Cafe Society

Eric Ripert and Anthony Bourdain skewer each other, vegetarians and Paula Deen in Boulder

Last night's "Good vs. Evil" throwdown of jabs between Eric Ripert and Tony Bourdain solidified three things that most of us already know: Bourdain's favorite noun is "motherfucker," his adjective of choice is "motherfucking," and Paula Deen, according to Bourdain, is a motherfucking motherfucker who doesn't know fuck about Southern cuisine.

See also: - Tony Bourdain in Denver: Another convert of Biker Jim and his dogs - Andrew Zimmern calls Bourdain/Midson photo a "valiant attempt to nail a little more street cred to the side of the barn" - Dinner at Le Bernardin

For his part, Ripert accosted Bourdain's tainted tastebuds, decrying his former nicotine habit, admitted that he once sucker-punched a guy in the nose at a Paris restaurant, and suggested that Bourdain was once a male gigolo, hauling out a poster-sized nude of Bourdain holding nothing more than a bone to hide his pecker, to prove his point. Bourdain retaliated by subjecting Ripert, the Frenchman, to a blind taste test, in which he was forced to eat Cheez Whiz and Cool Ranch-flavored Doritos.

Ripert, the revered chef-owner of New York's Le Bernardin, arguably the best French restaurant in the country, and Bourdain, who generated a cult following after writing Kitchen Confidential and is the former chef of Brasserie Les Halles, a French restaurant in New York that no one would suggest is the best French restaurant anywhere, took to the stage last night at Macky Auditorium, on the CU campus in Boulder, and for an hour and a half, the two chefs, Bourdain rocking cowboy boots and Ripert in blue Converse sneakers, savaged each other -- and other celebrity chefs -- in an epic banter of salty hilarity and wit.

It was a night of jokes at the expense of Martha Stewart, Rachael Ray, Gordon Ramsay, Guy Fieri and Paula Deen; an endless swipe at vegetarians; countless admissions of bad behavior; and riches of embarrassing confessions that included Ripert copping to the fact that he'd eaten an ortolan -- a small French songbird that's shrouded in darkness and meets its demise in a drown of brandy -- under a hood so that his fellow diners wouldn't see the dead head of the bird dangling from his mouth.

The one-liners of both were brilliant, and the format -- almost like a prosecutor in a courtroom grilling the mass murderer -- couldn't have been better. Watching one squirm in his chair while the other circled it like a vulture resulted in diabolically entertaining interrogations. In case you missed it, here are the best lines of the night:

Bourdain on Ripert's success:
"What are you, some kind of fucking knight, or something?"

Ripert on Gordon Ramsay:

"Gordon Ramsay is abusive, racist, condescending and a disgrace to our industry. And Kitchen Nightmares is shit food."

Bourdain on Gordon Ramsay:

"He's a lowly puddle of whale shit."

Bourdain on Guy Fieri:

"He's a do you de-douche a doucheface?"

Bourdain to Ripert after Ripert admits that he's served dinner to "The Situation" and Snookie but refuses admittance to tennis pro John McEnroe, who made fun of his accent, among other infractions, on the Late Show With David Letterman:

"Spreading chlamydia is fine, but you won't allow John McEnroe to have dinner at Le Bernardin? No fish for you, John McEnroe!"

Bourdain on Ripert's thick locks:

"How do you keep your hair so perfect?"

Ripert on Bourdain's accusation that he "caged the ortolan in the dark for weeks like "Guantanamo-fucking-Bay." Bourdain wanted to make sure he had his facts straight, so he asked Ripert if his timeline was correct:

"Yes, I did that, and it was with YOU!"

Bourdain to Ripert after Ripert admitted he was guilty of slaughter:

Bird killer!

Ripert on verbally assaulting a female diner in Paris who was insulting her server:

"I called her an ugly fuck." He then punched the woman's husband in the nose.

Bourdain on Ripert's behavior:

"That's the coolest fucking thing you've ever done."

Ripert on Bourdain being AWOL from the line:

"I was going to call you a chef, but when was the last time you were in a kitchen?"

Ripert on Bourdain's cooking career:

"Did you ever work in a good restaurant?"

Bourdain on new restaurant discoveries:

"Fucking Yelpers go and ruin it."

Bourdain on smoking:

"That's why God made salt, Eric."

Bourdain on being a former drug addict:

"I never went for meth or angel dust -- just the usual suspects.... Cocaine never made me smart like they said it woooouuuuld."

Bourdain on heroin:

"Chances are you won't get to number two on your to-do list if heroin is number one."

Bourdain on Emeril Lagasse:

"My proudest accomplishment is getting him to say 'fuck' on TV."

Bourdain on Paula Deen:

"I hate her. Her food will kill you. Fuck that shit and her fake-ass cracker accent. No one's fucking grandmother cooks that shit."

Bourdain on Paula Deen supporters who sent him hate mail:

"They're scary-bad spellers."

Ripert on The Taste, an ABC prime time show, on which Bourdain is a judge:

"It's a ripoff of American Idol, Top Chef and The Voice -- ironic, isn't it?

Bourdain on vegetarians:

"Fuck 'em. Most of the human race is vegetarian, and they're not too happy about it."

Bourdain on the "Grandma Rule" -- and eating pig's ass with bushmen in Namibia:

Eat what's on your fucking plate and be grateful for it. I ate shit-filled pig's ass; I took one for the team, and even though I knew antibiotics were in my future, I'd do it again.

Ripert on Bourdain eating pig's ass:

They thought you were a gringo and were totally fucking with you."

Bourdain on allegations that he sold his lanky body for sex:

"I've never been a male prostitute."

Bourdain on Mario Batali:

"He's a fucking genius -- and he's the first person to tell you that."

Ripert on Denver dining vs. New York dining:

"There are good restaurants and talented chefs in Bonanno."

Bourdain on Denver dining vs. New York dining:

I won't waffle, I'll just say it: New York is better.

Bourdain on boneless chicken wings:

It's an abomination. Boneless chicken wings are going to ruin our country, and fuck those who are too fucking lazy to gnaw chicken off a fucking bone."

Ripert on Cool Ranch Doritos:

"They smell like old underwear."

Ripert on the world:

When I leave this planet, I want it to be in better shape than when I got here.

Bourdain on the future of food:

It'll become increasingly Asian. We'll see a wave of Asian hipster restaurants dominate the scene -- places like Mission Chinese -- and I think that's a good thing.

Bourdain on pot-laced edibles:

"I'm not getting a bit stiffie. Keep church and state separate."

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson