Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bitchslapping Bourdain (and Chang)

Like every writer needs an editor, every critic needs a critic. And who more needs a swift kick in the gastronomy than venerated bad boy of food, book and travel than Anthony Bourdain?

His bombastic lexicon thickened with flour, butter and years away from the line and in the spot light has placed this man in my crosshairs. His insistence to pretend he is still just one of the artists—complete with thumb wedding ring close ups and rejection of our rejection of disbelief needed for such a travel log—make him such a prime target. The insistent, pretentious and down-right silly hate he displays towards those who have destroyed cooking in America is somewhat misplaced. Just like his time in the kitchen high as a kite, we all need gateway drugs to get into the harder stuff. Clearly his ratings and nominations prove that America food-addicts are now shooting up when they used to only get the Yum-o munchies.

He gets to be such a prick and no one on his show or even the direct target of his ire (The Food Network) calls him out on his prickiness. But this Ten Things Bourdain (and David Chang) hate thing is just too much for me to ignore (because I know you all were waiting with baited breath until I made my judgment).

I first read the rants of these wunderkinds a few days back and my dad sent it to me again today and now I am done. I like Momofuku, even its “I am cooler than you and serving your food while wearing a dirty yet ironic t-shirt that cost more than my rent for that shanty in Brooklyn” scene. I watch Bourdain’s show religiously, read one of his books and believe he has one of the best gigs in the world. But Bourdain and to lesser extent Chang need to stop talking or prove something.

I still like tuna tartar even if it is passé and possibly less than environmentally sound. I will continue to enjoy the belly of most animals when served to me roasted. (On that note all should head to Resto and try their Lamb Belly Ribs, fantastic). Your holier than thou opinion matters not if you can’t put forth something better.

You complain and yet Chang, you are still serving Pork Belly and Bourdain, your safe haven of the Travel Channel is widely expected to be purchased by the Food Network…what will you two iconoclasts do?

If I were to guess (‘cause that is the point of a blog: write authoritative statements with no back up) Chang will continue to serve trendy Pork Belly and Bourdain will continue to jet around the world on the company dime, not matter who is running it.

Bourdain and to a lesser extent Chang are like those popular kids in high school who would do really trendy shit and then, when someone called them on it, would say they always did it but won’t anymore because dorks were now doing it.

The hipster attached at the hip mentality of these two culinary stars is pretty sad. I just wish someone besides meaningless bloggers and vapid Food Network personalities would take these guys one and tell them to put up or shut up. Doubt it.

1 comment:

Adam K said...

mmmmmm....you lost me at lamb belly ribs..... I must ask the local butcher if he has these available.

I used to watch Bourdain - when I lived in the U.S. and had cable. His atheism and "bombastic"-ness don't really bother me.

The man tells a good story. He also saves me thousands of travel dollars by showing me the places I don't need to see for myself.