SANTA FE (KRQE) - Famed TV chef Anthony Bourdain is now apologizing for causing a ruckus this weekend by bashing a popular New Mexico food.
Did he really say the chili at a Santa Fe store famous for its Frito pies was canned?
Yes, he did.
There's no question that telling someone in New Mexico their chili came from a can is an insult. That's what Bourdain claimed on national TV about a popular spot in Santa Fe.
On a trip through New Mexico for a CNN special that aired Monday, he lived up to his reputation of not always being nice.
A visit to the Five and Dime store in downtown Santa Fe had him dishing out one insult after another about the food counter's "world famous" Frito pie.
“It feels like you're holding warm crap in a bag,” he said.
It wasn't that insult that's stirring up so much trouble. It was when he described what was in the Frito pie that really ruffled some customers’ feathers.
“Canned Hormel chili and day-glow orange cheese-like substance,” Bourdain said.
Store manager Lorraine Chavez says that's just not true about the chili. She would know since she’s the one who makes it every day from scratch.
“I mean, it's a basic recipe,” Chavez said. “I've been doing it so long."
Chavez has been cooking the chili for 15 years, the recipe handed down from the old Santa Fe Woolworth's store decades ago.
Loyal customers are shocked, but Chavez is blowing it off saying all the recent publicity seems to have brought in even more customers who know the truth.
“My response was obviously he doesn't know New Mexico chili,” she said.
If the allegation the chili here is canned wasn't bad enough, Bourdain had one more insult - comparing Texas Frito pies to New Mexico's.
“New Mexico, you have many wonderful things. Let Texas have this one,” he said.
But Chavez has an insult of her own.
"I wasn't even aware he was in here - and even if I was, I never heard of him before,” she said laughing.
Needless to say, some of the customers News 13 spoke with had their own things to say about Bourdain. One woman says he's dropped down a few notches in her book.
But as mentioned earlier, Bourdain now admits he got it wrong. His publicist told the Associated Press on Monday that the show will correct the error for future airings.
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