Lessons in Culinary Arts

RECEIVED Sat., July 27, 2013

Dear Editor,
    Regarding Virginia Wood's column this week ["Food-o-File," Food, July 26]: Are you serious, Virginia? Assuming you are referring to Mr. Bourdain, Tony is a genius author, one who also brings top-notch educational TV to his viewers in, yes, a charming, bad-boy, yet fascinating manner. I have learned countless things from his shows over the years, whether it's about food, various cultures around the world, or the human spirit. If you have seen him speak in public, he is a very intelligent, successful, yet extremely humble man. And the most offensive part of your article is when you put him down for being a "former heroin addict." Really, Virginia?
    Ms. Deen, on the other hand – an old fashioned, deep South, backwoods racist – has taught me nothing other than how to raise your cholesterol a few hundred points and give yourself a heart attack. Do they give awards out for that?
Steve Roberts
   [Food Editor Virginia B. Wood responds: While I'm not a particular fan of either performer and don't consider either of them Emmy-worthy, my point was that their behavior over long careers is judged by different standards by corporate sponsors and television executives. What I've discovered from writing about these two multimillionaire celebrities is that they both have legions of rabid fans ready to defend them against any criticism, deserved or not.]
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