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Anthony Bourdain

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Bourdain Showing ‘Iron Chef’ Some Love; Dévi Back in Action

The worst thing Tony Bourdain can say about the new Top Iron Chef is “that Ruhlman’s hair is the scariest and most offensive aspect of the show … In every other respect, the damn thing is pretty impeccable.” [Ruhlman] Related: Who Will Be Cut Next on ‘The Next Iron Chef’? Enterprising chefs Suvir Saran and Hemant Mathur will have their recently acquired restaurant Dévi reopen by Monday. [Eater] Related: Debriefing Dévi: Suvir Saran’s Suspected Side Projects Jessica Seinfeld’s Deceptively Delicious cookbook is uncomfortably similar to another cookbook published a few months before it, which also encourages moms to put spinach in brownies. [NYT] Related: Hey Jessica Seinfeld! What Up? [Daily Intel]

Chefs Continue to Rock, and We Reach for the Earplugs

Chef Rock
First the Spin article in which Anthony Bourdain remembers the glory days of CBGB, then Metromix starts a “Kitchen Radio” column in which chefs talk rock (the first subject, Jimmy Bradley, says he listens to Zeppelin in the kitchen and compares his cooking to the drumming of Charlie Watts), and now the Times asks Fergus Henderson for his playlist. We’re glad to see it’s remarkably diverse — including cuts from Handel, Etta James, William Blake, Fela Kuti, and The Jungle Book soundtrack — because this thing of rock-and-roll chefs (and we’re not talking about Kerry “The Rock and Roll Chef” Simon) is getting a little tired. Whether it’s Sam Mason’s Dinner With the Band show, David Chang comparing the opening of his second restaurant to Pavement’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, or Mario Batali dancing his ass off at a U2 concert where he hilariously snaps a camera-phone photo of himself singing “With or Without You” with Michael Stipe, we get it. Chefs like to rock. We’re warning you: This will only get worse. Think Joël Robuchon bragging of mixing batter with Lars Ulrich’s drumstick. Related: Bourdain’s Spin Essay Is Pretty Thin Soup Living With Music: Fergus Henderson [NYT] Michael Stipe Beautiful Day [YouTube] Kitchen Radio: Jimmy Bradley [Metromix NY] Dinner With the Band [On Networks]

Bourdain Blasts Rachael Ray, and It's Not Yum-O

Bourdain, Ray
According to "Page Six" today, Anthony Bourdain has a serious problem with Rachael Ray endorsing Dunkin’ Donuts. Yes, the man who waxed nostalgic about the “the bitter, delicious taste of heroin in the back of my throat” in last month’s Spin believes Ray is being “evil” and “over the line” in endorsing what he considers “crack for kids.” But should Bourdain really be running his mouth? Never mind that he smoked Marlboros while telling GQ’s Website about his favorite old-man dive bars — he’s also the guy who told Powells.com, “Is there anything better than a maple bacon donut? I don’t think so.” Apparently it’s perfectly okay to endorse doughnuts as long as they have life-giving bacon in them! Related: Rachael’s Dunkin’ Gig “Evil” [NYP] PBR, Strippers, and Kitsch [Style.com] Earlier: Bourdain’s “Spin” Essay Is Pretty Thin Soup

Bourdain's Reaction to ‘Top Chef’; Goldfarb and Cluizel Sittin' in a Cacao Tree

Bourdain considers “Hung’s well deserved victory … a nice, stiff middle finger to all those boneheads who’ve been predicting that ‘The producers are setting it up so Casey will win,’ as well as the poor, deluded souls who feel they can somehow taste food through the television screen.” Are you listening, Adam Platt? [Bourdain's Blog/Bravo] Michelin Guide director Jean-Luc Naret wants chefs on their toes: “One thing you have to understand is that stars are not engraved in marble, but crystal, and that they can break easily.” [Metromix NY] Will Goldfarb is officially shacking up with Michel Cluizel at ABC on a dessert café, and Patricia Yeo has abandoned Monkey Bar after leaving Sapa to work on the project in March. [NYT] Related: Cluizel, Goldfarb to Join Forces in Dessert Pact Patricia Yeo Leaving Sapa, Opening Rib House; Something About a Monkey

Bouley's New Japanese Restaurant Off the Chain; ‘Top Chef’ Producer Tells It Like It Is

The restaurant that David Bouley plans to open next year with Japan’s largest professional cooking school will be a multilevel space featuring a robata grill, a Japanese room with Western touches, and a kaiseki dining room serving Kyoto-style seasonal tasting menus. [NYT] Related: David Bouley to Open Restaurant With Japan's Top Cooking School Scott Bryan has left Veritas, and not for 10 Downing Street, apparently. And, in underwhelming FloFab news, Daniel Boulud still hasn't chosen a name for his master's burger restaurant, and Lever House's Deborah Snyder is the new pastry chef at Alto and L’Impero. [NYT] The executive producer of Top Chef answers questions about cheftestants who hook up and challenges that didn't make the cut. [NYDN]

No Rest for the Red Hook Vendors; Bourdain Considers 'Top Chef' Episode a Waste

Can the Red Hook Vendors never rest? Now Cesar Fuentes is causing concern for resigning and threatening to sue the same people he represented. [NYT] Bourdain considers Wednesday’s Top Chef a waste, as the producers snagged Eric Ripert only to “shoehorn him into a Scout jamboree” when “it would have been nice, given the all-too-rare presence of a distinguished specialist, to see what the kids could REALLY do with fish.” And why won't Hung cook Vietnamese? [Bourdain’s Blog/Bravo] Discrimination lawyer Marc Rapaport is surprised by his own defense of O’Reilly in a Times op-ed about the Sylvia’s incident, saying “it is apparent from [his comments’] context that O’Reilly was actually attempting to dispel racial stereotypes regarding African-Americans.” [PR Web]

Eating the Last Supper

Last Supper
We’re not much for coffee-table books, but the forthcoming My Last Supper is so shockingly weird, and shockingly good, that we would consider buying it. “What would your last meal be?” is a popular question for chefs, but the answers here are far better than you would expect. (Masa Takayama wants to cook for Orthodox Jews; Wylie Dufresne would eat vegetables “just to placate my mom.”)

Grub’s Gold: The Best From Year One

Ah, how time gets away from us! It was only one year ago that Grub Street began. How we long for those innocent days of yore! We poked through our archives, and, while we had to put a few personal favorites aside, here’s our short list of Grub Street’s Greatest Hits.

Bourdain’s ‘Spin’ Essay Is Pretty Thin Soup

Anthony Bourdain
No offense to one of our favorite writers, but Anthony Bourdain’s stories are starting to become as rehashed as the specials he warned us against ordering in Kitchen Confidential.. Yes, Tony, we know that during the year 1977, you were shooting up, listening to punk, and hitting the after-hours clubs — as we’re reminded in this essay in the latest issue of Spin. And we know about “the bathroom of CBGB, awash in turds, glassine bags, condoms, and used works.” (This may have been what Paul Levy meant about bravado-filled writing.) We’ll say this, though: Even if Bourdain’s essay doesn’t say anything new (couldn’t he have at least looted his boss’s charcuterie during the blackout?), the piece is worth a look just for the photo of the man sporting a machete and locks reminiscent of Howard Stern. We can just imagine the “bitter, delicious taste of heroin in the back of [his] throat”! Eat to the Beat [Spin] Related: British Toff Decries the Coarseness of Modern Food Writing

British Toff Decries the Coarseness of Modern Food Writing

We’re still scratching our heads over an essay in Slate today, in which a British journalist, fretting over what he considers the unseemliness of today’s food writing, declares himself out of the game. Is it for real? Something about the piece had the whiff of a put-on, like Ernie Kovacs’s poet character, Percy Dovetonsils, or one of those stuffy authority figures who get hit with a pie in a TV commercial appealing to teenagers. “The food writing that’s in vogue today consists chiefly of a bellow of bravado,” writes Paul Levy, formerly of the British newspaper The Observer. Today’s food writers, he says, “thrive on the undertow of violence they detect in the professional kitchen, and like to linger on the unappetizing aspects of food preparation. The gross-out factor trumps tasting good as well as good taste.” Is he kidding?

Bourdain Gets Skewered in the Latest Roman à Chef

PBJ
Another day, another pissed-off restaurant worker writing an Internet roman à clef. This one, penned with panache by a one Peanut Butter Jesus, isn’t quite as delicious as Sympathy for the Restaurant Industry, maybe because it’s not quite as obvious who the players are. At least one person’s identity is unmistakable:
People he played that game with now fly around the world and tell TV Chefs their broccolini blows. They have three assistants you have to get through just to say “fuck you, meet me at Siberia in twenty minutes”. That game is gone, now filled with cookbooks and TV spots on Today, filled with front of house managers sitting on their ass in their offices during service.
Alright, so that takes care of the man with no reservations. But who are the other characters and venues based on? Here's what we're dealing with:

Batali Denies Being Ditched; Pinkberry Issues Mea Culpa

Batali won’t admit he’s been canned by the Food Network even though inside sources say he’s just trying to save face. [NYP] Pinkberry Corporation issues an apology upon learning its N.Y. outlets pump hollow servings. [Eat for Victory/VV] Tony Bourdain analyzes what made Howie tick: "When I look at Howie, short, bald, pants looking two sizes too big on him, built like a small tank and with an expression on his face like a closed fist, I sense the end product of a long line of tormentors." Is Bourdain the best reality-show blogger ever, or what? [Bourdain’s Blog/Bravo]

Whole Foods Plot Still Grimy in Gowanus; Tony Bourdain on Ina Garten

Whole Foods has only one more building to demolish to clear out its plot by the Gowanus Canal for its 2008 opening, but there are still no signs of environmental cleanup. [Brownstoner] Related: Has the Benevolent Whole Foods Betrayed Its Health-Obsessed Customers? Anthony Bourdain didn’t waste much time agonizing over the expulsion of Tre from Top Chef before laying into Casey, who slices slower the “Ina Garten on Thorazine.” [Bravo] Related: The Gay Side of ‘Top Chef’ Comes Out Amalia chef Ivy Stark hates chicken. So why is there chorizo-stuffed crispy chicken on Amalia’s menu? [Diner’s Journal/NYT]

Tailor Delayed Yet Again; Bourdain Takes It to Howie

The opening of Tailor has been pushed back to September 1. Another delay? Who would have thought it? [Eater] Related: Farewell, Sam Mason. Hello, Tailor Tony Bourdain outdoes himself taking it to Howie in his Top Chef blog: “neither logic, nor the criticisms of chefs as great as Daniel, nor the passing seasons — nor even blunt objects — can infiltrate the inner workings of his space-age polymer nose-cone.” [Bravo] Andrea Strong details her experience as a guest judge on Top Chef – and gives the full review that was read from on last night’s episode. [Strong Buzz]

Tony ‘No Reservations’ Bourdain Hearts Ali's Offal in Astoria

Astoria: Anthony Bourdain featured Ali’s Kebab Cafe on No Reservations, and here’s the video of him downing offal. [Joey in Astoria] Boerum Hill: Workers are renovating the old Independence Bank for Trader Joe’s. The space may even retain its character! [Lost City] East Village: AvroKO and Public boys Brad and Adam Farmerie hope to score a liquor license for their new place, Superior. B Flat applied for a license at the same Bond Street space a few months back and was denied. [Eater] E.U. will accept euros as payment from August 24 through Labor Day. You can eat 34 cents more on the dollar! [Grub Street] Financial District: Stonehouse California Olive Oil has moved to the South Street Seaport and refills bottles at $2 off the regular price. [NYT] Hell’s Kitchen: No free Cuban for you today; unfinished construction indicates the new Sophie’s on 40th between Seventh and Eighth is in no way ready for a grand opening. [Midtown Lunch]

Red Hook Vendors on the Run Again; Bourdain on ‘Top Chef’

With the Parks Department temporarily off their back, the Red Hook food vendors now have a new enemy: the ever-mischievous Department of Health. [Serious Eats] Related: The Threat to Red Hook’s Street-Food Paradise Unites New York Foodies Anthony Bourdain doesn’t have any sympathy for last night’s Top Chef loser, Sara: “I've worked with women cooks who could crank out a hundred fifty meals off a very busy grill station in freakin’ stilettos and still have the energy to give Howie the beating of his life — so that don't cut it as an excuse.” Bonus: Bourdain on Rocco’s career arc. [Bravo] Related: Joey, Latest ‘Top Chef’ Non-Winner, on Why Rocco Is a Douche Bag The hidden food treasures of the Bronx range from an ancient candy store where you can get a classic egg cream to a Chino-Latino place with great shrimp mofungo. [NYP]

End of the Line for Ureña; Rocco Admits Douche-baggery

Alex Ureña is closing Ureña and turning it into “a bistro-style eater called Pamplona.” The modern Spanish curse continues! Now Suba alone carries the banner. [Eater] Rocco DiSpirito doesn’t seem to mind being called a douche bag: “I was thinking he must have worked for me to know I'm a douche bag,” the chef tells Nina Lalli. [VV] Related: Joey, Latest ‘Top Chef’ Non-Winner, on Why Rocco Is a Douche Bag On his Top Chef blog Tony Bourdain has some wise words to console Joey: “Joey's the chef of a damn famous restaurant in New York freakin' City. The place every ambitious cook and chef hopes to work — in the big leagues. So he's already a "Top Chef" — and already a winner in my book.” [Bravo] Related: Adam Platt Finds the Moral in Last Night’s ‘Top Chef’