FW Weekly recently went deep on celebrity chef Tim Love. The story used accounts of Love's lackluster performance as a caterer at the Crowne Plaza Invitational and TCU as the hook to tell a story about a man who is hard-working but over-extended and, according to the paper, a tad egotistical.
Through interviews with fellow chefs, catering partners and customers the Weekly describes Love as hot-headed, controlling and self-centered, and maybe even on the verge of boiling over. And while the paper was careful to make notes of Love's many accomplishments, just to keep things civil, the profile was just scathing enough to draw blood and attract even more sharks.
May the term "celebrity chef douchebag" forever be entered into the food journalist's lexicon. Esquire contributing editor Josh Ozersky used the profile on Love, in tandem with a New York Observer story on Boston-based Todd English, to evaluate the various levels and tenets celebrity chef douchbaggery.
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English, who's described as a skirt-chasing maniac with mediocre restaurants, was actually painted quite positively. At least he is comfortable in his own skin, according to Ozersky, all they way down to every well tanned pore. It doesn't hurt that a glassy-eyed English was recently photographed in a hot tub with three topless ladies. These are occurrences that most food writers can only dream of.
Love, on the other hand, receives a lashing for being less self-aware. "He takes offense easily," writes Ozersky, who compares the Stetson-wearing chef to a vinegar-spitting maddened octopus. "Love, for all his hucksterism, has never truly embraced his destiny, and continues to be wounded by the slights thrown his way by public and press; whereas English, depraved and dissolute, a shameless roue and reprobate, is a hero to the meek and the conflicted," he concludes.
In other words: the only way to conquer celebrity chef douchbagery is to embrace it, which if you give the FW Weekly article a close read, it seems Love isn't likely to do any time soon. Either way I'm glad I'm not a line cook at one of Love's restaurants. The brisket at the Woodshed Smokehouse might be a little extra salty this week.