When you spend long hours in the kitchen tinkering with various items of food and pots and pans, you can’t help developing strong feelings towards certain foods. This is something that all chefs share. And when you’re a celebrity chef you won’t miss an opportunity to make it known how much you hate clams or canned meat or any other food you just can’t stand the sight of. These 10 well-known chefs make no qualms about the intensity of their feelings towards harmless food which you and I might not go a day without having.
10. Anthony Bourdain not a fan of plane food
Anthony Bourdain had it all. Fame, success, and riches. Until his unfortunate demise a few years back, his shows on CNN were popular and highly rated. He was also a writer. He wrote novels, chronicled the life of a chef like no other, and he was a food critic. But that’s not all. Because of his show, Bourdain was a globe trotter and has tried every food imaginable. Some of the dishes he had tried were really awful. But, Bourdain, the gracious guest always had something nice to say about the food he was eating. But traveling to every known and unknown part of the world comes at a cost. As he once said in an interview for Playboy magazine, Bourdain flew around the world about 210 days of the year. That meant the food critic and famous cook was treated to plane food more than the average person. And that is something Bourdain loathed with a passion. He didn’t hide the fact that he used to find the food served him during his flights to be repulsive and downright disgusting. Keep in mind that Bourdain was talking about first-class food, not your the average sludge airlines dish out to people traveling coach. So what would you do if your job required you to fly a lot and you hated the food they offered you on the plane? Stop eating of course. That’s what the late Bourdain used to do. Abstain from food and get to his destination hungry and with a big appetite.
9. No Durian for Bob Flay
As a celebrity chef and restaurateur, Bob Flay is an authoritative voice in the world of food. He opened his first restaurant, Mesa Grill, in 1991 which created a mark in the New York cuisine. He went on to host several shows on the Food Network including Grill It! and Throwdown. So obviously when Flay speaks about food, the world listens and pays attention. Flay always has something witty to say about this dish or that food item. But when it comes to durian, Flay doesn’t mince his words. He hates the fruit with unlimited reserves of passion. So what is durian and why does Flay hate it so much? Durian is a South Asian fruit with a spiky shell and a very unpleasant smell. There’s no other way around this, but this fruit smells like something has died and rotted in tight and stuffy confinement. In Australia, a student brought durian to school and triggered a shutdown of the school while the authorities investigated the whereabouts of the corpse everybody was smelling on campus. Luckily durian isn’t well known outside its area of origin which makes it all the more surprising that Flay should hate it so much. One only gets that awful assault on one’s olfactory sense when strolling down a busy street in downtown Bangkok. True story!
8. Martha Stewart and Truffle Oil
We all know Martha Stewart. She’s a famous chef who had a short stint in jail for inside trading. But that’s a different story for another article. Stewart wrote tens of books about cooking, appeared on various TV shows and currently hosts her own show with Snoop Dogg called Potluck Dinner Party. We won’t even comment on the name of the cooking show but we can imagine a lot of pot exchanges hands when the cameras are not rolling. But back to Martha Stewart and her love for food. She shares a few things with all other chefs. These include an insatiable appetite for new recipes, and the desire to come up with creative ways to cook different dishes. Stewart, however, despises truffle oil. Now if you have gone through your life without laying eyes on truffle oil, you haven’t missed much. It’s distinguished with a pungent and strong smell that puts off many chefs. It’s not a common item you’d find in a regular kitchen and only hardcore cooks tend to keep a bottle of the stuff in a remote and hard-to-reach cabinet somewhere in their kitchen. That said, the real reason the famous TV chef hates truffle oil is it’s neither oil nor is it made from truffles. It’s a bunch of chemicals swirled together in a lab somewhere, bottled, and sold with this weird name. We’re with Martha on this one.
7. Ina Garten and Cilantro don’t get along
Cilantro is not the most popular name in the cooking realm. Some chefs tolerate the green plant with polite indifference, others won’t allow it inside their kitchens. And knowing how draconian most chefs are about enforcing their own kitchen rules, we can only feel a little sympathy for cilantro. Ina Garten belongs to the latter group of chefs. Seeing the leafy green veggies is enough to ruin her day and cause her deep distress. Garten is not alone in her fear and loathing of the herb though. Many people have a natural disposition to be cilantro-intolerant. It’s in our genes, you see? Just as some people are lactose-intolerant, and others are allergic to peanut butter or seafood, there’s a considerable number of people who can’t stomach cilantro. A certain gene called OR26A gives the herb the same taste as metallic soap. Obviously, Ina Garten is one of those people. Even if you don’t have that gene, cilantro at best is bitter like it’s going through a mid-life crisis and is holding a grudge against our taste buds. Is it something you’d like to garnish a sandwich with? Probably not. Why take the risk, anyway?
6. The Feud between Andrew Zimmern and Walnuts
Andrew Zimmern has a kind face. Not that’s not him in the picture. That’s a walnut. But they look very much alike. Slip a pair of reading glasses down the nose of a walnut, add some stubble, and you get Andrew Zimmern. Which brings up the question, if they look so much like estranged twins, how come they can’t stand being near each other? We had to dig deep into this one to get to the bottom of this ongoing feud between Zimmern and his archnemesis, the walnut. Andrew Zimmern hosts Bizarre Foods on Travel Channel. And when your show is about bizarre food, then hating the harmless walnut seems bizarre, to say the least. Our investigative efforts uncovered some very surprising facts. First of all, Zimmern loves fermented walrus anus. We didn’t make this nugget up. The celebrity chef brags about his passion for this weird dish everywhere he goes. So why the innocent walnut? No satisfying answer was forthcoming from Zimmern. He admitted he couldn’t stand the oily seed in any form, shape, or size. If you grind it and sneak it in a cookie, he’ll detect it in his mouth and spits it out. Hard as their mutual friends have tried, there was no reconciling those two. The Zimmern and walnut war keeps raging on and we can only watch with wonder and amusement.
5. Giada De Laurentiis Duking it out with Coconuts
Not everyone is nuts about coconuts. Once they leave their baby stage and get a hard shell, they become an unhealthy choice. Some people still find the ripe coconuts a good food source. Not Giada De Laurentiis though. She has sworn off coconuts for life. De Laurentiis comes from an Italian tradition that doesn’t hold coconuts in high esteem. And being true to her own heritage, the famous chef has always steered clear of coconuts. Only once, she admits, that she had tried a recipe where coconuts were the main ingredient. The result was not surprising to her since the recipe was a disaster. As someone who spends time in the kitchen on a daily basis, not eating, I might add, I can understand that. If the chef is not comfortable with one ingredient, the whole recipe goes to the dogs, literally. This is another reason why De Laurentiis doesn’t use bell peppers in her recipes. They grew uncomfortable around each other. The chef even goes as far as saying the green veggies get under her skin and irritate her to no end. We won’t even ask why.
4. Guy Fieri has no Love for Eggs
Who doesn’t like eggs? People with high cholesterol for one. But some people just can’t stomach this breakfast staple no matter how you prepare it for them. Deviled, scrambled, or sunny side up. It makes no difference to them. They just have no effection to eggs. In the case of Fieri, it has to do with a childhood experience that had ruined the whole egg experience for him for the rest of his life. When he was little he had a plate of eggs placed in front of him and he had to finish them. Only the eggs weren’t fresh and tasted like chalk. Young Fieri had tried to push them down, but the eggs wouldn’t. Finally, his stomach revolted and brought the whole sad affair to an end. You might think that this one brush with a bad egg would have faded from his memory being replaced with many happy meals where eggs had played a prominent role. But not to Guy. That chalky egg had left a scar on his psyche that hasn’t healed to this day. Curiously enough, Fieri would have no qualms about using eggs in his recipes. Just as long as he has to eat them, he’s happy to dish them out to eager customers.
3. Gail Simmons has had enough of Black Beans
You know how your relationship with food goes through stages just like a normal relationship between two humans. Even the dynamic is the same. Gail Simmons is a good example of this. And here we’re going to talk about her relationship with black beans. It all started with Gail was young and carefree. She crossed paths with a dish of black beans and it was love at first sight. The two couldn’t go a day without getting reacquainted. Over and over again. It doesn’t matter if it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Gail would come up with any excuse to satisfy her hunger for black beans. Her friends warned her about this unhealthy affair. They pointed out the flaws in the black bean’s character. But Gail was deaf to their entreaties. Her family told her she was making a mistake. But Gail wouldn’t listen. She continued her love affair with the legume. Then one day it ended. Nobody knows why. But the fallout was dramatic and swift. Now Gail wouldn’t even look a black bean in the eye. Not even as a side dish. People close to her sighed in relief and whispered out of Gail’s earshot about how they knew all along it was never going to last.
2. Salmon is Anne Burrell’s bane
Anne Burrell is a famous chef and TV host. Her show Worst Cooks In America made her a celebrity in her own right. But Anne is not a good cook because she works with awful cooks on her show. Far from it. She cooks with the best of them and her recipes have conquered the hearts and stomachs of millions of foodies the world over. There are exceptions of course. And in Anne’s case, she draws the line at salmon. That is something she’d never allow in her kitchen. If you try to smuggle in one or two, she’d spot it with her extra sensitive nose and banish you from her kingdom. Now the reason Anne doesn’t like Salmon has to do with their taste. Even when she had tried to prepare it herself, it still tasted awful. So she gave up and swore salmon for life.
1. Coffee does bad things to Simon Majumdar
It’s hard to find someone who has something bad to say about coffee. Even scientists ask us to drink more coffee for our own good. But not Simon Majumdar. The famous chef hates everything to do with coffee. Is it something to do with a childhood experience? Yes and no. See, Majumdar is allergic to coffee. Always has been. Coffee makes him irritable and messes up his whole system. We feel bad for the innocent coffee beans. And for the chef too of course. His allergy doesn’t stop with coffee though. He also can’t stand oysters. It’s a wonder, Simon had chosen food as a passion and a career considering he has to go through life without a good brew to kickstart the day. Which is more I can say about a lot of people out there. Many people can’t start the morning without the cup of hot brew. Have you tried going through the day without coffee? Go ahead and give it a try.