Back in June, chef Eddie Huang slammed Marcus Samuelsson and his memoir, calling his Harlem restaurant Red Rooster "an embarrassing exercise in condescension." Samuelsson, well versed in PR, kept quiet and never publicly responded to Huang's criticisms. On Friday, the Washington Post's Tim Carman published a transcript of an interview in which Samuelsson fired back at Huang, using the word "garbage" six times.
"It's a joke," said Samuelsson. "You're dealing with a guy who doesn't want to enter a conversation. Even discussing it is a waste of time. I trust the New York Times. I trust The Washington Post. I trust the New York Herald. I trust the Tribune. I trust the journalists that I've read and that have carefully thought about what to [say], and then render their judgment..." Never mind that the New York Herald hasn't been published since 1924? Samuelsson continued:
I can tell you my reality: I moved myself from Midtown 10 years ago. I looked at Harlem, at 22 percent unemployment... I look at the 110 employees that I have, where 80 of them come from Harlem... To even answer garbage, why should I lower myself to that level? I, as a mentor, as a mentee, as an employee, as a chef, I have a responsibility, and it's not to go bottom fishing and enter garbage. It is to rise above and be the person that I set out to [be]. So I hold myself to that standard. Garbage will come.
Samuelsson finished his rant by going after "sensationalist" media, in particular the New York Observer for running Huang's editorial that Samuelsson simply casts, again, as "garbage": "What's fascinating today is that .?.?. before, there was not an outlet for that garbage, and today, real platforms are actually writing about that."
Friday night Huang, who declined comment to Eater, went after Carman on Twitter. He tweeted: ".@timcarman as a journalist u let him off the hook. U let him dismiss real criticism as punching up. Make him address the words in his book." But Carman didn't challenge Samuelsson to address any of Huang's arguments. Instead Carman moved on to boring questions about culinary school and television, lobbing softballs like: "Do you think such shows contribute to a mentality that some young chefs can get famous quickly?"