Steve Plotnicki: Food Bloggers Aren’t Any Crazier Than Bourdain

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Photo: No Reservations

If you caught last week’s “Obsessed” episode of No Reservations (you know — the one we’ve been obsessing over), then you saw Tony lay into “fat pack” members Jason Perlow, Steven Shaw, and Steve Plotnicki (partners in eGullet until “a gigantic and acrimonious rift” separated them) for turning food blogging into a “hotbed of hostility, broken friendships, businesses ripped asunder” (“they’re always fighting, fighting, fighting”). In so doing, Bourdain also got the bloggers to admit that their obsession with food amounted to “sublimated, frustrated sexual impulses” (in Shaw’s case), the filling of “an empty spot in your soul” (in Perlow’s case), and company in the face of a “solitary and celibate existence” (in the case of Josh Ozersky, whose clip was the subject of mockery on The Soup). Touching. But at least one of the bloggers, the “contentious, potentially litigious, extremely opinionated” Plotnicki, didn’t like the way Tony portrayed him.

Posting on Opinionated About Dining a week after the show’s air date, Plotnicki speaks out: “I don’t understand why Bourdain’s producers thought that portraying the people who argue about food as if they were more irrational than anyone else would make for interesting television.” He goes on to complain that his two-and-a-half-hour meal with Bourdain was edited in such a way that it didn’t give enough props to Txikito (though if you ask us, there was plenty of obligatory food porn) and didn’t go into the “myriad of different food topics” he discussed: “It’s a shame that so little of our discussion got into the program as it would have probably been far more entertaining than what they decided to use.”

Though Plotnicki would’ve rather focused on the food, he can’t resist getting yet another dig in at his former colleague Steven Shaw for bragging that he made $400,000 as a lawyer and only pays for his meals at three or four places.

And while Shaw portrayed himself as someone who deserves the freebies because he is an important person, I suspect it has more to do with how his career has sort of careened sideways (it’s important to note that Shaw doesn’t control eGullet because of his expertise, but because he outmaneuvered his co-principals to take control of the site). My own favorite line was when Shaw said he “eats like a billionaire," after which he went on to describe Kampuchea as “one of the few restaurants I would pay for with my own money." Really, Kampuchea is what you would spend your own money on and not a better restaurant? It didn’t make any sense. Hearing that made me laugh out loud and I thought to myself, what you really mean to say is that it’s one of the few restaurants you can afford to pay for.

Ouch. Maybe these guys really are always fighting, fighting, fighting.

No Reservations Producers “Obsessed” with Portraying Foodies As Weirdos [Opinionated About Dining]