I asked former Gourmet editor Ruth Reichl this very question last week, after a talk she gave at Stanford University.
Turns out that the James Beard awards, the so-called “Oscars of food writing,” launched a new humor category and nominated an anonymous tweeter called Ruth Bourdain.
This fictional character’s rain of raunchy tweets mash up Ruth Reichl and bad boy Anthony Bourdain (That’s Bourdain’s face and Reichl’s hair in the photo), often satirizing Reichl’s lyrical tweets in Bourdain’s sardonic tone. She mimics his humor, shock value and swearing.
There’s been lots of hand-wringing in the press about this nomination, because RuBo is anonymous. Also because the category is for a journalism award. I mean, are tweets journalism?
Reichl said she “loved the idea” of a humorous food writing category, and that Ruth Bourdain “wouldn’t have been possible 10 years ago,” because of Twitter. Both Reichl and Bourdain are rooting for her to win. Reichl said she suspects RuthBourdain is a man. She’s dying to see whether this [Read more…]