Tony Bourdain & Eric Ripert Podcast from the weeds

February 23, 2008

Apparently the promised “Tony & Eric work two shifts at Les Halles” episode of No Reservations is coming up. Here they unwind and talk about how lost they managed to get.

The Next Iron Chef Scorecard

October 9, 2007

I don’t know why I’ve got a weak spot for TV chef “reality” shows. I’ve watched Hell’s Kitchen (both the US and UK versions — the UK is much better, btw), The F-Word (UK), Top Chef, and I’m a big fan of Tony Bourdain’s No Reservations.

I also watch Iron Chef every now and again, mostly because I enjoy Alton Brown, but it’s about my least favorite “cooking reality” show.

On Sunday, the Food Network served up their newest effort, “The Next Iron Chef”. The format is roughly akin to Top Chef’s (short early challenge, which gets the winner an advantage in the main challenge), albeit with the usual Iron Chef ingredient goofiness.

As a seasoned Iron Viewer, here’s my scorecard:

  • Airing a new show in lo-def when they’ve got a hi-def channel: -20 points
  • Hosted by Alton Brown instead of Padma Lakshmi or a cardboard US version of Gordon Ramsey: +30 points
  • No “Glad Family of Bags” or other in-your-face product placement: +20 points
  • No contestant as hot as Casey Thompson: -15 points
  • No contestant as annoying as Marcel Vigneron: +15 points
    (may be revisited as we get to know the contestants more)
  • Michael Ruhlman as a celebrity judge: +10 points
  • No Tony Bourdain as a celebrity judge: -15 points
  • Lack of profanity: -10 points
  • Lack of excessive bleeping: +15 points
  • Lack of (so far) off-the-wall challenges such as cooking on a hot rock while hopping on one foot: +15 points
  • Lack of Big Brother-esqe induced drama: +15 points
  • Apparent lack of restaurant-skills challenges: 0 points

+60 points, at least thus far.

Not bad.

(spoiler warning, for those who haven’t seen the first episode)

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Tony Bourdain – Food Network Smackdown, Take II

March 8, 2007

A few weeks ago I posted about Tony Bourdain taking Food TV to task on Michael Ruhlman’s blog…

Apparently the punch line was that a week later he was on stage at the South Beach Food & Wine fest (which is sponsored by the Food Network), and decided to take it all a little further — with many of the network’s stars and execs in attendance.

Ruhlman has the story here…

Bourdain stood to speak his mind in person, no hiding behind the safety of a blog.

“Up until the last minute,” he said yesterday, “I didn’t know if I was going to pussy out.” He didn’t, apparently—if anything his vitriol was more voluminous than on his post—he lanced the boil and the pus just kept coming. Apparently Mikey from Top Chef was in the audience—Bourdain singled him out as an example of hope for the future of food television.

It takes balls to stand up there and mouth off at the TV folks at their own festival, while they’re signing books a few hundred yards away. I always thought the guy was a coward hiding behind his big mouth. I was wrong. The guy’s got balls.

After the jump, there’s a short clip of Tony going off on Sandra Lee at the festival…

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Tony Bourdain calls out Food TV

February 9, 2007

Not the kind of guy to pass up a guest opportunity on Michael Ruhlman’s blog, Anthony Bourdain takes a swipe at Food TV, and as usual with Tony, if anything is being minced, it ain’t the words.

I knew that he was a Mario Batali fan, but it’s nice to see that he likes Alton Brown, too. He even found a few nice things to say about Bobby Flay, Giada De Laurentiis, and Emeril.

Of course, it’s tough to disguise his utter disdain for the network, its policies, or some of the other so-called chefs…

PAULA DEEN: I’m reluctant to bash what seems to be a nice old lady. Even if her supporting cast is beginning to look like the Hills Have Eyes–and her food a True Buffet of Horrors. A recent Hawaii show was indistinguishable from an early John Waters film. And the food on a par with the last scene of Pink Flamingos. But I’d like to see her mad. Like her look-alike, Divine in the classic, “Female Trouble.“ Paula Deen on a Baltimore Killing Spree would be something to see. Let her get Rachael in a headlock–and it’s all over.

Pink Flamingos? That’s hysterical, albeit a little indirect for Bourdain.
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