Halloween — it's a holiday devoted to disguising yourself as someone genuinely scary. Like, say, Sandra Lee. OK, just kidding, but these days, the celebrity Halloween mask is de rigueur, which begs the question: why not dress up as a famous chef or food personality?
If that doesn't get your boots shaking, take another look at these masks; they look remarkably like a cadre of gastronomic ghouls hell-bent on scaring the aprons off unsuspecting trick-or-treaters. Still not sold? Try one on! Just click on any of the 13 faces below for full face-sized masks you can print out. Cut along the dotted line, tape a string to either side of the back, or tape it to a wooden kitchen spoon and hold it in front of your face. Practice your chef catchphrases, and Bam! you've got a culinary costume you can wear while you practice saying "brew-sket-ah." For bonus points, sport the Bobby Flay mask while dragging a grill around so you're ready for an impromptu throwdown.
ANDREW ZIMMERN Unfortunately, even with zombie eyes, Zimmern is still a cutie patootie. The guy can’t help but be cherubic, so you’ll have to resort to other methods to get your spook on. This costume is all about instilling fear in others through fearless eating, so your best bet is to carry around an array of creepy crawlies to brandish and then devour in front of horrified strangers.
CARLA HALL The hair, that smile, and a constant devil’s cry of "Hootie Hoo!" is your surefire recipe for a fright-filled night while wearing this mask. You could probably also just tell people that you’re a host on The Chew to send them running for the hills.
JOSÉ ANDRÉS With your mouth askew and what appears to be a missing tooth, you might try to play up the "Hillbilly from Spain" angle by bringing Deliverance into the mix and yelling at people to "Squeal like an Ibérico pig!" This tactic will be especially surprising when you bust out an immersion circulator to keep the apple-bobbing liquid at an even temperature.
MARCUS SAMUELSSON Ethiopian-born, Swedish-bred Marcus Samuelsson already has an impishly mischievous face — that toothy smile and those vacuous eyes surely do nothing to help that. To really take it over the top, force people to let you endorse something; anything, really. It doesn’t matter what it is, this mask will endorse it.
PAULA DEEN As someone who promotes unhealthy eating while taking money from a pharmaceutical company that sells diabetes medication, you’re already downright horrifying. But the pairing of creepy eyeholes with that giant mouth of pearly whites gives this mask an air of Southern-inflected terror. "I’m going to feed you several sticks of butter, y’all."
TODD ENGLISH This mask makes English look like pure devil spawn. He appears as slick as an oil-covered gulf pelican, with a mouth nearly as wide. Pop this bad boy on and run around telling everyone about your next project. You’ll have people running scared in no time.
BOBBY FLAY You know what’s scary? A guy who goes around throwing down with unsuspecting mom-and-pop outfits and then puts them to shame on national TV. If you’re looking to really scare the pants off people, try scraping a grill brush across your face while declaring yourself the king of Food Network.
ANTHONY BOURDAIN Put on a disgruntled, hungover persona. Be gruff and pithy. For a true bad boy effect, cut a mouth hole and smoke. Prepare off-the-cuff monologues about how authentic/unbelievable/stupid some new/old/rediscovered food/culture/custom is. Be underwhelmed, but wrap things up with a witty, self-aware, semi-sensitive position on food and life.
TOM COLICCHIO What's scarier than TV's most outstanding soulpatch paired with a bald chrome and cutout zombie eyes? You can't walk around telling people to, "Please pack your knives," because Top Chef co-host Tom Colicchio refuses to say that tagline. But you can certainly intimidate contestants from previous seasons and the upcoming Top Chef crew if you bump into any of them on Halloween.
GUY FIERI This makes the perfect Halloween mask if you think about it: instant recognition of the spiked white(ish) hair, piercings, fire-decal clothes, and complicated matching (dyed?) facial hair. The beloved host of Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives and NBC's Minute to Win It always just seems like a genuine dude having the best time in the world (though according to a recent Citypages.com article, that image may be more culivated and less friendly than most people think). Either way, his is another fun personality to emulate, and his trademark enthusiasm and energy are sure to garner attention.
MARIO BATALI By all accounts, this chef-restaurateur and TV celebrity just seems like a guy you'd like to party with. Even cutout zombie eyes don't do much to make him look scary. But he has been in a horror movie (Bitter Feast) and you can envision him as intimidating in the kitchen or as a businessman. With his mask you get instant recognition, and if you don his trademark orange Crocs, you'll be wearing Halloween colors. "Buon Appett-ee-TO!"
RUTH REICHL The editorial advisor to Gilt Taste has a scary résumé that includes Gourmet and before that famously dressing up in different costumes and wigs to maintain her anonymity as restaurant critic for The New York Times. But don't be fooled! It's not her curriculum vitae that you need fear, nor the mask's leering vacant eyes and teeth-clenched smile. It's the Reichl tweets! They've spawned a James Beard Award-winning parody, and Reichl herself has even gotten a new book deal out of gems like: "Cold sake-steamed chicken, straight from the refrigerator. Pearly flesh smooth as satin. Cats twine hopefully around my ankles. Think not." As Eater has noted, they're daily reminders that Reichl's life is better than yours.
SANDRA LEE Cher, Madonna, Cleopatra, Monroe, Hepburn, Streisand — it seems only right, given all the times Aunt Sandy has dressed up in these costumes over the years to celebrate the holiday, that the Food Network's queen of Halloween should get her own mask. And Anthony Bourdain is on the record as calling her the "hellspawn of Betty Crocker and Charles Manson." Like Sandy, you should have a few cocktails (cue video to 1:26), get a friend to wear the Bourdain mask, and recreate the scary face-to-face meeting between the two that he described in his book Medium Raw.