Anthony Bourdain Vs. Maclean's: Star Chef Defends Montreal Restaurants' Omission From 'Best Of' List

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Anthony Bourdain with Au Pied de Cochon chef Martin Picard during the TV star's "No Reservations" episode at the restaurant. | YouTube/Travel Channel

Chef Anthony Bourdain has made no secret of his love for Montreal's culinary scene. After filming an episode of his Travel Channel show "The Layover" in the city last year (as well as an episode of his previous show, "No Reservations"), he not only compiled a list of places to visit, but as a man well known for his loud opinions, he's also been vocal about his admiration for the risks being taken by the 514's chefs.

And now, he's directing his words toward Maclean's magazine, which today releases an issue detailing Canada's best restaurants. In an email being circulated online, Bourdain writes:

Omitting Joe Beef AND Au Pied de Cochon from any list of top 50 Canadian restaurants (or even a top ten list) is like writing a history of British rock and roll and willfully neglecting to mention either Beatles or Stones.

It speaks of a personal agenda so deranged or corrupted as the [sic] throw the entire enterprise into disrepute. Both restaurants are in fact, Canada's best and most Influential cultural ambassadors. I can't imagine what kind of spongiform bacteria might have caused Mr. Richler to neglect one or the other.

Anthony Bourdain

The diabtribe is attributed to a quote sent to the Montreal Gazette's fine dining critic Lesley Chesterman for her "Dinner Rush" radio show.

And Bourdain wasn't the only one complaining about the publication's choices. In a tweet retweeted by Bourdain, Chesterman added Vancouver's Vij's to the list of oversights. David McMillan, co-owner of Joe Beef, noted in a further tweet that the restaurant has a personal history with Jacob Richler, the author of the Maclean's piece. He also touted Au Pied de Cochon's Martin Picard as the true person slighted with this list.

Even restaurants who made the list spoke up about their own misgivings of these Montreal restaurant omissions. As Edmonton's Mosh Burger put it:

Mosh Burger
I think and deserve to be On the macleans list more than anybody else. Not sure how I feel that we are on it withoutthem

But controversy is inevitable whenever you publish a list of the places people are most passionate about — Maclean's noted the controversy generated by its list in a post on the magazine's site, and there's no doubt there will more outcries as the issues get circulated today.

So tell us — which of your favourite spots were left off the list? Heck, which of your favourite cities were left off the list? You can find Maclean's 50 best restaurants in Canada here.

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