Twitter avatar shortlisted for James Beard award

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Indy Lifestyle Online

Put celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain under a curtain of restaurant critic Ruth Reichl's hair and you get the culinary lovechild Ruth Bourdain, a snarky, hilarious Twitter avatar whose irreverence has been recognized by the James Beard Awards.

The Humor category is a new addition to this year's James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner, which honors the top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists.

RuBo, as he/she calls itself, is described as a mash-up of tweets between Ruth Reichl, a former restaurant critic of The New York Times, and potty-mouthed straight shooter Anthony Bourdain.

"I'm incredibly flattered," Rubo wrote in response to the nomination. "James Beard and I smoked a sh**load of tarragon back in the day, so this means a great deal to me. What a great day for journalism."

After just one year, @RuthBourdain's caustic, expletive-laced 140-character tweet bombs have garnered a nomination from the prestigious James Beard Foundation Awards, alongside and the Dallas Observer.

The expletives and creative use of word mash-ups are in homage to Bourdain. References, perhaps, to cooking methods like sous-vide, channels Reichl.

The enigmatic Twitterer's pithy one-liners have even made fans of both surrogate parents Bourdain and Reichl.

"It is kind of genius. I'm a total addict already and, frankly, flattered and disturbed in equal measure," wrote Bourdain.

Added Reichl, "Hilarious...very clever."

Since its cyber birth March 3 of last year, Ruth Bourdain has garnered 28,330 followers and regularly trades barbs with French chef @eric ripert, TV host @andrewzimmern and 'dad' Anthony Bourdain @NoReservations.

The tweets are a little bit sex: "Hot morning gastrosex. Wrapped my warm white corn tortillas around soft, chile-braised pork. Avocado brings tang of tomato to pomodorgasm."

A little bit drugs: "Misty mountains. Distant whoosh of traffic. Sitting on the deck, slowly zesting tangerines. Stoned out of my f***ing gourd."

And a little bit gastro rock 'n roll: "You haven't truly celebrated St. Patrick's Day until you've sous-vided a whole leprechaun. Delish."

Writer Rosecrans Baldwin's story "Popcorn: Cinema's Worst Enemy," published on, and Alice Laussade's Dallas Observer's piece "OK, Who Put Food in My Beer?" are also nominated in the Humor Category.

The winner will be announced Friday, May 6 at an event in New York City.!/RuthBourdain

For more on the James Beard Foundation Awards, visit