Ruffled Feathers: Andrew Zimmern, Anne Burrell, and Other Food-TV Stars Come Out Against Chick-fil-A

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Pro-equality. Photo: Collin Keefe

The brouhaha over Chick-fil-A and its anti-equality position on marriage refuses to settle down. Late last week, the story was punctuated by the untimely death of the chain's top PR executive, and today we learn that the people behind the Berenstain Bears are trying to distance themselves from a promotion that sees Berenstain-branded toys popping up at Chick-fil-A locations. Mama and Papa Berenstain aren't the only ones that want nothing to do with the controversial chain: At this weekend's Atlantic City Food and Wine Festival, Grub Street caught up with some food-TV stars, all of whom professed their love for marriage equality.

“It’s a great sandwich, but I choose not to spend my money anymore at a place that won’t publicly embrace people of all shapes, sizes, skin color, politics, and sexual orientation,” Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern said. “I can’t believe that in the year 2012 this is even something beyond the scope of human reasoning. If two people can be happy and love each other, is there anything more important in the whole world?”

His sentiment was echoed by several other TV chefs who were on hand for the three-day festival. The Great Food Truck Race host Tyler Florence, whose younger brother is not only gay, but married to his partner of more than ten years, said, “It’s ridiculous for a company to completely divide a section of the population like that. Why shouldn’t everybody be allowed to understand the joys of being married? I completely think that everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Robert Irvine, who just tied the knot in May, could barely contain the happiness that marriage brought him. “I think it’s a great institution,” he told us. “For me, it’s live and let live, and live the way you want to live. Everybody has the right to be happy.”

Secrets of a Restaurant Chef host Anne Burrell, who has stated in the past that her relationship with another woman shouldn’t be made into a big deal, said that discrimination, no matter how you slice it, is a very bad thing. “It’s just ugly, and there’s no need for it,” she told Grub. “I hope they can pull their head out of their Chick-fil-A.”