Thursday, November 08, 2007
Anthony Bourdain at Lisner Auditorium
So last night, Anthony Bourdain, the inspiration for our food blog, gave a talk at Lisner Auditorium in DC. He's out promoting a new book, No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach a compilation of pictures and notes from his Travel Channel program of the same name.
His talk was funny, crass, and opinionated- all I come to expect of the man. He showed a few clips from his show: the one when he goes with his office manager to make Kim Chee, when he goes to Brazil to eat and drink all day at a lady's home, and the segment with the bamboo pole noodle maker in Hong Kong.
A few interesting points- he's quit smoking! Probably because he's just had a daughter. He noted his wife, from northern Italy, imports Italian baby food with flavors like prosciutto and parmesan.
He said the most disgusting dish he ever had was in Iceland- it was a shark fermented in it's own urine, then fermented again in lactic acid for a few months. This was worse than the uncleaned warthog intestine he had in Africa.
He said the best pork he had was in Bali. Puerto Rico was in second place
He said he has not yet crossed the food line of dogs and cats, and wasn't sure if he could take that step.
When asked where he would stop and stay forever, he mentioned his love for Vietnam and it's food and lifestyle.
He confirmed that he had Ben's Chili Bowl the night before and loved it.
He did not hesitate to deride vegetarians, the Food Channel, and Rachael Ray.
If asked who he would battle on Iron Chef. he said, "Who's Cat Cora? She has a SAG card. What chef has a SAG card?" He figured they would give him something he hated like Tofu or Veggie burgers as the challenge.
He mentioned that Hung was indeed hands down the best one on Top Chef this season. He expressed a fondness for Nigella Lawson after she described to him a night in Spain where they aborted a pig and roasted the fetus for her to eat.
He said his favorite food movie moment was the revelatory scene in Ratatouille. He also liked Eat Drink Man Woman.
His dream meal is the sushi by Masa Takayama, his fav Ramones song: "Beat on a Brat". He confessed to liking KFC's mac & cheese.
Towards to end of the talk, he discouraged an audience member who wanted to change his career and become a chef. He said it was for the young- too much humiliation and too little reward. He recalled his days in the kitchen watching the spirit of aspiring culinary school grads die. He said that the reason Mexicans are good in the kitchen is that they expect life to suck, so the hardship of the restaurant business is not so bad.