Joe Bastianich's memoir Restaurant Man has caused waves for his direct and obscenity-ridden prose, not to mention an angry letter from Esquire's John Mariani (who Bastianich called a "self-righteous condescending prick" in the book).
So when we ran into the Restaurant Man himself at the James Beard Foundation Awards last night, we had to ask him about his thoughts on the press.
"I'm very surprised that there are so many extreme opinions about me telling my life story, because really that's what it is, in an honest and unfiltered way," he said. "That being said, it is what it is, those are my experiences, that's how I lived it. I don't apologize."
So what's all this about John Mariani sending a letter where he told Bastianich, "You have so completely warped the truth to suit what are clearly your own insecurities?"
"I'm not feuding," he told us. "It's a lot of gossip columns stuff right now and at the end of the day I think when people read the book it's funny, entertaining, it's a page-turner, it's my life story in a six-hour read."
As for whether all this feuding talk will last, Bastianich believes the readers will figure it out themselves.
"It's easy to misquote and pick the book apart like that; that's what happens in the first three days," he said. "Once we get to people reading and enjoying the book I think it's another story."
Additional reporting by Ali Rosen.