Considering he’s never been one to hold back when it came to slamming fellow celebrity chefs, it was only fitting that Anthony Bourdain was chosen to be lambasted by his peers during the New York City Wine & Food Festival‘s “Roast of Anthony Bourdain.”
The event, which kicked off the festival on October 11 at Pier Sixty, was hosted by Mario Batali and MSNBC’s Willie Geist followed the old-fashioned roast format complete with a central podium upon a long dais. Roasters included an assortment of celeb chefs and comedians including Rachael Ray (a famed Bourdain adversary in past years), Guy Fieri, Eric Ripert, Artie Lange, Gilbert Gottfried and Sarah Silverman.
Nearly 600 guests began the evening with a cocktail reception featuring passed hors d’oeuvres including our Eggplant Polpetta and Catsmo Smoked Salmon Chip, as well as stations from from sponsors including Mumms Champagne, Best Cheese and Creekstone Farms Beef. For the dinner, Abigail Kirsch helped to facilitate and execute a menu designed by James Beard Award-winning Chef Michael White of Altamarea Group with creations including a Sardinian Seafood Salad, Dry-Aged Strip Steak with Porcini Mushrooms and Seasonal Panna Cotta.
Throughout the meal, roasters took turns unleashing R-rated slams (all in good fun, of course!) at the expense of the sardonic No Reservations star as well as each other. And nothing was too racy for this crowd, with one-liners touching on everything from weight to talent to drug use (Huffington Post has a great round-up of the best zingers).
Bourdain took the jabs like a champ (and ended the night by firing back with his own material) all in the name of charity. One hundred percent of the net proceeds from the event (and the entire festival) benefit the Food Bank for New York City and Share Our Strength in their fight against hunger.