The other night I was watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and every time it would go to commercial, I would scroll down to the Travel Channel and watch No Reservations. Then it hit me: Could there be two "celebrity chefs" any more famous and yet totally different than Guy Fieri and Anthony Bourdain? I bet if they were in a room together and Guy mentioned "taking a trip to Flavor Town" that Tony would take a sharp blade to that fake n' bake scalp and slice Guy's crispy peroxide head-lettuce clean off. But let's see how it really shakes out in a Celebrity Food Fight Battle Royale.
Anthony Bourdain (The Odds-On Favorite): He's had every job in the kitchen and now he's mastered almost every medium in show business. Bestselling author of Kitchen Confidential and host of multiple adventures in eating, cooking and traveling TV shows, he now is touring the globe (coming September 20 to Jones Hall in Houston) on speaking tours. He's a grumpy, sharp-tongued food god who loves meat and hates vegetarians.
Guy Fieri (The Car Crash of Food Television): What's not to hate about a dude that calls himself a "Culinary Rock Star" and has restaurants named Tex Wasabi's and Johnny Garlic's? Fieri won a Food Network hosting contest and now dominates the airwaves with Triple D, Big Bite and NBC's non-food-related Minute to Win It. He's loud, clichéd, jovial, and yet endearing all in a bowling shirt.
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SHOW ME HOW
There is no doubt that Bourdain has almost everything going for him. He is what all the cool food people writing on Twitter and Eating Our Words wish they were. Guy is his perfect foil, however. While Tony stabs with wit and intelligence, the doughy Guy absorbs every blow and continually churns out can't-miss food TV. I like watching No Reservations, a lot, but seeing a Tahitian housewife dish up eye of newt doesn't get my stomach rumbling. Diners, on the other hand, makes me want to leave the house in my undies and search out stuff like Capn' Crunch coated French toast. By the end of a Reservations episode, I sometimes find myself rolling my eyes more than when I'm done with Diners.
The Winner: Guy Fieri
I believe Bourdain and Fieri both have a clearly defined acts, but I also believe they are both genuine. In the end it comes down to one thing, I just can't turn away when D, D & D is on TV. I can't imagine Anthony Bourdain having more disdain for someone other than Rachael Ray but he doesn't get to pick the winner of his own battle, I do, and I say it is Guy Fieri.