18, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Reply
  3. I Heart Evil Grin

    @Mettle... wow, that was some pretty heavy words, I bet Kat is gonna go cry herself to sleep....tool

    August 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Reply
  4. Maitre'D@Mettle

    Mettle, party of one?
    You table awaits you in the STFU cafe!

    August 4, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Reply
  5. Mike

    The James Beard Foundation is elitism at its worst. They are a non-profit, albeit a multi-mullion dollar one, so whenever they have an event, the squeeze the shit out of every supplier and vendor, whiling about they "are just a little nonprofit" while demanding huge discount and givebacks. Its hard to cry poverty with a glass of Krug in one hand and foie gras in the other.

    April 18, 2011 at 9:51 pm | Reply
  6. stp123

    Sounds to me like Mr. Bourdain has a bit of a chip on his shoulder.

    April 13, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Reply
  7. Dick Fitzwell

    How about a little detente, a spirit of compromise? Bourdain traded his silver-spoon, private school short pants for punk leathers years ago and now writes like a combative drunk to seem authentic. His groupies are mullet-headed Bukowski fanciers who use comic book spellings and play undergrad word cop as if the subject here was the literary freaking culture wars. And the Beard Foundation is a self-congratulatory cabal of pretentious twits whose Francophilia precludes recognizing the Latinos who provide the actual blood and sweat of their industry. Now was that so hard? Everyone wins!

    April 1, 2011 at 1:52 pm | Reply
  8. RealPerson

    Good rebuttal Kat! People forget that Tony Bourdain is Vassar-educated and his book and his whole show is a big schtick. He's come to my town and spent all his time with the major food writers and several James Beard chefs. He never picked up a tab – just ate for free and mouthed off. I attended a Q&A with him and when I tried to talk to him he just looked at me like I was a bedbug – definitely not good enough for him to talk to. What a ridiculous elitist he is.

    Who does he hang with on TV – Eric Ripert, Davd Chang, Grant Achatz, Michael Ruhlman. If that's not attention-seeking and elitist I don't know what is. Perhaps THOSE James Beard winners just mentioned should tell him to knock off his pathetic man-of-the-people schtick. But he can't because then he won't be able to feed his sorry need for attention.

    And who cares if he doesn't like the Beard awards? The chefs seem to like them.

    March 31, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Reply
  9. Jdizzle McHammerpants

    Old Hookers?!? Why didn't anyone come and ask for my opinion?

    March 30, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  10. Chef Mike

    The James Beard Awards are the the Oscars of Food?? Really, its just food...Bourdain is pissed that Alan Richman is still working and writing and getting away with the same crap he has for 20 years, and the Bread Awards know and are complicit in his conduct. Is it true, I don't know, but he's not sued for defamation or slander, so lets assume YES...

    March 30, 2011 at 11:57 am | Reply
  11. dave

    Food Network Humor should have been nominated in the humor category. They're the funniest thing in Food. It's because no one in the world of food has ANY BALLS WHATSOEVER. Awards show fail.

    March 30, 2011 at 10:24 am | Reply
    • Kat Kinsman

      Just a small point of order – writers have to self-nominate, and then are judged. It's a pain to have to enter, but there's no way the committee could see and assess everything out there. They may not have entered.

      March 30, 2011 at 10:31 am | Reply
      • Jamie

        So, Ms. Kinsman, are you saying that Ruth Bourdain nominated him/herself? In your article, you hint that the nomination came from within the committee itself, which sounds awfully suspicious.

        April 11, 2011 at 3:23 am | Reply
  12. MISTEReBRAIN

    BREAKING NEWS: #100factsaboutAnthonyBourdain trending on Twitter.

    March 30, 2011 at 2:12 am | Reply
  13. Lisa Gosselin

    Thank you, Kat, for both supporting RuthBourdain, humor, service and the serious journalists these awards recognize.

    March 29, 2011 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  14. MIchelinMan

    Pete @ 2:48 makes the best comment of anyone; either you completely missed Bourdain's point, Kat, or chose to ignore it because you had something to say and knew this would be a traffic-generator.

    And frankly, you should be horribly ashamed, Ms. Klinsman. To compare Bourdain's show to the obesity-fest that is "Triple-D" shows a great deal of cultural ignorance and is the epitome of a class-less, base, and foul cheap-shot; one guy is showing the world how people live in La Chureca, the other is stuffing his face and slapping hands over fried chicken gizzards in Bumblefuck, Michican. People who chastise Bourdain because he gets to travel around the world and "eat," are also, again, COMPLETELY missing the point. After all, if you really pay attention and put some critical thought into it, it's quite understandable that "No Reservations," isn't REALLY a food show at all; it's about the way people live, the world-over, and eating just so happens to be one of the common, daily activities undertaken in every corner of the globe in order to sustain life.

    I'll be sticking to Grub Street, Eater, Serious Eats, etc from now on. And good luck to , RuBo!

    March 29, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Reply
    • Karen

      where is the damn like button for this comment!

      March 29, 2011 at 5:36 pm | Reply
    • Kat Kinsman

      That's my point, though. He oughtn't lump the food writers who are effecting change and smart discourse in with those who are less rigorous and ethical. That would be the same as lumping him in with the others in his profession. Not fair when either one of us do it.

      March 29, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Reply
    • Pete

      Kat, you're still not getting it. He said clearly "It would appear that SOME". SOME does not equal all. Everything he says after was set up by this simple statement that you were too busy being unjustifiably offended by something assuredly not aimed at you.

      If you can't understand what you READ, how can you consider yourself a WRITER.

      March 29, 2011 at 10:43 pm | Reply
      • Kat Kinsman

        Unjustifiably offended? Nope. I have an opinion. He has one, too. We both expressed them. Dialogue happened, and that's never a bad thing.

        And it was the "vast majority" statement that irked me, by the way.

        March 30, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Reply
      • Ben

        LOL at "unjustifiably offended". What, are you the arbiter over who should be offended, and at what? If Kat believes good names have been tarnished, then so be it. Whether you agree with her or not, it takes no small amount of hubris to claim that she has no right to feel the way that she does.

        March 30, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Reply
  15. @cheffie521 follow me on twitter

    I do not care about this whole subject, but you annoy me with it still! Do your show you are good at that, write your boring ass books enjoy being the self loathing sellout, but just shut up would you!

    March 29, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  16. ahman

    This nation is about to send troops to libya and cnn spends time to even report this, now thats hoarish

    March 29, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Reply
    • Fezzik

      "I don't think you know what that word means."

      March 29, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Reply
    • Pete

      That's why there are different categories of news on the front page. Maybe you could click on World Politics, etc... if you only want to see stories about the situation in Libya. Me, I'm interested in food too, and don't appreciate you thinking you can dictate what I should and should not be able to read on CNN

      March 29, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Reply
      • Pete

        Also, so you understand, articles like these are written independently, and then submitted to CNN. Are you implying we should be sending chefs to libya to report on it? I'd love to see how that works out.

        March 29, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Reply
    • Dr. Crippen

      That's why this item is in the "Eatocracy" section, fuckface.

      March 29, 2011 at 6:13 pm | Reply
      • Snowbunny

        LOL!!

        April 8, 2011 at 11:45 am | Reply
  17. Pete

    Lemme get this straight:

    Bourdain blasts foodies that are AGAINST a humor award

    You proceed to write a long winded article showing how you are NOT against it, and are offended by his comments aimed at people who ARE.

    But, his comments are CLEARLY not against you. He states that people against a humor award are 1,2,3, and you rebut that you are in fact NOT 1,2, +3. Well, ... DUH. He wasn't speaking to or about you at all, dear.

    Am I alone here? Did no one else see this entire article as a pointless defense of someone who was not even effected?

    March 29, 2011 at 2:48 pm | Reply
  18. One Eyed Andre

    Of course, something interesting is that this article ignores the main thrust of Bourdain's statement; that the organization is celebrating the wrong people entirely. Kinsman, way to miss the point spectacularly, while grasping at the things that make you personally butthurt.

    Bourdain's main thrust was that this upcoming "multi-cultural" themed mess was going to be just a bunch of white people with money, and not the people of actual cultures. The only time you get even close to this in your slapfight-intent ramble is your second to last paragraph. For shame.

    March 29, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Reply
  19. 5diamond

    Not only is he "...far, far more well-known, wealthy [sic], influential, beloved, important, ad infinitum than [you] will ever be...", he's a been writer. Please study up on your MLA format if you're going to be a published "author", or hand a copy to your editor. Jesus, your writing wrought with mistakes!

    March 29, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Reply
    • ... do as I say

      Before ripping on others for their writing errors, perhaps you should edit your own comments before hitting that "post" button. Just sayin'.

      March 29, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Reply
      • Jdizz

        I love when people fall off their soap box. Idiots.

        April 8, 2011 at 11:59 am | Reply
    • Jerv

      What is a "been writer?"

      April 8, 2011 at 11:56 am | Reply
  20. Karen

    While A-Bo may be a little bitchy, if you read carefully, he makes good points albeit at the expense of the vast majority. But lighten the eff up people, he gets paid to write so you will read, the more pot stirring, the more readers, DUH. And who else out there has aligned themselves with the real hard working restaurant folks? I am hard pressed to name someone else so if there is another advocate for the unsung heros of the kitchen please enlighten me.

    March 29, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Reply
  21. Ben

    Wait, someone's giving out free gum in exchange for shrimping?

    March 29, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Reply
  22. Dr. Crippen

    Good for Bourdain. He nailed it on the head.

    March 29, 2011 at 1:01 pm | Reply
    • FelishaFetish

      Ohhhhh my,so Tony's into hard piercings?

      March 29, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Reply
  23. PauletteB

    I stopped watching the show because Bourdain's nastiness overshadows everything else. The guy's a legend in his own mind.

    March 29, 2011 at 12:47 pm | Reply
  24. TBurns

    I find more and more frequently that Tony seems to be 'peeing' on practically everything and everyone. Historically, he used himself as the foil for his hard-won observations about life and cooking – and his honesty and humility were both appealing and somewhat inspiring. Having run low on lessons connected to drug use, filthy kitchen banter, and under-appreciated, hardworking Latinos, he now seems to simply target anyone outside the tiny circle of chefs he considers legit. Pretty arrogant for a guy who claims he can't stand the arrogance of the 'Beardies'...

    March 29, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Reply
  25. Jorge

    Hookers???? Did anybody mention hookers and free gourmet food??? WHERE???

    March 29, 2011 at 12:22 pm | Reply
  26. Dr. Crippen

    Awwww......did big, bad Tony piss all over all the pretentious twats? Breaks my f*****g lard encrusted heart. Waaahhhh, waaaaahhhh, my feelings are hurt. Soft cow.

    March 29, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  27. Brian Holbrook

    Never in the history of journalism has name-dropping been used to less effect...

    March 29, 2011 at 12:11 pm | Reply
  28. Missy Rant

    Direct quote from the article: and perhaps stop showering the whole profession in his acidic assessment.

    Good luck with that! :)

    Now, why don't you tell us what you're TRULY pissed off about? Is it because Mr. Bourdain has the utter audacity to say things in a manner in which you consider crude, or is it because he's actually right? :)

    March 29, 2011 at 11:50 am | Reply
  29. NotTonyBourdain

    Though I do enjoy watching Bourdain tootling through countries and eating food and having experiences most of us will never have, they guy is clearly as attention hungry and self-important as they come. He feeds off the same elitist strokes that he is decrying. Hypocritical much, Tony?

    March 29, 2011 at 11:36 am | Reply
  30. Lila

    I also think "foodies" are laughable and pretentious. But whatever Anthony Bourdain says about you all, good or bad, is really good, because I've never even heard of your little awards thing or any of what you wrote about. Now, due to Mr. Bourdain speaking of it, I have. Free publicity isn't a bad thing.

    March 29, 2011 at 11:22 am | Reply
    • Charles

      Funny. You take the time to read a food blog, but you've never heard of the James Beard awards? That, my friend, is the definition of a troll. Now...crawl back under your rock.

      March 29, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Reply
  31. Evil Grin

    I have to admit, that I sometime over-generalize my complaints in my own field. So a few bad apples with bad habits become many or most when I'm ranting. When you get tired of seeing something over and over, it can actually take over your whole field of vision, and you stop seeing the good that's out there and focus on the bad. That's a shame, but it happens, and you get upset about it.

    Admittedly, I'm not a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain. I'm not NOT a fan, I just don't know much about him aside from the surface. He may have been just ranting out some of his frustrations, or he may have been serious. But maybe it'll get people talking about what they are getting from food journalism lately. I think it's a good discussion to have.

    March 29, 2011 at 11:18 am | Reply
  32. Jdizzle McHammerpants

    Kat VS Bourdain:

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jpoki4wBwtA&w=640&h=390]

    March 29, 2011 at 11:12 am | Reply
    • Jerv

      LOL! That is one bad azz chicken!

      April 8, 2011 at 12:01 pm | Reply
  33. Alesia Kaye

    Wow – a public pissing contest – where do I sign up?

    March 29, 2011 at 11:10 am | Reply
    • RichardHead

      You can piss and write while standing up? IReport,please!

      March 29, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Reply
  34. Coriolana

    nice writing. You're wrong, Tony's right, but I'd give you solid B.

    March 29, 2011 at 10:48 am | Reply
  35. Really?

    You eat food and you write about it,. You get paid to EAT! Enjoy it and stop complaining. Boo hoo – Big Bad Bourdain made a comment about food bloggers. I think it's funny most people will now think of you more as a complainer and not as a food writer since this article will be the first time they ever heard of you.

    March 29, 2011 at 10:47 am | Reply
    • RichardHead@Really?

      May I first say that Ms.Kinsman gets paid to write which helps her eat. From your comment you are a Troll who is not aware that this Blog is nearly a year old and many people read it everyday. She is stating an Opinion,much as Tony has in his books or on Twitter. I have never once heard Kat complain about anything. She is all about food and the people that are involved in preparing it to feed your fat ASS!

      March 29, 2011 at 11:04 am | Reply
  36. RHiggyman

    HAH HAH HAH hehe heheh. Don't mess with Tony man! The man can write. he's like a food Mark Twain or somthing. When you grab that tiger by the tail, just hope that it has enough alchohol in it that it does rip you to shreds! Old hookers! That was awsome.

    March 29, 2011 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • RHiggyman

      I meant does not rip you to shreds, woops. To much scotch this morning.

      March 29, 2011 at 9:44 am | Reply
    • Tbone

      I love old hookers. That made my day, pass the scotch.

      March 29, 2011 at 9:47 am | Reply
  37. a-newton

    It seems to me the Bourdain, in saying "vast majority", was explicitly saying that this didn't apply to everyone. In fact the joke that you seem to be so offended by, that you feel painted an entire profession with the same brush, was squarely aimed at those who were criticizing the humor category and the nominee(s). I don't know why you should be so personally offended by it. Lighten up.

    March 29, 2011 at 9:36 am | Reply
    • Queen of Everything@A

      You are correct in that the phrase "vast majority" does not encompass everyone in the food writing community. However, it does indicate that Mr. Bourdain feels like most members of said community are the ones criticizing the humor category and the nominee(s). He is entitled to own and voice his opinion but perhaps a more correct observation would have been that "a token few" members of the food writing community are criticizing the humor category and the nominee(s). I believe this is what Ms. Kinsman has an issue with. Mr. Bourdain also pee'd loudly all over a project she worked very hard on. Wouldn't you be a little miffed if someone did that to you?

      March 29, 2011 at 9:58 am | Reply
      • Coriolana

        Then perhaps Ms. Kinsman needs to grow a thicker skin. You don't expect roses and poetry from Tony Bourdain. If he mentions her, she's lucky-she just got free PR from a very big name. And, as Barnum said, there is no such thing as bad PR.

        March 29, 2011 at 10:51 am | Reply
      • Kat Kinsman

        Well – hurt and pissed are two different things. I'm gonna go with the latter. He said his piece and I said mine. It makes the world a much more fun place, no?

        That said, I wish he *would* write a book of poetry. I'd totally read that.

        March 29, 2011 at 10:57 am | Reply
  38. Tbone

    Good for Anthony. You foodies are too fulla yerselves. I worked for a Beard winner and whutta dbag he was. Get over yousselves people. And for the appetizer tonight, the hookers will be serving bearded clams.

    March 29, 2011 at 9:18 am | Reply
    • Kat Kinsman

      Yeah, but because your boss was a jerk, everyone else in the field, from line cook to blog writer is as well? Like in any profession, some people are excellent, some suck, and most are in the middle, just trying to do a good job. Not one size fits all.

      March 29, 2011 at 9:29 am | Reply
      • Tbone

        Most are in the middle and get no credit for it. It's the one's who think they are rock stars that I find annoying. The Chef who constantly berates and brings waitresses to tears, yeah I've worked with plenty of those guys too and they weren't good enough to get Bearded. You could probably put Bourdain in the pompous dbag category too. At least he seems to have a sense of humor. Lighten up Francis!

        March 29, 2011 at 9:45 am | Reply
      • Rebecca O.

        I feel two ways about this. I do, often, find Tony to be overly-reductive and cavalier. Especially when it comes to his awareness of the power of his own voice. He likes to pretend to be "in the shit" with those he vocally (and rightly) advocates for, but at the end of the day, I think we all know that – while romantic and inspiring – simply isn't true. I think that if he wanted to, he could have used the introduction of the Humor category to signify a positive shift in the way the "Beardies" view the world. But, clearly, he really enjoys peeing on the organization too much for that concession.

        That said, he does make a point that I 100% agree with: "Maybe when they make para-legal advice for Mexican cooks a priority-or take a loud, persistent stand on the people doing so much of the actual cooking in this country, I’ll change my views." When Tony uses this voice, he is an extremely important advocate for the people who keep the industry, well, an industry at all.

        Lest we forget, he is the prickly side of the RuBo we all love to hear be rude, verbose and generally ill-behaved. So, maybe we should always see this coming?

        March 29, 2011 at 10:08 am | Reply
    • TBurns

      That's the pinnacle of cleverness... hookers serving bearded clams... did it take you long to come up with that?

      March 29, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  39. Ryan Morton

    I think you hit the nail on the head with, "What Bourdain says is gospel". Believe it!

    March 29, 2011 at 9:12 am | Reply
  40. Judith Klinger

    Good morning. I read your comment yesterday on Grub St and applauded. Bourdain is in a position to take quick, cheap shots and he took them, Kanye West style. I also want to commend you for creating a Humor category, it's time for some fresh funny air in the room. And if you want a good belly laugh, follow Denise Vivaldo.

    March 29, 2011 at 8:56 am | Reply
  41. RichardHead

    May I first say,I am very impressed with your writing. IMHO,Tony is trying to rile up the Food Community i.e.Celebrity Chefs (think Food Network) and all of it's followers. The Pen is mightier than the Sword and in this case the Judges can vote yes or no,secretly with no after bashing.

    March 29, 2011 at 8:16 am | Reply
    • Erika Parrish

      How entertaining is the yes or no vote without the after bashing. Its television, its entertainment. At least he has a personality that is genuinely true. He has an opinion that is articulate, why condemn a man for his opinion. I find the 'food network' competitions redundant and dull. How entertaining can a group of sweaty people slaving over a stove on a time limit with the criticism from a bunch of judges that no one has ever heard of until the TV show airs be? Tony keeps the everyday joe who enjoys to travel and experience new cultures informed.

      April 12, 2011 at 9:33 am | Reply
    • Ken

      This is just Tony's spiel... take almost any given topic and you get this type of response from him. Maybe someone peed in his coffee and he found it was tasty (especially with some Stroh rum).

      April 15, 2011 at 11:09 am | Reply

Post a comment


 

CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

Pinterest
 
| Part of
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 6,414 other followers