The war of words between celebrity chefs Anthony Bourdain and Paula Deen continued Sunday on the Kitchen Aid seminar stage at the Grand Tasting Village during the South Beach Wine & Food Festival.
Bourdain, who has been very critical of Deen for announcing her diabetic condition three years after it was diagnosed, took the stage two hours after she came on. During her time on stage she thanked her fans for their support, and mentioned that she was ignoring the “haters out there,” referring to Bourdain.
When it was Bourdain’s turn on stage, he opened the floor to questions, and three minutes into the session Eddie Huang of Cheap Bites on the Cooking Channel loaded the cannon for Bourdain.
“Aren’t you a hypocrite smoking on your show and making fun of this nice old lady with diabetes?,” Huang asked.
The crowd gasped and hollered as Bourdain nodded his head and slyly smiled before answering.
“You are right. I did smoke cigarettes for a lot of years on my show,” Bourdain said. “But I wasn’t selling you motherf-in’ cigarettes. I wasn’t selling Smoking Tony dolls for your kids. You couldn’t go to five or six casinos around the world and find the Tony Bourdain f-ing smoking section. And when I found a spot on my motherf-ing lung, I didn’t wait three years so I could get a deal so I could sell you the Patch, OK.”
Bourdain didn’t stop there. Later, when asked what was the worst thing he has ever eaten, he changed the question and took another shot at Deen.
“No, let’s talk about the worst thing I have ever heard of in my entire life,” Bourdain said. “It’s a cheeseburger with a fried egg and bacon in between two Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Who would do such a thing?”
Deen would, as it was among the items showcased on her Food Network show.
Bourdain, who has been a longtime fan of Club Deuce on South Beach and was at Foxhole on Saturday night watching the UFC fight, then moved on to the topic of Cuba, where his show “No Reservations” visited to explore food and culture. Someone in the audience asked him if he hoped to go back to Cuba.
“I hope we all will be going back to Cuba. You know I got a lot of s--t for that show. I don’t know how more grateful I could be making that show. The people can’t go on the internet, they can’t speak their minds there, there is no freedom of the press, no one we meet on the show can afford to eat at the restaurants we are eating in. How honest can you be in a show. But I made the mistake of saying it’s really f-ing beautiful here and the people are nice,” Bourdain said. “And by the way, if you want to see some good, pure baseball there is the kind of awesome moment in history where you see great players playing for $26 knowing full well that a short swim away it’s $10 million a year. Awesome place. But Fidel will be dead in about eight weeks, the brother is going shortly there after. See you all in Havana by next year.”
Here are more excerpts from Bourdain’s question-and-answer session with his fans.
Most beautiful place ever visited: Vietnam
What am I going to do when my 4-year-old daughter turns 16:
I pray everyday that she doesn’t come home and say, ‘I would like you to meet my boyfriend; he’s a chef.’ Then we are gonna have a problem.
My favorite drink at Club Deuce on South Beach:
You don’t go into Club Deuce and say I’d like a Tom Collins. It’s beer.
Bourdain’s travel tips:
Try and s--t before you get on the plane, especially if you are tall. It’s just an awful, awful experience. And try not to get sick to your stomach before you get on a plane as well. Wear comfortable shoes that are easy to take off at security. You do not want to be the asshole that everyone is waiting in line for.
Best place to eat in Napa Valley:
French Laundry. Fourteen courses is a lot of food, but great restaurant if you can get in at all possible.
The next food trend:
Molecular gastronomy is already over. But what’s next? I don’t know, but whatever it is I hope it’s really good food over a counter. I like that trend very much.
Been sick three times on the show – in France, Liberia, Namibia
"Where I come from, when you are a guest at someone’s home, you eat what’s put on your plate. That’s just good manners."
Best bar in the world he has been to:
I will tell you, the Deuce comes close.
I don’t know if you will agree with this prescription. Wake up, take a couple asprin, drink a cold Coca-Cola, smoke a big, fat joint, and as soon as you forget about your nausea and pain, eat some leftover Kung-Pao chicken. That will set you right.
"Before you have sex, you should know how to make and prepare an omelet so you can serve it the next morning to the person that was dumb enough to have sex with you."
Last meal of your life:
Sea urchin wrapped in rice made by a master chef. “And I would like to be waterboarding Dick Cheney while I eat it.”
I like Dr. Strange, and Silver Surfer was cool. He was all alienated and floated around on a surfboard, but he seemed to not have a penis, which was always troublesome for me. I like him, surfer, minimalist fashion. I was definitely more of a Marvel comic fan than a DC Comics fan.
Anything you won’t eat: Shark fin.
Rather go blind or lose your taste buds:
I would rather lose my tastebuds; at least I could watch movies. I have tasted so many things already I could fall back on those memories.
Favorite restaurant in Miami:
Michael’s Genuine. Love that man (chef Michael Schwartz). Love that restaurant.
Would you return burnt eggs back to the kitchen:
Generally not. I will tip 20 percent, say thank you very much, and I am not going back. But what no one should ever do is take out your unhappiness with the food on the service staff. To me that is a mortal sin. If you do you should burn in the third circle of hell. And we could never be friends.
Best ceviche: Cartagena, Colombia.
Who makes the better Pisco: Peru
"Ted Nugent thinks the Obamas are here to soften this country up for the terrorists. But I got him to agree that Michelle Obama’s lunch program is a good thing for this country. Why? Well I knew where I could get Ted. I told him, look, we are surrounded by enemies and you just told me you have volunteered to stand by the Mexican border shooting people as they come across. So at any minute, Mexicans and Canadians and Al-Qaeda could come pouring across the border and attack our families on the living room carpet and we are going to be too fucking fat to do s--t about it. "
Brazil is not the place for a honeymoon because “everyone is hot, everyone is beautiful, and everyone looks like they are on their way to have sex or just had sex”
Do you want to own a restaurant:
If there is one thing I learned in 30 years of my career is that I never want to own a restaurant. It’s too hard. This celebrity chef s--t is working out; why do I want to mess it up?
Which show do you like to do better (No Reservations vs Layover):
No Reservations. Not even close. Layover is hard. It’s like eight days' worth of food and alcohol in 2 days.
Favorite aphrodisiac: Alcohol. Stick with a classic.
On moving to a new neighborhood in New York:
It’s all about the little girl. I defected to strollerville. I wanted close proximity to a Baby Gap and a pediatrician and parks and all that shit. It’s really weird. Before you are a parent, you don’t really notice other parents with kids – except when they are in your way. And then suddenly when you become a parent, you become a stroller snob. Like 'What is that? I got a Bugaboo.'
Russian Standard. I don’t like that super smooth, P Diddy-endorsed stuff. I don’t want chocolate in my martini, either.
On porn when he travels:
You don’t want to see Japanese porn. What makes their food so awesome makes their porn so disturbing.
Best Roasted Pig In the World:
Philippines. A little bit behind, Bali, Indonesia. And just a hair behind that, Puerto Rico.
What would you fire staff for:
If you play Billy Joel or you play Greatful Dead in the kitchen I ever work in, you can clean out your fucking locker now. Anybody who knows the Dead, there are going to be arrival time problems with that person. And Billy Joel, I mean do you want "Uptown Girl" stuck in your head? It’s a lethal, lethal thing.
Places he hopes to visit in 2012:
Israel. Iran. Burma. Libya. Fantasy show is to go up the Congo River.
"Giada’s [de Laurentiis] cooking is not bad. She’s got a big head, but her cooking is not bad. I respect her."
He finished by sharing a story about his daughter, who he secretly hopes becomes a foodie like himself but will not force food choices her way. His family was dining in Paris and ordered a shellfish tower. His daughter ate some oysters, which made Bourdain proud, but at the top of the tower she spotted the lobster. She looked up and said “Sebastian,” the lobster character from the Disney movie "The Little Mermaid," and then snatched it and started to eat it. “That’s my little girl,” Bourdain said.