Did anyone actually get along in 2011? It seems like the whole food world was too busy saying nasty things in the press or suing the pants off people they didn't like. Below, everyone talked smack about everyone else, but a few names do pop up more frequently than others. (Hi, Anthony Bourdain.)
Gordon Ramsay vs His Father-in-Law
No one does scandal like the British: first shouty chef Gordon Ramsay hired thugs to keep his father-in-law Chris Hutcheson out of their restaurant company's London offices, then things got ugly in the press. Then there was a gag order that was maybe/maybe not about Gordon Ramsay, and all of a sudden Ramsay was accusing Hutcheson of having hacked his computers. In the end, Ramsay won a £250,000 (US$392,875) settlement against his wife's father.
Jamie Oliver vs the City of Los Angeles
All Jamie Oliver wants to do is save the world, but the city of Los Angeles tried its hardest to prevent him from doing so. Oliver was banned from filming the second season of his show Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution in LA schools, but filmed anyway. He then did some performance art involving a school bus and a bunch of sand that represented the sugar in flavored milk; no one came; there were tears. Next, Oliver was super, totally, 100% banned from LA schools, which he had some theories about. But then! There was an election and with it came a new superintendent: they met, they talked, they banned flavored milk, and now Oliver is maybe opening one of his Fifteen restaurants there.
Soap Fans vs The Chew
When it was announced back in April that a new Mario Batali-helmed daytime food talk show The Chew would be replacing long running soap operas All My Children and One Life to Live on ABC, soap fans rioted. Despite Batali's insistence that The Chew had nothing to do with the soaps being canceled, fans threatened boycotts. (Which producers more or less ignored.) For better or worse, and with or without soap fans' support, The Chew premieredhttp://eater.com/archives/2011/09/26/liveblogging-the-premierie-of-the-chew.php September 26 and has been sputtering along ever since.
Anthony Bourdain vs Paula Deen
Wrinkly aged firebrand Anthony Bourdain tweeted a bunch of things about food celebrities that were intended to get people's goats (or whatever the olds are saying these days) , but the only one who bit was Paula Deen. The feud lasted in the media for way too long.
John Mariani vs Grant Achatz
This was a little odd? Esquire's restaurant man John Mariani "reviewed" Chicago chef Grant Achatz's Life, on the Line and used the opportunity to call Achatz all kinds of thing like "insufferable" and "ego-driven." He also wrote that a portion of the book retold the story of him stealing a wine list from Achatz's restaurant, Alinea, incorrectly. Alinea co-owner Nick Kokonas stood by the book's version; Mariani refused to back down.
The Old Guard vs Molecular Gastronomy
Food TV man Alton Brown did not approve of the futuristic cuisine molecular gastronomy. But then he did? But then, no, he still did not. Chez Panisse doyenne Alice Waters did not like molecular gastronomy all along.
Taco Bell Lawsuits
After a class action lawsuit was filed against Taco Bell claiming their beef taco filling was only 36% meat, the taco-ish fast food chain fought back in a number of ways: The talked about filing a countersuit. They announced that no, actually, the filling is 88% meat. They thanked the law firm for suing them. They gave away millions of tacos on Facebook. They ran an 88 cent taco deal. Even after the lawsuit was dropped, they still wanted an apology.
Mario Batali vs Bankers
Oops: New York chef Mario Batali insulted the client base of a few of his restaurants after he said bankers were "as good as Stalin or Hitler." Despite an apology from Batali, the bankers still lashed out on Yelp and Twitter. For some reason Batali kept talking about it in the press.
Miscellaneous 2011 Feuds
· The Staff of The Ledbury vs London Looters
· Cleveland Deli vs Lebron James
· Alan Richman vs the City of New Orleans, on Treme
· Giles Coren vs Anthony Bourdain
· John Mariani vs Anthony Bourdain
· Alan Richman vs M. Wells
· The Chefs of Philadelphia vs Staph Meal
· Culinary Schools vs Unemployed Alumni
· In-N-Out vs Copycats
· "Regular" Sugar vs Corn Sugar
· Wolfgang Puck vs Starbucks Coffee
· Miami Restaurant vs Listicle Writer
· Dallas Barbecue vs Leslie Brenner