Photo: Alexander Tamargo / Getty Images
Why Tom Colicchio, the show's folically challenged head judge [no pun intended] should require so much time in the grooming room makes no sense, Bourdain continued. "What does it take? A quick shine and go!"
The author of Medium Raw appeared as part of a sweet getaway for chefs and foodies held mostly at the Ritz-Carlton hotel. Eric Ripert, who has a restaurant, Blue, at the hotel, was the official host of the event, which also featured demos and meals throughout the island prepared by Charlie Trotter, Michel Nischan, José Andrés, Suser Lee and many others.
Bourdain delivered his best material during the question-and-answer session, especially when asked about the fact that Scripps Networks, the owner of Food Network, had recently purchased Travel Channel which runs Bourdain's show No Reservations. He had previously had a show on Food Network, A Cook's Tour, which ended in 2002, after 35 episodes.
"After promising I'd never work on Maggie's Farm no more," he said, referring to Food Network. "I suddenly found myself overnight -- no, two terrible things happened. One, Sandra Lee is now the First Lady of New York State -- the governor's girlfriend. They are going to audit my ass back twenty five years. Then if things weren't bad enough, if I didn't already realize it was Sandra's world and Rachael's world, they bought my network.
"What does this mean? I guess it means that if Paula Deen wants her bunions pumiced at 2 o'clock in the morning, I'm going to get right over there. Let me tell you. It's like grating pecorino -- bikini wax for Mr. Fieri! -- that's a nights work."
He paused to sip from a plastic cup of beer.
So far, Bourdain said, no one from Food Network had phoned to offer creative advice on the show. "They promised me, promised, promised me. No one has put their fingers on the show yet. The numbers are good. We are making them money. They like money. Who is respected most in prison -- more than the tough guy? The craziest person. That's what people fear and respect."
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