A few things before I get into this episode: A little gratuitous self-promotion. I'm in a contest for Glad SimplyCooking Microwave Steaming Bags. If I'm voted the "steamiest" chef, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation will get $30K. It would be amazing if I could win them this money (just don't tell the JDF that I love Cold Stone ice cream.) Vote here.
What I learned about the reality genre, blogging, and human nature is this: criticism (AKA snarkiness) is easier, funnier, more provocative, and more entertaining than empathy. Just ask New York Magazine. That doesn't mean it's always the right way to go--or the only way to go (more on this later. Bourdain's blog is a perfect example of striking the right balance--can he just be made a judge already?