Was the summer heat and humidity going to celebrity foodie heads? For whatever reason, the last few months have been especially rife with famous-types doing regrettable food-related tweeting, including Alec Baldwin's diss of an Upper West Side Starbucks barista.
Here's a look back at five of the year's most ridiculous celebrity foodie Twitter spats:[jump]
5. Anthony Bourdain vs. Paula Deen The most famous of ridiculous celebrity foodie spats pits two of the country's best-known food personalities against each other: bad boy Anthony Bourdain vs. good ol' gal Paula Deen. First Bourdain told TV Guide Deen was "the worst, most dangerous person to America," for her connections with corporate ag and unhealthy cooking. Then he tweeted a few more examples: "I give you the "horrific" "Lady's Brunch Burger" http://t.co/j22KznB (yikes)" this erodes our military readiness!"
Deen responded that Bourdain was an out-of-touch elitist. New York Times former restaurant critic and current op-ed columnist Frank Bruni devoted a whole column to the feud, "Unsavory Culinary Elitism." Bruni notes that, at this point, Deen's mega-brand has moved her paycheck pretty far from average Americans, but that America's obesity problem goes beyond her recipes: The cheapest, most convenient food to eat for people short on money and time is often highly processed and overflowing with fat and sugar. He also points to the hypocrisy of those who diss Dean's fried chicken and bacon as gluttony, meanwhile swooning over hipster David Chang's crispy chicken and pork belly.
4. Alec Baldwin vs. a Starbucks barista Alec Baldwin, famed 30 Rock actor, had a bad experience at an Upper West Side Starbucks and tweeted his displeasure: "Starbucks on 93 and B'way. Uptight Queen barrista [sic] named JAY has an attitude problem." When the Post talked to fellow employees, they claimed that Baldwin was the problem. "I was here when it happened--it was really just him being an [expletive]," a co-worker told the Post. "He was very rude and disrespectful and arrogant. He's probably the rudest guy I've ever met."
3. Biggest Loser Bob Harper vs. Bar La Grassa Bob Harper, one of the trainers on The Biggest Loser, took on the same title for himself when he was rightly denied a last-minute booking at the jam-packed Bar La Grassa--and then badmouthed the restaurant on Twitter.
Harper tried to make the reservation through a concierge service, allowing that the anonymous customer would "release his name" in exchange for a prime-time weekend reservation. Bar La Grassa's manager politely refused. The restaurant's policy is not to dump existing reservations in favor of a last-minute "celebrity" booking.
Harper made matters worse by lying on Twitter, saying La Grassa's manager had been *rude* to him, even though he never actually spoke to Lecy.
2. Allison Matsu vs. Down House Allison Matsu isn't really a celebrity, but she became one briefly this summer when she was kicked out of the Houston restaurant Down House after posting a quickly deleted tweet slagging on one of the bartenders, who she apparently overheard mocking a respected Houston bartender, Bobby Heugel: "I like how I'm sitting at Down House and the twerp behind the bar is saying, 'and I quote Bobby Heugel....' #jackoff."
Down House general manager Forrest DeSpain wasn't working but saw the tweet and called the bar, asked to speak with Matsu, and told her to leave the establishment--apparently using some pretty harsh words.
Matsu responded by posting a series of tweets, including: "Left @DownHouseHTX in tears after GM called up & asked the bartender to hand me the phone. He proceeded to curse at me & ask me to leave. Wow."
1. Rainn Wilson vs. McDonald's Rainn Wilson. Love the guy. Love him even more for his response to what Eater called a "harmless but annoying tweet" from McDonald's: "Good morning ... greetings to all our tweeps around the globe! How is everyone doing today?" Wilson responded, "Fighting diabetes from obesity."
McDonald's tried to win him over by suggesting he "turn that frown upside down with some yummy McD Fruit & Maple Oatmeal." Wilson struck back, noting that the 32g of sugar in the oatmeal is rather excessive. A Twitter touché!