Monday, January 01, 2007

Anthony Bourdain: Tom Colicchio May Owe His Celebrity Chefdom to Cocaine, But I Owe Mine to Sexual Repression

Earlier, we noted how Tom Colicchio, in David Kamp's book, The United States of Arugula, theorized that the rise of celebrity chefs was due to a sort of cocaine "hangover" in the eighties. Pungent Top Chef guest judge Anthony Bourdain, self-admittedly no slouch in the hard drugs department, puts forth a different theory in his most recent book, The Nasty Bits:

“Why now, though? What the hell happened? What is wrong (or right) with society that even a son of a bitch like me gets a damn TV show? Why do people even care about chefs? What changed?....Maybe people just aren’t fucking enough. There was a definite upsurge in the fortunes of chefs with the early eighties discover that indiscriminate sexual activity can kill you. Certainly people seem to be eating more—evidence, perhaps, of sublimated desire.”
Well, having been raised in the marble-titted embrace of the Mother Church, we know which explanation we believe.

The Nasty Bits sheds light not only on the rise of "food porn," but also on Chef Colicchio's musical tastes and after-hours habits:

“Tom Colicchio of Craft says that after work he goes out to New York's AlphabetLounge when Toke Squealy, the band of his guitar teacher, Alan Cohen, plays, orto Arlene's Grocery 'to check out [his] friend Becca's band, Thin Wild Mercury.'But, he adds, 'I don't think it has any effect on what or how I cook. But it does provide time away from thinking about food or myrestaurants.'”
No wonder he doesn't let the Top Chef contestants, as he admitted on his Bravo blog, have access to their iPods.

After reading that distinctly unnasty bit about Chef Colicchio in the Bourdain book, we ran across Chef Colicchio's official portrait on the Craft Restaurant website (see above), and had us a good laugh. The thing makes him look like a hybrid of (1) a gay leather-daddy bear, (2) a Meatpacking District club bouncer, (3) a James Bond villain intent on world domination, and (4) a former rugby player turned Cockney hoodlum in a Guy Richie film. That's definitely a man who doesn't know the first thing about sexual repression.

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