Troy businesswoman Lori Lesperance has taken aim at CNN's Anthony Bourdain, whose show about Detroit last month produced mixed reviews and criticism that it focused far too much on the downside of the city.
Detroit News columnist Laura Berman writes that Lespearance provided a tour of Detroit for her staff Monday at her marketing firm both as a tribute "to the artists and artisans of Detroit rising and revenge on TV chef/provocateur Anthony Bourdain." The staff of 26 had no idea it was going on a tour of Detroit when it boarded a bus.
In Auburn Hills, her staff handed in their car keys and climbed into a bus. Mimosas were poured. Creative director Michael Kraft launched into his poem explaining the mystery tour, one that begins “by showing our disdain/For TV huckster Tony Bourdain.”
Berman wrote that Lespearance wanted to get even with Bourdain by avoiding the city ruins and "celebrating some of the city's artistry."
They went to places like Eastern Market and the 1928 Arts and Crafts-style Scarab Club, Traffic Jam and the Shinola watch workshop in Midtown, Berman reports.
When the bus returned to the starting point, the staff got their car keys back.
Inside each vehicle was a decorated box. Inside each was an astonishing array of gifts, from a Shinola watch, to a small piece of original art by Alexander or Strand. There was a Bloody Mary kit that included vodka from Two James Distillery with a spicy signature mix from McClure’s, another Detroit start-up. There was Eight Mile Honey (bought at Avalon Bakery) and pie from Dangerously Delicious Rock ‘n’ Roll Pies. It was an over-the-top reward worthy of Oprah — to the staff of Lesperance’s company and to the creative entrepreneurs of Detroit.
Lespearance, who has seething over the Bourdain show, isn't done taking aim at the colorful TV guy. She plans to send a YouTube video of the tour to all the companies that were involved in it, the columnist reports.
“We’ll show people everywhere all the cool stuff you can get in Detroit.” -- A.L.