Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Jeffrey Steingarten is straight. Sorry to disappoint you.

A Google search that often brings readers to my blog is the following three words: Jeffrey Steingarten gay. Apparently this is a pressing question for a lot of people: is food writer Jeffrey Steingarten homosexual?

I think I can guess why people would wonder. His rapier wit is reminiscent of Waldo Lydecker, Clifton Webb as the obviously gay (regardless of his obsession with Gene Tierney) cavilling theatre critic in Laura. Steingarten is married (not that that proves anything), and, yes, straight. I don't know whether I'm disappointing the curious ones, but I do know how they got to Word of Mouth in the first place. In my piece "I Love Jeffrey Steingarten" (the chaste love of one writer for another's style, I assure you) I mentioned a young writer who appeared on a panel with Steingarten and seemed to have nothing to contribute to the conversation other than the fact that he was gay (this apropos of an out-of-the-blue discourse on the semiotics of pocket squares, which was well beyond my comprehension). So in my blog post about the event, "Jeffrey Steingarten" and "gay" appeared in proximity to each other, giving me Google primacy for this particular search.

If you don't believe me that Steingarten is straight, here's an excerpt from Serious Eats:

"But it’s hard to ignore the dearth of openly gay male chefs working in restaurants today. Of all the famous chefs launched by the Food Network and Bravo, how many are openly gay men? I can name one: Ted Allen. But he’s not a restaurant chef, he’s a home chef. And you can see his confidence flounder when placed alongside a straight bulldog like Jeffrey Steingarten at the Iron Chef’s judging table. Steingarten (not a chef, but a distinguished food writer) wipes the floor with him every time, and Ted Allen’s credibility is immediately called into question. Who is this guy? What’s his pedigree? He was on Queer Eye and he has a cookbook. Big whoop."

So not only is Steingarten straight, he's a straight bulldog, one who has turned a multitude of bites into a formidable bark.


Blogger Richard said...

This will only get you more searches.

2:11 PM  
Blogger J. Sterling Ellison said...

I hate to say that I, too, fell victim to the stereotypes, but after seeing the Le Cirque documentary, I assumed that Steingarten was gay. Why? Because in the very short scene in which he appeared, he was accompanied by a male friend. Is this stupid or what? I have male friends...I'm not gay. I've got some growing up to do.

10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When Bob Tuschman said he fell in love with Paula Dean's wonderful personality when she was a contestant on an early show I couldn't help but think he must be in charge of hiring all the talent for the Food Network (i.e. non-threatening motherly women and “cute boys” with no edge or personality). Steingarten certainly isn't cute, but he does have the lisp.

5:08 AM  
Blogger Gregg said...

He is openly honest and not an asskisser. I value his judgement when on Iron Chef and am disgusted by a pompus ass Ted Allen. Allen has no talent. The only reason he's on is because of his open gayness. Why doesn't Mario Batali come out of the closet. It's very evident he is gay. I don't care if he is, he has talent. Jeffery isn't afraid to say what he thinks and doesn't care about being on the A list. That's why he is good.

9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a shame about Jeffrey Steingarten--he's very handsome! As for Mario Batali being gay--no offense, but I sure hope not!

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeffrey, u can be so picky at times. You don't want to agree with the other judges and it's like u have to find fault no matter what, get over it, just judge the taste, that's what u get paid for. So what if the meal was a little cold? It's no reason to pick on chef mason. Get over yourself u r not all that ok. And if u keep eating bone marrow and not moving u know what's going to happen to u. At least a lot of chef will aplaud ur last performance. Try being nice .

1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next time maybe u can challenge chef batali to use Top round Steak, let's see how challenging that can be on iron chef , I would love to see what they can come up with, I think this is one show that u might enjoy

1:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why r u tellng me jeffrey is straight I never said anything otherwise unless he has that as a generic reply incase be has been getting postings saying otherwhse I never suggested, but now that u brought it up, sure he sounds like he could be.
Jeffrey straight ? Of course he is, just like a boomerang

1:27 AM  
Anonymous SteveDenver said...

After watching Steingarten time-after-time on Iron Chef, it's hard for me to believe he is sexual at all. The guy is a walking heart attack who sits and shovels food into his face, then grunts and whines.

10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

who cares if he's straight or not. an a$$hole is an a$$hole regardless of their sexual orientation and that's exactly what he is.

9:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mario gay???? ask his wife, susi cahn. don't know where you got your info bub.

10:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is such an ass. Get away from Iron Chef!!!!!!

4:55 AM  
Blogger Emil said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry? Rapier wit? Perhaps in print, but the term "rapier" implies quickness, and in the moment. Almost anyone can at least be perceived to have raspier wit, if they get the chance to rewrite until it seems so.

These days, in person, he is just another rather grumpy old man, which is made worse by the fact that he used to be an expert.

8:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

god i wish mr steingarten was gay. he is adorable and i would love to hear him complain all day. he is married but i saw a short where he had a personal chef and there wasnt a sign of a woman. plus his loft he lives in certainly doesnt have a womans touch.

12:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

without reading all the other posts, I will bend over if someone can prove that he is "straight" he is a flaming queen. Look at his latest look, facelift, chemical peeling,, oh yes, those dont come naturally to an overweight food eater.
Who , by the way is not always right. major error in picking the next iron chef.. for gods sale Chef Meher didnt cook the french fries or burger himself, wasnt his fault they assigned him amateurs to work with, not saying that chef Garzas didnt deserve to win, but chef Meher was way too ecperienced to have lost to a "taco"
Mr Steingarten come out come out where ever you are,, is it the Abbey?

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You just have to find something wrong, even if its just a minor detail, used to think Donatella was too picky but thank you Dontatella for calling steingarten on some of his stupid comments,, like "oh too big for main course" dont eat all of it you fat pig.
You are ruining a chefs life with silly comments like that..
I am seriously going to avoid watching you..u piss me off.

11:04 PM  
Blogger Kate R said...

I don't get where all the steingarten hatred comes from. He's not effusive but he's not unfair.

Heck, he's better than most critics--he says, "this doesn't do it for me" rather than "this is crap."

Must be the fact that the man doesn't know how to smile.

8:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jeffrey rocks! He's the only good thing about this tired show. If anything, he's too good for TV, but at least he's there to keep everyone honest and, unlike, Ted Allen, has deep knowledge and integrity...

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like all critics he is irrelavent. No two critics have the same opinion on any meal. Not to mention that he has yet to figure out how to use a fork. My favorite is the two year old monkey grip and the back of the fork grip. I wonder if he uses a spoon to eat peas? He should just tell me if the service is good. Beyond that he is useless.

1:26 PM  
Anonymous pat said...

Jeff has really good hair....He is a snob and grumpy. The taping of the show is tedious, so he is being tedious, too. I thought he was one of the few qualified panelists. Hasn't he moved on anyway ?
And what for heaven's sake does sexual orientation have to do with anything, really folks get a life.

6:50 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

I like to watch him because I am also a mature male with the same type of silver hair and his looks great on TV. I want to get mine cut that same way but when I go into a Barber Shop no one ever knows who he is. As far as his food opinion, its simply that, an opinion and if all the judges thought the same what good would the judging do. Keep up the good work Jeffrey and Please post more pics of that gorgeous silver hair, maybe I'll get to copy one and show it to my barber.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

I honestly dont care if Jeffrey is straight, gay, transgender or whatever! I wish he would stop critiquing the other judges on Iron Chef America and being so contrary with them and stick to critiquing the food!

6:31 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

i knew he was straight because a gay man would at least know how to hold a fork...

8:27 PM  

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