Halloween — it's a holiday devoted to disguising yourself as someone genuinely scary. Like, say, Todd English. OK, just kidding, but these days, it seems as though most other genres of celebrity have Halloween masks devoted to them. Why not famous chefs and food personalities?
Not scary enough? Take another look at these masks; they resemble an army of culinary zombies out to slurp up the brains of other trick-or-treaters, with or without beurre noir. 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 to Flavor Town, mah brotha. For bonus points, sport the Guy Fieri mask and wear backwards sunglasses. You'll be off the hook.
Accompanying these Daily Meal masks are some great reasons why people should be scared of you this Halloween while you parade around as one of these food cult figures, and some poignant suggestions for how best to pull off your best impressions of them.
RACHAEL RAY The frozen, bone-white smile and the catchphrases ("EVOO," "sammys," "delish," and of course, "Yum-O") should be enough to scare anyone in broad daylight, no less on a dark night, but the effect will have an even greater impact if you do your best gravelly voiced impression of the Food Network star turned daytime talk show host .
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. You'll be a scary facsimile of the host of Travel Channel's No Reservations.
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 Texas crew if you bump into any of them on Halloween.
EMERIL LAGASSE As famous as these other food celebs are, Emeril has many beat. He had his own situation comedy (very briefly) and he's done toothpaste commercials. How to get your Emeril on? Your best move when it comes to intimidating while wearing this mask: walk around chanting, over and over, "Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam! Bam!"
FERRAN ADRIÀ He's a chef whose career has been frighteningly successful, but Adrià's visage probably isn't likely to scare the average American. This mask will probably be most effective for frightening the hell out of aspiring chefs when they're at work in the kitchen. The last thing they'll expect while trying to get out of the weeds is for their culinary hero to walk through the door. But if you're the kind of person who is going to walk into a restaurant kitchen uninvited you might be scary enough not to need a mask.
GORDON RAMSAY The alleged hairplugs, the intimidating growl, the tough, weathered face — this one's too easy. Put on your best Scotttish accent and just start yelling at people. Don't stint on the obscenities. Bark orders. Stare at people as if they have committed crimes against culinary nature the likes of which you cannot believe. Growl. Try to get your victims to crack, as Ramsay has done on his popular reality TV cooking competitions. It's a persona that might be fun to try on for a night. And you won't have to face the scary number of lawsuits Ramsay has had to over the years.
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 his cherubic face 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 Crocs, you'll be wearing Halloween colors. "Buon Appett-ee-TO!"