'Cause I Said So…

Scott Conant is a Pompous Ass

Posted in Food, Media by kevinsoberg on July 27, 2011

The other day, I was watching an episode of the Food Network show 24 Hour Restaurant Battle. The host is Scott Conant, a chef/restaurateur. Before he got this show, I was not a big fan of his. Conant had been appearing on the show Chopped as a judge. He may be a great chef and have a great restaurant, but he is a pompous ass. Whenever he was judging, I felt bad for the contestants, especially if they made the mistake of cooking any form of pasta.

Mr. Conant’s big thing is pasta. It seems he went to Italy to study pasta for a while, and he thinks he is the end-all-be-all of pasta. Well, good for him, but that’s no excuse for being an ass. Everybody didn’t go to Italy to study pasta. Everybody hasn’t dedicated themselves to “perfect” pasta. Actually, I know plenty of Italian grandmothers, and none of them is as “fussy” about pasta as this guy. It got so bad I began referring to him as the “Pasta Fascist”, and people knew about whom I was talking. That’s pretty bad.

Anyway, he began hosting this new series 24 Hour Restaurant Battle. Two teams compete to open a “restaurant”, from concept to menu to decorating to service within 24 hours, for a monetary reward. It was a fairly entertaining show. Conant didn’t go off on anybody about their pasta. I started to not dislike him after a while. Of course, he had to go and ruin it.

The other day, I watched an episode from June. I had DVR’d it, and I could find nothing else to watch. The episode had two teams doing Texas-themed concepts, “grilling” versus “smoking”. The smoking team gave them a “traditional, Texas, relish tray” along with their appetizers at the beginning of their service. The relish tray had sweet and dill pickles, raw onion slices, and smoked sausage. Well, Conant and this other jerk, who co-founded Outback Steak House, were two of the judges. They went on about how they hated raw onion, and how it should never be served to a table. Then, when the team came out to get feedback from the judges, this impolite, rude pair ridiculed the team for having been served raw onion.

So, in addition to being rude and impolite, these two showed themselves to be ignorant as well. The team’s theme was “traditional, Texas barbecue”, and that is exactly what they produced. You cannot go to a local barbecue joint in Texas without being given dill pickles and raw onion. They had best consider themselves lucky they weren’t served a half loaf of white bread along with the “relish tray”. (Eh Gads!) The most celebrated barbecue places in Texas have you stand in line (no waiters) for custom cuts of meat served on butcher paper with the usual condiments at a separate station for you to take as you want.

Recently, I had my wife’s family reunion catered by my favorite local barbecue place. Guess what. That’s right. A big jar of dill pickle slices, two plates of white onions cut into rings, two squeeze bottles of yellow mustard and four loaves of white bread were sitting at the end of the service line of smoked beef brisket, chopped barbecue beef, pulled pork, smoked quartered chickens, and smoked sausage. (I don’t know about you, but that’s good eatin’.)

What most upset me was the way the judges so readily dismissed the traditional accoutrements of Texas barbecue as beneath them. Oh, really? I bet you a MILLION DOLLARS that if you were to take either of these jerks to some obscure, foreign, ethnic restaurant which served gelatinous lamb ovaries as a condiment they would go on and on about how “authentic” and “rustic” the meal was (however much they may or may not enjoy it). Guess what? I’m not saying they shouldn’t. My point is that they should show the same respect to the regional cuisines of their own country.

You don’t have to like it, but be respectful. When they tell you it is “traditional”, don’t be so quick to mock them. Just because you don’t know about it (and they are rednecks) doesn’t mean it isn’t true. Get over yourself and your cultural superiority.

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17 Responses

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  1. falahime said, on August 18, 2011 at 9:30 am

    I loved this post. At my cafe I serve homemade pasta about once a week. The other day I gummed it up and was redoing it because I could just imagine Scott Conant screaming at me for daring to make imperfect pasta.

  2. kevinsoberg said, on August 18, 2011 at 10:24 am

    I don’t think it’s a good thing when people are scared of celebrity chefs entering their restaurant. Actually, isn’t that one of the signs of the Apocalypse?

  3. Rachel said, on July 10, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    I google searched “pasta asshole on chopped” and found this post; it absolutely made my day! Because, seriously that guy is a jerk, also I’m a Texan – don’t mess with our condiments!

    • kevinsoberg said, on July 16, 2012 at 11:08 am

      Glad you liked it. I (almost) never wish for anyone to lose their job, but I have to admit that I didn’t shed any tears for his shows cancellation. Fairness is an impossibility, but at least there can sometimes be Justice.

  4. Sharon said, on December 18, 2012 at 9:22 pm

    I just found this story. I Googled “Scot Conant jerk” and up it popped! You said everything perfectly! I would wonder about the sanity of a BBQ cook who did NOT offer us raw onion to eat with our meal!!!!!
    WE DEFY YOU CONANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Nyiddle said, on December 20, 2012 at 9:37 pm

    I really hate the dude. In general I’m surprised because I’ve seen nearly every judged competition cooking sow that I know of and I’ve never really disliked one of the judges like I dislike Conant. In one episode of Chopped he even contradicted himself, saying that a dish had the perfect amount of seasoning and later on the break-down for the whole 3 courses he claimed that the specific dish had been OVER-SALTED. Come on dude, you’re a fucking prick. Stop.

    I only pray he reads this and changes his ways.

    • Kenny said, on February 13, 2013 at 12:34 am

      I just started watching Chopped from S1E1 and am up to S7E3. I was thinking that maybe it was me that just thought Conant was arrogant. The pasta…has there ever been someone that has cooked good pasta so far as he was concerned? I know this could start up a whole new posting, but with the advent of travel, foods have merged and new flavors are being created(fusion). So the cheese with seafood thing needs to go out the door.

      While I have seen some of the other stars actually compete, has Conant done this? If so, what show? I would love to see him judged and beaten down. If he has not, maybe this is why he is such an ass.

    • june moore said, on April 10, 2013 at 1:25 pm

      Regarding Scott conant……WELL’ HE,S NICE TO LOOK …HANDSOME I SAY

  6. Teresa said, on February 12, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    Scott Conant acts like he is the greatest thing since sliced bread. He has always had it put for Chef Alisse ( sp?). She said her dish was kinda like “leftover”night at home . Ass Scott says this is a $50,000 prize and he said this is not supposed to be like cleaning out your refrigerator at home. It is meant to be an incredible main course…. Whatever dude.. I want to see him cook something !!!! There is no need to be this nasty. He is the Judge Judy of food !!!!!! Jerk …..

  7. Teresa said, on February 12, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    You go Nyiddle….. He is a rich mean prick !!!! Change your ways Scott before karma comes around and kicks you in the face !!!!! You deserve it !!!!!

  8. Larry Rush said, on April 6, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Thank you.
    I have nothing to say,but that you told the truth. Why would anyone put this jerk on any show,he is totally out of line with his attitudes, If he talked to people on the job like that,he would be fired for work place harassment.

  9. druneric said, on November 22, 2014 at 5:50 pm

    Lol. I’m watching a repeat Chopped episode that caused me to Google: scott conant is such an asshole.

  10. MissBrownEyes said, on February 3, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    I’ve hated Scott Conant from day one. He’s an arrogant prick who think just because he was a Doogie Howser of cooking by reaching various cooking grand benchmarks at a young age, he knows everything. Just because YOU do not like raw onions does not mean that everyone should bow down to you and never serve a raw onion. Politely slide the to the side of your plate and ignore them and quit acting like a 2 yr old. Guess what… cheese can go with fish *gasp*. I happen to be watching an episode of 2012 Chopped where he is berating a chef who’s only been cooking for 4 years because she didn’t show reverence to a stupid raw piece of fish while she was butchering it. But one of the other judges even said she rocked the final product by making a spot-on crispy skin fish. So does it REALLY matter how she got there as long as the final product rocked your taste buds? NO! He’s just got Napoleon syndrome and fears the fact that he’s going to be irrelevant much sooner than his ego is ready for.

  11. Taylor said, on June 30, 2015 at 8:45 pm

    I am years late to this post but I had to say pompous ass is the perfect way to describe this guy!! I’m sitting here watching Chopped and he just told a girl that he was offended that she used tongs to handle a piece of fish…after she cut her hand pretty bad. Meanwhile, the other judges praised her for having the best cooked filet out of all of the contestants! This dude needs some humility in his life.

  12. bill said, on November 3, 2015 at 8:30 pm

    I found this post by searching “scott conant asshole” and found this. Awesome!

  13. Ogea said, on November 1, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. He is full of himself and annoying. He is talented but then opens his mouth.

  14. Eileen Kaczor said, on May 21, 2017 at 9:56 am

    I agree – I watch Chopped regularly and Conant is consistently haughty and deprecating.

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