Food News

D's Nancy Nichols Pisses Off Some Canadian D-Lister by Calling Poutine 'Gross'

As Americans, it is our sworn duty to spend our days insulting and ridiculing other countries. But D Magazine's food critic Nancy Nichols may have unintentionally gone too far and created an international incident when she called poutine, the best thing to come out of Canada since maple syrup, "gross Canadian fast food."

Apparently, calling poutine disgusting drunk food is akin to telling a Texan that Texas barbecue sucks because you ate it at Dickey's, and Ariane Bellamar was pretty pissed off about the slight. If you don't know who Ariane Bellamar is, it's probably because you don't make a habit of watching ABC Family reality TV shows about nannies who live in Beverly Hills.

Bellamar, a self-described "MensaBarbie, TV diva, and Playboy mommy," is a frequent flyer on TMZ, and has over 800,000 Twitter followers. The reality TV star targeted Nichols after reading her review of The Blind Butcher, a restaurant that has been thoroughly celebrated for its takes on poutine, in the December issue of D Magazine. In response, Bellamar said that Nichols' characterization of poutine was an "insult to an entire nation."

Bellamar also criticized Nichols for poking fun at Canadians in other ways, like the spelling of "ah-boot" instead of about in her review. In one tweet, Bellamar even goes so far as to say that Nichols and D Magazine should have learned from the hacked Sony emails that "cultural digs" are just not OK.

Nichols responded to the "controversy" with a few light-hearted jokes, but the Canadians were pissed. Bellamar's husband and Dallas rich boy, Tanner Slaught, jumped into the fray, calling Nichols "unprofessional" and even going so far to insult her bird-watching hobby. The horror. Slaught then threatened to "escalate the issue" until Nichols lost her job, and then went on to call her a bitch.

After exhaustive research, it's difficult to figure out exactly how Slaught could make that happen. His papa Kenny Slaught is a well-known Santa Barbara real estate exec, but even the gossip rags who have reported his relationship with Bellamar extensively have failed to come up with a job title for the younger Slaught. Maybe he can get a job with Twitter, as the guy has a solid grip on hashtags. See ""#YoureABitch," and "ImminentFiring" for examples of his work.

Even the official D Magazine Twitter account jumped into the argument, at least briefly. Bradford Pearson, the magazine's associate editor, accidentally Tweeted a response to Slaught from the official account before deleting and reposting on his personal account. Ever the social media whiz kids, Bellamar and Slaught screengrabbed the tweet before it was deleted.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has yet to weigh in on the poutine controversy, and it was hard to find tweets that supported Bellamar's criticism of Nichols. If there were many, Bellamar would have certainly retweeted them. So maybe Canada isn't pissed off so much as a few fame-hungry D-listers are pissed off, but it certainly makes for an excellent afternoon of Twitter theatre. Especially when someone as generally well-composed as Nancy Nichols loses her shit and calls a (hypothetical) reader "nuts."

Controversy aside, The Blind Butcher is still an excellent place to find poutine in Dallas, and Nichols' review of the dish was entirely complimentary. While you all are out eating delicious duck confit-and-foie-gras topped poutine, I'll be bleaching out my eyes after reading too many Tweets and gossip rag stories about Ariane Bellamar and Tanner Slaught.

UPDATE: Ariane Bellamar has informed me via Twitter that Tanner Slaught is, in fact, not rich. We deeply regret the error.