Here at HuffPost Food, we pay pretty close attention to the way chefs behave. Chefs are known to be passionate, hard-working people, with occasionally quick tempers and sharp tongues. So, when a chef gets famous, nothing really changes -- except that many more people bear witness to their behavior.
Because this is the kind of thing we do around here, we sat around dreaming up the best celebrity chef pairings for a desert-island style deathmatch. We want to know: If all these personalities were stranded together, who do you think would emerge victoriously from a Celebrity Chef Deathmatch?
Here's a breakdown of our contestants:
Pros: will eat pretty much everything, quick-witted
Cons: often cranky, has a lot of enemies, weakness for bone marrow and whiskey
Pros: aggressive, has a clear vision of what a winner is
Cons: prone to calling people "donkeys," highly particular about how food is cooked, known softy deep-down
Giada de Laurentiis
Pros: kind and bubbly, seems like a good listener
Cons: too smiley, over-pronounces Italian words
Pros: can pretty much turn dirt into dinner, scrappy
Cons: excessive use of the word "yum-o," sort of like your friend's annoying mom
Pros: always chipper, looks at the glass half-full
Cons: might actually be very conniving and calculating, money hungry, weakness for butter
Pros: we're not actually sure
Cons: hard to spend a lot of time with, hair will stand out in camouflage situations, weakness for mozzarella sticks
Pros: can make a nice tablescape with limited supplies, has friends in high places, gives Bourdain the willies
Cons: there are no can-openers on desert islands
Pros: can find multi-uses for various tools, solid understanding of science
Cons: whiny, thin-skinned, potential know-it-all-ism
Here's how the Celebrity Chef Deathmatch voting will go down:
Ready, set, vote!
Also on HuffPost:
Earlier this year, Food Network star and James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Symon <a href="http://www.marketwatch.com/story/lays-potato-chips-teams-up-with-eva-longoria-and-iron-chef-michael-symon-to-invite-consumers-to-create-the-next-great-potato-chip-flavor-2012-07-20-1218310" target="_hplink">announced a partnership with Lay's potato chips</a> as the company launched a contest to find its latest chip flavor. "I am constantly impressed with the range of flavor combinations possible in the culinary world, which presents an exciting variety of options for the next great potato chip," Symon said in a release. But would Symon ever serve it in his restaurant?
No one knows how to turn heads quite like Paula Deen. The Southern cooking star timed her announcement that she was <a href="http://www.nj.com/entertainment/celebrities/index.ssf/2012/01/paula_deen.html" target="_hplink">shilling for Novo Nordisk's medication diabetes medication, Victoza,</a> with the revelation that she suffered from Type 2 diabetes, which can result from eating too much fattening food.
Yes, <a href="http://nutrish.rachaelray.com/" target="_hplink">Rachael Ray's dog food line</a> is called "Nutrish." It's technically not an endorsement -- it's part of Ray's huge line of products -- but it's too crazy not to include. When was the last time a major food personality created his or her own line of dog food? It's not new either; the Food Network personality has been <a href="http://www.seriouseats.com/2008/07/rachael-ray-launches-line-of-dog-food-nutrish.html" target="_hplink">offering the line since 2008</a>. Maybe we should feel bad for making fun of it: all proceeds go to a charity that helps at-risk animals through adoption, medical care and training. We don't, however, have qualms about taking a dig at her other endorsement: Dunkin' Donuts.
When KFC <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/31/colonel-sanders-autobiography-free-download-facebook_n_1560165.html" target="_hplink">unearthed the supposedly long-lost manuscript</a> by founder Colonel Sander's, the chain <a href="http://eater.com/archives/2012/05/29/edward-lee-now-shilling-for-kfc-because-why-not.php" target="_hplink">enlisted <em>Top Chef</em> Texas contestant Ed Lee </a>to help out with videos showing modernized interpretations of classic Colonel Recipes. "I really wanted to make this one recipe, it's called the upside down peach cobbler," Lee explains in one of the videos. "Which is great because I actually make a peach cobbler at my restaurant." Would the <em>Top Chef</em> judges approve?
In May, <em>Top Chef</em> star Spike Mendelsohn made the controversial decision to <a href="http://dc.eater.com/archives/2012/05/02/spike-mendelsohn-now-hawking-acid-reflux-medication.php" target="_hplink">hawk acid reflux medicine Dexilant for Takeda Pharmaceuticals</a>. His duties include offering "lifestyle tips" and cooking with people who suffer from acid reflux disease. At least Mendelsohn can personally relate to Dexilant users -- he suffers from acid reflux himself.
In his heyday, Marco Pierre White was the youngest chef ever to have been awarded three Michelin stars. Although that distinction has since been surpassed by younger chefs, White retains a certain level of fame even as his disciples Gordon Ramsay and Curtis Stone take up most of the spotlight. That remaining cache seems to have <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2009/oct/13/gadgets-chefs-product-endorsements" target="_hplink">secured him an endorsement deal with Knorr homestyle stock</a> -- though we can't imagine White ever using the jellied cubes in his own kitchen.
<em>Top Chef</em> star Dale Talde has a deal too, with Sam's Club. A member of the store's "Simply Delicious Chef Brigade," Talde is featured in <a href="http://www3.samsclub.com/meals/see-whats-cooking/korean-grilled-ribeye" target="_hplink">several how-to cooking videos</a> on Sam's Club web site. Our question: is that where he does his produce shopping?
Speaking of <em>Top Chef</em> judges, Tom Colicchio has had a long-time endorsement of his own...with Diet Coke. We think Epicurious' blog posed the question in our minds best with its post titled "<a href="http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/blogs/editor/2009/02/tom-colicchio-a.html" target="_hplink">Tom Colicchio and Diet Coke: Standout or Sellout?"</a>
Gourmet Taco Bell? That's what Lorena would have you believe. The Miami chef, who stars on season 4 of <em>Top Chef Masters</em>, recently <a href="http://eater.com/archives/2012/07/13/taco-bell-chef-lorena-garcia-breaks-her-legendary-silence-on-molecular-gastronomy.php" target="_hplink">helped the fast food chain design its Cantina Bell menu</a> -- though some say it's just a <a href="http://eater.com/archives/2012/01/11/taco-bell-vs-chipotle.php" target="_hplink">rip off of Chipotle offerings</a>.
I can't believe it's not butter? More like we can't believe Alex Guarnaschelli is <a href="http://blogs.villagevoice.com/forkintheroad/2011/01/alex_guarnasche_1.php" target="_hplink">shilling for the fake butter company</a>, as is <em>Sex and the City</em> star Kim Cattrall. Are we to believe Guarnaschelli -- who cooks at the restaurant Butter in Manhattan -- actually serves this stuff? Ads featuring Guarnaschelli say that the chef "always has I Can't Believe It's Not Butter! on hand for wherever her culinary inspiration may take her." Sure...
Food Network star and kitchen tech guru Alton Brown famously <a href="http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/alton-brown-food-lists-weight-loss" target="_hplink">dropped about 50 pounds</a> by changing his diet, so his <a href="http://gothamist.com/2011/10/05/alton_brown_is_learning_to_love_twi.php" target="_hplink">grape fruit juice endorsement</a> has us scratching our heads a little bit. Sure, Welch's is adamant that its product is made with 100% juice -- but even so, some health experts say that <a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-204_162-673229.html" target="_hplink">fruit drinks can be almost as bad as soda</a> when it comes to weight gain. We admit, this is not the most egregious chef sponsorship, but come on, does anyone even like grape juice?
We're not sure Bud Light is often a chef's first choice when he or she orders at a bar, but that didn't stop TV chef Aarón Sánchez from teaming up with the beer for a summer grilling campaign aimed at a Latino audience, "Amigos y Carne Asada." Sánchez, who's appeared on shows like Iron Chef America and Chopped, signed on to host a series of parties, cook-offs and giveaways. In a release, he called the partnership "a perfect match."
Oh, Fabio. You were one of our favorites on <em>Top Chef</em>. What would Tom Colicchio say about your <a href="http://eater.com/archives/2011/09/26/fabio-viviani-now-starring-in-a-dominos-pizza-commercial.php" target="_hplink">Domino's endorsement</a>? (Probably nothing, since he's working with Diet Coke) All the same, we're flabbergasted by Viviani's move to promote "artisanal"-quality pizza. Sheesh.