Yesterday evening, friends, ex-wives, food journalists, and some of the city's best chefs gathered at Le Bernardin to talk about how cheap Alan Richman is. The writer, who's won 15 James Beard awards and has had his fair share of public spats, has now been at GQ for 25 years. To celebrate the milestone, the magazine put together a swanky roast with a lineup of speakers that included Daniel Boulud, Eric Ripert, David Chang, Anthony Bourdain, and former New York Times critics Sam Sifton and Frank Bruni.
Here are some of their best lines:
1) Ripert: "I have never done a roast in my life. Well, roasting a person. Sorry, it just came out like that."
2) Ripert: "Tony Bourdain traveled back from New Orleans just for you tonight."
3) Ripert: "When I say you're smart, I mean, come on: this guy grabbed the ass of a waitress at a diner and then won the fucking James Beard award."
4) Ripert: "In fifteen years, you've never called me once from your personal line because you are so cheap."
5) Ripert: "You always come to these wine dinners with your friends, and they bring great ones? twenty-five times or thirty times, the wine you've brought was corked? The guy is cheap."
6) Bruni, reading a [fake] letter from Sharon Stone: "Alan, my love, my slowly roasting leg of lamb, I'd do anything to be with you tonight, but I just had a pelvic lift in advance of the shoot of Basic Instinct 5."
7) Bruni, reading a [fake] letter from Sharon Stone: "You instructed me in the ways of appetite. The Hungry Eye, they used to call your column. The Hungry You indeed, piggy, piggy man."
8) Bruni, reading a [fake] letter from Sharon Stone: "From you I learned that sous vide isn't a sexual fetish."
9) Boulud: "No matter what wine you suggest for Alan Richman, it is too expensive."
10) Boulud: "He thinks that the cheapest bottle will be the best bottle, which shows his ignorance."
11) Boulud: "When it comes to wine, actually, you are the world's biggest schnorrer."
12) Sifton: "Twenty-five years at a men's magazine and he still looks like an extra on Law & Order."
13) Sifton: "He must have pissed someone off. I'm guessing that it was Tony's mom, a legendary editor at the Times with a legendary temper. [long pause] I'm not suggesting that Alan is Tony's father."
14) Sifton: "By the 1980s, his career at the Times was in a full-on death spiral — bound for GQ."
15) Sifton: "Maybe he's John Mariani with better sentence structure."
16) Sifton: "I want to talk about what I learned from Alan Richman about the importance of anonymity in restaurant criticism. I learned very little."
17) Chang: "When I'm in New Orleans I say very plainly that I have no idea who Alan Richman is."
18) Chang: "He's the only person that went to the Vietnam War and speaks of it fondly."
19) Bourdain, on the aftermath of calling Richman a douchebag: "Coincidentally he decided to review the restaurant that I worked at ten years ago, which he called the 'worst restaurant in the universe.' The universe! Statistically, this cannot be true."
20) Bourdain: "He said the steaks at Les Halles were as tough as Hulk Hogan's foreskin, which sort of begs the question of how do you know?"
21) Bourdain: "He said the dining room of Les Halles smelled like the Augean Stables. I had to look that up, but apparently that's a bad smell."
22) Bourdain: "Now, when you google 'Alan Richman,' you see the word 'douchebag.' You have been Santorumed."
23) Bourdain, on the kinds of books that win Beard awards: "He's in the James Beard pantheon, along with books like 'Three Easy Steps to Bundt Cake,' 'One-Two-Three Cupcakes,' and 'Inside Todd English,' which is something Gael Greene could probably write about."
24) Bourdain on Richman's drive: "It's the kind of guts it takes to stand up and, despite your own sexual preference, work at what is basically a gay lifestyle publication. Let's face it: this is a magazine about picking socks. Really?! Are pocket squares fucking in?"
25) Bourdain: "At least you're not John Mariani."