Food author Michael Ruhlman — you may remember him from The Next Iron Chef — and bad boy Anthony Bourdain have put their heads together and have created the Golden Clog Awards. They said it's born out of "too many beers and late night yakatori," and I think it's just downright fun. The categories are hysterical, and their reasons even more so. Bourdain has actually managed to nominate himself for an award even! The actual awards will take place this Friday, but if you're curious to see the categories — including "The Alton" and "The Douchebag" — and nominees, read more.
The Fergus:For greatest achievement in pork, and/or guts
Martin Picard of Montreal's "Au Pied de Cochon"; David Chang of New York's "Momofuku Noodle Bar and Momofuku Ssam and ..."; Chris Cosentino of San Francisco's "Incanto"
The Alton: For being on Food Network and yet, somehow managing to Not Suck
Duff Goldman for Ace of Cakes--and for his relative low visibility and seeming lack of cooperation in the usual knuckleheaded FN Holiday co-branded clusterfucks; Ina Garten for actually cooking just about everything impeccably--and for (like Duff) being nearly invisible elsewhere on the Network; Giada de Laurentiis for doing everything (but the food) wrong and yet... still cooking consistently better than she has to.
The Mario: For the chef/restaurateur who best multi-tasked, multi-platformed, merchandised, whored himself, or opened multi-units (either while impaired--or not) and yet STILL managed to protect the quality of the mothership--while continuing to make valuable contributions to the restaurant landscape
The Rocco: For worst career move
Gordon Ramsay for the cruel and pointless freak show that is Hell's Kitchen; David Burke for the "Hooters in a Hula skirt" non-charms of Hawaiian Tropic Zone in Times Square; Tyler Florence for Applebees, Applebees, Applebees
The Chef's Chef Award: Also known as The What's a Publicist? Award for the chef who continues to make the kind of food other chefs like, while flying largely under the national radar
Scott Bryan for Veritas and now -- some place in Virginia; Mark Vetri for Osteria and Vetri in Philly; Paul Kahan for Blackbird and Avec in Chicago
The Cat Cora Award: For most fame based on least actual culinary achievement
Guy Fieri for..."Tex Wasabi?"; Tony Bourdain--"One fucking book. Did this asshole ever work anyplace GOOD?"; Robert Irvine--"Sir Robert? Uh....Maybe not. Prince Charles' wedding cake?...uh...no. White House? Hmmm..not according to Walter Scheib....Five Stars? Who IS this guy? Really?"
Looking for Love in all the Wrong Places Award:
MJ Adams at the Corn Exchange in Rapid City SD; Andrew Meek at Sage in Windsor Heights, Iowa; Jim Kyndberg at the Bayport Cookery, Bayport MN; Stuart Tracey of the Pirogue Grill in Bismark, North Dakota
The Steingarten: For the writer or blogger who actually GETS it
Bill Buford for Heat; Pim for Chez Pim; Mike Nagrant for Hungrymag.com
The Douchebag: For the best example of twisted, repressed, or compromised "I'd rather be making lemon bundt cake with My Cat, Mr. Mufflesworth" journalist who actually HATES food and hates the people who make food even more
Alan Richman for taking a big Dump on New Orleans at the worst possible time. And for his totally disingenuous piece on celebrity chefs not being behind the stove when Alan chooses to dine; John Mariani for continuing to be John Mariani and do what he does so well. Which is--apparently--get free stuff; Bob Lape--"Do I have to pay for that?": Regina Schrambling for her deranged, embittered--yet fascinating--gastropoda.com, where she raves and rags on her former employers--(and Mario Batali) like an ex-lover-turned-bag lady.
The Swollen Liver Award: For the chef/or food person who has most consistently resisted the cruel attentions of PETA and the Food Police
Laurent Manrique, Michael Romano, Chris Cosentino, Ariane Daguin
The Crazy Bastard Special Achievement Award: For the chef/operator who did the most insanely wonderful or heroic fucking thing in recent memory
Chef Donald Link of Cochon in New Orleans.
The Supreme Order of Clogness Award: For the chef or restaurateur or food writer or food producer or food "personality" who simply did it best--or made the most significant thing, moved things forward, or changed the landscape of food in wonderful NEW ways
Winner to be announced.