Is Anthony Bourdain going soft? A week after he made his usual waves by ranting about Paula Deen's lowbrow, highly-processed comfort food schtick, the 'Dainiac is backpedaling on his earlier characterization of Deen as "the worst, most dangerous person to America is clearly Paula Deen. She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations and she's proud of the fact that her food is f--king bad for you [...] plus, her food sucks." Now, after taking heat from a populist Deen and former Times dining critic Frank Bruni for alleged "culinary aristocracy," Bourdain is overwhelmed with regret.
Speaking to Leonard Lopate on WNYC, Bourdain reportedly said, "You know, I deserved the whacking I got back on that. I hate to beat up on her personally. I feel bad. I stand by the substance of what I said, but I certainly think it came across as more crass, personal and just plain nasty than I intended it... That said, is it necessary to serve bacon cheeseburgers between two donuts? Is that what America needs right now?" Woah there, Great 'Dain—since when has need dictated post-war American diets? We want Krispy Kreme Double Downs, and we get what we want!
But in a recent blog post, Bourdain also expanded on his main criticism of Deen's empire, that "the notion that hard working, hard pressed families with little time and slim budgets have to eat crappy, processed food -or that unspeakably, proudly unhealthy 'novelty dishes' that come from nowhere but the fevered imaginations of marketing departments are—or should be—the lot of the working poor is nonsense." Still, the near-apology on Lopate's show has us worried, and wondering what Food Network sub-basement the real Bourdain is currently locked up in and being forcefed hoecakes.