Lots of culinary heavy-weights – including Tom Colicchio and Ruth Reichl – were in attendance, and roasters included Anthony Bourdain (Richman’s arch-enemy numero uno, who wrote an entire chapter titled “Alan Richman is a Douchebag” in his book Medium Raw), David Chang, Daniel Boulud, Eric Ripert, former New York Times restaurant critics Frank Bruni and Sam Sifton, Richman’s GQ colleagues and even Richman’s ex-wife Lettie Teague.
There were jabs about Richman’s cheapness, neurosis and horrible taste in wine, but also praise for his sense of humor and long, illustrious career, and at the end of the night, Richman was practically in tears when he said, “I’ve never been more honored in my entire life.” Aww.
Here are 12 of the best quotes from the night:
“A lady doesn’t Momofuku and tell.” – Frank Bruni, who penned a very clever mock love letter from Sharon Stone for the occasion (Richman famously wrote about dining with – and trying to woo – Stone in his 2005 memoir, Fork it Over)
“From you, I learned that sous vide isn’t a sexual fetish.” – Bruni as Sharon Stone
“Take me to Wal-Mart!” – Daniel Boulud to Richman, in response to an earlier story that Eric Ripert told about a time when he and Richman went shopping at Costco together (can you imagine?!)
“Twenty-five years at a men’s magazine and he still looks like an extra on Law and Order.” – Sam Sifton
“I’d like to talk about what I learned from Alan about anonymity in restaurant criticism… which is very little.” – Sifton, who then went on to tell a story about his first review as New York Times restaurant critic, when he went to Daniel in disguise and saw Richman “sitting at a corner table that could’ve sat 12 people, with a notebook the size of a billboard, surrounded by two dozen waiters”
“Alan Richman forced me to see a shrink.” – David Chang
“Now, when you Google ‘Alan Richman,’ it suggests ‘Alan Richman is a douchebag.’ You’ve been Santorumed!” – Anthony Bourdain
“How can you review a restaurant if you’re not drunk?” – Bourdain
“I can say this about you: at least you’re not John Mariani.” – Bourdain, referring to Esquire’s controversial restaurant critic
“‘The 10 Best Chicken Wings in America’ – that’s what he’s writing for you a**holes. ‘Top 10 Hippest Gastropubs’ – as if he would know!” – Bourdain to GQ
“I will challenge you to a cheese blintz contest.” – Richman to Boulud, in response to Boulud saying he doesn’t know how to cook
“Has anyone here ever seen David Chang cook a dish?” – Richman, when he was given a chance to strike back against his roasters at the end of the night