Tonight in Food TV: A Top Chef-testant Calls Eddie Huang a Douchebag, Is Dead to Us (UPDATED)

On tonight’s episode of Top Chef: New Orleans, the cheftestants go shrimping with Emeril Lagasse, followed by cooking a Vietnamese Elimination Challenge for special guest judge Eddie Huang.

Travis Masar’s team apparently left their lemongrass at Whole Foods, and so he’s stuck cooking without it, for which Eddie obviously gives him shit.

Travis’s measured, mature response: “Eddie’s Taiwanese-Chinese. He only knows a little bit about what he knows. Sorry, Eddie. You’re kind of a douchebag.”

WHOA. Hey. Whoa. It’s his job to make fun of you, number one. Number two, WHO insults the guest judge they’re cooking for in a challenge? Was anyone like “Ugh, whatever, Paul Prudhomme is like, senile…” on last week’s episode? OF COURSE NOT. Travis better check —

…Oh. Hold on. This just in from The Braiser Staff, featuring resident Vietnamese Cuisine Expert Tina Nguyen, and the author of this post:

tina: …oh
my god
I’m gonna have to side with the white dude against Eddie Huang
mariella: WHAT
my whole post is about how this guy is dead to us
tina: white boy is right
there’s so much stuff in the vietnamese repertoire that has nothing to do with lemongrass
I mean, sure, I keep frozen lemongrass in my fridge
but most, if not all of the time
I’m cooking stuff with fish sauce, soy, tamarind
limes like whoa
mariella: can i copypaste this gchat into my post?
tina: hahahaha yeah
also please add that if I ate lemongrass all of the time I’d be a goddamned tree by now
and also say that I, Tina Nguyen, am accusing Eddie Huang of stereotyping
now, if white boy was like, “I’m not using fish sauce,” then I’d be pissed
but lemongrass is not The Holy Ingredient
mariella: we should stop “writing” “posts” and just publish excerpts of our gchats instead
The New Braiser
The new obnoxious, millennial-run Braiser
tina: hahahahahahahaah
tina: if this is indeed The Seafood Challenge, I’d probably do a fish stew
tamarind paste + pineapple + tomato + weird vietnamese plants + All The Fishes
but what do I know, I’m not a Cheftestant
tina: DUDE do you know what the Nguyen Emperors used to eat for imperial feasts?
rhino skin and bear paws
fuck you, eddie, I bet those were never sauteed in lemongrass
mariella: we’re still on-the-record
tina: I would like that to go on the record
mariella: On The Record, Fuck You Eddie?
mariella: i’m proud of us for evolving as a site. growth is important
tina: hhahahaahha
okay maybe “fuck you eddie” is a bit strong
how about “hey guess what, Eddie”
mariella: that’s great. i love a good backpedal

We’re on the cusp of New Journalism, folks. Get ready. Oh, and watch Top Chef tonight. Here’s the clip. (On the record, the author still thinks it’s disrespectful to call a judge — who is ostensibly in the position of judge, and not that of cheftestant, because he is more knowledgable and/or successful than you, White Boy — “a douchebag.”)

UPDATE: Eddie emailed us to clarify that his critique in a trailer devoid of any context was more about a failure in planning than anything:

“You know I’m not an idiot. Why waste time on a conversation about whether you can cook Vietnamese food without lemongrass? The answer is obviously YES. Lemongrass, no lemongrass, doesn’t matter, but he planned to make a dish with lemongrass and forgot it. But I’m the douchebag. I get it lol.”

Boys, boys, you’re both pretty. And now we can’t wait to see if punches were thrown at judge’s table, because LIFE IMITATES ART.

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  • Ender

    haha – excellent piece Mariella (& Tina)!

  • monica1020

    In all fairness, white boy didn’t forget the lemongrass. He had it in the cart. Another member of his team decided that she was the best shopper in the bunch and that there was too much stuff in the cart and immediately started to put some items back. Maybe she thought there was an excess of lemongrass but she wound up getting rid of all of it.

  • tctw

    Why does Tavas Masar get called “White Boy” but Eddie Huang is called…..Eddie Huang. Why did Tina Nguyen feel the need to inject race into the subject? It wasn’t necessary.

    Why wasn’t Eddie Huang called “Asian Boy” or “Yellow Boy”? Just another example of post racialist Tina Nguyen’s racial animus towards Caucasians.

  • tctw

    I can’t view the trailer but just watched the entire episode and saw what happened in context. Eddie Huang did ridicule Travis Masar for making Vietnamese food without lemon grass. He did not say “you are going to make your Vietnamese sausage without lemongrass?” He said Vietnamese food. Nothing has been taken out of context. Eddie Huang mocked Travis Masar the whole time then displays his own ignorance and now claims he was taken out of context? Travis Masar was correct, Eddie Huang is a douche. He was also correct calling into question Eddie Huang’s expertise on Vietnamese food. Eddie Huang is an ABC (which makes the naming of his brand “Fresh of the Boat” just another example of Eddie Huang hucksterism. He is an ABC, not a FOB). What makes him any more of an expert on Vietnamese food than Travis Masar? Eddie Huang makes a mediocre gua bao and has a manufactured fake persona. Why was he the guest judge on this episode?

  • yubk

    So because Eddie Huang “explained” that what he said was taken out of context, he automatically becomes “okay” in your book again? Travis could have easily emailed you and let you know that he was taken out of context, which is true.

    And if Eddie Huang doesn’t even specialize in Vietnamese food, he shouldn’t even be on the show for a Vietnamese challenge. Travis ACTUALLY studied under a Vietnamese chef, so I’m pretty sure he knows more than Eddie Huang would about the cuisine.

    Tina was right when she said “Fuck you Eddie” he’s a fucking douchebag.

  • sbaker515

    in all fairness, think you should refer to him by his name, travis…not a denigrating term like “whit boy”. His name was clearly visible on screen…if eddie was referred to as “fat slope” or “hefty chinaman”, I think there would b plenty of backlash and appropriately so. Also, no idea how Eddie Huang is a guest judge on top chef. His menu is 4 items long, and its decent streetfood. If I was a trained, talented chef, and this fake wanna be hood, poser was trying to critique my food, I’d be pissed

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