Yesterdays reading of Anthony Bourdains new book, Medium Raw, proved that Tony still has some enemies, but one of the books most riveting chapters doesnt call out Tonys enemies it lists David Changs. When Bourdain gave us a preview of the book back in December, he said his profile of Chang would involve reflections on golf and God. And yes, the chapter does contain Changisms such as, If God were to exist, Id rather burn in hell and golf fucked me up in the head, but Chang, who is introduced to readers with the words I run on hate and anger, also goes on to rattle off the names of some people he doesnt like. Apparently Chang and Bourdain didnt get enough of this during the infamous fig on a plate conversation.
First, theres Josh Ozersky, who was banned from the Momo empire; Ozersky has said it was because he mocked them, but this account says its because he published a menu on Grub Street without Changs blessing. Writes Bourdain: There is no question in my mind that buffalo will graze in Times Square and pink macaroons will fall from the sky before Josh Ozersky ever makes it through the door of a Momofuku anywhere.
Chang also says, I hate Antoinette Bruno, the Star Chefs honcho who once mouthed off (to Changs cooks, it turned out) about how overrated he was. And he also claims to hate someone Bourdain describes as the saintly proprietor of a good-for-the-world restaurant, a pioneer of conscientious, sustainable food production. (No, its not Alice Waters, who is a mom figure to Chang its a he, and Chang says hes weirdly manipulative.) And Chang also hates another beloved figure in cuisine, the hugely talented chef-owner of an innovative restaurant specializing in cuisine that might be called experimental. (No, its not Ferran Adria, and its not Wylie Dufresne the latter is one of Changs friends, though at one point Chang sadly confesses to Bourdain, I dont talk to anybody.)
So who are Chefs X and Y, as Bourdain calls them in the book? Dan Barber and Grant Achatz are two obvious guesses any others can go in the comments ...