Not since Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin’s landmark The Physiology of Taste has there been a more comprehensive guide to the world of food and wine. From food history to dining etiquette to matters of taste, this practical handbook offers the basics for navigating every aspect of gastronomy.
What they’re saying about Comfort Me with Offal:
"Fucking awesome." - Boston Phoenix
"A very funny read." - LA Weekly
Wall Street Journal
New York Times
Buy it now:
Ruth Bourdain: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Inquiries: email@example.com
Have you been nominated for tonight’s James Beard Foundation Awards — the greatest culinusterfuck of all time — but you don’t know what to say if you get the prize? Here are 10 last minute tips for a winning acceptance speech.
1. Make a style statement
This is a food event, so when it comes to wardrobe, expandable waistbands and feedbags never go out of style. But, you also have a chance to strut your stuff on the red carpet. Why not be like J-Lo and show off a little skin? Every year, chef Tom Colicchio wows the audience by showing off his completely naked skull. Whatever you do, don’t wear a meat dress. It’s meatless Monday.
2. Loosen up
Snort a little tangerine zest before you go on stage, or, be like James Beard and smoke an onion sandwich laced with tarragon right before the winner of your category is announced.
3. Keep it short
Don’t wear out your welcome with an overly long acceptance speech. While you might be inclined to wax about your memories in the restaurant business, most of the audience will be ravenously hungry and readying themselves for the scrum at the tasting tables following the ceremony. Keep it quick or they might rush the stage and tear you limb from limb.
4. Be funny
Jokes about Wolfgang Puck’s height, anything about Alice Waters, Mario Batali’s crocs, and gentle jabs at the “New Nordic Cuisine” are all fair game. Or, try your hand at some Jerry Seinfeld-style culinary humor: “What is the deal with chia seeds?”
5. Connect with your audience
This is a food industry audience, so feel free to intersperse your acceptance speech with restaurant-speak (“To my fellow nominees, I guess this award is officially eighty-sixed!”) or winespeak (“This award is not only a great honor, it’s ripe, jammy, and has appealing notes of dried plum, black pepper, and grilled anise. Thank you very much!”).
6. Do your research
The theme of the 2013 awards ceremony is a “Spotlight on Food & Film,” so be prepared to drop some knowledge about some of your favorite cinematic gastronomic moments. DO mention Tampopo. DON’T mention Ramen Girl.
7. It’s not all about you
While you may be honored as an individual chef, it’s important to acknowledge the work of your staff. Be as generous as you like, but don’t go so far as complimenting your waiters. That would upset the whole front-of-the-house/back-of-the-house equilibrium for years to come.
8. Be emotional
Don’t be afraid to be emotional on stage and shed a tear. If you do cry, make sure to save the tears and harvest the salt for a memorable post-awards show seasoning.
9. Don’t be nervous
If you are frightened of being on stage, try imagining that the entire audience is naked. If you are really, really nervous, imagine Mario Batali wearing pants and regular shoes.
10. Thank God
Don’t forget to leave the stage without thanking the almighty, giving praise and gratitude to our lord and personal savior, Thomas Keller.
Let’s face it: Restaurants, food shops, and markets present tremendous opportunities for the mingling of the sexes. While you’re at the butcher checking out rib eyes, a lovely young lady or a handsome young man may catch your eye. Attraction can be elusive, but if you’re prepared with an appropriate pickup line, you might just find your match. Try these epicurean lines, which pair beautifully with their gastronomic environs.
You may have heard of the ReviewerCard, but unfortunately it costs $100 to join. That’s why I’m introducing the DoucheCard, a first-of-its-kind FREE membership card for aspiring amuse douches and douchebaguettes.
Just print out this page, clip-and-save the card, and use it at your favorite eateries.
Here’s how it works:
1. Display DoucheCard at restaurant.
2. Receive looks of disgust from your waiter.
3. Enjoy complimentary pee in your food courtesy of the chef.
4. Destroy any shred of rapport with restaurant.
5. Return home in shame.
CNN’s Eatocracy lists Comfort Me with Offal in its holiday gift guide:
Even if you’re not familiar with Ruth Bourdain - the unholy Twitter-borne mash-up of Ruth Reichl and Anthony Bourdain - the food freak in your life is. RuBo, as she(?) is known to fans, won the inaugural James Beard Award for humor writing, and brings ever bit of that biting wit to this send-up of modern-day food fanaticism. – Comfort Me with Offal: Ruth Bourdain’s Guide to Gastronomy ($19.99)
1. On the heels of trademarking April Bloomfield’s Spotted Pig in the UK, chef Gordon Ramsay will secure trademarks for The French Laundry, Noma, Per Se, and Babbo, and open a new flagship restaurant called Gordon Ramsay’s Momofuku Grill.
2. Out: Buttchugging. In: Earshots
3. Banana Republic will launch the world’s first “Smart Casual” restaurant, pairing flat front khakis with Chipotle-style burritos.
4. Out: Gluten-free Pizza. In: Gluten-lovers Pizza.
5. Following his sale of Wine Advocate to Asian investors, wine critic Robert Parker will launch Noodle Advocate, featuring in-depth noodle criticism, “noodle notes” (“toothsome and hedonistic, with undercurrents of egg, toasted wheat, and underbrush”) and the first 100-point noodle scale. In keeping with his penchant for high alcohol wines, Parker will display a clear bias towards drunken noodles.
6. Out: Breastaurants. In: Feeteries.
7. Retro ’80s cuisine goes big time as chefs recreate the era with tuna tartare served on coke spoons.
8. Reprising her (in)famous sexual interlude with Elvis, Gael Greene will bed Justin Bieber in a New York hotel. But, unlike Elvis, who asked Greene for a post-coital egg sandwich, Bieber will request a Lunchable.
9. Out: Grazing. In: Troughing.
10. Food will go seriously high tech in 2013, as robot belly becomes the new bacon.
Offal, or organ meats, have become increasingly popular ingredients in contemporary gastronomy. Once considered peasant foods, these “nasty bits” have gone mainstream, prized by some of the world’s most celebrated chefs, not to mention the television series Fear Factor. But please don’t stop at pork bellies, beef cheeks, and marrow bones. There’s a whole world of nasty bits out there for your gastronomical exploration.
New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells recently asked some questions of celebrity chef Guy Fieri in his review of Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar. I have a few of my own which remain unanswered:
You have been seen wearing sunglasses on the back of your head. Do you or do you not have an extra set of eyes?
Does Donkey Sauce come from donkey balls? And, if so, do you have a hand (no pun intended) in procuring said sauce?
Have you ever sent shirtless photos to New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells?
Have you ever used spackle as a hair dressing product?
Would you please once and for all provide the geographic coordinates of Flavor Town?
Is it true that defaced menus from Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar were found outside the U.S. embassy in Benghazi?
Is it “kewl” to spell “cool” as “kewl”? Discuss.
Does the phrase “Minute to Win It” refer to the process of procuring donkey sauce from an aroused donkey?
Have you ever engaged in a three-way with Johnny Garlic and Tex Wasabi?
Can diners at your restaurants receive second-hand smoke from the flames on your shirts?
Have you ever sent inappropriate emails to Jill Kelley?