A celebrity chef like the foul-mouthed Anthony Bourdain often gets caught up in food-related controversy, so that is no news really, right? However, this time, it is his wife, Ottavia, who is in the middle of a huge Internet war built over a bad steak. When the incident first broke out, no one knew anything else except the fact that Ottavia had accompanied her husband on a dinner, where they were served a very bad steak. Noted food critic John Curtas, while writing for “Eating Las Vegas” blog, concluded that the Bourdains had dined at CarneVino restaurant at the Palazzo in Las Vegas, where the ‘bad steak’ was served. To that, Bourdain (the husband) was quick to retort with an ugly tweet. Thankfully, the whole drama has been put to rest with Charlie Palmer, restaurant owner and chef, coming forward with an apology because it was at his restaurant that Anthony and Ottavia dined that fateful day. All is well now but for how long, you never know. After it is the culinary world where things can go wrong in a flash!
Ottavia and her famous husband were in LA earlier this month, where they went to attend a UFC fight. During their stay, they had dinner at a place, which Ottavia calls “the celebrity-chef-branded hotel steakhouse.” They ordered steak for themselves and it arrived but not upto the expectations. Ottavia described the incident on her blog, “The steak arrives and it has no char. It looks boiled. I cut into it and it’s hard, and gray inside; it’s well done. It also tastes like cheap supermarket meat that was quickly defrosted under hot water in the kitchen sink. And it smells — not dry-aged funk, but some disturbing livery odor. Now, this is a reputable steakhouse, with a famous and respected name on the door, but it was the worst steak I’ve ever had in my life, an abomination. We eat our steaks unhappily, tell the server to charge our room, and slink away, miserable.” To sum it up in Ottavia’s own words, the Bourdains were ‘food fucked.’
That should have put an end to it because, after all, s**t keeps happening in the restaurant business. However, that was not to be because Curtas got onto the case and started digging around, finally arriving at the conclusion that the Bourdains were putting up at the Venetian in LA and the restaurant that served them the bad steak was CarneVino. This gave the incident a new twist as Anthony, obviously pissed off, replied on his Twitter account, “Dear John Curtass of Eating Las Vegas. Your entire, idiotic column is based on a false premise: we did not stay at the Venetian/Palazzo.” This gave a start to one of the worst public slang-matches to be played on Twitter. John Curtas wrote on his Twitter handle “@eatinglasvegas”, “@Bourdain so quit hiding behind a skirt and tell us where you did eat….?” Bourdain replied the same day, “@eatinglasvegas erroneous, sloppy and stupid is no way to go through life, son.” Curtas, not to take it lying down, retorted, “The difference (between) foodie royalty like @Bourdain + spouse and me is: when I publicly criticize something, I have the guts to name it.” However, it did not take Curtas long to throw up the towel with this tweet, “And I’m sorry @Bourdain took article wrong way … I was simply guessing and admiring him for defending his wife … not name calling.” The Twitter match went on for long after that, but not all of it was worth reporting.
While everyone else was raking his brains to find out which restaurant served the “abominable steak” to the Bourdains, Charlie Palmer of the “Charlie Palmer Steak Las Vegas” came forward with his apology. He wrote to a news website that while he wished his staff “could have corrected the issue”, he wanted to apologize “before any more of my hardworking colleagues at other restaurants are implicated.” Bourdain reciprocated the generosity of character and tweeted, “Charlie Palmer, you are a gracious man and a great chef. As we all know, sometimes sh*t happens. Thanks.”
You know what effect a juicy steak has on one's psychological condition. Eating a bad steak is akin to having "sex without wanting to have", as Ottavia puts it. However, with Palmer's apology, everyone has heaved a huge sigh of relief!
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