No Reservations star Anthony Bourdain, besides being a globetrotting sampler of foreign cuisines, is known for his cutting tongue. Bourdain fans know that he won't be breaking bread with Rachael Ray anytime soon, and he reserves a Spurlockian ire for ubiquitous fast-food chains.

So it's not surprising, or inauspicious (considering he has a new show, The Layover, coming to the Travel Channel in November), that Bourdain has thrown down the gauntlet with down-home Georgia chef Paula Deen. Deen is an unabashed user of copious amounts of butter, cream, and oil in her cooking, which may have flown in the Julia Child days, but is looked at askance in today's Soloflex world. Bourdain told TV Guide that the genial Deen is "the worst, most dangerous person to America." He also said that 

"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 okay to eat food that is killing us. Plus, her food sucks."

And that wasn't all. A few de rigueur jabs at Ray were in the offing as well: "Does she even cook anymore?" Bourdain wondered. "I don't know why she bothers. To her credit, she never said she was good at it. I feel bad that she still feels compelled to cook."

Bourdain also said "I look at Guy Fieri and I just think, 'Jesus, I'm glad that's not me.'" And about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's girlfriend, chef Sandra Lee, Bourdain admitted, "I rarely feel uncomfortable, but she has a powerful force. I hate her works on this planet, but she is not someone to be dismissed, clearly." Sounds like the Medium Raw author isn't a huge supporter of the Food Network stable.


Commentarium (49 Comments)

Aug 18 11 - 3:31pm

Regardless of her ingredients, Paula Deen's fake tan, unnaturally white teeth and stretchy faceluft face is very dangerous to my eyes, y'all.

Aug 18 11 - 4:32pm

While I concur with Bourdain's evaluation of Paula Deen, I have to ask: Is there anyone this guy LIKES? The only time I see anything about him is when he is hating on someone else.

Aug 18 11 - 6:04pm

He seems to play well with other chefs on Top Chef, but they probably pay him to do so.

He's an arrogant fuck; what else do you expect?

Aug 18 11 - 7:46pm

But then again, I'm a saint.

Aug 19 11 - 12:31am

He gets along quite well with talented people like David Chang, Gordon Ramsay, and Eric Ripert.

Aug 19 11 - 12:46pm

He likes prostitutes.

Aug 19 11 - 4:07pm

I think that matters.

Aug 19 11 - 5:30pm

Because they work harder...

Aug 21 11 - 12:07pm

He likes even more than those stated, I think the likes far outweigh the dislikes, It's fools he doesn't suffer lightly. and he actually has come around from his snarky comments about Emiril L. but EL got snark because his schilling for all kinds of food sold at a premium just for the likeness.
So he is fine with EL, Mario Batali, Alton Brown, and Michael Symon on FN, He has championed people who love and respect food and try new things and highlights the overlooked rather than recreate a disney land version of downhome cookin' (cookin' meant to equal short cut food prep not dig at southern dialect)

Aug 18 11 - 5:21pm

@Moops -- Boudain is like the contrarian of the food industry, the outsider always looking in. He's always publicly rooting for the unseen workers -- the dishwashers, line cooks, and other guys who often go unnoticed as they're stuck in the kitchen. I kind of admire that fact about him, that he's an active voice for the underrepresented in the restaurant industry. I know he's friends with non-TV personality chefs, like David Chang, so I think his beef here is more with Food Network than anything.

Re: his hate for Paula Deen, I share his sentiment. Her recipes are loaded with over-processed ingredients, laden with fat and cholesterol, and a guaranteed recipe for Type-2 Diabetes. With Diabetes 2 on the rise (and ironically, Paula Deen is rumored to have Diabetes herself), the burden of paying related medical costs will eventually end up on the backs of taxpayers.

Jan 13 12 - 8:39pm
purposes, ustouc

Prescient posting.

Aug 18 11 - 6:32pm

Does Bourdain even cook anymore?

The Travel Channel has a television marvel, his show is popular in spite of it's host.

Aug 18 11 - 7:48pm

I obvious that I don't watch "No Reservations", because Bourdain cooked in two of the last three episodes.

Aug 19 11 - 1:02am

It's also obvious that I, sarel101-, that's with a '-' folks!, have a big giant bonery crush on Bourdain and HOW dare you think otherwise!

Aug 19 11 - 3:41am


Aug 18 11 - 9:51pm

I am incredibly offended by the comparison between JC and Paula Deen. Jules suggested having a small serving of made-from-scratch hollandaise from time to time. Paula Deen likes deep-frying cheesecake and thinks you should use cheez whiz to make fudge. Bourdain probably is just trying to get press for his show, but that doesn't mean he's wrong.

Aug 18 11 - 10:34pm

She's no Julia, that's for sure.

Aug 19 11 - 4:59am

It's not just that Deen uses "copious amounts of butter, cream, and oil" - she uses copious amounts of even worse fats like margarine and bacon grease. I've only watched her a couple of times in the last year and each time I felt like I should take some extra doses of my statin medication just for doing so.

Bourdain, however, is a prick. An entertaining prick mind you. No wonder he is friendly with Ramsay.

Aug 19 11 - 8:57am

I really like anthony, but come on....but he's ( or was) a smoker for years, heavy drinker, eats pork by the tons and ex-drug user!!! And these big bad corp. pay the employees that then in turn pay for cable to watch his shows, buy his books, go to his VERY expensive restaurant and on and on! I think the pot is calling the kettle black!

Aug 19 11 - 11:34am

Agree with you Mockingbird.
Looky here y'all, you Yankees never change you get your jollies looking down your nose at Southerners their lifestyle and even their cuisine (that's cooking y'all for those that went to failing public schools) condescending and self-centered are terms that incessantly nibbles at your edges. Maybe y'all would feel better if Paula was cooking possum gretz and roasted squirrel with turnip greens.

Has Anthony ever sat down in a meal that Paula Cook for them? I doubt it. I'll take the real people from the South over the phony baloney plastic banana of you Yankees posers that slap yourselves on the back and fall over yourselves publicizing your compassionate treatment and advocacy of the have-nots.

You look down your noses at the use of butter and real cream but maybe someone should remind you that these are real foods that your grandparents and great grandparents used for years, you're so concerned about the obesity problem and quick to point to fat, you might keep up with the latest research but the war on dietary fat is a bust! It's the sugar y'all that's the real culprit not the butter, why would you eat man-made processed margarine that even the bugs won't eat over real butter?

Aug 19 11 - 11:56am

To me, Anthony Bourdain = "Yanks" looking down on "real people" (Southerners!).

Aug 19 11 - 2:22pm

Yeah that's right. Because we all know that unhealthy cooking is only done in the South. And even though Mr. Bourdain made no mention of "Southern Cooking" in the interview, or anything related to Southern Culture for that matter, he's a Yankee and I must assume he's making fun of me.

Aug 21 11 - 12:01pm

Mockingbird and JD,
He doesn't own or have a restaurant, he was executive chef at one, and sure he had bad habits in the past. before passing further judgement in his slam of someone who bastardizes southern cooking search out what he had done regarding highlighting the culinary culture of the south in the Carolinas, and the Ozarks, he's respectful of real people but doesn't suffer phonies lightly.

Aug 25 11 - 12:53pm

@JackDaniels: Bourdain's upcoming episode is titled "Cajun Country". Hopefully you'll take a minute from inhaling grits to check it out.

Jun 01 12 - 12:55am

Maybe he is a heavy smoker but he isn't schilling taking it up to the public, Deen is a how-to for destroying your own body.

Aug 19 11 - 9:01am

Didn't Bourdain's mama ever teach him that if you have nothing nice to say about someone you say nothing at all? If this is his schtick, then congrats to him because it's working, his show is popular and he has people talking about him. If this reflects the person he actually is off-camera, then I feel bad for the guy and his wife and child. What a sad way to go through life. All that said, hey this is still America and we're all free to speak what's on our minds.

Aug 19 11 - 11:57am

I like to judge a person and their family dynamic based upon only one comment they made. What a sad way to go through life!

Aug 21 11 - 11:57am

Would love to have seen the whole interview/discussion, because this was likely cherry picked knowing that it would drive eyeballs to the TV Guide website, who knew TV guide was still around? They likely asked about his views of Food Network where he got his first TV show, produced by NYTimes media, he's just echoing something he had put in a blog post years ago, and stated in one of his books, but this is just one component of what he talks about and is not a sole obsession. Don't tell me you'd never made a comment about someone else not doing a good job, critiqued a colleague, or something along those lines. Without criticism and scrutiny we devolve.

Aug 19 11 - 12:34pm

Butter isn't the problem, nor are other saturated fats.. (in moderation, your body needs these)

It's grains that are giving us diabetes. Whole wheat bread has a higher glycemic index than pure sugar! and the body's repeated need to pump out insulin to combat that is what causes type 2 diabetes.

I enjoy watching Bourdain, but calling Paula Deen "Dangerous" is just hypemongering.

Aug 21 11 - 11:53am

A bit of hyperbole, like in satire to try and wake people up from their sugary/fatty torpor, because I don't think Paula is too concerned about moderation in her cooking, and seems to go more for the lowest common denominator.

Dec 24 11 - 11:39pm

How is grain the problem? People have been eating grains for many millennia. Sorry, the obesity & diabetes epidemic of the past two or three decades wasn't caused by eating bread.

Aug 19 11 - 12:34pm

Butter isn't the problem, nor are other saturated fats.. (in moderation, your body needs these)

It's grains that are giving us diabetes. Whole wheat bread has a higher glycemic index than pure sugar! and the body's repeated need to pump out insulin to combat that is what causes type 2 diabetes.

I enjoy watching Bourdain, but calling Paula Deen "Dangerous" is just hypemongering.

Aug 19 11 - 1:39pm
I have Diabetes

What he said.

Aug 19 11 - 12:37pm

This male may NOT 'approve' of Ms. Paula Deen's nor Rachel Ray's way of cooking etc, but honestly look at what he has done (or has not for that matter). And what does his opinion matter? If Ms. Paula Deen wishes to cook w/those ingredients, go ahead, she is NOT forcing anyone to cook using her recipes etc, nor to eat her food. LIFE is CHOICE, simple as that. People MUST start accepting responsibility for THEMSELVES (their children) and THEIR own actions. Stop blaming the Government (other people), Schools, Fast Food, Restaurants, etc. People make CHOICES, that is LIFE.. Accept it..

Aug 19 11 - 2:12pm

The problem is, most people make the choices based on what media icons and their government tell them. Why is it that we and GB are the most obese countries in the world? Because we eat over processed CRAP that is made to look at taste like food. If people made intelligent decisions on their OWN then we would be better off. But with the way the world is going, the US in particular, I do not see that happening.

I say, let all of the idiots eat the crap and die. Oh wait, that won't happen because we coddle the weak and infirm and keep the unhealthy people alive, draining our health care system.

Aug 21 11 - 11:52am

Paula D, and all but Rachel Ray utterly glamorize crap food, validating it. Find me a show on the food network that is anywhere near the quality of the cooking shows on the PBS etc. from America's test Kitchen which is kinda ho-hum, to Simply Ming, I can't think of a FN show save for maybe Alton Brown that comes close to being as good, and not forcing the "lifestyle" down the viewers throat.

Aug 20 11 - 9:28am


Aug 20 11 - 10:47am

I wonder what he thinks of Epic Meal Time. haha

Aug 20 11 - 2:53pm

i believe, everything in moderation. Paula is very entertaining and she makes food that is reachable to all. When you're perfect mr. bourdain, then you can judge.

Aug 21 11 - 11:48am

then we shan't judge or comment ourselves.

Aug 20 11 - 4:57pm

Bourdain actually thinks he was Miguel de Cervantes in another life just because he understands the "nueva sensación de la cocina española comer aire!"......I never trusted the water from Jersey!

Aug 21 11 - 11:47am

Actually, one of the better episodes of No Reservations was when he went to the Ozarks and went hunting and ( fishing with the author of Winter's Bone). He isn't an outsider in the food industry, but rightfully criticizes those who think they can just be vivacious and use schtick to get to become a celebrity in the food business.
He is good friends with Mark Ruhlman who was the author multiple food related books and at least two of Thomas Keller's books, he likes more people than he dislikes, but is willing to not be shy in voicing opinions and conflict makes for great conversation, discussion and is like a candle's flame to us who have an opinion either way.
Look behind the bluster, and try to comprehend the content instead of looking at what he says, does or write at the level that one consumes People Magazine, Entertainment Tonight or any of the the other mindless bable, and you might see that there is some nuance and depth in opinions stated, and he is more often rather self depricating since he doesn't necessarily think he's the be all and end all of the food media, but the rants sell, and the efforts to educate or illuminate just aren't as cool or sexy.

Aug 22 11 - 1:47pm

Tony is a sellout, wasted bum! Oh I know, let's go to Dubai and ski. Like no one has ever done that before? I can't believe that he did that on No Reservations. That was my last episode. He just wishes he was a part of the "cool kids' crowd. Honestly, the only reason he bitches about Food Network people is because he isn't one and he is a jealous ass!

Aug 22 11 - 2:07pm

I think I know exactly what Anthony Bourdain is thinking at any given moment, when in reality, he makes me feel very lame for projecting my insecurities on him via Nerve comments.

Aug 22 11 - 2:37pm

seriously, can you say that programming on Food Network has improved over the last 10 years? What is he jealous of a bunch of reality shows and pastiches that wouldn't be out of place in the 1950s

Dec 24 11 - 11:42pm

Ed, he probably has to do stuff like that to justify being on Travel Network, which would otherwise be the Food Around The World Network.

Aug 31 11 - 2:55pm

You put the lime in the ccoonut and drink the article up.

Jan 17 12 - 10:34am

Paula Deen is a a phony! She has had type 2 diabetic for 3 years. She only today half heartly said so on the Today show. This is after she was approached by a diabetic supply company to sell there supplies and to hawk he son's new food show. All she cares about is the almighty dollar. Three years of telling her audience how to make her dangerous food. No talk about limiting intake of these foods or exercise. She even took a cheap shot at Al roker when he question her about her being a paid spokesman for the diabetic supply company. She had three years from the time she knew till today to change her cooking, change her own life style but that would endanger her branf. Sounds like a Kardashian. What phoney ya'll

Mar 06 12 - 4:27pm
Mikey S

Cringing, even now, at the recollection of Paula's overly-nasal "Haayy, y'all" greeting (which is mostly absent from her earlier work), I couldn't agree more with many of the assessments of her contained herein. But don't all celebrity-types capitalize on their life events? They get pregnant, and then they shill for baby food. They have guns stuck in their faces, and then advocate for individual gun rights. They get diabetes, and get all the medication (plus $$$) for promoting Big Pharma. It never ends! So, who can we trust? Ourselves, and our instincts. God bless us that butter and heavy cream are non-narcotic -- and God bless us that when we feel our health failing, we can turn Paula off and peruse a few of Graham Kerr's Minimax recipes sans the egregious drawwwwl.