Professional annoying person Toby Young has an oh-so-self-serving theory as to why he is detested as a Top Chef judge: Americans cannot handle a person who speaks in complete, correct sentences.
After our own Joshua Stein said Young "knows little bordering on nothing about food" and called him "a self-serving whiny drunk pissant," and after many other critics railed against his Top Chef performance, Young fired back a reply in the Evening Standard:
Almost all the reviewers — and there were dozens of them — accused me of regurgitating lines I had written down beforehand, irrespective of whether they applied to the dishes or not. For instance, I said of one plate of food, in which the vegetables were much better cooked than the two meat components: ‘It rather reminded me of one of those Hollywood films in which classically trained British actors have been cast in character roles. The two leads were upstaged by the supporting cast.’
Now, I can assure you that I came up with this on the spot — no great shakes, considering it isn’t exactly Wildean in its wit. But one of the penalties of being a well-educated Brit in America is that people are constantly accusing you of having memorised lines for the simple reason that you talk in complete sentences and — completely unheard of, this — you don’t make any grammatical mistakes.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is how you fail upward. Always whip your tragic embarrassment into a foamy controversy, smear it on top of your next slapdash cultural concoction and hope no one thinks too hard about what he is tasting.