Alan Richman is currently the greatest food writer in America. You read a story of his, say, "My Sweet Life", which ran in GQ not even two years ago, which shows he's still at the top of his game -- and one minute you're laughing then the next you've got a lump in your throat, until you suddenly start feeling like an idiot for being nostalgic for someone else's childhood. He's good that way. And he also knows what tastes good, like chocolate cake and pizza.
I was up against Richman for a James Beard award, now many years ago, and we became fast friends. Over time he's shown me around his New York, I've cooked Shabbat dinner for him, and I even set him up on a date with one of my editors (it wasn't a love match but they're still in touch so my instincts were sound.)
Alan Richman is the definition of a mensch. Which is why Anthony Bourdain is officially on my shit list and I will not be buying his new book. (See, I'm so serious that I don't even name it and refuse to link to it.)
I'm a big nobody so Bourdain won't really care what I think about him or that I won't be buying his piece of trash. Except for the fact that if I ever see him or he ever sees me, he'd better watch his back because I'm going to give him such a pinch!
Of course, Alan being Alan, took the high road, which is what makes him such a peach.