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The 25 Worst Stories on Eater in 2012

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Is 2012 over yet? Some truly vile, cringe-inducing things happened this year. Here are Eater's picks for the 25 worst stories of 2012, arranged in order from kind of bad to truly really bad. (For more, check out last year's worst stories.) Some news is the best, but all the news below is the worst:

[Photo: Maxim Shemetov / Reuters]

25: A restaurant in Moscow held a caviar eating competition in which twelve "lucky" souls had to eat a half kilogram of black caviar worth $70,000 as fast as humanly possible. The prize for winning? More caviar.

24: Guy Fieri's frozen S'mores Pizza exists. And it's spicy?

23: Ghostwritingate: New York Times writer Julia Moskin claimed a whole bunch of celebrity chefs used ghostwriters; a whole bunch of cookbook authors (including Gwyneth Paltrow, Bobby Flay, and Rachael Ray) had a problem with it.

22: Rich people were forced to pawn their fancy wine.


21: The STK line of steakhouses tried to entice women with a sexy lady commercial, featuring all sorts of sexy businesswomen doing sexy businesswomen things like wearing cleavage-y power suits, doing their makeup at the table, and feeding each other steak while blindfolded.

20: Hooters also tried to lure women, but they tempted them with puppets and salads.

19: Mutant Red Lobster/Olive Garden hybrids exist.


18: Starbucks sold a limited edition $400 gift card for $450. After they sold out, the gift cards resold on eBay for over $1,000.

17: Chains fattened up America by marketing soda as a breakfast drink.

16: Pizza Hut tried to turn a presidential debate into a marketing stunt and failed.

15: Jamie Oliver recommended servers at his restaurants use words like "scrummy," "slamming," and "wicked."


14: Pizza chain Mellow Mushroom sent its creepy mascot to stalk its Twitter followers.

13: Babyccinos.

[Photo: @lucchesi]

12: Zagat printed its 2012 guides to Bay Area restaurants with the name of the city misspelled "San Francsico."

11: Long Island's "Hot Dog Truck Hooker" got in hot water over her wiener service.

10: Gordon Ramsay applied for the UK trademark for "The Spotted Pig," which is, uh, not his restaurant. It's April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman's restaurant in New York.

[Photo: Amy McKeever/]

9: Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi let someone eat ham off her body for $1,000. It was for charity?

8: Iron Chef Cat Cora got caught but was not arrested for driving under the boozey influence.


7: Bravo's Life After Top Chef forced audiences to ask the question: when does life after Life After Top Chef begin?

6: The internet busted a lady for trying to potty train her kids at a restaurant.


5: ABC dumped the sad shitshow Time Machine Chefs, and it was a poorly executed, shameless ripoff of the Top Chef franchise with a twist. A twist of time travel.

4: Lorena Garcia shilled for Taco Bell; they dubbed her a "master chef" and greenwashed the crap out the ad campaign.

3: Butt chugging.

2: Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy started a media shitstorm over his anti-gay marriage remarks and somehow increased the chain's business.


1: Grease queen Paula Deen hid her diabetes diagnosis until she had a big fat pharma deal; she was surprised when "people were kind of mean about it."

[Ed. note:] And a special shoutout to the quitters of 2012: Chef Emma Hearst; Dr. Miguel Sanchez Romera's NYC restaurant Romera; Bravo for canceling Top Chef Just Desserts; ex-Eater Chicago editor Ari Bendersky, ex-Eater Denver editor Lauren Hendrick, ex-Eater SF editor Carolyn Alburger, ex-Eater Charleston editor Angel Powell, and ex-Eater Houston editor Amber Ambrose. You will be missed.

· All Year in Eater 2012 Coverage [-E-]

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