by Bourdain

You’d think after the damage done by their recently convicted former president, the questions raised about their whole purpose, and the nauseating revelations of how little money the James Beard Foundation were actually raising for scholarships, that they’d maybe learned something. That they’d adapted, moved on, become more sensitive to the widely held perception that they are in fact, nothing more than a private dining society, a high-rent memorial to a much disliked crank who–once a year, throws a lavish stroke-and-choke where corporate sponsors can “honor” prominent chefs and restaurant folk at what remains–for better or worse–the “Oscars of food” ceremony.

Apparently, you’d be wrong.  For an organization that exists (purportedly) to ” honor” the craft and profession of cooking, the Beard Foundation continues to send a message of continued cluelessness and disregard.  With their most recent startegic masterstroke, they have, yet again, sent the message, ” We like famous chefs just fine–especially if we’re handing’em the Cuisinart/Vulcan/Fiji Water Humanitarian Award–but who are these nasty cook creatures we keep hearing rumors of?”  The $400 dollar a pop awards–where, traditionally, chefs and cooks from all over the country are “invited” (in a Carlo Gambino sense of the word) to contribute food and labor and personnel for a grand tasting clusterfuck near the ceremony, were, until recently, held at the Marriott Marquis in Times Square. This venue had the appropriate–one would think–virtue of actually having a fucking KITCHEN. Presumably–and I’m just guessing here–COOKS like-when laboring for free to put their restaurant’s best foot forward and bring honor to their clans–to have an actual KITCHEN. You know..that place where they actually COOK?

Not this year, friends. This year, it has been decided that in favor of bigger and swankier accomodations for the self congratulatory nearly all-white attendees, that the cooks can take it in their collective poop-chute. At The new venue, Avery Fisher Hall, only hot boxes, induction tops and propane burners are allowed. Reheats only! Out of town chefs with ambitions to actually cook at some point in the prep process are invited to bunk with the locals, jamming their food and staff into New York’s already too-small, too crowded kitchens. It’s a breathtakingly tone-deaf, dismissive move–one that will only cement the unspoken wisdom that the clueless Beardies are “outsiders”–not “one of us” at all–and completely uninterested and uncomprehending of the real world of cooks and restaurants.

I will careful tell you of an equally horrifying episode. At a recent event, I was introduced to the incoming (Beard House honcho whose position I will not describe here). Suffice to say it was a high position. Very high.

When she inquired about the possibility of my involvement in some tandem Beard event with my friend Eric Ripert,I declined, saying it would be hypocritical of me–given what I’ve said and written–to take part. I explained that I would be an enthusiastic supporter and participant of all things Beard when and if I saw some kind of an effort to acknowledge the people who are actually doing the cooking in this country–the between 30 and 70% of restaurant employees of Mexican and Latino origin–of varying legal status. I was thinking a few bucks set aside for free para-legal advice. Maybe a widely accessible library. English lessons.

Her response? She looked at me with an expression of absolute sincerity and said, ” Oh..we’re very aware of the important contribution of our Lateeeno population.” Then, proudly boasted about the good works Beard House has been doing on their behalf: ” Why…just last week at a dinner at the House, 7 out of 10 of the waiters we hired were Lateeno!”  She looked at me, guilessly, as if expecting a pat on the head.

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117 Wonderful responses to “STROKE THE CHEFS/FUCK THE COOKS”

  • Chris

    Jeez, what’s next? “Some of my best friends are colored people?”

    The old clue tank is reading empty for the folks at Beard House. How soon before it becomes the Food Network James Beard House, with the awards given solely to Food Network “personalities” (and I’m using that term VERY lightly) for their continued excellence in turning cheez-whiz and baked Doritos into a gourmet meal?

  • Tags

    Here’s an easy solution, the Bourdain Award for cooks. And maybe give 7 out of 10 white guys the opportunity to wait tables at the ceremony, preferably Food Network expats.

  • lia

    She looked at me, guilessly, as if expecting a pat on the head.

    I wish we had a photo of your facial expression at the moment.

  • Shannon

    Chris,

    Ironically, Food Network is having an awards ceremony airing soon to honor the chefs of the FN.

  • Claudia

    Tony, I think Tags is on to something here. One of your better-kept secrets is the work you do behind the scenes for the benefit of Latino restaurant staff – dishwashers and runners up to sous chefs – and I think it’s high time for you to institute the Nino Awards . . . and maybe a scholarship/grant program? Screw James Beard. Get the CIA, ICE and other heavyweight foodie organizations together to honor the people who do the real work in our kitchens. You could make THESE Tonys mean something.

    And, yes, Tags – bring in all white waitrons and dishwashers for the awards dinner, and make sure all the cooks are “LaTEEEEEno”. Jesus! James Beard is based in NYC! What kind of clueless Whitey World is this woman living in?!!!

  • Noel

    Wow, Sounds just like Rotary clubs. In particular, the Rotary Club of Chicago (Rotary/1). A bunch of white folks (mostly men) who sit around, eat, talk about money and politics, and do nothing else besides write big fat checks. This annual gala is filled with people who think so highly of themselves and their foundation and the “chefs” that they honor, with complete disregard to the average chef/cook. Yes she might be “aware”, but does she really care?

  • Judith in Umbria

    Well, there you are, wherever that is. And you are right. I don’t have quite the colorful vocabulary you have, nor would that JB woman ask me to jump in, but what I would think might even exceed what you said. The stories of the reheated food and the desperately bad circumstances have sounded like punishment for years.
    Does anybody need stroking from the JBs? Really?

  • HB

    Tony, baby…you missed the real dish! Apparently JBO couldn’t have the awards at past venues because they owed everybody so much money. Plenty of other places turned them down because their money problems are now industry-wide gossip. So this is not entirely stupidity and self-congratulation but runnin’ from the bill collector, as well. Look, the place is named for a man widely known to have stolen recipes without giving proper credit. Now, we know that this is en vogue, as it were, today but there was a time when it was frowned upon. As for the FN Awards, I can not think of two organizations more deserving of each other.
    God! How has the food industry ended up with such a vast array of thieving, no-talent hacks and unscrupulus opportunists???

  • HB

    Oh and PS….we do all know that Beard Award nominees are welcome to, even encouraged to, nominate THEMSELVES for these “awards,” right????????

  • DinerGirl

    The only way to make it stop is to have the food community stop treating JB like it’s the end-all and be-all organization. Everyone just needs to cut them loose and remove them from the rolodex. It’s not like they carry any serious weight in the real world. And, I agree with Tags. Start your own program to help fund scholarships/apprenticeships for those who do the real work in kitchens. I’d contribute to that fund in a heartbeat. Seriously, if you and Ruhlman did a PayPal link here on the blog, I’d make a donation right now. Just tell me who my money is helping and what they plan to do with it, and we’re good.

  • Vinotas

    Tony,

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the head here. The JB Foundation has become a “Rich Folks Only” club. I was a member for a year many moons ago but let my membership run out because of the people I was meeting there. They were all very upper class and had a large sense of entitlement and a small sense of the world. It was amazing to me, a born and bred Manhattanite, that these people were living in the same great city that I inhabited. Were their sole interactions with different ethnicities from taxi rides and the occasional ordered in “original” Chinese food?
    I mean, come on folks, this is New York Fucking City!!!!
    Anyway, what is funny to me is how badly regarded the JBOs are in the food business yet how highly-viewed they are by the general public (well, until recently at least).
    Keep up the good writing!
    Cheers!

  • buddha drinks fanta

    It always amazes me that chefs never cease to revel in the buzz surrounding the Beard awards, particularly this year, where a handful of the nominees are defined by their anti-establishment approach to cooking and business. I wonder how many feel torn between the glory, fame and ensuing book deals and the fact that this is merely a high school popularity contest sponsored by a corrupt organization?

    Regarding their scholarship program, it’s a total joke. Information was to be posted in January – it wasn’t there. Then March- again, nothing. Is money really distributed or do they just get places like the FCI (whose founders is on the Beard board) to donate free admissions? Facts and figures are given but no testimonials or names of recipients are to be found.

  • bourdain

    I completely understand why chefs roll over onto their backs for the JB’s. To get their bellies stroked. Who else will do it? Let’s face it, it’s fun–when people who are used to being the “help” most of their lives get to put on a tuxedo, swan around New York, have people say nice things about your cooking–and then (and probably most importantly) hang out with fellow chefs getting shitfaced and gossipping at the after-parties. Nothing wrong with that. What else to do when a talented chef of a struggling restaurant in Cincinatti or Dubuque gets offered the chance at national recognition? Okay–so they end up having to pony up a lot of cash for food–and strip their kitchen of cooks–and complicate the lives of the staff that remains–and possibly disappoint regular customers….all so they can pay their own way to New York to cook in a cramped, nearly unworkable kitchen, for a bunch of non-entity fuckwits who will never write about , help publicize–or even ever eat in their restaurants. It’s the Only Game In Town after all.
    Without question, the Beard “House” itself is outmoded, uncomfortable, irrelevent–and would be far more useful as a methadone clinic; but barring indictments or loss of “foundation” status, I don’t see things changing anytime soon.

  • sorcha

    What. The. Everliving. Fuck. Just when I think I’m done being embarrassed by the antics of other white folks deep in the luxurious hogwallow of their own ignorance, I’m once again proven wrong. That is so far beyond Clueless it would take the light from Clueless ten thousand years to reach it. I’m going to have cards printed up for people like her that say, “You! Out of my race!” and when people say ignorant shit like that, I’ma just hand ‘em a card.

    And um, how you gonna have culinary awards in a venue with no kitchen? That’s like having a hot rod show in a venue with no doors big enough to bring the cars in. Granted, I’m a lowly n00b, but that just don’t sound logical. At least, not as we of Earth define logic.

  • t-scape

    Well, looks like us Lateenos have gone as far as we can go. Server at the Beard House! Ay Dios mío, who could have imagined we’d finally be let into the country club! (Okay, to work, but still – baby steps.)

  • sorcha

    Hey, they’re letting you into the dining room where the white folks can SEE you! What more could you want?

  • Skawt

    I swear to God, if that woman ever reached her hand out to me, I would take a shit in it.

  • Tags

    How about Iron Chef Latino? The ones who are shy about revealing their identity can wear masks, just like on the wrestling. Maybe even have the whole crew out on the floor instead of the ostensible chef & sous chef.

  • fiat lux

    ” Why…just last week at a dinner at the House, 7 out of 10 of the waiters we hired were Lateeno!”

    That’s beyond pathetic. What year does she think she’s living in, 1957?

    I bet if you let her, she would have gone on to talk about how wonderful it is that they have so many Jewish employees too, “they’re so good with numbers, you know!”

  • Reggie

    Bravo. I’m all for putting down elitism and all of that, and that woman is exactly the kind of person I hate. I mean, at one job I held, there were exactly two non-white people there–I was one–and the manager was constantly after the two of us to “get more of THOSE people” to apply for jobs.

    But here’s something I don’t understand: how is a person *supposed* to pronounce “Latino” if not “La-tee-no”? “Latin-oh”? I don’t speak a word of Spanish and, like pretty much everyone else who does it, sound like an asshole if I try to pronounce it like I do speak Spanish.

  • t-scape

    The way I read it, I pictured her kind of extending that “eee” sound, the way people who try a little too hard to say the word with a Spanish “accent” (for lack of a better word) sometimes do. And by no means do I want to put down people who try to say words in Spanish correctly, but I call it the Nicaragua Syndrome – when a news anchor will be speaking in English and they need to say the name of a Latin American country, and they bust out the “Neecaraaaguaaa”. Something like that.

  • kristin

    Why…just last week at a dinner at the House, 7 out of 10 of the waiters we hired were Lateeno!”

    Absolutely disgusting. What sandbar is her head burried in?

  • t-scape

    I haven’t seen the SNL skit, sorcha, but if they’re making fun of the same things I do, then they’re in more trouble than I thought. :p

    I think it’s great that you stated your case with her so honestly, Tony…not just because these things need to be put out in the open more often, but because her response really revealed more than she probably intended.

  • eat4fun

    Iron Chef Latino, masked! That’s a great idea.
    He’s the one with the Cast Iron Stomach and does flying body slams off the cutting boards. Take that Morimoto.

    I’m sure the FN rationalizes that Bobby Flay and his Southwest Cooking covers Latino food. Scary!

  • Claudia

    “Without question, the Beard ‘House’ itself is outmoded, uncomfortable, irrelevent–and would be far more useful as a methadone clinic.”

    So very true, Tony – At least THEY really try to help people and recognize their efforts to try to get from A to B (!)

    Oh, and Vinotas, keep in mind those well-heeled JBO socialites probably don’t take cabs or order in Chinese – they have drivers to take them back to Sutton or Beekman Place, remember? (!!) The only minorities they’ve ever seen are either their maids or the back of their driver’s heads. If they took cabs – my God! They’d have to . . . (gasp!) interact with Russians and Bangladeshis and Middle Eastern guys . . . and maybe even a LaTEEEEEEno (!) God Lord, man – what do you expect them to say to these people?!!! (OK, I’ve gone into full-blown snark now.)

  • kristin

    “I’m sure the FN rationalizes that Bobby Flay and his Southwest Cooking covers Latino food. Scary!”

    If I were Latino I would be completely insulted by that fact.

  • parkbench

    I’m taking the “Lateeno” remark in what I choose to believe is the spirit in which it was intended. In the olden days, when I was young and rocks were soft, Taco Bell menus had *pronouncers* on their menus.

    “TAH-co” “bur-EET-oh” and “en-chee-REE-oh” (wtf is an enchirito, anyway?). And this was in California, no less. Don’t ask me why, but that’s what I thought of when I read “Lateeno.” Oh, look. We’re so authentic.

    Excellent rant, Tony.

    Viva la raza!

    –parkbench

  • kristin

    “I was thinking a few bucks set aside for free para-legal advice. Maybe a widely accessible library. English lessons.”

    I am a paralegal, and would gladly offer some time to help.These men and women come into this country and do work nobody else will do, let alone some white bred culinary grad. They work their way up the line the hard way and do it for little pay. They need all the help they can get.

  • Mary Sue

    I went to a Mexican restaurant here in Portland, Oregon this weekend, and I was walking out of the restaurant and one of my fellow patrons grabbed my arm and said, “Get me some more water.”

    I was a little confused, and blinked at ‘em, which made my fellow patron snap, “Agua! More-o! Now!”

    “Sir, there is no need for that tone,” I told him.

    At which point, before I could say anything else, the guy proceeded to threaten to call the manager and discussed my theoretical ancestry and sexual habits in profane detail.

    I was pretty much so shocked at the stupid that I just shook my head and walked out. But of course, my kind of people don’t EAT at restaurants, we just work there.

    Moral of the story? Los gente son estupido. Let’s poke them with sticks!

    (And the food at the restaurant wasn’t good, either. Ah, well.)

  • JunkyPOS

    ..you go ahead and poke biaattch!!!

    >>> I’ma not as stupid as U think!

    apologies all aroundooooooooooo

  • steve

    Tony.

    If you make this your purpose in life to highlight all south USA employees. I will find you and kiss you.

    on the mouth.

  • sorcha

    Mary Sue, WTF? So wrong on so many levels: 1. To assume you worked there because you’re Hispanic. 2. To speak to another human being that way. 3. To GRAB YOUR FUCKING ARM. Seriously, I’d have kneed him in the nuts.

    Which restaurant was it, by the way?

  • t-scape

    “I’m sure the FN rationalizes that Bobby Flay and his Southwest Cooking covers Latino food. Scary!”

    I’m sure they do. It’s about as Latino as the Food Network gets. West Side Story gets Natalie Wood to play the Puerto Rican Maria, and the Food Network gets Bobby Flay to make “latin food”.

    Or else random FN shows will throw in a recipe for something Cuban here and there (Cuban being the default country of origin of any dish from the Spanish-speaking Caribbean). Don’t forget the mojito!

  • Tags

    If by Latino food, you mean food cooked by Latinos, then that pretty much covers everything, including Chinese food. Nothing off limits on Iron Chef Latino – except white meat!

  • rockandroller

    I’m beginning more and more to see the parallel between your world (food) and my world (entertainment). Beard Awards = Oscars. Have you ever seen the people who make up the bulk of the Academy?

    The Marriott Marquis is certainly no culinary dream, but hot boxes and propane? Come ON. That’s like Crash winning best picture.

  • john atkinson

    all this soft racism coming from the great bastion of liberalism, new york? at least my rich white patrons have the decency to insult my latino workers in pigeon spanish!
    john
    venice, ca

  • jacqueline

    I’ve been in and around the business long enough to have my share of stories, it’s not just race based though. When the highest accolades offered to a chick in the kitchen is that she’s “the grill bitch” methinks Tony doth protest too much…

    that’s all I’m saying. And it ain’t just food, folks, it’s everywhere. As a non-practicing attorney in Boston, I could tell you stories that would make the Beard C#$% look like an enlightened saint.

    Sexism and racism are both alive and well in kitchens, restaurants, courtrooms, board rooms…

    - Jacqueline
    AKA the Leather District Gourmet

  • Mercutia

    Tony, you have GOT to get with Ruhlman & Co to organize a REAL food world awards ceremony. (OK, I’m not the first one to suggest it, but by God, it’s a good idea.) Have all the presenters rip off fake facial hair and hand it to the winners (along with a substantial cash endowment) and call it the Unbearded Awards.

  • sorcha

    T-scape, it’s an old skit from the mid-80s, when SNL was stil funny. Jimmy Smits (this was during LA Law’s run) plays a Hispanic guy who joins a news crew, who all insist on way overpronouncing anything that *might* be in Spanish – including their lunch orders of Mexican take out food. It really is pretty funny in that, “Jesus, we white folks are dumb” way.

  • sorcha

    Jacqueline, IIRC, the Grill Bitch chose that name for herself. It’s been a while since I read that, so I could be wrong.

  • bourdain

    Leather Gourmet:
    What leads you to believ that Beth would let me–or ANY man for that matter–give her a nickname?
    You assume a compliance and level of docility in female kitchen workers I find frankly sexist. Beth proudly named herself–as she’d be happy to tell you.
    And I do not attend Beard events. Close reading of the record, counselor– prior to filing an indictment. Always a good idea.

  • sad

    Clearly, their is room for improvement at the JBF. A program to honor sous chefs would be an interesting addition to the dinner series.

    But the SAG doesn’t honor the BestBoy and the Gaffer. It’s the Exec. Producer and the Director. The Best Actor… not the craft table.

    Since I didn’t know JB I can’t say how disliked he was or how cranky, but being all PC about “Lateeno” sounds like “much disliked crank” is just code for “Queer or Fag, or some our slur”

  • Maya

    I think in the not too distant future the James Beard “house honcho” will be ANSWERING TO a Latino employer.

    I live in a city that has the highest population of Puerto Ricans in the United States. The city’s community college sees many upwardly-bound Latinos attend (most while working full-time, sometimes two jobs and support families) and move on to very lucrative careers.

    We just ate at an amazing new French restaurant outside the city run by Latinos, owned by a man from South America. Most restaurants fail in that wealthy town but based on his location and popularity, he has a decent chance.

    I’m not claiming to speak for anyone, god knows I’m just a lily-white (czech descendant) ignoramus from the north, but I’ve been here for 10 years and I think the Latino population is set to do fine without JB foundation’s condescending approval.

  • chefwannab

    I guess it’s the same in almost any industry. I’ve been in real estate for years and attended developer and builder award shows nationwide where the president of the company, not the people who actually BUILD, accepts the awards and gets all the glory. I suppose some credit must be given to the individual with the original vision or concept, whether it’s a restaurant or a skyscraper, and that usually comes about in some form of public recognition. But I’d love to see the elitists in real estate development at a black tie dinner trying to socialize with Mexican construction workers! LOL

    Latinos are becoming a greater and greater percentage of our workforce, and if they were to suddenly disappear they would take with them the backbone of nearly every business. That’s only part of what makes the attitudes of the JBO woman and the man in the Oregon restaurant completely ignorant and disgusting. We need to do more than just be “aware” of our Latino workforce; we need to embrace it and cater to their needs and interests. I applaud your efforts, Tony, and think you should try to get this published in a more public medium.

  • CalgaryinTopeka

    Ummm, okay, hot boxes, induction tops and propane burners. Reheats. Will Wolfgang Puck be supervising? His catering skills of late would seem to lend themselves ideally to such an event that really honors no one.

  • SUZY, the unemployed Pastry Chef; CCA Class of '07

    Re; Beards; Don’t forget us women in the kitchen either…

    I know this is a little off the subject, but what about us grrrls For example; Kitchen Confidential. It’s been awhile since I read it, but as I recall, I didn’t see any mention of women as cooks/chefs. The only mention of women I do recall are references to waitresses in acrobatic sexual positions in closets and storage rooms.
    This begs the question: Who is more likely to be hired for $10 hr.? A Latino male with possibly dubious immigration status, or a woman with a culinary degree?
    At least Beard gave Julia credit where credit was due…
    I’d venture to guess that a whole lot of us wouldn’t even be here discussing food were it not for Julia.
    Ironic, isn’t it? That this WHOLE thing – Chef as rock star, foodie as groupie, cook books as porn – all can be traced back to Julia, who I’m sure is laughing in her grave at all of us…

  • cafelady

    I’m sorry, but the word “Latino” sounds derogatory to me no matter how you pronounce it. How about “Hispanic” instead. I would be interested in knowing how Hispanics feel about being called Latinos. Also, I am Italian. Does that make me Latino? I live in Phoenix where 90% of the cooking is done by Mexicans. I once heard a wealthy Scottsdale woman comment on how much she liked the Mexicans because they “stay in their place” whatever that’s suppose to mean. Without the Mexicans, legal or otherwise, the restaurant business in Phoenix and many other areas would collapse.

  • Kovalic

    A project I worked on was nominated for a James Beard Award, which kinda came out of the blue for me. As a cartoonist, it’s something I’d never even considered being up for. (I had a very minor part in doing some illustrations for the film, but hey, at least I was a part of the team). Psyched about this? Yeah, you could say that.

    …until I read this post. :-)

    It’s almost reassuring to hear that the Beard awards are pretty much as effed-up as any of the other major awards out there – and even more so than some.

    Thanks for the insight. Very interesting indeed.

  • chefwannab

    Cafelady:

    There is a program on my local (Texas) public radio station called Latino USA. There is also a Latina magazine for (Hispanic) women. Many journalists use both terms interchangeably. (To some it is the term Hispanic that is offensive in that it is an anglicized word and is said to bear the stamp of US government agencies for census taking and the like.)

    Depending on whom you poll (and where) you might find a strong preference for one vs. the other, but neither to be offensive.

  • lorettalockhorn

    >>involvement in some tandem Beard event.

    Boy, have I been there!!!

  • James Van Dyk

    Finally, Some truths about these culinary societies. After I don’t know how many years of paying membership fees ,I finally got hip to the fact these organizations are simply useless .I liken them to organized religions, once a few people get involved, it becomes a crappy egofest.

  • t-scape

    “I’m sorry, but the word “Latino” sounds derogatory to me no matter how you pronounce it. How about “Hispanic” instead.”

    There are Latinos who do not like to be called Hispanic. I’m not in touch with all the Latin Americans of the world, but I haven’t yet met one who takes offense to being called Latino.

    I’m not sure why you find the term Latino offensive – personally, I am Puerto Rican and am just fine with it.

  • Jennie/Tikka Masala

    I wholeheartedly agree with the women who have pointed out that while hearts doth bleed profusely for all the poor male immigrant BOH workers – precious little of the same is extended to women in the kitchen.

    I’m white (and female) so I MUST be living Elmer Fudd’s lifestyle, with a mansion and a yacht that they issued me at birth. Yeah, right!

    I’d have more sympathy if it wasn’t just about comforting male Hispanic cooks – but all cooks who aren’t being recognized.

    Methinks Tony doth only protest when the cook has a “fruit-basket” and a mother somewhere who’s not feeding her son a homecooked meal.

  • Jennie

    Wow – where to start.

    1) Its “hail” not “hale”. Hale would be Allan Hale, i.e. The Skipper from Giligan’s Island.

    2) Its chienne – feminine of chien. I have no idea what “chaine” is.

    3) Rotisseur – 2 s’s.

  • chefwannab

    Jennie:

    Ummmm, no, it IS chaine so let’s not be too holier than thou with our spelling corrections (in either English or French).

    “The Chaîne des Rôtisseurs is an international gastronomic society founded in Paris in 1950. It is devoted to promoting fine dining and “les Arts de la Table” in its broadest sense.”

    And read some of Bourdain’s works before you criticize too much. He supports women and all nationalities in the kitchen.

    FYI, women chefs have been nominated for JB awards, so even though in the minority they’re certainly not entirely overlooked. I’m a white woman too and would love to see more female chef recognition, but this is a totally different topic as it relates to the JBO and the point Tony was trying to make here.

  • SUZY, the unemployed Pastry Chef; CCA Class of '07

    Re: chefwannab’s comment (below)

    “And read some of Bourdain’s works before you criticize too much. He supports women and all nationalities in the kitchen.”

    I HAVE read ALL of Bourdain’s works, including “Gone Bamboo”, and “A Bone in the Throat”, and I didn’t mean to say that Chef Bourdain is not supportive of women in kitchens.
    I meant to point out that, from what I have read and seen on his show, he does not seem supportive of women in HIS kitchens…

    …at least in the capacity of “cook” or “chef”…

  • Dan Wodarcyk

    Can anyone point to another well written account of the origin, state of, or just the basic answer as to “why” the amount of skilled chefs coming out of Latin America has occurred? The best I’ve seen is from Kitchen Confidential. I’m fascinated by this topic, mainly due to the irony of the idea of “classic french” being prepared perfectly by these talented chefs from down south.

  • J. Scott Wilson

    Well said, as ever, Chef.

    As I learned full well as a KM in Houston many moons ago, in this country it is the Mexican, Salvadoran and other Latin and South American cooks who make the damned business tick. Without them, certainly all the chain houses would collapse (hardly a bad thing).

    And yet we want to hassle them, deport them, abuse them … it’s bullshit.

  • del Grosso

    Dan
    A brief if not well-written account: there’s a lot of hispanics, a lot of really hard low-paying jobs, they are poor, the hispanics take the jobs.
    It’s been the same equation since forever. In old Europe it was the lucky peasants and serfs who went into the kitchen. Later it was the urban poor. Jump the pond to the US and fast forward to the late 19th century and the kitchens are full of Italian and German immigrants and always with some alpha-dog at the head of the brigade whose superior position allowed him to schmooze with the glitterati.
    If there is anything unique at all about the condition of the Hispanic kitchen workers is that they have arrived at moment in time where people other than themselves (e.g. Mr. Bourdain)actually care enough about them to talk about how important they are.

  • Claudia

    Cafelady, although historically Italians are considered to have “Latin” blood, the usual usage is that a Latino/Latina is from Latin America (i.e, Central or South America). (Although, unlike what Dan Quayle thought, they don’t speak Latin . . . yes, he actually asked that – DUH!) But I guess you can consider all of us Italian, Spanish and Hispanic peoples hot Latin-blooded people (!) Latin, the language, was spoken by the tribe of Italians of Latium, which is modern-day Lazio . . . the home province of Rome, so the idea of having “Latin” blood just because you’re Italian is something of a misnomer. (There were scores of tribes – Sabines, Etruscans, Oscans, etc. – in ancient Italy, but since the Latin-speaking Romans basically dominated the peninsula . . . well, here endeth the impromptu history lesson!)

    None of my Hispanic friends care whether they’re called Latino or Hispanic, just as long as no one tries to speak bad Spanish to them or take that condescending tone the JBO lady used to Tony. (I think his use of “LaTEEEENO” was his attempt at illustrating in typed word form the woman’s (verbal word form) discomfort, lack of familiarity and condescension in even THINKING about the Latino kitchen staff. Reminds me of the trip out West when I was referred to as an EYE-talian, but I’m assuming those folks in Wyoming and Utah are more ignorant than bigoted. Still, it didn’t make for a Kodak moment.)

    Suzy the Unemployed, etc.: Tony is a BIG champion of women in professional kitchens – yes, HIS, too. If you read KC carefully, you will see that he actually celebrates the tough-as-nails female sous chef – not just his trusted ex-grillardin, Beth Aretsky (now his long time assistant), but a number of other very cool women who could handle the high-pressure, high-testosterone world of professional kitchens. He has also raved publicly about a number of female chefs, notably Gabrielle Hamilton, of Prune. Tony may be a lot of things, but he’s no misogynist – and no hypocrite, either. He has a female agent, a female assistant, a female TV producer (and, for all I know, his lawyer and ex-cat might be female, too) – and has a daughter on the way (!) He might not have a kitchen right now into which he can hire a female sous chef, but he’s certainly stocked his current professional life with as many capable women as he can lay hold of.

  • buddha drinks fanta

    Sorry for getting off topic, but Bourdain seems only a champion of women who come down the base level of men in kitchens. Vaginas are welcome if they can sweat, curse and hang like the others. Should they want to work in a kitchen that’s civilized, they should wake up and get out of the kitchen or go to pastry.

    If I’m wrong, I’ll stand corrected but this is the honest impression I get based on his books and speaking engagements where he’s addressed the lack of women in the world of celeb chefs.

  • SUZY, the unemployed Pastry Chef; CCA Class of '07

    Ummm…I may a little behind in the Bourdainography department, but the last I heard, his wife’s name was Nancy, and she was appx. the same age as him — making her about 50…

    She’s pregnant?!

    I’m a Newbie of 36hrs. here in Ruhlman.com, and this blog just get’s curiouser and curiouser…

    Stroke the cooks, fuck the chefs…stroke the cooks, fuck the chefs…hmmm…what does the author really mean by that?

  • gb500

    Suzy — Get some real kitchen experience and see who gets hired.

  • kristin

    “Tony, you have GOT to get with Ruhlman & Co to organize a REAL food world awards ceremony. (OK, I’m not the first one to suggest it, but by God, it’s a good idea.) Have all the presenters rip off fake facial hair and hand it to the winners (along with a substantial cash endowment) and call it the Unbearded Awards.”

    Better yet Tony, why don’t you, Ruhlman and some other chef friends of yours pull some weight and help all the cooks of ‘dubious status” get some status in this country? It would cost less to work on getting them legal than it would to try to find them, lock them up, have hearings and deport them. I am sure you can talk some immigration lawyers into doing pro bono work, and even though I am not in NY I would, look into possibly coming to NY and doing my part as a paralegal.

  • SUZY, the unemployed Pastry Chef; CCA Class of '07

    To gb500:

    Well ex-cuuuuse me, but not only do I have “real kitchen experience” (If by that you mean “PROFESSIONAL kitchen experience” — as opposed to mere real LIFE kitchen experience…both of which I DO have, and which you would have seen had you actually read my posts with more attention), but also, I just graduated from the “CCA, Class of ’07″ LAST WEEK.

    Re: kristin:

    I LOVE your idea, but as you yourself point out; in bringing attention to cooks of possibly “dubious” status, you would run the risk of also bringing
    unwanted attention from La Migra.

    And– it’s a noble offer of legal help on your part, but just imagine if the awards became a case of “Win the ___Award, and your prize is all the help and political pull from our Celebrity Judges in getting your case to suddenly sail through US Immigration with a wink and a nudge”.

    What about the nominees who don’t win?

    MY heart bleeds for the Mexican sushi chef in Texas (profiled on “No Reservations”)who hasn’t been able to see his own family in Mexico for years…

    Yes – it’s a heartbreaking dilemma, but I doubt the awards would recognize a humble Mexican sushi chef working in a mom and pop restaurant in a tiny town in Texas – no matter how deserving he might be.

  • sorcha

    All these accusations of misogyny being levelled at Tony seem to be coming from people who haven’t read anything he’s written. I’ve certainly never gotten the impression that he feels women are inferior, or incapable of holding their own and then some in the kitchen, and I’ve read a lot of his stuff.

    And that’s all I’ma say about that. If he feels the need to take up for himself, he’s certainly able to do it. I just get annoyed by people talking out of their culos and occasionally I feel the need to say something.

  • artnlit

    I think some are missing the point here. Suzy and Jennie are noting that Tony stresses the plight/struggle of Latino MALES, yet we hear little about how difficult it is for females in the profession regardless of background and experience. True, he has mentioned them in his book and has female assistants. So what? Perhaps the true question is: should one hire a Latino male instead of a more qualified white female? Apparently it happens more than you think.

  • artnlit

    PS. Suzy fyi – Tony is no longer married to Nancy. Apparently, he has a much younger, Italian, hottie girlfriend who is now due to have his baby.

  • Maura

    Tony didn’t specifically say anything about Latino males. He said Latinos. If the majority of Latinos working in American kitchens are males, that speaks more to a problem with the rstaurant owners and not Tony’s attitude towards women. If the servers at the JB Awards ceremony are all males, that reflects the JBF’s (and many restaurant owners’) attitude that waiters give a more professional, refined tone than waitresses do. The fact that, in this particular column, Tony didn’t address the problems female culinary professionals face doesn’t necessarily indicate that has no respect for women who work in the industry.

  • artnlit

    I was referring to Tony’s No Reservations show on the Texas border where he highlights the plight of a specific Latino male. While his essay above does not single them out, he has constantly spoken of male Latino struggles in the culinary world. I never felt that Tony had no respect for females in general, but rather, his passions lie with the other sex.

  • Joan

    I’m a newbie wannabe chef (starting Culinary school in Sept), and stumbled upon the Beard Foundation website/scholarship… Thanks for this post!

  • Claudia

    Buddha, I think you’re wrong.

    Bourdain doesn’t only appreciate tough-talkin’, testosterone-y female chefs. In A Cook’s Tour, Nasty Bits and NR, he mentions a number of soft-spoken, graceful and lady-like female chefs (like the Iban chef in Malaysia, for instance). I think if he still ran a kitchen and had a number of female cooks he could hire who could hold their own without being as profane, testosterone-y, etc., as the men, they’d be on the line tomorrow.

    No, he wouldn’t put women in the lowliest cook jobs, either – or pastry. In fact, he wants to see more women bypass pastry and get onto the line and into the fire with the guys – he has stated that repeatedly. He would hire a female sous (or two) as fast as he would a Latino, and I think if he still ran a kitchen, being able to hire a female AND Latino sous chef would probably thrill him. And she wouldn’t have to be as butch as the boys, either – just as long as he could handle the pressure on the line and the crap from the boys. Like police squad rooms and network news rooms (trust me on this one), the environments are very testosterone-y, and any woman in those fields have to have thick skins and tough hides.

    I assume by referring to female cooks as “vaginas” you are merely attempting to underscore the lowly place in the kitchen hierarchy that you believe women have been traditionally forced to occupy, not that you personally think they are nothing more than one?

  • Sorcha

    OK, I think I can summarize this whole thing very easily:

    Tony: Latinos in the food industry really get the short end of the stick.

    Other People: But what about the women? You don’t care about the women! Misogynist! Pig!

    Still Other People: Bzuh?

    Some of the comments on this post have absolutely reeked of clueless white privilege. (Note: white privilege doesn’t mean you have a lot of money because you’re white. It means you, as a white person, have the luxury of “not seeing race” and of being completely ignorant of the realities of being a non-white person in this country.)

    Suzy, you keep signing yourself as “SUZY, the unemployed Pastry Chef; CCA Class of ’07″. You make a strong implication that it’s because you’re a woman. Hey, maybe it is, I don’t know. But maybe it’s not – maybe, just maybe, it’s something else entirely. Of course, it’s a lot easier to blame the fact that you don’t have a dick than say, your attitude or presentation or skills (or lack thereof.) You may be the best pastry chef in the world for all I know; I’m just saying that blaming sexism is often an easy way out. And that’s a heck of a long signature, too.

    I’m sorry, kiddies, I don’t care if you have three vaginas that engage in simultaneous menstruation – if you’re a white female in this country, then yeah, you do have it better in a lot of respects than a Latino male. I say that AS a white female. Last I checked, you didn’t have to travel thousands of miles and file a mountain of paperwork to live and work here because you were born a girl.

  • t-scape

    “I don’t care if you have three vaginas that engage in simultaneous menstruation”

    If that’s not a logistical nightmare, I don’t know what is.

  • fiat lux

    Maura: “The fact that, in this particular column, Tony didn’t address the problems female culinary professionals face doesn’t necessarily indicate that has no respect for women who work in the industry”

    – Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

    Sorcha — ROFL @ the vagina comment! You rock, girl.

    Suzy — has it occurred to you that whining so much on a public blog is probably not going to help you get employed?

  • sorcha

    “Suzy — has it occurred to you that whining so much on a public blog is probably not going to help you get employed?”

    Fiat, you took the words right out of my mouth. I was trying to be as nice as I could.

    I thought about this post this morning, having breakfast at a local pub. This place has an Irish name, is festooned with banners for Guiness and Harp…and as I walked past the kitchen to get to the bathroom, what did I hear? The dulcet sounds of salsa on the radio and Spanish in the mouths of the cooks. I couldn’t help grinning.

  • sorcha

    “If that’s not a logistical nightmare, I don’t know what is.”

    Hey, better simultaneous than not. At least that way you get it all over with at once.

  • Shannon

    I guarantee you won’t hear any of the “Lateenos” complaining about their lot in life.

    It’s probably because they’re too busy to complain because they’re working their asses off at any job they can get to earn a living to support themselves and their families.

  • chefwannab

    Thank you, Sorcha and Fiat. I have returned to this post hopeful of additional intelligent contributions and am now weary of how far off topic this has gone. Some readers here would like to take what started as a great post and interesting discussion about the pretentiousness of the James Beard Foundation and the issue of unrecognized cooks “behind the scenes” (of which a majority happen to be Latinos), and turn it into their own self-indulgent, whining rant or a personal attack against Bourdain.

    No, Tony didn’t miss the point of women (or lack thereof) in the professional kitchen; as I said before, that’s an entirely different topic that doesn’t have anything to do with the point he was making. But for those who want to make it such a huge case, read Kitchen Confidental VERY carefully and you’ll see that Tony doesn’t have anything against women in his kitchen or anyone else’s; provided they have the cojones (pun intended) to make it in a tough, testosterone-laden environment. That’s just the way it is. I’m a white woman too and this doesn’t offend me in the least. And women are hardly unappreciated or unrecognized in the culinary world, including the James Beard awards. Maybe still in the minority, but certainly not due to any deliberate oversight.

    I believe what Tony is really trying to say here is, look beyond that celebrity face on your cookbook or your favorite Food Network program and appreciate who’s REALLY preparing that filet mignon or whatever you order in a restaurant. They might be American, Ecuadorian, Bangladeshi, gay, straight, old, young, male, female, hermaphrodite or alien from another planet. Whoever it is, if you’re eating at Babbo, it more than likely isn’t Mario.

  • sorcha

    Okay, chefwannab, now I want to write a story about how Bobby Flay’s kitchens are actually staffed by hermaphrodite aliens.

    Then again, you look at Flay, that don’t seem so farfetched. He looks like what would happen if Satan chose Russ Tamblyn to bear the Antichrist.

  • Suzy, t.u.P.C., ...class of '07

    …Actually, I have on good authority that Mario Batali makes it a point to hire hermaphrodite aliens.

    But then Mario is the antithesis of a misogynist…

    Hmmm…what IS the “anti-misogynist”?

    A Gynecologist?

  • Suzy, t.u.P.C., ...class of '07

    I am the villainized “Suzy, the…Pastry Chef”.

    I stumbled across what I thought was RUHLMAN.com, and as I am a big RUHLMAN fan, I thought I’d take a look around.

    I wrote my hero Ruhlman a fan letter, and he was gracious enough to reply almost immediately…

    The next day, I stoped by, and there is this headline “STROKE THE CHEFS, FUCK…”. I thought; “Hmmm…this doesn’t sound like the eloquent writing of the Ruhlman I know and love. This sounds like some second-rate Dr.Gonzo wannabe.

    By the end of the article, I am SO pissed off that I shoot off my mouth about that thorn in my ass, Tony Bourdain. OK, ok – I know that he’s like, Ruhlman’s best friend, and yeah – I did kinda hope that maybe Ruhlman’s pal Tony might take a gander at his pal’s blog as he sits in some lonely hotel room.

    So I toss in my two cents re: my pet peeve; Tony’s TV quote: “I love Latino (men) way better than white boys…” or something like that (I mean, I’m no babe in the woods here. This is SF, and I am well aware that many white boys prefer Latino men, but I digress…).

    Anyhoo, I go off the blog to go live my real life offline for a day and a half, and the next time I log in, I am amazed to find that I have been virtually spammed off the site and right smack into my own email box by Tony sympathizers.

    Upon further investigation, I find that the bulk of these lengthy and practically dripping love letters in Tony’s defense are from WOMEN!

    So I figger I’ll tweak ‘em a little, cause I AM in fact a Pastry Chef with some invisible “cojones”, (despite accusations to the contrary – from another woman!) and apparently one woman got so riled up that she took to drink! AND then she posts about fuming over my posts WHILE consuming her BREAKFAST in an IRISH PUB manned by LATINOS!

    (OK – I was admittedly inflammatory – but c’mon – can’t ‘ya tell I’m FUNNIN” ‘ya?)

    What I wanna know is: If Bourdain has been so insulted by my posts, why has he not stuck up for himself?

    I see now that he WAS “in the house”. Why do these women feel that the have to defend Tony against a GIRL PASTRY CHEF for God’s sake?

    I mean, is Tony REALLY such a tender and sensitive soul (as they insist in their emails to me?)that he can’t stick up for himself? Against a GIRL PASTRY CHEF?

    Have my own fantasies about the “Ultimate Tough Guy Chef” been shattered, and now I’ll have to close my eyes and think of Alton?

    Is the tough and profane Chef Bourdain in reality the “snot-nosed white boy culinary school graduate” he claims to have such contempt for?

    Obviously I’m new here, and if I have mortally wounded anyone’s feelings, I am sorry…

    …but it just seems to me that if ‘ya dish it out like a Tough Guy, ‘ta oughtta be able to take it too!

    Suzy, t.u.P.C.

    PS: I AM a native New Yorker.

    As I pointed out before, I just graduated from culinary school LAST WEEK, so I’m not too worried about the “unemployed” part yet.

    And YES I HAVE worked in several professional restaurant kitchens, both before and after I spent 25yrs. in banking, and as a stockbroker – both heavily testosterone soaked industries, and I held my own in the pit with the Big Boys (with my own invisible cojones) just fine, thankyouverymuch!

  • sorcha

    Mm, the “I was just messing with you guys!” defense. Classic Internet debate tactic #323.

  • chefwannab

    Suzy:

    1) I don’t think Tony has that much time to read through all the responses and respond to each one, or really to care for that matter. He occasionally posts here as Ruhlman’s guest and adds an entertaining twist and lively discussion. He’s probably in Southeast Asia right now and couldn’t care less that a pastry chef who graduated a mere 7 hours ago is whining about how he doesn’t care about women because he didn’t mention them in his post. Boo fuckin’ hoo….

    2) I’m not defending him, he doesn’t need me to. I’m just telling you you’re wrong.

    3) I never said YOU didn’t have cojones, I don’t know you. I’m glad you do and you should therefore have no problem getting a job and soon will be signing off as Suzy the Recently Employed Pastry Chef.

    PS You’re the only one taking this personally here.

  • chefwannab

    Suzy:

    1) I don’t think Tony has that much time to read through all the responses and respond to each one, or really to care for that matter. He occasionally posts here as Ruhlman’s guest and adds an entertaining twist and lively discussion. He’s probably in Southeast Asia right now and couldn’t care less that a pastry chef who graduated a mere 7 hours ago is whining about how he doesn’t care about women because he didn’t mention them in his post. Boo fuckin’ hoo….

    2) I’m not defending him, he doesn’t need me to. I’m just telling you you’re wrong.

    3) I never said YOU didn’t have cojones, I don’t know you. I’m glad you do and you should therefore have no problem getting a job and soon will be signing off as Suzy the Recently Employed Pastry Chef.

    PS You’re the only one taking this personally here.

  • Jenn/Tikka Masala

    Okay – my turn again. First of all Artnlit – GREAT to see you over here. Kristin – glad you’re nearly done with school and got your knives! We’ll have to talk again soon.

    I’m going to repeat exactly what I said on the NR site. People coming north from Mexico and further South are not the only people in the world who have had it tough – THAT notion is what I’m disliking so very much. The notion that white people never ever ever have as much pain as other races – that’s just inaccurate in so many ways.

    I donated my time to a homeless shelter this winter. We clothed, fed, housed, and gave medical care to 3,200 people. We just opened the doors and let anybody come in who wanted to. Guess what – most of them were white. And this was in L.A. where white people are the minority now.

    My husband was kicked out of his family home at 16. He lived in an abandoned car. He put himself through college (no student loans) while working as a grocery bagger. It took 20 years. For holidays he’d sleep on a buddy’s couch. He’s also white – and apparently one of those hyper-priviledged people you keep referring. Now at age 40 he owns a home and has a nice car through pure labor. That’s apparently bad.

    At age 30, thanks to a glut of cheap labor, not being able to pay for both food and rent, I went from 115 pounds down to 91. I got this way from buying a 99 cent burger and cutting it in half so I could eat it over two days. I did this for 18 months. I never asked anybody for help and took no money from anyone. I put myself through both college and culinary school (no help from my one family member, my mother)paying all my own expenses. This is the 1st time in my life I haven’t had roomates as a financial necessity. I have health insurance now, at age 40, for only the 2nd time in my life (and not since I was 20). Apparently I’m a lazy white person who’s had it easy, because I didn’t move to another country and have lots of kids and a large family of origin????

    My point here is that if you’re going to be someone who sticks up for the underpriviledged – you have to be objective about it. I can say this because I now work full time for a large international humanitarian agency. We don’t only have clients from South of the Border – they cross all boundaries, all countries, all groups. None of us would have the stones to tell someone who wasn’t from Mexico – “Your pain is less painful than their pain is over there.” That’s what I’m saying. Pain is RELATIVE. If you begin to champion one group – you step into a realm where you need to champion them all – or you risk belittling others struggles – even unintentionally.

    I applaud Tony’s HEART on this one – I seriously do. He’s basically trying to do a good thing – and that’s always something I respect. But you need to be careful how you do that. You have to be a little less spontaneous in what you say and how you say it. “Champion of the Underpriviledged” is a noble undertaking, to be sure – but it requires the sacrifice of LOTS of self-censorship or it loses its purpose.

    There is a saying where I went to college for psychology you hear Day 1. “Welcome to the helping profession – you have just given up your right to your own opinion.”

    Truth and accuracy are hard to achieve. Oversimplification is the enemy of real humanitarian assistance.

  • sorcha

    Okay, Jenn, first of all, I think you need to realize that Tony didn’t set himself up as “Champion of the Underprivileged.” He spoke about one particular issue that bothers him. That does not oblige him to give equal time to other issues, either in the same post or a different one, regardless of his personal feelings. I think it’s kind of rude, personally, to try and hijack a thread about one issue and make it about your issue instead. That may not have been the intention, but that’s how it came across.

    Secondly, as I had taken great care to note, “white privilege” does not refer to your financial status. It refers to the luxury white people enjoy of being not only the majority, but the ones in charge, in America. (And being as how whites are the majority, it makes sense that the majority of homeless would also be white, btw.) It refers to things like not having store clerks following you around assuming you’re a thief because of the color of your skin. It means not having to worry about being pulled over because you’re in a nice car, and a cop assumes it’s stolen because of your skin color. It means not having to worry that you won’t get a job because they’re looking for someone with an “All-American” (read: white) image. I could go on all day but hopefully I’ve made it clear.

    We can debate this all day, but I don’t think it’s fair to poor Ruhlman. Yeah, you’ve been poor. So have I, as a matter of fact. But we’ve been poor and white, not poor and black, or Latina, or Native American. And in the US, that makes a much bigger difference than it ought to.

  • Jennie/Tikka Masala

    Sorcha – how would you know? Which agencies do you currently work for? Have worked for in the past? Which figures can you show me? Which studies have you read? Which 1st Responder Agencies can back you up? Where is your proof beyond “I say it’s like this so it is”? Who made you the arbiter of reality?

    If you want me to give blanket approval of what Tony does and says – you’ll be waiting a long time. This is MY field of expertise and if he’s going to comment on it – he and you should expect this from the professional non-profit sector.

    The very next time I see you out in the field, actually doing something besides commenting on food – THEN I’ll stroke your white self-deprecating ego, k?

  • Sorcha

    Nobody asked you for blanket approval of anything, and being as how you don’t know me or anything about me, I’m not all that concerned about whether you think I’m full of it. I will say that everything I’ve said is based on my own observations of how life works and on what I’ve learned from people who do live with the reality of being non-white in America.

    You say that “this” is your field of expertise, but what this are you referring to? If you’re referring to the culinary industry, which was, after all, the topic of the post, then I think you’re talking out of your ass. If you’re talking about First Responder or other aid agencies, you’re the one who brought that up, not me. I never claimed any type of expertise in that area, and I don’t need statistics to back up what I’ve observed with my own eyes about how race works in our country. I don’t know where you’re getting “self-deprecating” from. Recognizing how the world works != liberal white guilt or whatever you may have been referring to.

    I honestly don’t know why you’re getting so confrontational and condescending, but that kind of attitude doesn’t promote any kind of dialog or discussion. It just makes you sound like a twit, k?

  • Jennie/Tikka

    Not to continue to belabor this issue but “this” means that I work in the culinary industry – and – at an international non-profit humanitarian agency that is 125 years old. I work in both fields. I see what goes in kitchens and in the world outside of kitchens. Because of that I feel I am uniquely qualified to throw in my two cents on these issues.

    Sorcha, I received several emails today from complete strangers, asking me why you were berating them on a public forum such as this. I read your posts and also felt you were needlessly berating people who have valid opinions (that just so happen to differ from your own)so I got involved. That is why my posts sound the way they do. I know for a fact you are rubbing a few people the wrong way (and those are just the ones who felt like contacting me to tell me so).

  • Suzy, t.u.P.C., ...class of '07

    THANK YOU JENNIE!!!

    …and WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU SORCHA?

    How do you know SO MUCH about “Tony, tony, TOE-NEEE”…

    What makes you qualified to tell anybody what “Tony feels”?
    or “Tony thinks”, – or how YOU know that Tender Tony would be too hurt to respond. Or that Your Beloved Tony Tenderoni is TOO BUSY and TOO IMPORTANT to be bothered to post his own response to such peons as the rest of US, and so you have been chosen (BY WHOM?) to speak on “Tony’s” behalf?

    Perhaps a quote from your own earlier post (above) might shed some light as to WHY you have virtually spammed RUHLMAN’s website with your Bourdain obsessed blather:

    “I thought about this post this morning, having breakfast at a local pub. This place has an Irish name, is festooned with banners for Guiness and Harp…and as I walked past the kitchen to get to the bathroom, what did I hear? The dulcet sounds of salsa on the radio and Spanish in the mouths of the cooks. I couldn’t help grinning.”

    Posted by: sorcha | March 31, 2007 at 01:48 AM

    Maybe breakfast in a pub and posting to a blog don’t mix!

    SORCHA: ONE MORE TIME! This is RUHLMAN.COM!

    Your sucking noises are becoming a BIG distraction to the rest of us RUHLMAN fans…

    Could you please be a doll, and go over to Bourdain.com to do that?

  • sorcha

    Okay, at this point, I’m disengaging from this discussion – not because of the “several people” emailing Jenn, or because of Suzy’s oh-so-mature veiled suggestion that I go commit unnatural acts with myself, but because there’s nothing to be learned or accomplished by letting it slide further down into flamewar-land. Jenn, I don’t think you and I are speaking on the same plane – and that’s not some kind of insult that I’m smarter than you. I think I’m trying to communicate one thing and you’re hearing another, and vice-versa, and at this point I don’t see any way to rectify that. Suzy, well. You just have yourself a good week. Good luck on finding a job, and I mean that sincerely.

  • Kal

    “WHY you have virtually spammed RUHLMAN’s website with your Bourdain obsessed blather”

    Maybe the bit at the end of this post that says “posted by anthony bourdain” had something to do with it. Yes, it is Ruhlman’s website — but this is a post by Tony. I don’t understand how it can be inappropriate to talk about Tony-centered things in comments to a post Tony made. Seems pretty on-topic to me.