Bourdain on Food Network

Some highlights from Anthony Bourdain’s take on the Food Network:

Emeril: As much mileage as I’ve gotten over the years, making fun of Emeril; he deserves a lot more respect than I’ve given him. … He is—in fact—a really nice guy. And-as much as I hate the show— compared to the current crop of culinary non-entities, he looks like Escoffier.

Batali: Is there any more egregiously under-used, criminally mishandled, dismissively treated chef on television? Relegated to the circus of Iron Chef America, where—like a great, toothless lion, fouling his cage, he hangs on …. How I would like to see him unchained, free to make the television shows he’s capable of, the Real Mario—in all his Rabelasian brilliance.

Giada: What’s going on here!? Giada can actually cook! … Food Net seems more interested in her enormous head (big head equals big ratings. Really!) and her cleavage—than the fact that she’s likeable, knows what she’s doing in an Italian kitchen—and makes food you’d actually want to eat.

Sandra Lee: This frightening Hell Spawn of Kathie Lee and Betty Crocker seems on a mission to kill her fans, one meal at a time.

Plus, Bourdain’s Dream Iron Chef Matchups:

  • Mario Batali (with one arm tied behind his back—and drunk) vs. Regina Schrambling
  • Michael Ruhlman, swacked on Ripple, vs. John Mariani— in a Charcuterie Challenge
  • Grant Achatz vs. That Guy In Australia Who Ripped off his recipes as his own
  • Marco Pierre White vs. Gordon Ramsay
  • Charlie Trotter vs. Martin Picard (Chicken Livers vs. Foie Gras)
  • Chris Cosentino, Fergus Henderson, Martin Picard vs. Alain Passard, Roxanne Klein and Charlie Trotter (Cooked vs. Raw Challenge)
  • Martha Stewart vs. Rachael Ray (bare knuckle cage match)
  • Ducasse vs. Robuchon
  • “Mikey” from Top Chef vs. Sandra Lee