Full disclosure: I like Jeffrey Steingarten‘s writing a great amount. I think his approaches for articles and essays should be the envy of the food writing community. I think it’s also safe to say that he has a very clean palate. The man taste tested water for cryin’ out loud (and was the inspiration behind this post).
However, apparently he is also a bit of an ass. According to blogger Dan Dickinson, Steingarten went off on Alton Brown, Mario Batali, and especially Giada De Laurentiis at a recent panel discussion called “How to Cook for Television” (a panel discussion which included, oddly enough, Alton Brown, Mario Batali, and Giada De Laurentiis). As Dan noted:
Soon after the event started, it became immediately obvious that this was going to be different. Steingarten was, to put it nicely, off-topic. To put it poorly, he was a rude, obnoxious asshole.
From the sounds of it, Steigarten doesn’t like the path Food Network is going down. While I share some of that opinion, there’s a time and place to address it. When your moderating a panel discussion celebrating the core function of the Food Network, it’s probably not the best time.