The Sh*t-Talking Chronicles Of Anthony Bourdain

Friday, August 19 by

Rachel Ray

She’s got a magazine, a TV empire, all these best-selling books – I’m guessing she’s not hurting for money. She’s hugely influential, particularly with children. And she’s endorsing Dunkin’ Donuts. It’s like endorsing crack for kids … That’s evil!

Those were Bourdain’s comment in 2009 regarding the then-ubiquitous Rachel Ray. Despite priding himself on being an everyman, Bourdain sure does have a flair for the dramatic. It’s probably what makes him a good writer and a less-good outspoken critic.

The fact that Rachel Ray shares Bourdain’s offbeat sensibilities when it comes to music does no good, either. In 2009, when Ray announced the lineup for her annual SXSW BBQ, Bourdain reacted to the inclusion of one of his favorite bands, the seminal punk act The New York Dolls.

“On a completely off-subject note, I read something really disturbing while leafing through a magazine in my most recent airport,” Bourdain scribed in a note entitled “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?” “Rachael Ray, it appears, when booking acts for her South By Southwest indie rock-meets-Sloppy Joes fest, invited the New York Dolls to perform. THE NEW YORK DOLLS!! It is an article of faith with me that the Dolls were one of the greatest, most important, criminally neglected, wildly influential bands in the history of well … the freakin’ UNIVERSE!!”

Sorry that your band wants to play Rachel Ray’s party. I guess that’s her fault somehow. I was there and the food and music were great. I now have an irrational crush on Ray because of her SXSW BBQ’s.

Sandra Lee

Sandra Lee is the host of Semi-Homemade, a pretty bizarre show in which she helps people feel better by mashing a bunch of processed foods together and calling it “semi-homemade.”  Unsurprisingly, Bourdain takes some issue with this method of “cooking.”

Pure evil. This frightening Hell Spawn of Kathie Lee and Betty Crocker seems on a mission to kill her fans, one meal at a time. She Must Be Stopped. Her death-dealing can-opening ways will cut a swath of destruction through the world if not contained. I would likely be arrested if I suggested on television that any children watching should promptly go to a wooded area with a gun and harm themselves. What’s the difference between that and Sandra suggesting we fill our mouths with Ritz Crackers, jam a can of Cheez Wiz in after and press hard? None that I can see.

Pretty crippling indictment. I’m sure if anyone ever interviewed Sandra Lee, she’d have some pretty sharp words in return. But alas.

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So, those are the high points of Mr. Bourdain’s constructive criticisms of his culinary cohorts. Some mean, some funny, some wrong, some right. What does it all mean? Not too much, other than the Next Food Network Star best be devlopin’ some bulldog skin.

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