Last night I had the opportunity to meet Anthony Bourdain. He was in town doing a show with his pal Chef Eric Ripert from the famed, Le Bernadin in NYC. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the show. It was an interesting evening of the two men going back and forth debating about their food philosophies. I enjoyed listening to them immensely and to my surprise found out that Bourdain and I have so much in common! I love this man. I love his vanity. I love his assholish behavior. I love that he just doesn’t care what anyone thinks of about what he says or does. I love that he is honest, real and not the least bit fake.
What I love most about him is his job. Bourdain has the best job in the whole world. He gets to travel 250 days a year to any place he wants to go and experience different cultures, exotic landscapes, exciting adventures and unique cuisines all while getting paid! This is the first thing we have in common. We have the same dream job! One little problem – I just don’t have it yet.
Bourdain isn’t a sell out. During the show Bourdain talked about all the prospective corporate opportunities he could have taken – like promoting his own cooking products and being offered a spot on Dancing with the Stars. I like to think we have this in common too – wonder why you don’t see advertising on my blog? That’s because I am not going to support or profit from something I don’t believe in. We are already subjected to advertising all over the place, I don’t want you to see it here. I won’t sell out to the food companies that target consumers with misleading information.
Bourdain thinks fusion cuisine is just wrong and the person who started putting bbq pork in a nori roll should be hung – I think about CowFish, a sushi burger fusion restaurant here in Charlotte and I squeal like a pig. No pun intended. Have you read my Sushi Secrets post yet?
Bourdain loves Japanese food – I do too. In fact we just had Japanese food this evening! When asked about what he would have for his last meal– he said the freshest caught fish at the Tsuskiji market in Japan would do. After eating there recently – I can totally see why.
We have the same travel philosophy on food – Respect the cultures you visit, try things you normally wouldn’t eat, be a gracious guest and be thankful you are there. This reminds me of the time we ate puffin in Iceland and pig trotters in Spain. This is the reason I don’t like to label myself – if I were a strict vegan or pescatarian, I would be limiting my experiences when I travel. Why would I want to do that? Let me caveat this by saying that there is nothing cultural to gain from eating foods that would harm your body. I don’t know any countries except America that promotes chemically processed food. This is one place where I wouldn’t get tourist trapped.
Bourdain feeds his family all organic food. So do I – I feed everyone in my life organic foods. I have a rule – I don’t make or buy things I wouldn’t eat myself.
We both despise Semi-Homemade’s Sandra Lee from the Food Network – you know the lady who buys all processed & packaged ingredients from the store and claims that she is cooking?! Bourdain thinks her show panders to the laziness some Americans have toward cooking and their food. I couldn’t agree more. Check out his comments about her here –
She makes her audience feel good about themselves. You watch her on that show and you think, “I can do that. That’s not intimidating.” All you have to do is waddle into the kitchen, open a can of crap and spread it on some other crap that you bought at the supermarket. And then you’ve done something really special. The most terrifying thing I’ve seen is her making a Kwanzaa cake. Watch that clip and tell me your eyeballs don’t burst into flames. It’s a war crime on television. You’ll scream!
Here’s the link to the video – Sandra Lee making Kwanza Cake
We both agree everyone should know how to cook, especially how to cut an onion. Seeing pre-chopped vegetables in grocery stores pisses Bourdain off – me too. He thinks cooking should be a requirement of growing up – your potty trained, you learn to tie your shoe and then you learn to make an omelet. This makes total sense!
Bourdain loves farm to table – Especially supporting small farms and not factory farms…I do too, of course. This is why I frequent restaurants like Halcyon and search out restaurants who support local farmers when I travel. One of the interesting things that I loved hearing him talk about is how simple food can taste so damn good. The tribesman in Namibia or the peasant farmer in Vietnam don’t have access to thousand of ingredients – but they still can make amazing food with limited resources.
Bourdain hates processed food and people lying about what’s in your food as much as I do. I will be writing more on this topic on this soon. I can’t wait. Those jerks are gonna get it.
When asked by the audience, if there was one food he didn’t like – Bourdain answered scallops – YES! Me too! I hate scallops! The only time I’ve ever eaten one that was edible was in Tsukiji Market – It’s hard not to like anything when it is that fresh – all other times they are slimy stinky seafood I can do without.
Bourdain said he wouldn’t eat a Cinnabon in an airport even if he was hung over and it was 8am – And I wouldn’t either! Have you seen the ingredients in a Cinnabon? There’s stuff in there I wouldn’t shampoo my hair with!
Ingredients in Cinnabon: ENRICHED FLOUR (BLEACHED WHEAT FLOUR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), BROWN SUGAR, WATER, MARGARINE [PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN AND COTTONSEED OILS, LIQUID SOYBEAN OIL, WATER, SALT, MONO AND DIGLYCERIDES, SOY LECITHIN, WHEY SOLIDS, SODIUM BENZOATE (PRESERVATIVE), ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BETA CAROTENE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE ADDED], SUGAR, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL (SOYBEAN, COTTONSEED), CINNAMON, EGGS, BUTTERMILK, YEAST , SALT, SOYBEAN OIL, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, EGG WHITES WITH SODIUM LAURYL SULFATE, WHEY, MOLASSES, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, INVERT SUGAR, SODIUM STEAROYL LACTYLATE, AZODICARBONAMIDE, L-CYSTEINE, ASCORBIC ACID, LACTIC ACID, POTASSIUM SORBATE (PRESERVATIVE), NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, YELLOW #5.
(BTW – Just so you know – My favorite hangover food is Nature’s Path Organic Hemp Waffles with lots of organic butter and maple syrup. Mmmmm. Good.)
Bourdain thinks Chicken McNuggets are the most disgusting things on the planet – I do too. But Chick-Fil-A might be tied. Have you read this post yet?
Bourdain is notorious for berating Paula Deen about her Krispy Kreme doughnut burger. He’s called her the most dangerous person in the America. This is so true, considering the obesity numbers I have recently seen and are continuing to rise – This burger is pure madness, I had the opportunity to interview a guy while eating one last spring – check it out here.
And last but not least, Bourdain loves juicing! Well… maybe not that kinda of juicing. wink wink.
Enjoying hearing all the commonalities between Bourdain’s food philosophies and mine…At the VIP after party – I had to ask Bourdain one more question – “Anthony – do you practice Yoga”? He looked up in the air, made a snarky face, and said “Hell No”!
Oh well – we were almost a match made in heaven. That’s too bad. It would have been pretty cool to see Bourdain next to me doing tree pose or eagle pose in the middle of Ginza after eating sushi at the Tsukiji Market.
Nonetheless, I felt pretty special when he signed my book “To the end of Processed Food – Anthony Bourdain ♥’s Food Babe.”
Check out my Facebook Fan Page for even more photos of the event and all the ridiculous food at the after party!
P.S. I forgot to mention one of my favorite moments from the show – Bourdain asked Ripert this question: “If you were in prison for the rest of your life – Between Bobby Flay, Jamie Oliver or Mario Bartali – which chef would you screw, marry or kill?
Ripert answered “I would kill all three since I am already in prison.”
Bourdain then chimed in and said he would marry Mario, screw Jamie and kill Bobby.