Saturday: Anthony Bourdain & Mario Batali @ The Paramount"/>
Celebrity chefs Anthony Bourdain and Mario Batali gave a two-hour plus talk at the Paramount on Saturday, during which they gave advice to aspiring chefs, hated on the Food Network, and between the two of them guzzled several Heinekens.
They looked almost cartoonish when they made their entrance, due to their polar opposite appearances. The lanky Bourdain was dapper in a grey sports jacket, while Batali rocked plaid shorts and his trademark orange Crocs.
Upon sitting down, the real life friends immediately began trading jabs. Bourdain slammed Batali's PBS show "Spain... On the Road Again" which follows him and Gwyneth Paltrow wining and dining across the country. "Why would you go to Spain with the one bitch who refuses to eat ham?" Bourdain asked with a wide grin.
When they weren't picking on subjects like Gwyneth, Paula Deen, and vegetarians, Bourdain and Batali chatted about how restaurant workers could get ahead in the business. It was ideal for a crowd that consisted mostly of the industry's workers. "How the hell did you all get off on a Saturday night?" Bourdain called out to an eruption of cheers.
The two sprinkled in advice throughout the evening. Bourdain said the best tip he could give was to always show up on time. Batali shared that he knew within two minutes of meeting someone whether he would hire them or not. "I look for that passion... I can teach a chimp to cook. But I can't teach it to love it," he said.
The evening's most astute observation however, came from Bourdain, who opined that nobody who watches the Food Network actually cooks. "The people who watch the Food Network are the ones with a gallon of soda and a bag of Cheetos going, 'oh, I could make that.' (This sadly, describes exactly what my sister and I do when we watch the Food Network, except that we eat nachos instead of cheetos.)
Both Bourdain and Batali had droves of fans, but it was clear that the sardonic New Yorker came out on top. Plenty of people took the mic during a q&a segment to tell Batali they adored his recipes. They'd then gush to Bourdain that he was incredibly sexy.
At the close of the evening, many attendees were smitten at having gotten the chance to interact with the celebrity chefs. But the evening's happiest attendee was hands down my father, who bares somewhat of a resemblance to Bourdain (e.g.: tall, white, looks pissed off most of the time.) Each time a female showered Bourdain with compliments, he looked more thrilled than the man himself.