Taking On Anthony Bourdain…

My Halloween evening with Anthony Bourdain……

The Insider went to Anthony Bourdain’s Vancouver Oct 29 lecture dressed as the Grim Reaper. I am a fan of his TV show No Reservations and his first two books, Kitchen Confidential and A Cook’s Tour. I loath his last book, Medium Raw. The Reaper took the mike at question period and told Bourdain he was ready to confront him on his bullshit, which immediately brought a caterwauling of booing and hissing.

To Bourdain’s credit, he wanted to hear my points, imploring the audience to let me have my say, when I called him mendacious, for wanting to hunt down the producers of the movie No Reservations and slowly kick them to death, but somehow forgetting to mention that wonderful Fox series, Kitchen Confidential. Why didn’t he wanted to kill them, didn’t have anything to with that huge check he got for it? Nah, couldn’t be… he forgot to mention Kitchen Confidential in his last book.

Bourdain took it on, saying Kitchen Confidential was supposed to be a movie, but turned into a TV series with Bradley Cooper and “You’re right. It was a piece of shit.”

Then I wanted to call him hypocritical but by this time the audience was going into paroxysms of booing and hissing. I couldn’t be heard when I tried to tell him that it was beyond hypocritical when he took this cheap, pukey shot at Alice Waters in his last book, when she called herself Executive Chef at Chez Panisse.

I couldn’t be heard over the din.as they didn’t want to hear that for the last 10 years, Bourdain has been down as the Executive Chef at Les Halles. Then he squealed like a stuck pig when Alan Richman slammed it to get back at him for calling him a douchebag..

“Oh it was like viciously sucker punching my old high school girl friend because I mouthed off,” Bourdain wrote. Ah Tony, no it’s not. Your name is at the top of the masthead, something you conveniently forgot to mention in your cry baby piece on Richman.

As Richman rightly pointed out, Les Halles has been trading off his name and fame for the last ten years. And no doubt, paying him a whack load of cash to keep his name on it, so it keeps the “suckers, rubes and assholes,” as Bourdain calls them, coming in there thinking they’re going to get their book signed.

I wanted to tell the audience that I read Richman’s review and laughed my ass off. It was typical Richman, funny and sarcastic but Bourdain didn’t take on what Richman nailed him on. Richman said the food was atrocious and explained why, the service abysmal and the atmosphere even worse. The three things you judge a restaurant on, Mr. Restaurant Critic?

Oh that’s right you’re not one of those scumbags, are you Tony? Well, what the hell are you then? I wanted to ask…you spent more than half of that crappy book mouthing off about restaurants, giving your learned opinion which Richman really nailed him on. Bourdain said it was a painfully funny comparison to Steven Seagal. Well, why didn’t you run the quote, Mr. Call Rachel Ray names? I’ wanted to ask him, but I knew the answer.

It made him look like the hack that he is. Here, I’ll tell people what Richman wrote since you didn’t have the guts. “Having Anthony Bourdain pontificate about high end chefs and cooking is like making Steven Seagal the P resident of the Screen Actors Guild.” You couldn’t come up with something that witty if your life depended on it. And you couldn’t carry Alan Richman’s jock strap when it comes to intelligent, witty, insightful food writing. You know it and I know it.

Next time you want to call Rachel Ray names, Tony, why don’t you look in the mirror and try out mendacious, hypocritical and gutless, you money grubbing douchebag.

Too bad I didn’t get to say it. The way the crowd reacted you would think they were five years old and hearing Santa Claus didn’t exist. Oh well, maybe next time Tony!!