jen agg ny times

Internet loses it after NY Times savages book by Toronto restaurateur

A New York Times review of Jen Agg's new book is being panned as "a shameful, dishonest badly written turdlet" – and that's just by Anthony Bourdain.

The Toronto-based restaurateur behind such places as Black Hoof, Cocktail Bar and Grey Gardens released her memoir, I Hear She's A Real Bitch, in May of this year to rave reviews from news outlets across the continent.

"Whatever Jen Agg says is worth listening to," wrote Bourdain at the time. The TV host is a "friend and ally" of Agg's who just so happens to be one of the most influential celebrity chefs on Earth.

"A terrific, beautifully written, frank, and funny memoir," Bourdain's blurb continued, "and a compelling argument for pulling down the long outdated system of 'bro' culture that has dominated the industry since what feels like the beginning of time."

This week, a full 6 months after the book dropped, The New York Times decided to publish a review of the book, which it called "a swaggering, feminist restaurant memoir."

In the review, writer Tamar Adler pontificates on the merits of talking about oral sex and Agg's "very specific variety of" feminism.

"What will it accomplish if in the struggle to be treated equally, we assume the worst behaviours of the privileged group?" she asks, referring to male chefs. "Agg is cocky, profane, pro-conflict — as only men are 'allowed' to be."

Readers and fans of both women were displeased.

"Go ahead & be a pearl-clutching-prude. That’s fine. It doesn’t bother me (although I’m not super eager to hang)," wrote Agg on Twitter this afternoon in response to the controversy. "

You can read her entire thread on the subject here. As always, it's both entertaining and enlightening.

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez at Grey Gardens


Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Arts

Someone created a map of library branches on TTC routes

Toronto brands quickly post their own version of $120k banana art

More tickets for Hamilton the musical in Toronto have just been released

These were the most popular books at the Toronto Library this year

Richmond Hill just got a new library and the design is astonishing

A huge Winnie-the-Pooh exhibition is coming to Toronto

Toronto man's tattoo of Baby Yoda drinking White Claw is breaking the internet

10 shows to see on stage in Toronto over the holidays