In case you missed it, our hero Anthony Bourdain has been vilified in the media for daring to call out Paula Deen for being a mediocre cook who is infatuated with using too much butter in every recipe (more on that later). Well, EP will not stand by and allow the forces of evil, represented by Paula Deen, strike at Bourdain without a rousing defense.
For starters, Bourdain’s comments came after he was asked in an interview who the worst cooks on Food Network are. So it’s not like he was running around looking to pick a fight with Paula Deen. After the question, he proceeded to lambaste Deen, Rachael Ray, Sandra Lee, and our favorite whipping boy, Guy Fieri. He called Deen, “the worst, most dangerous person to America. She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations, and she’s proud of the fact that her food is fucking bad for you. I would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it is OK to eat food that is killing us. Plus, her food sucks.” As for Fieri, Bourdain said, “I look at Guy and I just think, Jesus, I’m glad that’s not me.” Well said, maestro.
Is Paula Deen as bad as Tony says? While he probably was a little over the top, I can’t find too much fault with what he says. I don’t dislike Deen, but I have to admit I haven’t watched her in years. She does shill for any corporation that offers her a check, and her food is unhealthy to extreme levels. I also ate at her Savannah restaurant, Lady and Sons or whatever it is called, and found it pretty disappointing. I won’t say it sucks, but much like a white musician trying to play the blues, a woman like Deen can only do so much with soul food.
A couple years ago I was charged with the task of cooking a Mother’s Day Brunch for my wife, her grandmother, my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. Aside from killer sausage and mushroom egg casseroles, I made some cheesy hash browns and used a Deen recipe. Even after cutting out one-half of the butter called for in the recipe, the dish came out way too buttery. There were pools of grease throughout the dish. I was quite pissed off at myself for getting lazy and using Deen’s recipe. Of course, since I was cooking for a bunch of white people the dish was well received. Deen must have some kind of magic power over any white woman over 30. Perhaps she is the most dangerous person in America…
As for Bourdain, I know he rubs some people the wrong way. It is certainly their right to hold that opinion, but I still love the guy for speaking his mind, calling an asshole an asshole, and generally having zero tolerance for bullshit. I say, keep the hits coming, Tony, and to hell with your detractors. You will always have the support of your friends at Epic Portions.