As a follow up to his best of 2012 slideshow listicle, Esquire's restaurant man John Mariani drops "The Worst Food Moments of 2012." On the list are a bunch of "oddly enough" but not necessarily rage-inducing things like the Finnish pop-down in a cave, Hitler wine, STK's $12,000 steak knife, and a Jack in the Box commercial. But buried in between all of those, Mariani writes about the "worst" chefs, restaurateurs, food world people, and restaurants of 2012. On his hit list: Joe Bastianich, Rene Redzepi, Anthony Bourdain, Nashville's Catbird Seat, and Big Gay Ice Cream. Here we go:
· On Joe Bastianich — who he sparred with a bunch this year — Mariani calls him the "Worst Price Gouger" over the outlandish suggestion that slipping a maître d' some cash will get you a better table.
· On Rene Redzepi's now famous ant dish, Mariani dubs it "Worst New Dish."
· The award of "Worst Case of Wretched Excess, Ice Cream Edition" goes to the Salty Pimp, the collaboration from NYC's Big Gay Ice Cream and Robicelli's Cupcakes.
· And finally, there's "Anthony Bourdain's Most Insane Moment of the Year (One of Them, Anyway)," in which Mariani finds it incredulous that Bourdain would publish America's favorite restaurant critic, Marilyn Hagerty.
Update: Doug Quint of Big Gay Ice Cream, when reached for comment, writes in: "Damned right it's a 'worst case of wretched excess,' it still sounds pretty delicious, doesn't it? We accept this award with great humility- kinda refrain from drooling on it."