The Reason Anthony Bourdain Couldn't Stand Guy Fieri

Two of the most popular and renowned chefs of recent times, Anthony Bourdain and Guy Fieri, have each had a major impact on the culinary world — through books, through documentaries, through reality TV, through restaurants. It's probably no secret, however, that the two stalwarts of the dining industry didn't quite get along with each other. As per CheatSheet, it all began in 2008. Bourdain remarked that Fieri looked like he was a Simpsons character ("Guy Fieri kind of looks like he's been designed by committee"). In 2011 Bourdain threw more fuel on the fire when he said, "I look at Guy Fieri and I just think ... 'I'm glad that's not me.'" For his part, Fieri didn't react for a long time and publicly only spoke about Bourdain in 2012.

According to Thrillist, Fieri said that he was asked by many folks to react to Bourdain's comments. Fieri said that he didn't want to come up with a retort. "I want everyone to understand that I'm going to be the bigger man. I'm going to take the high road. I wouldn't dare come up here and call Anthony Bourdain any of these things that people have called him," he stated, before adding a few words that made the remark appear like a back-handed insult, as pointed out by CheatSheet. 

The duo continued taking on each other — bickering, really — for several years, a fact that didn't go unnoticed by the media or the chefs' fans.

They had different styles

To be fair, Bourdain wasn't shy about insulting other celebrity chefs besides Fieri. According to Mediaite, he said of Rachel Ray, "The sooner she stops cooking, the happier we'll both be." It's been speculated that one reason why Bourdain hated Fieri so much in particular is that Fieri was someone who wasn't traditionally a chef, as Bourdain was. Fieri had a hotel management, but managed to become a big name in the restaurant industry. Fieri addressed this himself and directed a comment toward Bourdain:  "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?" (via Thrillist). 

It's worth noting that the two chefs had completely opposite styles. Bourdain had his own way of doing things, based on a long career in high-end restaurants (check out his seminal 2000 book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly), while Fieri was more spontaneous and didn't care much about rules (via Cheatsheet.) When Anthony Bourdain committed suicide in 2018, Fieri stayed mum and didn't say anything about his rival's death. Some fans noted the duo's rivalry back then. One of them wrote on Twitter, "Today, let us not just remember Anthony Bourdain as the award winning chef and journalist, but also as the man who called Guy Fieri's Time Square restaurant a 'terror-dome.'"