Biggest Food Network rivalries

A time-honored saying cautions people who can't take the heat to stay out of the kitchen. Of course, that's a lot easier to do when your career doesn't require you to actually cook. A lot of chefs have found that being in the kitchen can not only get hot, but that it can also lead to some pretty heated situations with their colleagues.

While professional rivalries are bound to break out in any industry, celebrity chefs take it to a whole new level. Food Network features some of the best and brightest chefs who have ever lived, but too many cooks in the kitchen lead to some intense feuds. Some of the spats that have erupted between these chefs are downright petty, while others will make you glad to not have a cooking show of your own. Here are some of the biggest rivalries that Food Network has ever seen.

Mario Batali vs. Guy Fieri

Before his world was rocked by scandal, Mario Batali was a beloved chef — but Guy Fieri has never been a fan, and those feelings go both ways. Batali really has a grudge against Fieri, and has even gone so far as to mockingly dress as the chef for Halloween. Fieri, for his part, has made fun of Batali's love of Crocs.

The two regularly exchange barbs, but also seem to have a healthy competition with each other making it hard to tell just how much of their rivalry is played up for the cameras. There's no doubt that their feuding ways go over well with fans. In 2010, before the Asphalt Chef competition where Batali was set to square off against Fieri and Tim Love, Batali's snark delighted people following the competition. "There's me, Mario Batali, delicious food, Jimmie Johnson, car #48, four-time world champion NASCAR driver," he said. "And there's, uh, Guy Fieri and one of those Busch guys. Who do you think's gonna win?"

Nigella Lawson vs. Jamie Oliver

Nigella Lawson is a beloved icon, so beloved that it's hard to imagine anyone having beef with her. Fellow British celeb chef Jamie Oliver, however, seems to have it in for Lawson. Oliver opened his first restaurant, Fifteen, in London in 2002 and couldn't resist bragging at the opening about his success across the pond. "The reality is I'm a lot more established than Nigella in America," he said of the older chef who was growing her American audience at the time.

A rep claimed that there was no bad blood between the two and that they were friends, but rubbing your success in someone else's face is far from friendly. Years later, when Oliver began supporting a sugar tax on sweets in an effort to make the country eat healthier, Lawson was not supportive, saying she wasn't going to tell people what they should or shouldn't eat. "I'm a pretty shambolic person," she told Radio Times (via Express). "I don't have the qualifications to say to people, "You can't eat that, you can't eat this."

Marco Pierre White vs. Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay has hated Marco Pierre White since the days when White was his mentor. While working for the older chef, Ramsay was pushed so hard by White that he burst into tears on at least one occasion. Years later, the two found themselves at the same restaurant, Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck. White asked Blumenthal to remove Ramsay from the premises, saying he couldn't be in the same building as his enemy. "Gordon came into the garden and said, 'Thank you very much Marco for ruining a nice day,'" wrote White in his autobiography (via Independent). "I said, 'Why don't you sue me for loss of enjoyment?' He came back with, 'You fat bastard. I've always wanted to call you that.'"

Ramsay also allegedly showed up to White's wedding with a film crew and aired the footage without permission, which solidified the rift between the two chefs. "I will never speak to him again," White told The Telegraph. "I gave him his first break in the business and I believe strongly in being loyal to people who have helped you."

Martha Stewart vs. Rachael Ray

While Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray haven't come head-to-head (at least publicly) there isn't any love lost between the two. Stewart made her feelings for the younger chef quite obvious in an interview with ABC. "Well, to me, she professed that she… cannot bake," she said. "She… just did a new cookbook which is just a re-edit of a lot of her old recipes … and that's not good enough for me. I mean, I really want to write a book that is a unique and lasting thing. Something that will really fulfill a need in someone's library."

Stewart continued to deride Ray's homemaking skills, making it clear that she didn't think her rival was as capable as Stewart herself. "She's different… she's more of an entertainer than she is…  a teacher, like me," she said.

Ray chose to defuse the situation, gracefully saying that her rival does have a stronger skill set, but it's got to sting when Stewart bashes your cooking abilities.

Masaharu Morimoto vs. Bobby Flay

Japanese chef Masaharu Morimoto expressed his contempt for Bobby Flay after competing against him on Iron Chef. It looked like an ordinary Iron Chef showdown until, toward the end of the episode, Flay announced himself the clear winner and jumped onto his cutting board celebrating his victory. This would have been bad enough had Flay actually been announced the winner, but the victory ended up going to Morimoto.

It wasn't so much that the chef was conceited enough to believe he had beaten Morimoto without an announcement that irritated the Japanese chef; Morimoto was more incensed at how his rival treated the tools of his trade. "He's no chef," Morimoto told a reporter. "He stood on the cutting board. In Japan, the cutting board is sacred to us."

A year later, the two went head-to-head again in a grudge match. This time, the judges decided that Flay was the winner. In what seemed like a jab at Morimoto, Flay threw his cutting board on the floor before jumping onto the countertop in celebration. He didn't exactly handle his win with grace, but at least this time he waited for the announcement before mistreating his cutting board.

Alton Brown vs. Adam Richman

Once upon a time, Man vs. Food host Adam Richman had a lot of respect for Food Network star Alton Brown. That is, until Brown decided to lambaste the star in an interview with Zap2It (via Eater). "That show is about gluttony, and gluttony is wrong," he said about the show which features Richman eating massive amounts of food. "It's wasteful. Think about people that are starving to death and think about that show. I think it's an embarrassment."

Richman responded to Brown's attack of his show in a now-deleted tweet, saying "Alton Brown: MvF is about indulgence-NOT gluttony-& has brought loads of biz to Mom-n-Pop places. You were my hero, sir. No more."

Richman added that he didn't want to start a Twitter war, but that he was hurt by the criticism from a man he had long-considered to be his inspiration.

Ina Garten vs. Martha Stewart

If Ina Garten strikes you as a sweet, grandmotherly type of woman who couldn't harm a fly, there's a reason for it. While she and Martha Stewart are long-time rivals, Garten usually handles the competition in a friendly way. It may be disappointing for fans who would love to see the two engaged in a bitter brawl, but there's a lot to be said for the class that Garten bring to the cooking scene.

Their rivalry is purely professional, but that doesn't mean it isn't intense. In 2013, Stewart inked a deal with JCPenney which included a clause that prevented the retail giant from doing any business with her competitors — including Garten. Stewart also reportedly refused to air a Garten cooking show on her channel, not wanting to represent her rival.

Still, Garten is handling the rivalry with grace. She gives Stewart credit for blazing a trail in the homemaking industry, and says she considers her a friend. If there's any bad blood between the two, it's all on Stewart's end.

Gordon Ramsay vs. Jamie Oliver

While many people have found themselves on the receiving end of Gordon Ramsay's notorious short temper, his rivalry with Jamie Oliver is one for the books. Their feud is bitter enough that you'd think it would fully debunk the myth that all British people are painstakingly polite. Their rivalry came to a head in 2017 after Oliver boasted about how many children he had, shortly after Ramsay's wife suffered a miscarriage.

"Jamie turned round and said [in a newspaper], 'I've got five kids, he's got four kids,'" Ramsay told Radio Times. "To judge someone else's family on the amount of kids you have, that's… that's… "

While their rivalry has been going on for years, Oliver's comments about the size of Ramsay's family was the breaking point. Ramsay said he wouldn't speak to Oliver again unless he made an apology to his wife, Tana. "Boys will always fight and butt heads but Tana was mortified, I mean really mortified," he said.

Tyler Florence vs. Andrew Zimmern

Tyler Florence and Andrew Zimmern took their spat public in 2009. While Zimmern's blog post bashing Florence has since been taken down, this quote from PopSugar shows just how much contempt he holds for the Food Network star. He reviewed an episode of Ryan Seacrest's reality show Momma's Boys, writing:

"Monday's episode featured the world's least talented TV chef, Tyler Florence, once again churning out the questionable cooking advice… Watching Florence wolf down the food, stare and ogle every a** that strolled by his cutting board and play the role of local TV stud was high comedy of the highest order."

Florence shot back on his Facebook page (via Food Network Addict). "Normally I have pretty thick skin," he wrote. "But this guy Andrew Zimmern, the guy who eats dried camel c*** for a living, has decided to dis my life's work because I did, my personal friend, Ryan Seacrest, a favor and helped him out with his first big television production… It's bubble gum reality, who cares. It was funny. I guess it hard to have a since [sic] of humor when you're on your 10th take of eating Yak testicles, smiling to the camera, wondering where your life went wrong."

Guy Fieri vs. Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain was never one to mince words when it came to his fellow celeb chefs. His feud with Guy Fieri was particularly heated, and the two frequently exchanged insults. "I look at Guy Fieri and I just think, 'Jesus, I'm glad that's not me,'" Bourdain once said about his rival. "You work that hard and there's not a single show of yours that you'd want to sit down and say, 'Hey, I made that last week. Look at that camera work. It's really good, huh?' I'm proud of what I do."

Fieri got back at him in a 2012 roast of Bourdain, saying, "Anthony, I gotta ask a question, why do you hate me so much brother? … Is it because you went to a fancy culinary school and I didn't? I hear you're the only one in class who did most of his cooking with a spoon and a Bic lighter."

Fieri told GQ in 2015 that he thought Bourdain had "issues, 'cos the average person doesn't behave that way." After Bourdain's untimely death, fans and colleagues mourned the chef's loss. Fieri, however, remained notably silent, which seemed to further confirm the bad blood between the two.