What Anthony Bourdain Really Thought About Giada De Laurentiis

In 2007, a blog operated by a Giada De Laurentiis fan copied and pasted a now-inaccessible guest post by Anthony Bourdain titled "NOBODY ASKED ME, BUT......" (via Reddit). It seems to have been originally published on a defunct blog owned by chef and author Micheal Ruhlman, but the interest to the fan was that Bourdain decided to share his opinion of various Food Network stars, including Giada De Laurentiis.

As the fact that a fan had shared this piece might have told you, Bourdain was complimentary of De Laurentiis to the detriment of the Food Network. He began by opining that she was "ROBBED!" of victory in her Iron Chef America match against Rachael Ray. Then, he moved to suggest that the network was "more interested in her enormous head ... and her cleavage," than in her as a chef. 

Instead of offering her a show in which she prepared meals, they gave her Giada's Weekend Getaways, which Bourdain lambasts as "a horrible, tired re-cap of the cheap-a** 'Best Of' and '40 Dollar a Day' formula. Send host to empty restaurant. Watch them make crappy food for her. Have her take a few lonely, awkward stabs at the plate, then feign enjoyment with appropriately orgasmic eye-closing and moaning." What Bourdain really thought of Giada De Laurentiis was that she was a good cook, so the Food Network should simply let her cook, which was one of the few unreserved compliments delivered in his rant. This lines up with the positive opinion of De Laurentiis that he shared with The San Diego Union-Tribune in 2010.

Bourdain's disdain for the Food Network's output

Considering the context of the compliment, however, what Anthony Bourdain really thought of Giada De Laurentiis is colored by his disdainful view of the programs put out by the Food Network.

On a list of 14 good cooking shows, Bon Appetit notes that Anthony Bourdain actually began his television career on the Food Network with A Cook's Tour. The show ended, however, because executives found the show received better ratings when Bourdain traveled to the American South, not Cambodia. So, he left.

The lingering clash probably had a good part to do with the difference in philosophy between Bourdain and the hosts the Food Network regularly runs. As Eater wrote after Bourdain's death, "This generation of celebrity chefs hosted shows that were mostly studio-based and instructional, with the exception of Ray's $40 a Day, which helped vacationers find cheap dining. Bourdain's hard edge was something entirely different." The piece touches on perhaps the core difference later on when it describes Bourdain as "a learner and a listener rather than an educator." Compared to the other shows which either placed a celebrity in the spotlight of educator or culinary demigod, this is a drastic departure.

Still, with the recent release of Bobby and Giada in Italy, Giada De Laurentiis is still on our screens. Hopefully, it will resemble something closer to what Bourdain would approve.