We’ve all known about celebrity tantrums for years, thanks to tabloids, the Internet, and social media. It’s easy to believe some of the stories about actors and rock stars, but your favourite famous chef, whose on-screen personality is as delectable as their dishes? Not so much.
It’s a bitter mouthful to swallow, but I guess the celebs we idolise in the kitchen are people, too – and it just so happens that some people have fiery tempers, a sour character, and are known far and wide for the acidic, bitter words they spew. There’s nothing stopping folk like that from becoming chefs, unless they’re utterly hopeless with a chopping knife. Here are some of the worst offenders, but, believe me, there are many more.
Once the unchallenged doyenne of American home economics, Martha Stewart fell from grace after an issue with the revenue service landed her in trouble with the law. According to reports, that was the least of her antics.
Two publications, Business Insider and Forbes, have described Stewart’s alleged bad behaviour. This includes tantrums and rudeness toward audience members, firing employees who disagreed with her, invoicing friends for journeys made together, and being an authoritarian. Even her daughter Alexis claimed her mother was cold, distant, and uninvolved.
Few celebrity chefs are as homely as Ina Garten, aka The Barefoot Countessa. Her on-screen persona makes her seem like she would be ready to mother anyone in need of mothering, and would stuff them full of her delicious food – or would she?
In 2010, a big fan of hers requested a cooking session with his culinary heroine. He wasn’t just any fan, though. He was a 6-year-old with leukaemia, and had made the request through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Garten turned him down. He made a second request, which was also declined. Eventually, the child’s mother blogged about it (the blog has since been deleted). No surprises for guessing what happened. Yes, Garten’s team saw the blog, and rushed to respond. They claimed their boss had not seen the request until long after it had been sent, and that it was impossible to accept all of them. She invited them onto the show, but the child’s parents declined the offer.
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Rocco DiSpirito is as well known for his good looks as he is for his good food. He made millions as a restaurateur and from being on TV, but allegedly lost his restaurant empire to his bad attitude.
You would think he learned his lesson, but the death of his mother proved he had not. He had been the only one of her three children to take care of her in her last years. In acknowledgement, she bequeathed him half of her state. The other half was to be divided between her two other children. He was having none of it, and challenged his mother’s will in court, because he believed he deserved more money than she had left him.
Famous for his role on Chopped, Geoffrey Zakarian’s celebrity status was enhanced by his restaurant, Country. The renowned eatery was shut after the chef filed for bankruptcy.
The surprise move came after former employees brought a class action lawsuit against him. Reports revealed the complainants claimed Zakarian doctored wage records, and that he did not offer adequate compensation for overtime.
If the stereotypical girl-next-door had a cooking show, it would be something like Rachael Ray’s. There are times when it seems like butter wouldn’t even melt in her mouth.
Apparently, that’s only on camera. Behind the scenes, Ray allegedly has temper tantrums, uses foul language, and says hateful, hurtful things about other celebrities. Oh, and it was reported that she organised an Italian holiday with friends and family to celebrate her 10th wedding anniversary, and didn’t bother inviting her own father.
Leaves a sour taste in your mouth, doesn’t it? I’ll never be able to watch their shows without antacid close by, that’s for sure.