In May 2012 I sat in Madison Square Park with San Francisco chef and offal apostle Chris Cosentino. We talked about a lot of things like bike racing and the Tsukiji fish market in Tokyo. But most apparent that morning was his frustration with food television. “Honestly, people are scared of the truth,” he said of cable television executives while we sipped coffee and riffed on the fucked-up-ness of the bad food TV being made, including a food-travel show that had been difficult — both physically and emotionally. The food TV portion of the interview was particularly intense (even by the chef’s fiery, f-bombing standards), and there was clear frustration (and pain) festering below the surface. The journalist in me should have kept pushing, but the human in me said to not scratch this particular scab too hard. So we moved on and talked more about bike racing.
In August at the fourth MAD Food Symposium in Copenhagen, Cosentino ripped that scab wide open as he took the stage to tell the story about his truly horrible experience making food television. “I was bummed, disappointed, I was ashamed. I looked like a fucking bully,” he said in a brave 25-minute talk made in front of some of the world’s most decorated (and TV-famous) chefs. If you don't want to see a medical scan of Cosentino's badly burned stomach, you should look away. Otherwise, this is a must watch: