October 1st, 2013
11:21 AM ET
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Anthony Bourdain ran into hot water for his comments on a New Mexico store’s Frito pie recipe after the latest episode of his CNN show “Parts Unknown” aired on Sunday.

Comparing the mixture of chili, Fritos corn chips and cheese to a warm bag of poo, Bourdain said the concoction was made of “canned Hormel chili and dayglow orange cheese-like substance.”

Not true, says Five and Dime General Store Santa Fe manager Lorraine Chavez, who claims that she makes the chili fresh each day, according to CNN’s affiliate KRQE.

“It's a basic recipe,” she said. “It takes at least a good hour and a half.”

Her take on Bourdain’s insult: “My response was obviously, ‘He doesn’t know New Mexico chili.’”

Despite sharing more harsh words for the dish on Twitter and telling the entire state of New Mexico to give up its claim to Frito pie (“Let Texas have this one”), Bourdain admitted he made a mistake with the canned chili quip. Spokeswoman Karen Reynolds said CNN will try to edit the reference out of all future airings of the episode.

"[C]ontrary to the impression left by some reports of the show, I in fact very much enjoyed my Frito pie in spite of its disturbing weight in the hand,” Bourdain said in a statement. “It may have felt like crap but was shockingly tasty."

Chavez didn't let the famed traveling chef get away with his insults without adding a little dig of her own: “I wasn’t even aware he was in here and even if I was, I’ve never heard of him before,” she said.

She also told KRQE the controversy over Bourdain’s claim has business booming, so she doesn’t mind so much.

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Filed under: Anthony Bourdain • Parts Unknown

soundoff (91 Responses)
  1. Richard

    Come on people its just a Frito Pie some simple comfort food some people enjoy. No need to insult each other of whether someone enjoys it or not. We all enjoy a simple concoction sometimes especially us guys who just don't want to cook and can come up with some real interesting stuff that does not require much of any cooking :)

    September 26, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
  2. Magellan

    What/where is "New Mexico"? i know Bourdain travels a lot, but this locale was a reach.

    October 30, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
  3. mdobrasz

    Let's check her green card and all of the vermin in the back too.......then we'll talk about your disgusting bag of poo

    October 18, 2013 at 12:53 pm |
  4. Fred

    Do we really have to apologize for everything today? How about "I had it. I didn't like it. Sorry, ma'am that you spend an hour making it, but I think it isn't very good." Jeez!

    October 15, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • celticspike7

      they cant just apologize because the Frito-Lay and Hormel are large advertisers on Turner (all) networks.
      Anthony is selling out like most people do for big money

      October 20, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • Ken

      Maybe it was because the self admitted cocaine freak trashed her dish on national TV....!
      What right does he have trashing someone else's cooking? This pinhead smokes like a fiend and drinks
      so much booze his taste buds have to be wasted.....Yeah just the guy I want telling me what's yummy...LOL

      February 27, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
      • RC@Ken

        To be fair, he quit smoking over 2 years ago.......

        February 27, 2014 at 8:06 pm |

    NM 101

    First of all, the Frito Pie on the Santa Fe Plaza is a traditional local staple because the store (and the Frito Pie, itself) hasn't changed at all in fifty years. It's a small point of local nostalgic pride.

    Second, New Mexican food prides itself on red and green chile. Yes, this is the correct LOCAL spelling. Chili (with an 'i') applies to the stew more characteristic of Texas, Cincinnati, and yes – most traditional Frito Pies. New Mexican food is different from Mexican food and Tex-Mex food.

    New Mexican food and culture (and overall appreciation for this region and its many diverse people) is not something that people like Bourdain or the Diners-Drive-Ins & Dives guy can gain access to, market and throw on TV with any measure of respect or accuracy.

    But that's ok – that's as it should be. Locals everywhere are entitled to simply say: "their loss."

    October 5, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
  6. disgruntled_girl

    ‘He doesn’t know New Mexico chili.’” I do – and it tastes like Hormel. Las Cruces is not known for chili for a reason.

    October 3, 2013 at 7:05 am |

      Sorry, did you say you are from NM? Or you just know NM "chili"...?

      October 5, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
  7. NotYoDady

    Bean an Cheese Burrito Tony!

    It will assuage your Pamper Tantrum.

    October 2, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
  8. jim bob sweeney

    I've eaten Frito Pie most of my life. In Texas we think of it as a delicacy. And, prepared properly it is.

    October 2, 2013 at 3:11 pm |
    • Weeds

      In Texas isn't it usually called armadillo on the half shell? :)

      October 2, 2013 at 4:11 pm |
      • disgruntled_girl

        Nope but I am totally using that now. Thanks from DFW!

        October 3, 2013 at 7:06 am |
  9. huskiemom

    Bourdain is a dick. I saw him on an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba this morning with my daughter, and he had a hard time there!

    October 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm |
    • Dick Tracy

      Wait a minute....Are you saying he is a Pedophile ??

      October 2, 2013 at 2:06 pm |
    • RC

      Anything called Yo Gabba Gabba I would have a hard time with as well.

      October 2, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Weeds

      That's because he probably thought he was reliving a bad trip.

      October 2, 2013 at 2:59 pm |
      • disgruntled_girl

        You would be right.

        October 3, 2013 at 7:06 am |
    • numbnut

      So he's a dick because he had a hard time with the Gabba Gabba thing? Alrighty then.

      October 2, 2013 at 4:24 pm |
  10. Pedro

    Anthony Bourdain was being himself which is part of what makes the show so good. He should have stayed on the travel channel. I don't understand why in the heck he moved to CNN. I knew, once he moved, there would be issues from an audience that is too stuffy and serious!

    October 2, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Dave

      The Travel Channel pulled some "unsavory" marketing practices on them, and they decided to part company.

      October 2, 2013 at 2:03 pm |
  11. NMNative

    Bourdain is right, Frito Pie is not part of the real New Mexico landscape and should be credited to the scoundrels down river who milk our precious water supply. That being said, Bourdain himself appears to be nothing more than a hypocritical self appointed food critic from NEW YORK who wouldn't know real chili from marinara sauce! Bourdain's taste buds are obviously "OFF" as a result of the humble pie he seems to eat so often. Mr. Bourdain, please STAY IN BROOKLYN!

    October 2, 2013 at 12:35 pm |
    • KEP

      We don't want him either, trust me. And BTW, don't believe every salsa commercial you see.

      October 2, 2013 at 3:58 pm |
    • zjmullen2013

      A. Bourdain is from New Jersey. B. He is a writer whose job often involves trying and critiquing various food. His straightforward, often crass style is in fact why many people love him - he isn't politically correct, he talks like a real person. Not for everyone, certainly, but I definitely like the guy's style.

      October 3, 2013 at 11:09 am |
      • leeh

        I love him on any channel,and have every show offered on DVD. I even like cook's tour when he was younger. By the way I am 70 years old and NOT stuffy!!

        October 10, 2013 at 1:13 pm |
      • leeh

        I love him on any channel,and have every show offered on DVD. I even like cook's tour when he was younger. By the way I am 70 years old and NOT stuffy!! one of his best sardinia

        October 10, 2013 at 1:15 pm |
  12. jj

    Can't wait to have another Frito pie!

    October 2, 2013 at 11:43 am |
  13. Byron

    The store that Bourdain got the crummy pie from is not the store that originally sold the famous Frito pies, although it is a smaller store in the same location. In the 90's that store was the original Woolworth's, which was bigger and nicer. The area where they made the pies was nice retro diner-style and had seating. The pies were not served in bags. The Santa Fe plaza has changed dramatically in the last 20 years, as has Santa Fe overall.

    October 2, 2013 at 11:42 am |
  14. Ryan Texan

    Frito pie is best with homemade chili – but Wolf brand is sorta acceptable if it is something made very quickly when you have no time. I'm not really a fan of canned food.
    Hormel seems to be missing much of the chili component.
    Essentially you have Fritos, Cheese and Chili. All tasty on their own.
    Combined it is very tasty – though you are not going to confuse it with health food.
    And actually, a great way to use Venison is to make chili out of it. The leanest of the meat is helped by the grinding and the slow cooking. You can go healthy with just rice – or really have something tasty by making a Frito pie out of it.
    There is a small town in South Central Texas where the meat market/processor sells Frito pie daily for next to nothing. (Yorktown?) Always a steady line and satisfied customers.
    There are many variations of Chili – some even have beans (The horror!). Good chili over Fritos topped with cheese is delightful.

    October 2, 2013 at 11:31 am |
  15. UncleJohn

    I always have a love hate relationship with Frito Pie – I love it when I eat it but I hate it the next morning.

    October 2, 2013 at 10:44 am |
  16. Claire Ewart

    All in all the New Mexico episode was dismal. Not up to the standards we have come to appreciate. We love the landscape, culture, and cuisine of New Mexico, and Mr. Bourdain missed the mark. Ghost Ranch scenery and Zia Pueblo tradition and heirloom corn came close, but he drained all of the color and life out of a vibrant place...not to mention his usual insults.

    October 2, 2013 at 10:21 am |
    • Nik

      I agree....the only thing that I enjoyed was his description of how the frito pie felt in his hand....the rest **yawn**

      October 2, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • jj

      Agree. Did not really do justice to the Land of Enchantment.

      October 2, 2013 at 11:41 am |
      • asdf

        The land of entrapment is only so if you don't take advantage of the cheap schools and move elsewhere where there are actually jobs like Arizona. A lot I loved about my two decades in NM but whole lot of third world to be found there as well.

        October 2, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • AnnieB

      I completely agree with what you said. I have never actually seen an Anthony Bourdain show in my life, but as a lover of all things New Mexico, I tuned in with great anticipation to see if I could learn anything new (I absolutely did not) and to see how he portrayed that beautiful, unique state. I found the entire episode enormously disappointing. It felt like the show was way less about New Mexico than about Anthony Bourdain. He is an egotistical, condescending idiot. The show was all about his reaction to a place and culture foreign to him and less about any appreciation of that culture. I felt that some of the interview questions he asked of the natives fell completely flat and in a couple of cases, were insulting (e.g. to the native americans, "how American do you feel?"; after stunned silence, three of them pointed out they had served in the military...nevermind that these people are the original Americans...) I will never watch another of his shows again.

      October 2, 2013 at 2:35 pm |
      • VladT

        Semantics matter....they are not the first Americans, as that is a "white person name" for the two major continents. So, no, they are not the original Americans

        October 3, 2013 at 5:31 am |
        • Ken

          Then they should have replied.......We're Indians not crackers!!!

          February 27, 2014 at 7:26 pm |
  17. Unegen

    If her recipe can be mistaken for Hormel, she may want to save the wiseacre remarks and try harder. What a dumb chef. Sure, by all means, try to show up the guy who has been there and done that long before you started. That'll make you look smart!

    October 2, 2013 at 8:52 am |
  18. Frito The Kid

    Hey Tony, I gotz some Freetoes for 'ya....Hold on a minute while I get these boots and socks off. Would you like chili and cheese with that ?

    October 2, 2013 at 7:26 am |
  19. Mongo

    Its a giant helping of salt, grease, and cheyenne pepper. It will give you heartburn, heart attack and sit in your stomach for 12 hours. Something that bad for you has to taste good.

    October 2, 2013 at 7:02 am |
  20. stephen48739

    While I'm certain a few folks don't like the images of meat, slaughtered and cooked, or the bull fights in the episode on Spain, I like the show. I like to see what people all around the world, in different cultures, eat. I like to see how people in other countries live, day-to-day. Good show.

    October 1, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
  21. david b

    She says it takes her an hour and a half to make it? Definitely some of that crap is coming from a can. Whether or not its premixed chili or just the beans and veggies coming from that can, its still canned. Either way thats a pitiful amount of time to put into any chili. She deserves to be criticized on it.

    October 1, 2013 at 9:53 pm |
    • Amber

      You have to roast and peel the chile so yes it takes a long time. You really can't fathom the process or taste you have to experience it. Just imagine heaven in your mouth. For real I don't care to much for chile in frito pie give it to me in a stuffed sopapilla

      October 2, 2013 at 3:48 am |
      • JT

        He's not debating it takes a long time, he's saying 1 1/2 hours is a really SHORT amount of time to make chili from scratch. Especially because of the time it takes to prep beans unless you're using canned ones.

        October 2, 2013 at 9:16 am |
  22. Ted ward

    Bourdain is a food critic, he does have his own high standards and is not in the business of making everybody feel good. He voices his opinion and that's that. Warm chile in a bag in the palm of one's hand is, well, camping at best. He can't say everything is great if it's not. Let's face it, if you're going to serve chile in this not very appetizing manner, the chile had better be something fantastically good. It wasn't and that's that. Get over it. I do think the chick in the kitchen making this stuff for fifteen years should be given a medal, and a better recipe from Monsieur Bourdain, God bless her.

    October 1, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
  23. sami

    Like Hispanics are known for their "fine" cuisine.

    October 1, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
    • Elfilo

      Wow. Frst of all, Mexico, Spain, Argentina, and lots of other "Hispanic" country's dishes are indeed renowned for their fine cuisine. Ask any chef or foodie (obviously you're neither). Some of the descendants of these countries who are American, are also masters of the fine cuisine of their motherlands. You're obviously a taco bell, burrito, taco, and nachos kinda guy. Those are the equivalent of American hamburgers, hot dogs, or country fried steak, not the best cuisine these cultures offer. In fact, these dishes you're familiar with usually aren't very authentic either. Your ignorance is stupendously....well...American.

      Your use of the word "Hispanic" is really broad, too. You do know that "Hispanic" is descriptive of a culture whose dominant language is Spanish, right? That would mean you're painting more than twenty countries with a pretty broad stroke. Please don't think that Bourdain's visit to New Mexico, where even there, the difference between the cuisine in the north of the state is far, far different than the cuisine in the southern portion of the state is huge. Remember, New Mexico is the fifth largest state in the U.S., and this "infamous" frito pie is not common in the south. And just so you know, Fritos are not native to any "Hispanic" country, so don't assume this is "Hispanic" food. This is one of but many American concoctions.

      October 1, 2013 at 10:43 pm |
      • David

        Totally agree with you. I have spent a lot of time down in Mexico, and I have gotten some interesting and tasty surprises while visiting. Best one, I ordered a lasagna at a restaurant, and the meat they used in it, was halibut, and believe it or not, it actually tasted very good.

        October 2, 2013 at 1:41 am |
      • Dan in St. Louis

        Well said. Bien dicho. The dish should have been featured on the "dumps and diners" show. The many cuisines of the Americas (including USA and Canada) have much to offer all of us.

        October 2, 2013 at 9:24 am |
      • VladT

        I agree with you except for the Fried steak part....

        I have had homemade with homemade gravy, and it can be extremely delicous. Nothing wrong with being proud of that (when done right)

        October 3, 2013 at 5:21 am |
    • Randy

      Sami, you're displaying an incredible amount of ignorance here. Do you realize that Spain is #6 on the list of total number of Michelin starred restaurants? And what was widely accepted as the finest restaurant IN THE WORLD, Ferran Adria's El Bulli, was located in Spain?

      Try to see past your Taco Bell/El Torito blinders. It's a big world out there.

      October 2, 2013 at 1:47 am |
    • Ken

      I bet your one of those cracker aficionados sami...! I'm betting your taste borders on Grits and mountain oysters.
      I personally enjoy Mexican and TexMex food when its done well. Don't slam it till you tried it.

      February 27, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
  24. noneya

    Lorraine Chavez never heard of Anthony Bourdain? Just shows you how ignorant some Mexicans are. Living in this country and don't know the culture at all.

    October 1, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • Houstonian

      What an asinine comment. Anthony Bordeaux is NOT a real chef. He is some as.hole who THINKS he has the ability to judge others on their cooking.
      There are millions of white America people who don't know who the f.k he is either, so that in itself was a racist comment to make about Mexicans.

      October 1, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
      • Randy

        Actually, Anthony Bourdain is a real chef. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and has worked professionally in numerous restaurants, most recently as Executive Chef at Brasserie Les Halles in NYC.

        Hi can be an ass, though – something I think he is quite proud of!

        October 2, 2013 at 2:00 am |
      • Paul Johnson

        Wrong. He is very much a chef, though "retired".
        Bourdain is a 1978 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a veteran of numerous professional kitchens.[1] Though Bourdain is no longer formally employed as a chef, he maintains a relationship with Brasserie Les Halles in New York, where he was executive chef for many years. He is described by Les Halles as their "chef-at-large".[2]

        October 2, 2013 at 3:05 am |
      • FIrstName

        "Anthony Bordeaux?" Before calling someone out, you might want to make sure you're not just as ignorant first.

        October 2, 2013 at 10:20 am |
    • dave

      Um, in case you're perceptually challenged, New Mexico is a state in the United States, and Ms Chavez is an American citizen.

      October 1, 2013 at 10:25 pm |
    • Elfilo

      Just because this one Mexican-American woman doesn't know who Anthony Bourdain is has absolutely no bearing on the knowledge of American culture by Mexicans or Mexican-Americans. Bourdain is not part of general American culture, he's part of international Restaurant/Chef culture. Therefore, she is not familiar with international Restaurant and Chef culture. Do you think most local diner cooks keep up with or give a $hit about whose got how many Michelin stars? How much do YOU know about the Treaty of rGuadalupe Hidalgo, Mr. America?

      October 1, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • Amber

      Maybe its because we work and don't have time to sit all day and watch TV like you.

      October 2, 2013 at 3:41 am |
    • Ken

      Maybe she's been busy making an honest living and doesn't have the time to watch Anthony B who is also a former user of cocaine, heroin, and LSD besides being such a great American chef as some are trying to portray him as here. I don't let my family watch the arrogant idiot. I'd rather watch Paula Dean who knows what good old down home cooking is like!

      February 27, 2014 at 7:45 pm |
  25. F Gawrd

    First Tony, you look like a little old lady. I recently heard two 25 year old (smart and pretty) women laughing at how much your face (especially those jowels!) resembles their GREAT-GRANDMOTHERS!!!!! You are SO-O-O-O very full of yourself, which makes sense since you now spew shit randomly. Please go somewhere and write if you must, but go away!

    October 1, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • FIrstName

      Why does that very wealthy, well-traveled, education man care what a couple of skanks say about his personal appearance, haha?! Honestly, get your head out of middle school.

      October 2, 2013 at 10:23 am |
  26. get realist

    Why is this all over the news?

    October 1, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
  27. leeMo

    From where I was sitting watching my 3D HD TV it looked like canned cr@p to me,but you know what they say don't judge sh#t on shingle by its looks I"m sure it tastes better than it looks,after all a million New Mexicans can't be wrong,as a New Mexican by proxy(thanks mom) I forgive Mr.Bourdain and offer an invite to him to try our version of a Frito pie here in Cali called a Frito boat,mmmmmmmm,I guaranty he will love it....signed a Frito freak

    October 1, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  28. ann

    He says stuff like this all the time. He still said he liked it, and he retracted his comment about canned chili so what is the fuss. And yes, he quite frequently eats street food on his show as well.

    October 1, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • shawn l

      His favorite fast food place is In n Out burger. He enjoys good quality junk food.

      October 1, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
  29. byndpst

    For one thing, it's Wolf brand chili. No self respecting Texan would use Hormel... & Frito Pie is not for everyone. I personally have to have my chili/cheese in a bowl & then I scoop it out, one Frito at a time. Nothing worse than a soggy Frito!

    October 1, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Cindy Smith

      I grew up in TX during the 60's and 70's. We always used Wolf Brand Chili and called it Frito Pie. So yummy!!!

      October 1, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
  30. Willow

    We call these "Walking Tacos"

    October 1, 2013 at 3:42 pm |
  31. svann

    Did he really eat from a food truck (aka roach coach) on his show?

    October 1, 2013 at 3:38 pm |
    • foodiefoo

      Some of the best food comes from food trucks. At least where I live it does. The owner of one of those trucks even won Top Chef. P.S. brick and mortar is not a guarantee for roach free.

      October 1, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • david b

      Wow.. you really never have seen ANY of his many shows have you? He regularly eats from roach coaches, and in some countries, road side stands that make roach coaches seem posh by comparison. Just with the streetfood he's been filmed eating he has a very large background to pull from when he critiques street food.

      October 1, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
  32. Phil Nelson

    Heck, I live in New Mexico and about the only people who eat that crap are citizens of Santa Fe and tourists. It tastes as bad as it looks.

    October 1, 2013 at 3:17 pm |
    • Christina

      I grew up in New Mexico, spent a lot of time in Santa Fe, and remember the original Frito Pie. It always tasted canned and was not at all tasty. The best thing about Zooks Drugstore was the fresh squeezed limeade.

      October 2, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
  33. Dave

    Actually, if you watched some prior episodes, Tony does make a shocking admission to enjoying "good" vegetarian cuisine, and has stated that outside of the US, most cultures know how to treat produce with respect.

    Likewise, if you've read Tony's epic rants on the state of food handling in the US, including the infamous pink-slime 'feed-you-cage-sweepings" piece that was deserving of an award for most civilized tongue-fu ass beating, he's not above trashing the all-protein diet of most Americans.

    Just let him have his meat in tube form and let live.

    October 1, 2013 at 2:50 pm |
  34. CT

    He said it looked gross ... but also that he liked it. What's the big deal? Some of my favorite meals look like something the dog threw up (ever look at the inside of a burrito?), but that doesn't mean they aren't delicious. Guacamole looks like the contents of a baby's diaper, and it tastes great. He basically told people not to judge a book by it's cover.

    October 1, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
  35. Jez

    And in the next headline, Bourdain died of a heard attack due to clogged arteries brought on my his solid dead-meat diet. Yuck.

    October 1, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
  36. Anonymous

    So this is what passes for "American cuisine"?

    October 1, 2013 at 2:15 pm |
  37. Kathleen

    Nobody does a Frito Pie like Texas - he was right about that! ("Taco in a Bag" - sheesh, have some pride, people!) :)

    October 1, 2013 at 2:07 pm |
    • Ken

      You got me laughing out loud at that response! Best one I've seen here all day!

      February 27, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
  38. Jdizzle McHammerpants ♫♫

    I watched the show, I thought it was a hilarious comment

    October 1, 2013 at 1:30 pm |
  39. Ja Quita

    All across America this is served at high school football games under the name Taco in a Bag. Very tasty!

    October 1, 2013 at 1:19 pm |
  40. yep

    who really cares

    October 1, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Christina

      If you don't care, why did you reply? Maybe you need a hobby.

      October 4, 2013 at 11:32 am |
  41. Ally

    Just because the chili is homemade doesn't mean it tastes good.

    October 1, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • AleeD®@Ally

      Whoo girlfriend! Ain't that the turth™? My mother cooked some great meals over the years. She could take anything from Women's Day or Family Circle mag and gourmet it up right.. But there were two things she couldn't cook to save her soul: soup & fried chicken. FTR, she added beans to chili so it would go further and feed 5 people.

      October 3, 2013 at 8:19 am |
  42. Chad

    Seriously – she's getting worked up over basically a negative yelp comment? Chili in a Frito bag is not everyone's cup of tea, and Bourdain called it like he saw it. Get over it.

    October 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
  43. Andy

    I completely understand where he's coming from. I didn't think it was an insult.

    October 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm |
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