Paula Deen vs. FBI Most Wanted

Beware! She's on Anthony Bourdain's Most Wanted List!

Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain  felt the need to give his opinion on Paula Deen this week.  OMGDEATHFAT Obesity Epi-panic in 3…2…1…

Per Bourdain:  “(She is) the worst, most dangerous person to America, she revels in unholy connections with evil corporations…she’s proud of the fact that her food is f—ing 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.”

Oh, let’s break it on down shall we:

(She is) the worst, most dangerous person to America

Mr. Bourdain is entitled to his opinion but currently alive are the guys on the FBI’s most wanted list whose rap sheets include multiple counts of murder. Suddenly chicken-frying a steak doesn’t seem so bad.

Perspective, it’s not just for breakfast anymore.

I know that we’re in a place as a society where if you’re unconscionably rude to someone under the guise of “confronting the obesity epidemic” people will pat you on the head and give you a Snackwells, but that doesn’t actually make it the right thing to do.

She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations

I assume he means Smithfield who apparently have a horrible record of animal cruelty.  If the allegations are true then it’s a huge problem.  I found it in Wikipedia but it’s certainly not my area of expertise and since Mr. Bourdain engaged in such a sweeping accusation I’m not even sure if that’s what he meant, whatever he is talking about, it is on a whole different planet from cooking with butter and he shouldn’t mention the two as is they are.

She’s proud of the fact that her food is f—ing bad for you. I would think twice before telling an already obese nation that it is OK to eat food that is killing us

Paula Deen cooks predominantly made from scratch food from a time long before the obesity epi-panic was even a twinkle in the Diet Industry’s eye.  If this type of food killed us, the South would have been an unpopulated wasteland a hundred years ago.  Besides, I thought that the thing that was killing us was fastfood/carbs/high fructose corn syrup/sugar/fat/fat-free/additives/preservatives/processed food/video games/television/the internet?

Plus, her food sucks

Check it out:  Mr. Bourdain’s commentary lacks focus and substance and his insistence upon engaging in hyperbole, sweeping generalizations, and correlation vs. causation confusion renders his observations both pointless and useless.

That, Mr. Bourain, is how we give a commentary about something that sucks.   And I’m just a lowly blogger, as an award-winning professional TV personality I would think that you could do a little better than “her food sucks”, you know what I’m saying?

Steel Magnolia that she is Paula, who says that she has never met Bourdain, responded thusly:

I don’t know if it was a publicity thing of if someone had just peed in his bowl of cereal that morning and he was mad…

I love this woman…

Anthony Bourdain needs to get a life. You don’t have to like my food, or Rachael’s, Sandra’s and Guy’s. But it’s another thing to attack our character. I wake up every morning happy for where I am in life. It’s not all about the cooking, but the fact that I can contribute using my influence to help people all over the country. In the last two years, my partners and I have fed more than 10 million hungry people by bringing meat to food banks. I have no idea what Anthony has done to contribute besides being irritable.

Then, the Southern hospitality kicked in and she added “Listen, come to my house, I’ll cook you a meal and if you still feel that way about me, so be it.”

Bourdain Tweeted:  “Resolved: Next time I’m asked (for the millionth time) who the worst cooks on Food Network are, I’ll just shut up. Who cares?”

I guess in only 140 characters he couldn’t find room to apologize, but at least he won’t be repeating the mistake. Cook on Paula!

Published in: on August 20, 2011 at 4:03 am  Comments (50)  

50 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Ok this is weird. I am not very familiar with Paula Deen so I went and looked up some of her recipes. And I noticed two things: 1) they look both good (i.e. yummy) and fairly healthy. I mean they are all from scratch and have no weird additives with long chemical names. They also contain a variety of ingredients and seem like dishes that would have a variety of nutrients. 2) while some dishes do have more sugar and calories than is generally considered “ideal”, Deen’s site makes no claims about “health” just taste. Deen is not selling a diet, she is selling her interpretation on Southern cuisine. Each individual who makes these dishes can decide how to incorporate Deen’s food into their diet. Personally, I think just cooking from scratch more often would improve many Americans’ health as they would likely use better quality ingredients than you often find in pre-prepared foods.

  2. I’m sure that if we unpacked his ‘argument’ we’d find out that he isn’t exactly the holy clean standard of perfectly ‘healthy’ food either. The whole thing is a pointless value judgement. Every chef on TV resonates with someone, and no one cooks exactly like they do every single day. Such an arrogant dillhole.

    • Eating Foie Gras at a five star restaurant is not exactly any healthier than eating the butter Deen puts in her recipes.

  3. I didn’t realize that Bourdain had no class. I’ll not waste any more of my time watching any of his programs.

  4. Girl, I love your fortitude!!

  5. Anthony Bourdain is just an *sshole, which is why I never watch his show. Further, he is one of those self-rightous naturally thin people who think everyone who is fat is lazy or lacks discipline. frankly, there is not a lot that he has to say that I care to hear.

    Oh, and by the way, HIS food sucks. Have you tried any of his recipes?

  6. Bourdain, unfortunately, has built almost his entire public persona on this type of rhetoric. He can’t just reply to someone, “Oh, I don’t care for her food,” and leave it at that. I love his work, but sometimes I wish he’d be more Zen like, or something.

  7. “Suddenly chicken-frying a steak doesn’t seem so bad.”

    This? Is the best, funniest thing I’ve read in a long time. Beautiful takedown of that pompous jerk.

    • Gillianrosh,

      Thanks! I’m glad that you liked it :)

      ~Ragen

  8. Paula has never misrepresented her cooking. It is southern style home cooking. You may not like it, That is your right and I will defend to the death your right to say so. Paula knows what she is doing and does it well. No one ever said soul food was good for you either, but that did not stop people from learning how to cook it, The same could be said for French cuisine. Paula cooks is a southern cook with style. Whatever style of cooking one does is done at ones own risk. It is not so much the style of cooking as it is the amount consumed that tends to be so “bad”. Life is short. Take a note from Paula and enjoy it, be happy.

    • Celestria,

      Great point about French cuisine!

      ~Ragen

  9. People I have heard of and cooked a few recipes written by: Paula Deen.

    People I have only heard of in reference to being fat hating judgmental jackasses, and have never read or cooked a recipe written by: Anthony Bourdain.

    So I’m viewing this as pretty much an attention grab from someone whose work was not up to the quality required to become popular, so he needed a “hook” so people would start watching his show. See also: Jamie Oliver.

    • Also, went hunting for a few of his recipes just now — just so I can see what all the fuss was about — not impressed. Especially by his attitude, which needs a serious adjustment. Apparently, his schtick is to be a jerk towards everyone, about anything.

      I do find it humorous that one of the first recipes I found was a mushroom soup using 6 tablespoons of butter heh. That’s nearly a full stick, or almost a quarter pound — to 4 cups of broth and 12oz of mushrooms. So roughly a tablespoon of butter per serving.

      Yeah, Deen likes her butter (which is almost certainly what he’s complaining about — nothing else she uses is all that different from other tv cooks I’ve seen), but if you really watch it’s not like she’s using more butter than other chefs use olive oil. Which, ironically, contains more calories per tablespoon than butter lol. Sure butter has some cholesterol and saturated fats, but I’m old enough to remember the thirty hundred other things that were “omg going to make you fat and kill you of a heart attack” that turned out to be not so horrible.

  10. This insult to Paula comes from a man who drinks morning, noon, and night. He’s tall and skinny, but I’d hate to see his liver. I don’t watch his show much anymore, but as far as I know he smokes like a fiend. Yeah, sure ya betcha, it’s obvious he’s a real health nut.

    This type of food snobbery is simply an indication of his out of control ego. He’s just jealous that Paula is so popular.

    • I was going to say this very thing. I don’t understand why he’s running his mouth.

    • I also am pretty sure I read something talking about how Andy needs to watch what he eats more because his cholesterol isn’t in the best place. So he eats poorly, drinks all the time, and smokes, but I guess because he’s not a fat woman like Paula, that it’s all a-ok.

      A googling showed me this:
      “TVGuide.com: Do you worry about your cholesterol?
      Bourdain: Funny you mention that, because I was just together with a whole lot of chefs. And one of them joked that back in the day, we’d all get together and talk about the job or girls or cars or whatever. Now all we talk about is, “How’s your cholesterol level?” [Laughs] Every chef I know, their cholesterol is through the roof. And mine’s not so great.”

      http://www.tvguide.com/news/anthony-bourdain-reservations-39911.aspx

  11. Oh! I bet I know what his “evil corporations” thing is about — there are Paula Deen branded products (cookware and some baked goods) at Walmart. And everyone loves to hate Walmart.

    • THERE IS PAULA DEEN COOKWARE?

      ‘Scuze me while I go mysteriously lose one of our saucepans.

      • Her line of cooking utensils is sold at Wal-Mart, and looks quite nice to my non-expert eye. It includes a nice set of enameled cast iron, which is the best cooking surface ever invented for Dutch ovens. Everyone should own a piece, and since not everyone can pay >$100 for Le Creuset, her stuff is quite nice.

      • I think my sister bought a set. I sort of went for the Tfal but may have to replace those since my husband is brutal to them.

  12. There are a lot of non-Food Network cooks that show visible disdain for those chefs that are associated with them. Anthony Bourdain is one of them. Christopher Kimball from Cooks Country / America’s Test Kitchen is another.

    • I love Cooks Illustrated, but I CANNOT STAND Christopher Kimball.

      Fat-hating and body-shaming is the reason I stopped watching or even tolerating Alton Brown (”I’ve struggled with weight all my life, and probably always will. But I was on my most recent book tour I was shocked by the number of overweight families,” he says. “People would come up to me and say, ‘Oh, we love the Food Network.’ Well, no (expletive); did you eat the TV? There’s only four of you and you can’t ride in an elevator together. I’ll probably make fat people angry, but we need, as a culture, to be ashamed. It’s not “… healthy.”)

      • Good call Alton, because shame and health have always gone hand in hand.

        ~Ragen

    • Yes, isn’t Christopher Kimball a wanker? I love my Cooks Illustrated subscription but I DO NOT love getting e-mails every 15 minutes bugging me to buy all the cookbooks too, And his insufferable Letters from Vermont go straight into the junk folder.

      BTW, Mr. Bourdain, please keep this promise: “Resolved: Next time I’m asked (for the millionth time) who the worst cooks on Food Network are, I’ll just shut up.” Good idea, you publicity-whoring asshat.

      Paula Deen’s recipe for jelly rolls is THE BEST!

  13. The “Smithfield” thing is not about animal cruelty but about union busting and offering Smithfield workers a living wage, something with which you might agree with Bourdain.

    As for Paula Deen, I have loved her since her QVC days. I admit to making a gooey butter cake once for a party, but it was so rich, most of it ended up in the dumpster. There’s no way I’d either cook or eat her food, but it’s fun to watch her add cream cheese, mayonnaise, and butter to everything and everything. I consider her and her sons performance art.

    More power to her.

    Regarding Tony Bourdain, the only thing I ever wonder about him is how can he eat as much as he seems to eat, and still remain so thin. I know he spent years as a drug addict, and probably never ate during that time, but he’s still rail thin after giving up drugs. It must be those cigarettes he’s smoking.

    So add it up….smoking like a chimney v. deep fat frying

    Seems like a draw to me!

    • Hi Samantha,

      Thanks for letting me know – I can see where there are a lot of problems with Smithfield, and a number of things to which I’d object but I think putting those problems in the same league with frying food is just crazy. Also, the performance art bit made me smile!

      ~Ragen

  14. No way it is a draw. Many people who eat deep fried foods live to a ripe old age…not usually so with heavy smokers, drinkers, drug addicts, with a few rare exceptions perhaps. And, as someone mentioned, Bourdain apparently eats a lot of food & somehow his genes make him a superior human being & an expert of health. Of course, he has been well-known for years for his deep & abiding hatred of fat people. Anthony Bourdain can kiss my fat ass.

    • Drug addicts and heavy smokers can live a pretty long time. Look at Keith Richards and William S. Burroughs. For that matter, George Burns drank and smoked and lived into his nineties. The fact is it’s ALL genetics. Some people do hard core drugs and manage to live a long-assed time. Other people never touch a drop and die of a heart attack at 40.

  15. …but…but…I like Paula Deen. I would totally like to meet her one day. “Most dangerous”? Really?

    …I think I’m going to cry.

  16. I found Mr. Boudrain’s Twitter comment amushing. After getting called out for making such a nasty comment, he childishly deminishes the whole thing by saying “who cares.”

  17. Wow. She has very pretty hair!

  18. Am I the only one who’s getting so tired of the only way people get publicity is by being rude or a moron? It’s happening in politics. It’s happening in entertainment. It’s enough to make me shut the blinds, bolt the door, and start cooking the Paula Deen recipes I love for every meal! lol At least my stress level would be reduced, giving my autonomic system a much-needed break!

    • Yes, the mean people syndrome is getting rather old, isn’t it? *sigh*

  19. Amen, Susie. And I forgot to add that even those of us who do enjoy deep fried foods do not eat something deep fried every 15 minutes or even every day, or usually even every week. Bourdain is lighting a cigarette every 15 minutes he is awake & it sounds like pouring a drink about that often too. And he is childish & ignorant, he knows nothing about fat people, genetics, health, or anything else. I may join you in the kitchen cooking Paula’s recipes. I know I don’t need any chain-smoking ex-addict telling me how to live or eat.

    There is indeed an epidemic of rudeness & ignorance & the fat hatred is growing more intense daily. I would love to lock Bourdain in a closet for awhile with his fellow fat hater, Alton Brown; maybe they could figure out a way to eliminate all of us.

  20. * like*

    It seems I can’t use the like button since I don’t have a Word Press acct.

  21. I grew up in a Texan town close to the border of Mexico, so a lot of the food tends be Southwestern many times very Mexican-influenced. I see a lot of fat people, but then I always see thin people and in-between people and let me tell you something: most of them eat the same way. People’s bodies respond differently from one another. WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED.

    It never stops confusing me why all these people go “OHGAWDOBESITY” hysterics and yet be so blind to the thin people who eat southern fried food a lot. Is their fat-hate so rampant they’re that blind to the people that walk around them, all beautiful with their own shapes and sizes? Again, WHO WOULD HAVE GUESSED.

    Now America is facing a epidemic and it’s entitlement, getting up on other people’s business, and placing morals on how others look. Now THAT’S a problem worth getting hysterical about, don’t you think?

    Now I like me some snark now and then but I never liked it used on people who have done nothing but just be themselves. Bourdain, shut up. Alton Brown, I miss you as the quirky guy I used to think you of, but may you shut up as well.

    I’m sticking to Nigella Lawson and Paula Deen now….at least I know that if I meet them, they won’t look at my body up-and-down in disgust.

  22. This from the man who travels around the world eating organ “meats”, entrails, and disgusting street food whilst sucking on a cigarette and drinking excessively. Pig.

  23. Bourdain Tweeted: “Resolved: Next time I’m asked (for the millionth time) who the worst cooks on Food Network are, I’ll just shut up. Who cares?”

    Awww, poor Anthony! It’s not HIS FAULT these people keep asking him about who the worst cooks on Food Network are!

    Oh wait, maybe if he had an ounce of class and didn’t ANSWER such questions, the reporters would find something else to ask!

  24. I used to like Anthony Bourdain, and I’ve never seen any of Paula Deen’s work (only internet memes!) but suddenly I can’t stand Bourdain and am on the hunt for Paula’s videos!

  25. This cracked me up. This line in particular: “If this type of food killed us, the South would have been an unpopulated wasteland a hundred years ago.” Classic.

    I’ve never liked Bourdain. He’s always seemed like he’ll do anything to try and stay edgy and maintain whatever cool points he once had. Anything to raise an eyebrow is good enough for him.

  26. Butter. Flour. Sugar. Meat. Veggies. Fruit. Did I mention butter? Cook on Paula Dean… Amen!

    • Hmm, maybe I need to find a recipe book. lol Only issue would be the lard. My husband won’t touch the stuff or anything else that has pork in it. lol

    • I find that you can add quite a bit of butter, or cream, etc. and still have a recipe be relatively healthy. Often you may put a stick of butter (8 tbsps at around 800 calories and 90 grams of fat) for a recipe that is dinner for 6 people. So if you’re making dinner, and only one component of that dinner is creamy and the rest aren’t (maybe steamed veggies, or rice, or something), it’s not really anything catastrophic for even daily eating. Although I don’t think eating chicken fried steak every day is great for you, I think it’s nonsensical to look at Paula’s recipes and think that they’re having much of any effect on the people that cook them.

      I also don’t watch her show, but sometimes her branded recipes (she certainly doesn’t write them all) come up when I web search for something I’m looking to cook. I haven’t found most of the ones I’ve looked at or tried to be overly unhealthful, and I see stuff much worse (stuff seemingly made of pure cheese and butter) from other cooks on Food Network that aren’t nearly as harped about as Paula Deen.

      So in the end, I think the phobia of Deen’s food, that I’ve heard over the years, is kind of silly and mostly unfounded.

  27. “(She is) the worst, most dangerous person to America, she revels in unholy connections with evil corporations…she’s proud of the fact that her food is f—ing 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.”

    My translation? “Wah, wah! She’s more popular on Food Network that I am! It’s not fair! I’m a REAL CHEF and I know what’s best FOR YOU, so stop watching her and watch me! I don’t care if you LIKE HER FOOD, and if she’s a nicer person than me! I deserve your attention more than she does! Wah! Wah!”

    Grow up, Mr. Bourdain. Paula Deen’s food sucks far less than your attitude does, and you could certainly learn a great deal on being personable and gracious from Ms. Deen.

  28. I’m glad you posted this because I didn’t hear about it. Hilarious! Her food is not full of trans-fat or HFCS which could really be the only possible things to actually HARM you, and only if she put like a half cup in each recipe. She cooks real food from scratch which already makes it “healthier” than many other ways people can eat. I don’t actually know much about Paula Deen, but I know she’s a Southern cook and they know how to ENJOY their food. We could learn things from that culture.

  29. I blogged about this topic this weekend. The fact is, this doofus has been on an anti-fat kick for several years and it’s extremely boring listening to him clutch his pearls over it. Not everyone prefers recipies where you always have to substitute so-called “healthy” alternatives…not only can it be expensive, usually it’s not even needed unless you know you have to for medical reasons.

    Plus, Paula is Southern. Traditional Southern cooks use sugar, butter, lard, etc. If Bourdain would actually put his food knowledge to use instead of screaming about us fatties, he’d realize the majority of them don’t skimp in their recipes. I think someone’s just pissed off that Paula is popular and he’s relegated to eating Fear Factor food on the Travel Network.

  30. I find it hilarious that someone like Bourdain who eats various animal testicles among other things would have the nerve to say any type of food “sucks”.

  31. I recently visited Paula Deen’s hometown of Savannah, GA, where she’s so popular that busloads of tourists go on the Paula Deen Tour, where they learn about how she overcame agoraphobia and started the catering business that launched her success when she was a young single mother. I’ve always admired her for that and found her very relatable and funny – much more pleasant to watch than that sneering hipster doofus Anthony Bourdain.

    I’ve also cooked and enjoyed several of PD’s delicious recipes (broiled tomatoes topped with bacon, bleu cheese and cracker crumbs? OMG), but I don’t eat like that every day. AB needs to give people credit for knowing how to balance their own diets as they see fit.

    I can see how there may be some legitimate criticisms to be made about Paula Deen’s corporate associations, but it’s hard to discern them from AB’s general assholery.

  32. “Sneering hipster doofus” – oh I’m remembering that one!

  33. Seen on Oprah many, many years ago:
    Paula Deen and Oprah Winfrey are standing behind a table full of platters with everything from fried chicken to sweet rolls.

    Paula: “Here, Oprah, try this!” and she puts food directly into Oprah’s mouth. Crowd cheers and Oprah nods approvingly.

    Oprah: “Mmm, that’s just delicious! But, now, let me ask you. . .this doesn’t look all that. . .uh, healthy.” The crowd goes silent as Oprah continues chewing.

    Paula: after a pregnant pause, “Well, Oprah. . ., I’m not your doctor! I’m your COOK! Enjoy!” Big beautiful smile from Paula to the audience, cheering and whooping, left me to wonder if this didn’t just become the Paula Deen show. ;)


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