Buz Vs. Bobby
The Food Network was in town today filming an episode of the channel's Throwdown! with Bobby Flay, in which celebrity chef Bobby Flay travels around the country taking on all comers in Iron Chef-style cooking duels. The twist is that the competitions are a surprise to the local folks, who don't know that the cook-offs are coming. Celebrated chef and author Anthony Bourdain recently delivered a smackdown of the concept (and a lot of the Food Network's programming), describing Throwdown! as "a cruel exercise in humiliation," the humiliated party being Flay, who, Bourdain suggests, is being forced to compete against his lessers in "a variation on 'Dunk Bozo' or 'Shoot The Geek,' at the carnival."
Admittedly, we've got a rooting interest, but we're thinking Flay was battling an equal, at least in the realm of barbecue, when he threw down today with Boulevard mainstay Bruce "Buz" Grossberg, of Buz & Ned's Real Barbecue fame, in a battle over who has the best ribs.
Richmond magazine's own Dave McCormack was on hand to judge the results alongside Style Weekly's Food & Drink editor Deveron Timberlake, and while we're not going to spoil the results for you (we're told the episode will air in May; not coincidentally, Dave plans to write about the experience for his Off Center column in our May issue), we will say that it sounds like they had quite a difficult decision to make in picking a winner — and judging a barbecued-ribs competition sounds like one heck of a way to spend the day.