March 30, 2009
Kitchen Over Confidential
by Dennis Johnson
Kitchen Confidential author Anthony Bourdain has never hidden his feelings about the indefatigable cookbook author, Food Network personality, and Dunkin’ Donuts spokesperson Rachael Ray. She’s “evil,” he’s said, and her show is “vomit-inducing.” But then ….
“I read something really disturbing while leafing through a magazine in my most recent airport,” Bourdain relates on his Facebook page. “Rachael Ray, it appears, when booking acts for her South By Southwest indie rock-meets-Sloppy Joes fest, invited the New York Dolls to perform. THE NEW YORK DOLLS!!” Bourdain, it seems, likes the New York Dolls. (He says they were “one of the greatest, most important, criminally neglected, wildly influential bands in the history of well … the freakin’ UNIVERSE!!”) (He’s basically right.)
As this New York Daily News gossip item notes, Bourdain went on to say that this, “following hot on the heels of Rachael saying nice things about me on ‘Nightline’ [she told interviewer Cynthia McFadden that she “absolutely loves” Bourdain and has “an enormous amount of respect” for him] has caused me no small amount of confusion, panic and misery. I don’t know whether to go out and shoot a puppy, or send Rachael a fruit basket. It just does me no good at all to think of Rachael as a Dolls fan. It’s really only a matter of time now until my daughter looks up from her grilled cheese and says ‘Yummo!!’”
Ray promptly outflanked Bourdain and sent him a fruit basket and a note asking him not to kill any puppies.
Shortly thereafter, in an interview with Metromix Los Angeles, Bourdain seems to be weakening: “I could see myself getting drunk with Rachael Ray,” he says. “By all accounts, she’s pretty nice. My only problem with Rachael is the cooking part. Given she stopped cooking, I think we’d happily have shots of tequila together.”
Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives