Last night on Treme, Alan Richman's infamous 2006 GQ article bashing New Orleans comes out, and Janette Desautel is not happy:
I mean, holy shit, town's barely on its feet and this son of a bitch has gotta to come down and reevaluate whether we were ever any good... Fine, he doesn't like the food, he thinks it's heavy, or he thinks it's shit, I don't care. For fuck's sake it's a service economy, they're fucking hurting. He's gotta write this now? Tell people to stay away from New Orleans, don't come down, don't spend your money in restaurants?
The scene has Anthony Bourdain's fingerprints all over it: Bourdain and Richman have feuded in the past (an entire chapter of Bourdain's latest book, Medium Raw was titled "Alan Richman Is a Douchebag").
Later, tyrannical chef Enrico Brulard gives a lesson in fish cookery that includes "listening" to your fish:
The salmon... can be a beautiful animal, wild and free. Honor his death. Listen to him. You're rushing to the pan, you're destroying him. You're squeezing out proteins, flavor, everything. The vital substance that makes him what he is. You don't want to do that do you? Of course not... Slow down. Listen to your fish.
Said a commenter: "Brulard is based on David Bouley. Even the 'talk to your fish' scene is straight from as story written by Dan Barber about working for Bouley. Bouley was certifiable, and those scenes are light compared to the reality."
And it's possible! See Dan Barber's 2005 piece in the New York Times Magazine: "I said, 'You're not speaking to your mackerel,' the chef repeats, now incensed. I look dumbly at the stove. Could he possibly be talking to me?"
Video: Alan Richman's Article
Video: Treme: Listen to Your Fish