Anthony Bourdain had a way of inviting the wrath of his fellow celebrity chefs. The international food star who traveled the world with his cuisines might no longer be with us, but even from his grave, Bourdain seems to have the uncanny ability to make his colleagues very uncomfortable.
One of Bourdain’s longstanding feuds was with Rachael Ray. A celebrity chef in her own right who has written a plethora of cookbooks and starred in a number of TV programs, Rachael often found herself in the crosshairs of Bourdain’s antics and the tensions between them only grew when the latter refused to back down.
Appearing on The Rachael Ray Show, People editor Jess Cagle lavished praise on the late chef, perhaps forgetting that Bourdain had famously called Ray a “freakazoid” and a “bobblehead” who “can’t cook,” according to Page Six. Evidently still not over Bourdain’s takedown of her, Ray just sat there, saying nothing and nodding vigorously, which, as one viewer of the show aptly put it, validated Bourdain’s “bobblehead” comment.
“Ray just sat there, nodding dumbly — actually, being a bobblehead,” noted the viewer.
Bourdain’s feuds with fellow celebrity chefs are nothing new. He was known for not holding back his feelings and he was particularly critical of Ray, whom he once said had so little cooking talent that she could only shout at the top of her voice to make herself heard, according to Mashed.
“Complain all you want,” he wrote about Ray once.
“It’s like railing against the pounding surf. She only grows stronger and more powerful. Her ear-shattering tones louder and louder. We KNOW she can’t cook. She shrewdly tells us so. So what is she selling us? Really? She’s selling us satisfaction, the smug reassurance that mediocrity is quite enough.”
Another time, he said that Rachael Ray “uses her strange and terrible powers to narcotize her public.”
But it was not like Bourdain was the only one shooting arrows. Ray got back at him occasionally, with the late celebrity’s comeuppance coming most famously at a raunch-laden comedy roast of Bourdain held at the start of the New York City Wine and Food Festival nearly seven years ago, according to USA Today.
“I figured I would actually have the easiest time of anyone,” said Ray, a longtime target of Bourdain’s verbal bashings. “I don’t have to write jokes. I don’t have to write insults. If you ask the man of the hour in the hot seat, my mere existence is clearly insult enough.”