Anthony Bourdain and Paula Deen (AP File)
NEW YORK -- Anthony Bourdain has never made any secret of his contempt for most Food Network personalities; right up front in Chapter 1 of his book "Medium Raw" and in an interview with TODAY's Matt Lauer, he spoke of his "hatred for all things Food Network."
And in a recent TV Guide interview, the outspoken chef-turned-author's opinions were just as firm. On Rachael Ray: "Does she even cook anymore? I don't know why she bothers." Guy Fieri: "I look at Guy Fieri and I just think, 'Jesus, I'm glad that's not me.' " Sandra Lee: "I hate her works on this planet."
But the host of Travel Channel's "No Reservations" reserved his most scathing criticism for Paula Deen, whom he called "the worst, most dangerous person to America," who "revels in her unholy connections with evil corporations" and is "proud of the fact that her food is f---ing bad for you."
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Ho hum, another day, another Bourdain diatribe, right? But in a novel development, one of his targets actually fired back. And she went nuclear on him.
"Anthony Bourdain needs to get a life," Deen told the New York Post's Page Six. "You don't have to like my food, or Rachael's, Sandra's and Guy's. But it's another thing to attack our character."
The white-maned Georgia cook and restaurateur has been criticized for the high sugar content in her recipes, but she was anything but sweet to Bourdain. "My good friends Rachael, Guy and Sandra are the most generous, charitable folks I know," she said. "I have no idea what Anthony has done to contribute besides being irritable." She also accused him of elitism: "Not everybody can afford to pay $58 for prime rib or $650 for a bottle of wine. My friends and I cook for regular families who worry about feeding their kids and paying the bills."