Food News

New York Times' Bruni Quiets Bourdain, for Now

Former New York Times food critic Frank Bruni sides with Paula Deen on the op-ed page in the aftermath of Anthony Bourdain's calling Deen "the most dangerous person to America" for "telling an already obese nation it's ok to eat food that is killing us."

"Ill-timed elitism" is what he calls it, siding with Deen's response in the New York Post. "My friends and I cook for regular families who worry about feeding their kids and paying the bills... It wasn't that long ago that I was struggling to feed my family too." 

Her response exposes

tensions in society at large, says Bruni, between "paternalists" -- who can afford to shop farmers' market prices and dine in politically correct farm-to-table restaurants -- and "populists," who chalk up bar food as a balanced meal and consider fries as a serving of vegetables. 

We are a nation of fatties, concedes Bruni, partly because "the dearth of healthy food that's affordable and convenient in low- and even middle-income neighborhoods, and changing that requires a magnitude of public intervention and private munificence that are unlikely in such pinched times." 

Bruni takes Bourdain to task for hypocrisy. Take a dish like fried chicken. When Deen makes it, it's "heedless gluttony," where David Chang's rendition is "high art." Bourdain's response ends up polarizing people rather than leading anyone toward healthier eating habits. 

The Bourdain response this morning, via Twitter:

 Anthony Bourdain 

 Anthony Bourdain 

 Anthony Bourdain 

Thoughts? Talk amongst yourselves in the comments. 

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Food Critic
Contact: Melissa McCart