Anthony Bourdain Still Doesn’t Like Leslie Brenner

Anthony Bourdain brings his road show to Dallas tomorrow. You probably already know that. And there’s a better than zero chance that you’ve already read Scott Reitz’s Q&A with him on City of Ate. If you haven’t, though, I’d like to draw your attention to this delicious exchange, wherein Bourdain kicks Leslie Brenner square in the teeth. Delicious.

Q: I found a reference to a disagreement between you and Dallas Morning News food critic Leslie Brenner that started with a negative book review and blossomed from there. Do you still harbor any bad feelings for Leslie?

A: No, just a low opinion.

Q: What about food critics in general?

A: I think that there are good food critics and there are bad food critics and there are critics in the middle.

Q: I’m new to the game. Help me out: What makes for a good food critic and what makes for a bad one?

A: Preserve your sense of wonder and delight. Is it still exciting and wonderful and new? Is it a fresh and are you happy with your work. Do you like eating this food? Is it fun? Do you like chefs? Do you understand the process and people behind the creation of your food? Do you understand where it came from and if it matters? Those are important.

Or are you an angry, frustrated, dissatisfied person who was working at The New York Times and then Los Angeles and then ended up in Dallas?

Of course, Bourdain was describing Brenner’s career path. The city of Dallas takes some collateral damage from that shot. But whatever. It was worth it.

Update: Bourdain directs a few pointed words at Brenner at the 28:08 mark of this video. Check it out:

No Reservations from South Boston from zpz on Vimeo.


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  • Gizzard

    Did you ask him if he’d ever choked on a bag of dicks?

  • JIm Shortz

    What a total fraud. This guy blames every restaurant failure where he’s worked on everyone and everything but himself and his food. Restaurant empty usually means bad food and according to his book he’s had plenty of those. Only foodies read this crap, if one were interested in the biz (successful that is ) then read Danny Meyer.

  • Danny Meyer’s book is incredible – he spoke in dallas, hopefully he comes back.

  • bluebird

    Gizzard, awesome. i gotta say, Tim is really outdoing himself. there was his Frontburner post yesterday where he chased down that random commenter, all for a blog post. and then today, toasting up this slice of day-old bread.

  • Amy S

    I second Jon’s opinion of Danny Meyer’s book. I’ve read it twice and made my business-major Senior read it as well. It’s useful regardless the industry you are in.

  • JS

    Look at me — I’m the tallest pygmy in the forest! Seriously, harboring a years-old grudge because of a bad review of a frickin’ cookbook?

  • Jim Shortz

    JS–and he can’t cook, hence the fleecing of the foodies, just proving W.C.Fields right.

  • Pingback: Things To Do In Dallas Tonight: Oct. 27 | FrontBurner()

  • Borborygmus

    C’mon, this ain’t Dallas, we’re all toughter than that
    This barbecue issue has become quite a spat.
    Poor News, numbers sinking, few who will pay,
    With more people begging, please send back to LA
    This critic whose voice doesn’t speak what we hear.
    Her writing fails to make her criticism quite clear
    Of restaurants whose efforts she busily diminished.
    But like them, a career can be almosted finished
    By a pen, and a person who seems just unable
    To write what she means, her star system unstable.
    (Perhaps, may I mention, she might not aught
    Started shooting first, six months after she got
    Here letting us know, there was no place to go
    In Dallas for a world class dinner, oh no, no.)
    We all asked, WTF, what was she thinking?
    Now beef brisket seems to have her ship sinking.
    So Leslie I’m done, this is the last rhyme for you
    I’m still hoping and praying that it will soon be adieu.