The Rudest Things Celebrities Have Said About Chefs

Considering all the VIP service and meals on the house that celebrities get at restaurants (not to mention how quickly they can score a great table), you'd think they'd completely fawn over every chef they meet. For the most part, they do. In return, restaurants often cater to stars, like the Japanese hotspot Nobu in New York, which has a secret password A-listers can use to jump the reservation line. Every so often, however, a celeb vs. chef feud erupts and the ensuing drama can get seriously dishy.

In some cases, a celebrity will badmouth a chef because they were unhappy with less-than-five-star treatment at one of their establishments. In others, celebrity chefs — like any other bold names — may find themselves the butt of a comedian's joke if they get entrenched in a high-profile scandal. And many celebrities have traded barbs with chefs on reality competition shows, where nasty comments are slung as often as food on the plate. Things really get fun when the disputes go public, which can escalate a feud and make headlines for days. Sometimes the two parties resolve their differences, sometimes not. Either way, the gossip is chef's-kiss-level fabulous. Take a look at some of the rudest things we've heard celebrities say about their food-world counterparts.

Keke Palmer gave Marcus Samuelsson's meal the Fyre Festival treatment

The annual Met Gala is New York City's answer to the Oscars, an exclusive event filled with A-listers dressed in cutting edge-fashion. Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour personally oversees the guest list and has the final say in who gets an invite. In 2021, actress, singer, and television personality Keke Palmer was selected to host Vogue's red-carpet livestream and it was widely agreed she did a fantastic job. Once she got inside, however, she sparked the night's biggest controversy, uploading a photo of her meal — a sparse, limp looking plate of vegetables — to Instagram with the caption: "This is why they don't show y'all the food."  Her plate looked so unappealing, it immediately drew comparisons to ill-fated Fyre Festival meal.

Although Palmer also added that she was "just playinnnn," the image quickly went viral and was interpreted as a huge insult to chef Marcus Samuelsson, who had overseen the Met Gala menu. A seat for dinner at the Met Gala, we should probably note, costs a reported $30,000. The uproar put Samuelsson in the uncomfortable position of having to defend his cuisine, telling TMZ that the vegetarian meal tasted much better than it looked in her photo. Palmer, in response, doubled down on her negative review. Rather than offer a sincere apology, she made light of it on Twitter, cheekily referencing her own "Sorry to this Man" meme while adding that she "just has different taste buds."

Charli and Dixie D'Amelio mocked their family's private chef in a video

If you're not a teenager or don't have children, you may not be aware that sisters Charli and Dixie D'Amelio, ages 20 and 17 respectively, are two of TikTok's biggest stars. They've made millions not just from their enormous social media followings, but by leveraging their fame into clothing lines, music deals, and their own reality series. But they put their entire empire in jeopardy when, in November 2020, they posted a video on their family's YouTube channel that showed them obnoxiously turning down food prepared by private chef Aaron May, a friend of the girls' father, Marc. James Charles, another major influencer, was also at the table.

Unappreciative of the spread — which included an authentic-style, homemade paella — both girls mocked it. Discovering a snail in her food (which May explained was an omen of good luck and fortune in Spanish culture) Dixie made gagging noises and vomiting motions. Charli tried to shun the meal altogether, requesting frozen dinosaur chicken nuggets instead. Their parents, and nearly everyone else who watched the video, were horrified and the backlash was swift. Vanity Fair reported the duo quickly lost a million followers over it, prompting the girls to apologize and insist the clip didn't tell the whole story. "I love Chef [May]," Dixie posted on TikTok, "and I would never disrespect him in any way and maybe don't judge someone's personality over a 15 second video."

The Daily Show eviscerated Paula Deen for her racist behavior and her cooking

To be clear, there's no defending the racist behavior celebrity chef Paula Deen was accused of in 2013 when Lisa Jackson, a former manager at Uncle Bubba's Seafood & Oyster House in Savannah, Georgia sued co-owners Deen and her son, Bubba, for racial and sexual discrimination. At first, Deen denied the charges but later admitted to throwing a racist and offensive plantation-style wedding and using the N-word regularly. Although the case was eventually dismissed, Deen career never fully recovered. She was immediately canceled, with the Food Network and other major brands like Walmart, Target, and Sears cutting ties with her. Deen made two public apologies, but it was too little, too late.

While these events played out, late-night shows took her to task, mocking everything from her alleged racism to her unhealthy cooking to her weight. But no one's jokes hit harder than those of Comedy Central's "The Daily Show." John Oliver, then co-anchor, went after Deen's cooking when he rhetorically asked of the audience: "The N-word? Which one did she use? Because I know it wasn't non-fat!" Co-host Jessica Williams chimed in as well. "Paula Deen's words aren't hurting Black people anywhere near as much as her recipes are." The scandal, Oliver admitted, was a "rich comedic buffet."

Justin Bieber said Martha Stewart has a non-existent sex life

It's unclear what professional chef and all-around home and domestic mogul Martha Stewart was doing at Comedy Central's 2015 roast of pop star Justin Bieber, given that host Kevin Hart and other celebrity participants like Hannibal Burruss, Natasha Legero, and Jeff Ross were professional comedians. Still, Stewart more than held her own. When it was her turn at the mic, she mocked Bieber's recent legal skirmishes, while winking at her own 2004 prison stint. "I've been in lockup," she told Bieber, "and you wouldn't last a week."

At the end of the night, Bieber responded, hitting Stewart below the belt, so to speak. "Martha," he called, waving at her from the dais. "Thanks for coming. I know that's probably something you don't do much of anymore." It was a sick burn to any older woman lacking companionship and rude as hell, sure. In truth, however, it may not actually apply to Martha Stewart. As recently as 2021, Stewart, now 80, has said she's hardly hard up for company in the bedroom. Commenting on a sultry swimming pool photo of herself that went viral, she told People, "I love doing promiscuous, provocative things. It's just fun."

Tommy Lee came for Emeril Lagasse on Twitter

Rock stars aren't exactly known for their fine table manners, but Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee took customer dissatisfaction to a new level after a 2019 visit to chef Emeril Lagasse's New Orleans-based restaurant, Delmonico. According to Lee, his visit was cut short after he was kicked out over an argument about his hat that also included a cursing fit. Rather than address the issue privately, Lee took to Twitter to launch an attack against Lagasse and his staff. "I was aggressively asked to leave because I was upset about removing my hat," the rocker tweeted at Emeril. "I removed it and they still came up to the table and gave me a hard time. Wtf dude????"

Lee wasn't the only one doing the mud-slinging. Speaking to TMZ, his wife Brittany Furlan also chimed in, claiming that while the hat she was wearing apparently passed Delmonico's dress code, her husband's did not, prompting the heated exchange. "It was awful and they were just so rude and wouldn't leave us alone about," she exclaimed. "We were like, you know what? We're out of here, this is lame. We don't want to be in some stuffy-ass place where they're like, 'Take your hat off.'" Rather than fight back, Lagasse subtly shaded the incident on his own social media. It's doubtful he cared all that much – he's more of a Billy Joel fan anyway.

Jack Whitehall picked on Nigella Lawson during her drug scandal

Kicking someone when they're down is a cheap way to get a laugh, but don't put it past British comedian Jack Whitehall, who tried to use Nigella Lawson's cocaine scandal as material for a joke during the 2013 British Fashion Awards. A little background: earlier that year Lawson's ex-husband, Charles Saatchi, took two of the couple's former assistants to court for fraud, claiming they racked up nearly a million dollars on his credit card without permission. Denying the charges, the defendants claimed they had been given permission by Lawson to use the cards in exchange for keeping her alleged cocaine use a secret from her husband.

Lawson later confessed to occasional drug experiments but denied being a habitual user. Still, the admission itself created international headlines that were undoubtedly painful for Lawson, who was also in the throes of an ugly public divorce. Making things worse, comedian Whitehall dug the proverbial knife in deeper while hosting the awards, making several references to her alleged drug habit and telling the crowd they would be "feeling the effects of" her cooking in 30 minutes time. Reportedly, the audience was shocked but unamused, with many booing the mean quip. Everyone, it seems, had sympathy for the food star, even the Prime Minister who declared himself "Team Nigella." 

Rita Ora demanded a free meal from Gordon Ramsay

Britain's late-night chat program "The Jonathan Ross Show," is known for bringing together an array of celebrity guests who may not have otherwise had a run-in. The format, while usually quite fun, took an awkward turn on a 2017 episode when actress and singer Rita Ora appeared alongside chef Gordon Ramsay (along with Ed Sheeran, natch). Ora was asked by the host if she had ever dined at one of Ramsay's several top-rated restaurants. Ora responded that she had once tried, but the red carpet was not exactly rolled out. "I had wanted to," she explained. "And then I just didn't get in." The audience gasped. "So listen to this," she went on. "I went in and ... they were just like, 'No, this isn't happening.'" She explained it was her outfit — sneakers and a tracksuit — that Ramsay's staff apparently found disrespectful. The problem, she admitted, "was like a dress code or something."

Sheepish, Ramsay was caught off guard. "Damn," he exclaimed. Ora then formally requested an invite asking, "Can I come to one of your restaurants?" Ramsay confirmed, "Yes, you can." Cue everyone cheering. Cute right? If only she had stopped there. "But for free, though?" she suggested. The additional request for a gratis meal was not only ill-mannered, it was also pretty inappropriate considering it was Ora who had shown up dressed inappropriately the first time. The audience laughed at her presumption. Ramsay, for his part, held off from answering. Hopefully, she at least left a good tip.

Miss Piggy gave Gorden Ramsay no stars

Rita Ora isn't the biggest female celebrity who's taken a swing at Gordon Ramsay. That honor goes to the First Lady of the Muppets, the one and only Miss Piggy. Piggy and Ramsay have a storied history of trading barbs that goes back to 2017, when the cast of the Muppets appeared on an episode of "MasterChef Junior." With a well-manicured hoof, Piggy threw the first punch. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly about the episode, she at first pretended not to even know Ramsay, one of the most famous chefs in the world and, er, the star of the show. On Twitter, she also went as far as claiming her kitchen skills were even keener than his. How rude.

In return, Ramsay gave as good as he got, tweeting he "wouldn't give her cooking much praise." He realized quickly one simply does not come for this pink sow. "Praise," she tweeted back. "Who needs praise from a guy who finished second to the SwedishChef at the annual #LutefiskBakeOff!" Ramsay returned fire: "At least he and I know how to cook and plate a dish properly!" Despite their insistence on a feud, the kitchen banter did sound a bit like ... foreplay? If so, he should know this little Piggy is definitely on the market, having split from her longtime, commitment-phobic green boyfriend in 2015. All we're saying is, Tana Ramsay, watch your back.

Chrissy Teigen got Alison Roman canceled

Since this 2020 fiasco, supermodel and aspiring lifestyle expert Chrissy Teigen has had her own public controversy to deal with. Beforehand, however, a slam fest between Teigen and chef, author, and New York Times critic Alison Roman set the food and celebrity worlds on fire. Yes, Roman lit the proverbial first match, belittling Teigen's cookware deal with Target and referring to Teigen's food-related social media as "a content farm" in an interview with New Consumer. Her comments caught the attention of Teigen, who replied on Twitter. "[T]his is a huge bummer and hit me hard. I have made her recipes for years now, bought the cookbooks, supported her on social and praised her in interviews. I even signed on to executive produce the very show she talks about doing in this article." Given Teigen's enormous social media following, it wasn't surprising that nearly the entire Internet quickly called for Roman's head. 

Roman denied Teigen was a producer of an upcoming television project, but did apologize for her words. Regardless, Roman's New York Times column was put on pause, before she later announced she was stepping down from the job altogether. Ironically, Teigen felt the same pain less than a year later when she was on the other side of the cancelation coin thanks to the resurfacing of old messages she sent to reality TV personality Courtney Stodden that were widely interpreted as Teigen bullying a minor at the time.

Kelis talked trash to Top Chef contestants.

Kelis' milkshake may bring all the boys to the yard, but her salty comments didn't sit well with the contestants of "Top Chef Masters" Season 3. It is worth noting that Kelis, the celebrity guest judge on Episode 2's Quickfire challenge, studied at the Cordon Bleu culinary school after landing success as a Grammy-winning R&B star. 

Still, her disparaging remarks about the chefs' attempts to make a standout meatball dish rubbed several the wrong way. Among her slights: critiquing a chef's sandwich without tasting the bread, another's use of dill when it was actually fennel (while dismissing the broth in the dish as "show-offy"), and disagreeing with the mix of ingredients in one Mediterranean dish that are often used together and, objectively, pairs well. It was, according to one chef contestant, a lot of "pointless criticism."

Criticism is part of the show and, granted, a lot of chefs often don't want to hear it. But Kelis' stood out as particularly offensive and undeserving, even to viewers at home. On a Reddit thread of least favorite celebrity judges of all-time, one person named her among the worst. "Love her," the commenter wrote, "but she didn't know the ingredients in half the dishes." Maybe she should watch a "Top Chef" episode featuring Jimmy Fallon or Charlize Theron. According to a separate thread about favorite celebrity judges, they're rated among the best.