Nanny State

Wall Street Journal on Anthony Bourdain: "He hates vegetarians, raw-food enthusiasts and celebrity chefs' product endorsements"


Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Moira Hodgson reviews Anthony Bourdain's new book Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook:

He hates vegetarians, raw-food enthusiasts and celebrity chefs' product endorsements. But then he confesses that he also "sold out" when promoting "Kitchen Confidential"—and that, deep down, he sort of understands why, for instance, Emeril endorsed toothpaste. So many people depend on Emeril for a living that he's obligated to keep expanding his empire. Mr. Bourdain also retracts some of his past invective, admitting that it was "excessive and bombastic" of him once to refer to Alice Waters, the revered doyenne of California cuisine, as "Pol Pot in a muumuu." But he's not exactly making nice now by saying: "With Waters's fondness for buzzwords like 'purity' and 'wholesomeness' there is a whiff of the jackboot, isn't there?"

Read all about it here. And then click below to watch Bourdain discuss foie gras bans, smoking bans, and other nanny state interventions with

NEXT: Here Comes Da Judge!

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  1. “With Waters’s fondness for buzzwords like ‘purity’ and ‘wholesomeness’ there is a whiff of the jackboot, isn’t there?”

    Indeed there is

    1. Her restaurant is fucking overrated anyway.

      1. Eh, I enjoyed my dinner there.

        1. It was alright, but I’ve had much better meals at bay are institutions and non-institutions.

          1. Bay Area

            1. Anyone catch his No Reservations valentine to Vietnam? He waxed poetic about the backbreaking, medieval farming techniques of the average rice collective and wanted to move there so bad, presumably so he could witness the soul-crushing, mindless and wholly unnecessary drudgery of communist labor from his patio. What a humanitarian!

              1. Like I said below, he has spent way too much time around Manhattan liberals. I haven’t seen that one. But it saddens me to hear about it.

                1. He also said (on NR) that Portland, Oregon has a “libertarian government.” I’m somewhat suspicious of that one.

                2. Do you have a problem with Manhattan liberals, John? Or are you such a fucking class-obsessed snob that only people who act and think like you are worthy of your coveted respect?

                  1. No Tony, I think all liberals are morons, even the ones not from Manhattan.

                  2. I’m not John, but hellz yeah I have a problem with Manhattan liberals. They are self-absorbed, smug, elitist assholes, to a person, who sneeringly refer to anything west of central northern NJ as “fly over country” and write off anyone living anywhere else as ignorant rubes and hicks. They think NYC is the center of the universe and anyone who could possibly live anywhere else just doesn’t get it. Because, you know, those worldly-wise lefty Manhattanites are just sooooo cosmopolitan and obviously smarter and more hip than anyone else. They are the very personification of “the ugly American.”

                    1. And they refer to anything north of The Bronx as “upstate” New York. Talk about intellectually lazy. But those “upstaters” don’t count, because they’re mostly sensible, middle class Republicans or conservative Democrats, and they can’t outvote NYC’s liberal millions.

                    2. “they refer to anything north of The Bronx as “upstate”

                      Then they are fools, as everyone in NY knows, upstate begins @ 14th st. Anything between Union Square & Westchester is Upstate NY, anything north of The Bronx is Canada.

                    3. I like Tony, but do find him to be affected by the NY Libs. He can be just a little too Ironic.
                      It seemed to be with a certain fear he did his show on the Seal Hunters of Canada, where he sat down with them and ate the days catch.
                      On the other hand I agree with him on the Nanny State. Seat belts, smoking laws and all sorts of other crap that the government feels the need to take away, and that the jack booted sociopathic thugs that are hired by the state to exert its will over our lives. This is the sort of crap that causes those of us in Trailers to vote against our own supposed self interest.

                      My only personal dealings with the NY libs was when I was working in Maine. There I was, dirty from cleaning out a messy apartment, waiting in line for an Ice Cream. The couple cut in front of me, complaining about Bush with the usual yadda yadda.
                      There they were, stepping on the toes of the supposed “little people” who they believed they were representing. The person behind the counter caught their intrusion and made them step aside.

    2. Regardless, whiff of the jack boot is some nice wording.

  2. Anthony Bourdain kicks ass. He is the kind of liberal they don’t make anymore. I am sure I would disagree with him about a million things. But, in the end I think he values freedom and respects people for who they are. There really isn’t even a whiff of the class smugness that permeates nearly every liberal I know.

    1. Agreed. He’s come a long way from his original, very liberal beliefs. Even if he was an open and avid Marxist he’d still hold a special place in my heart because of Kitchen Confidential.

      1. this was made more clear to me in the episode where he hung with ted nugent. he grudgingly admitted that he had a lot of respect for nugent after meeting him, and even had some fun with guns.

        bourdain clearly was steeped in newyorkliberalculture(tm) for a long time.

        give him some more time to shed that absurdity.

    2. You’re such a snob, John.

      1. And you’re so *deserving* of disdain…

    3. this is a good point. many on the left have stopped being liberals and started being progressives.

  3. Michelle Obama must love this guy.

  4. Bourdain would probably make a good Reason food(ie/critic). In food matters, he seems fairly libertarian. Though, I must admit I let that observation creep into my idea of the rest of his politics, but I have no idea what his actually are.

    1. It’s pretty clear Bourdain doesn’t know precisely what his own politics are, either.

      Which is fine. That’s the way normal people should be. People like us who hang out on a political blog every day are the ones who aren’t normal.

  5. Bourdain is not so keen on the 2nd amendment. He just needs to hang out with Nugent more often.

    1. You can tell that he has spent way to much time around Manhattan liberals. He has positions like “guns are bad” because that is pretty much been in the air he breaths his whole life. But to his credit, he seems to be fairly open minded. He is just never around anyone to convince him otherwise.

      1. In the No Reservations episode that he goes shooting with Nugent he pretty much admits to being a hypocrite about guns. Actually it was one of the clips shows with footage from the ep. where he hangs out with Nugent.

        1. I liked that one. And he also admitted what a smart and interesting guy Nugent is. Can you imagine any other media liberal doing the same? I can’t.

          Did you see the episode on Maine? He goes to this restaurant run by some really high end chef from NYC who relocated up to main and grows her own food for her restaurant. You could tell that Bourdain respected her as a chef and liked her food. But you could also tell how pretentious he thought the whole thing was. And sure enough, at the end of the show he tells his camera man who brought him up there how the food he got out in the woods with the Maine rednecks was “the best food of the whole trip”. I would love to have seen the look on the New York chick’s face when she saw the end of the episode.

          1. I think so. It’s been a while though. The funny part is that all the of the restaurants he’s gone to that are ranked as the best in the world: El Bulli, The French Laundry, Mugaritz, Arzak, etc, are despite being absurdly expensive are less pretentious than places like that one in Maine.

            1. For being ranked #1 chef in the world, Ferran Adri? is pretty humble. Unlike someone like, oh…Bobby Flay.

              1. I’d like to see him go back to Spain for a third time to see Mugaritz reopen. It burnt to the ground in Feb.

                Off topic:
                1. El Bulli closes it’s doors in 2 years, meaning I’ll never get to eat there or more importantly stage there. 🙁

                2. Flay opened a burger joint around the corner from one of my jobs. Hitting it up for lunch. Heard it’s good, not great, but he bring an economy of scale with him, so it’s pretty reasonably priced.

              2. I’ve disliked Flay since the very beginning.

                1. I’d rather watch a week of Emeril than a minute of Flay.

                  Emeril annoys the hell out of me.

                2. My wife and I thought Flay was a real arrogant ass years ago, but he seems to have mellowed a great deal over the last couple of years.

        2. You may be right. He actually looks like he enjoyed emptying those clips into the targets. I enjoyed the show greatly.

          1. He did enjoy it. He SAYS in the episode that his thing about gun control is just that he doesn’t want OTHER PEOPLE to have them. It’s fine if him and the Nuge own as many as they want though…..He hasn’t really thought that through i guess.

  6. Slightly OT….I’ll be driving from DC to Cape Cod in a few weeks. What I would LOVE to know is if anyone knows of any decent guide that has suggestions for eating along I-95. Anything to avoid the Hell that are highway rest stops, especially Molly Pitcher, is most welcome.


    2. There is some decent pizza in New Haven, and Stamford too. That’s about it, at least for the New England corridor.

      1. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of food in the Stamford area. And everywhere delivered! Decent veal parm and broccoli rabe was a welcome change from the crap they bring in when we work late in Seattle.

    3. Rhinds Deli is just off the interstate up in Connecticut. It is quite yummy.

      1. Rein’s Deli. Vernon, Ct, just north of Hartford. Agree on the yummy.

  7. ‘…to refer to Alice Waters, the revered doyenne of California cuisine, as “Pol Pot in a muumuu”.’

    For that alone, I should start watching his program.

    1. No, you should watch it to see him eat a raw seal with some Inuit, including an eyeball. Or a warthog anus. Or any of the other various insane shit he tries.

      1. I thought we had Andrew Zimmern for that kind of stuff.

        1. Zimmerman is barely a rung above Guy Fieri in douchebagginess. And Fieri’s picture is next to “douchebag” in the dictionary.

          1. Douchey? Nah, he’s too nebbish to be douchey. He’s just plain fucking odd.

            But, I agree 100% about Fieri. I would pull a Marcellus on him, were he to cross the street in front of me.

          2. I think the only person on Food Network who can actually cook is Ina Garten. That women cooks so well, I would actually consider marrying a fat woman like her for access to that kind of food. The rest of them are douches, except for Sandra Lee who is hot so who cares if she can cook.

            1. I like Alton Brown, though he’d be the first to acknowledge that he’s not a “real” chef.

              I also like Emeril, though he’s strictly a Cooking Channel guy now. I’ve watched a couple of the shows on the new channel (the former Fine Living)–not too bad. They appear to be running some old Food Network programming, too (it’s all owned by Scripps).

              1. AB is okay, although see my comment below. It is funny how many of the AB fans hate Rachel Ray. AB is a film maker who went to cooking school, But has never actually been a chef and has a staff of chefs who do all his cooking for him. Ray, in contrast really has been a chef. Take away their staffs and Ray would destroy Brown.

                1. No love for Giada’s large head?

                  1. I wouldn’t kick her out bed, but I like Sandra better. I don’t care if everything she makes is out of can.

                2. My dislike for Rachel Ray has nothing to do with my liking of Alton Brown. I’ve watched her cook–meh and meh.

                  Brown doesn’t pretend he’s a true chef. He’s a food geek.

                3. Ray has never been a chef. She was a purchaser for the produce section of a grocery store before she got her TV gig. Though she grew up “in the biz” your mother owning a restaurant is not the same thing as being a chef. The closest she ever got to a professional kitchen is as a manager on the other side of the pass (that’s where food goes when it’s ready).

                  Heston Bluementhal was a chemist and there is no question he’d F RR in the A blindfolded.

                  AB actually does research into the science of his show, don’t care if it’s him himself doing it or his staff. But he’s been demystifying food science for over a decade and that’s a good thing regardless of how much experience you have in a kitchen.

                  1. And AB is a trained chef, just not one with lots of practical experience. He is doing what he set out to do.

              2. I thought I knew how to boil water before I saw that Alton Brown episode. 30 minutes later I was a pro. It sure required a lot of gadgetry, though.

            2. I would actually consider marrying a fat woman like her for access to that kind of food

              She’s a walking, talking promotion for the slimming effects of black.

            3. Batali can cook like a mofo. Watch Molto Mario sometime. He knows what he’s doing.

              1. Yeah, he’s good. And he has the waistline to prove it. Skinny chefs are frauds.

            4. I thought we were talking about the Travel Channel foodies? How’d we get on FoodNetwork?

            5. i agree she’s a good cook, but she seems like such a pretentious cunt

          3. Hell no, Andrew Zimmern’s the coolest motherfucker on Travel Channel.

            1. He eats stuff that would make a Hell’s Angels badass whimper like a little girl.

            2. Zimmern weirded me out when he went to cuba. He thought it was really cool how the govt forces drivers to pickup hitchhikers.

              I love how he always has a joke about balls ready when eating testicles though.

  8. Bourdain is on tour this fall. Some big venues, too.

    1. He just came to DC, but I missed the show.

  9. The news last year about a deadly strain of E.coli in hamburgers sends Mr. Bourdain, an unabashed carnivore, into a paroxysm. The meat was sold by the food giant Cargill, “the largest private company in America. A hundred and sixteen billion dollars in revenue a year,” he rails, yet the company tried to “save a few cents on their low-end burgers” by using meat scraps that had been treated with ammonia to kill bacteria. The words “meat” and “treated with ammonia,” he says, should never appear in the same sentence “unless you’re talking about surreptitiously disposing of a corpse.”

    Is he a food libertarian when it comes to USDA/FSIS regulations?

    1. Where does he mention the USDA? I think he is against using ammonia on meat, which sounds pretty reasonable.

      1. The USDA approved the use of ammonia. He eats stuff that’s prepared in a way that would not pass USDA inspection.

        I just want to hear some famous food person slam the USDA/FSIS as cronies of Cargill. It sounds like he might be that guy.

    2. how exactly is criticizing corporations that fuck up unlibertarian?

      1. Especially when their fuck-up is the result of a government approved, and gross, meat processing procedure.

    3. What the hell is “a deadly strain of E. coli”? E. coli is E. coli. If your young or old and you ingest enough of it, it can kill you period. If you cook your burgers well done it doesn’t matter how much E. coli they started out with they will be safe to eat. It’s safe to eat the most maggot infested, rotten piece of roadkill if you freaking cook it well enough.

  10. Spam and Cinnabons formed the menu at my wedding. Very high class.

    1. The real question is: did anyone make a sandwich with the two, a la The Luther? And what was that devilish creation named?

  11. Bourdain – like the Top Gear guys – has a dream job. He gets to travel all over the world, to exotic location – and eat interesting food, meet interesting people, and drink interesting beverages. And get famous by it.

    The Top Gear guys get to drive exotic automobiles in exotic locations and generally clown around with each other. And get famous by it.

    Where do I sign up for a job like that?

    1. No kidding. The Top Gear guys have to have the greatest job ever. Oh this week John we want you to take the new 9-11 around the Nurbergring.

      1. Only if it’s with Sabine Schmitz. I’d drive around her ring a few times, knowwhadimean, knowwhadimean…

        1. I love Sabine. First, the fact that her name is “Sabine” makes her sexy enough. Add in the fact that she is some crazy German chick who drives BMW M5s around the Nurbergring for a living and that she is a legitimately cute blond, and you have quite an attractive package.

          1. I suspect that she’s also batshit crazy, but I could learn to tolerate that.

            Batshit crazy = fantastic sex. Such is the curse.

            1. I suspect that she’s also batshit crazy, but I could learn to tolerate tame that. With a hairbrush. 😉

            2. Hot chicks are often crazy. Because they can be.

  12. A whiff of the jackboot, indeed. Somebody should stick a jackboot up his ass. You fucking libertarian wimps and your sympathizers like to imagine that you’re resisting some sort of police state. Delusional assholes.

    1. And good morning to you too, sunshine.

    2. I took a Max in Ess Eff once.

    3. I’m so lonely I can’t even get my dog to lick my balls.

      1. I’m so lonely I can’t even get my dog to lick my balls.


        1. Now, where did I put Pip’s invitation? Oh, I remember. I shoved it up my ass.

    4. The advancing Police State came to a halt in November of 2008.

  13. Bourdain’s probably the least annoying and stupid celebrity there is, but some combination of getting famous, getting married, and getting stuck in Lebanon that one time made him forget he’s a comedian. The first couple years of “No Reservations” were brilliant, but the work he does now wouldn’t have made him someone we know. Punk Charles Kuralt is Charles Kuralt.

    He’s about two more “doncha hate” spiels away from being our Andy Rooney.

    Great. Great sandwich.

    1. Is there any act in show business that can get successful without their old fans saying they sold out and aren’t as good as they used to be?

      1. “Islam will go. It will vanish and shrink? I’m more popular than Muhammad now ? I don’t know which will go first, pop music or Islam.”

        1. Am I the only person who refers to her as Miley Ray Cyrus?

          1. Not anymore. Thanks Ted!

  14. He’s always struck me as the kind of guy who’s very entertaining at a distance but is probably an asshole to be around.

    1. Hard to say. I could see his whole “I love street food I love the little guy” shtick may just be an act. You never know. You would have to meet him to know for sure. I could see him being a total prick or being a hell of nice guy.

      1. Hard to say. I could see his whole “I love street food I love the little guy” shtick may just be an act.

        I don’t think it is. I think he really likes the wild west aspect of food preparation, and the street food vendors (especially in 3rd world countries) really represent that culture. He’s definitely an anti-nanny stater, and again, street food represents a wild west approach that’s difficult for centralized institutions to control.

        I could see him being a total prick or being a hell of nice guy

        My guess is he’s both. Ie, if he doesn’t like you, or doesn’t have time for you, he’s not going to sugar coat his interactions with you– and his reasons for not liking you may not seem rational. But if he does like you, he’s probably about as loyal a friend as you could have.

    2. Most cooks are, or leave out the first part.

    3. I knew him slightly when he worked at Les Halle in NY. As much as I wanted to like him he came across as a smarmy kick-down suck-up sort of guy.

  15. Bourdain came through town last year; it was amazing to watch people who should know better go completely ga-ga over him, just because he’s on the teevee.

    1. Nah, Bourdain is Da Man. There’s no room for sincere admiration in your world P?

      1. You could take all the sincere admiration on TV, stick it in a thimble and still have room for your thumb.

    2. I didn’t get a chance to see him when he came through my town, but I admire him for his down-to-earth, frank realism.

      He got an audience question (as he always does in his live show) about how one might go about switching careers (later in life) to become a chef. His response: Don’t even think about it.

  16. the revered doyenne of California cuisine, as “Pol Pot in a muumuu.”

    It was an excessive remark. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen Waters in a muumuu.

  17. Bourdain is still my favorite food guy, period.

    He actually acts as a brake for the ambitions of would-be home chefs. It doesn’t have to be complicated, fancy and full of ridiculous “stacked” presentation. Keep it simple, keep the ingredients fresh, learn a few basic techniques, eschew the high-end expensive gadgets, have one good knife, one good pan, and you can really cook good food.

    1. Your slight has not gone unnoticed by the Alton Brown Army. You’ll be hearing from us.

      1. While foodies love both, AB appeals to more of the “tech nerd” demographic; people that want to know why. Presumably these are people that can already pan sear a fish, grill a steak and braise a tough cut of meat reasonably well.

        Why yeast works in bread and beer is a much more technical question than how do you make a decent Boeuf Bourguignon.

        1. Baking is science. Cooking is art.

          1. Have you sold that as a shirt slogan yet?

        2. I love AB’s show. But at some point he becomes such a nerd and a foodie that he show gets ridiculous. I am sorry but it is not worth it to spend three months caring and feeding a pickle jar when I can just go to the store and buy one already made. Yeah, my homemade ones would be better but not that much better, it is a pickle for God’s sake. At his worst, he spends a lot of time and effort to create some pretty mundane things.

          1. I don’t think he’s insisting that you do everything he does. He’s frankly my favorite Food Network personality.

            1. Giada.

              1. I like Sandra Lee. She has smaller boobs, but a head that is proportionate to her body.

                1. She actually has long banana boobs that hang to her waist. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

                2. Just looked her up. For some reason, I wasn’t expecting a caucasian…

          2. Maybe because Im a homebrewer so spending long periods of time to make something I can buy at the store seems reasonable to me, but Ive considered making pickles based on his episode.

          3. it is a pickle for God’s sake

            Oh, I dunno. I’ve had some homemade dill pickles that would blow your head off. Way, way, way better than anything I ever have bought in any store, anywhere. Definitely worth waiting for.

            The mass-produced, store-bought pickles are all bland mush by comparison. Shades of grey.

            1. They’re not worth buying from the store unless you get them from the refrigerated case. The shit on the shelves should be banned, aside from bread&buttter; chips.

          4. I get annoyed, too, when I think he’s trying to get me to make something that would cost four times as much through raw preparation as buying it in the store (i.e. granola).

  18. Pol Pot committed the greatest proportional democide of the 20th Century. The target of his ire must have done something awful like use to much basil.

    Bourdain attended Vassar in 1973. I wonder what he thought of Pol Pot back then? One could make a very disturbing book out the praise heaped on the Khmer Rouge in the early 70s. John Kerry had some particularly interesting observations.

    Of course, if you’re lazy you could just take some contemporary comments about the Middle-East and do a search and replace on “Hamas” or “Hezbollah”.

    Somethings never change.

    1. Hey Shannon, here’s a quarter. Why don’t you go downtown and buy a sense of humor with it.

      1. I bet Pol Pot liked thin pizza.

        1. He was more of a savory crape kind of guy. That whole Paris education thing.

        2. Pol was originally from Chicago (Napier) so I suspect deep dish while the peasants sang in the fields was more up his alley.

          1. No he isn’t. More lies to deny his thin pizza lust.

            1. “No he wasn’t” would be more correct.

  19. There’s no room for sincere admiration in your world P?

    There is.

    But there wasn’t much on display.

  20. I admire Bourdain and his ability to tell the stories from his years as a chef and world traveler, but as someone mentioned upthread he glosses over his hypocritical politics and opinions when it comes to just about anything. As is mentioned in the WSJ review, he mentions Grant Achatz of Alinea in Chicago who he says is “probably a genius, one of the best chefs in America.” Yet Bourdain hates the restaurant, and bitches incessantly about his “suffering” through a 20 course meal at Alinea. “I thought it lethally self-serious, usually pointless, silly, annoying, and generally joyless. It was, for me, a misery from beginning to end.”

    Woe is you, poor Mr. Bourdain, who had to suffer to horribly through a $250 dinner. I would like the guy a little more if he wasn’t so spineless about his opinions and actually stayed consistent about his beliefs.

    1. That’s perfectly consistent, though. Grant Achatz may be an incredibly talented chef. That doesn’t mean his restaurant is worth eating at. I’ll use music as a comparison. There are some phenomenally talented musicians who release records that are boring as all get out. The individual may have a excess of talent, but the final result may or may not be worth a crap. This doesn’t detract from the talent of the individual, though.

      1. It seems somewhat counter intuitive to say that the guy is the best Chef in America yet the food he makes is “lethally self-serious, usually pointless, silly, annoying, and generally joyless”.

        He doesn’t say he’s the most “talented”. He says he’s a genius and the one of the best chefs in America. If he’s one of the best chefs in America then his output shouldn’t be “generally joyless”.

        To use your analogy, it’s like saying “Jimi Hendrix is one of the best best guitar players in America but I hate listening to his music”.

        That’s just stupid.

        1. Alternatively, maybe that particular meal was tedious, &c. You can’t hit every one out of the park, can you?

          1. Carlos Santana is a genius but has some albums that are “lethally self-serious, usually pointless, silly, annoying, and generally joyless”.

            1. Carlos Santana is not only NOT a genius, but he’s one of the most overrated guitar players on the planet. He had two or three good albums in the 60’s and 70’s and the rest have been rehashes of the same five licks he uses on every song.

              Plus he wore that Che t-shirt to the grammys. Fuck Carlos.

              1. +250

              2. +250 more

          2. Yeah, I see what you mean. But one would think that with 20 courses AB could find SOMETHING that the “best chef in America” made that wasn’t horribly unpleasant.

            1. Maybe the food wasn’t what he found unpleasant but the idea of a 20 course meal.

              1. Possibly. A friend of mine was treated to a dinner at Alinea recently by his boss and he showed me some things he had that looked insane, and according to my friend were out of the park amazing.

                I kinda get the impression that AB doesn’t like Alinea because Achatz isn’t cooking the way Bourdain would like him to cook.

                1. Grant Achatz has served me the single greatest meal of my life at French Laundry (before coming to Chicago). I respect his abilities. The meal (at Alinea) just didn’t connect with me on an emotional level. I think it’s more a reflection of me. My wife is a brutal critic of restaurants and dining, and she absolutely loved it and thought it was delicious and fun.

                  I’d link to the article, but the Reason spam filter throws out my post if I do. It’s from an interview he did with Chicago Business.

                  1. Thanks Steve, that makes more sense.

                2. Stop calling Bourdain AB.
                  AB is common shorthand for Alton Brown already.

              2. Grant Achatz has served me the single greatest meal of my life at French Laundry (before coming to Chicago). I respect his abilities. The meal (at Alinea) just didn’t connect with me on an emotional level. I think it’s more a reflection of me. My wife is a brutal critic of restaurants and dining, and she absolutely loved it and thought it was delicious and fun.

                Interview with Bourdain

        2. “Jimi Hendrix Steve Vai is one of the best best guitar players in America but I hate listening to his music”.

          See, it can be consistent.

          1. I kinda see what you mean, but I still think it’s inconsistent. If he was truly a good guitar player then his music wouldn’t be so incredibly shitty.

            1. I think it is the pretension that people protest. Steve Vai could sit with an acoustic guitar and play something beautiful enough to make you cry, instead he noodles to new age music.

              Same thing with the chef, he could probably make amazing food, but when you try to make a meal a two hour “experience” something gets lost.

              It’s the ostentation and haughtiness that draws the ire, it seems to speak of misplaced talent.

  21. Perhaps he cares more about food, travel, and enjoying himself than nitpicky ideological argument.

    1. The thing that bugs me is that he likes to make libertarian stands on things like the nanny state dictating what we should eat, but then he whines that people are too fat and making him pay more for health insurance. It makes his stance seem somewhat weak at best.

  22. Best Bourdain line is about about how it’s really guys named Jose and Eduardo who cook all the amazing french and foreign food in most retaurants in America.

    AB I think kicks all kinds of ass, but his style isn’t for everyone, probably mostly nerds. I like learning about the ‘why’ in cooking and I think it builds a great base for which to experiment on. Hi recipes are nothing special in the slightest but you should learn from him how to make a roux, what an emultion is and how not to break it, and the pure awesomeness of the Mailard reaction. That’s just three things that can make you a better cook than most people. Take what you learn, apply it, make your own deliciousness that fits yourself and your family.

    1. We have the Mailard reaction to thank for yummy toast!!

      Nerd up!

    2. Roux the Day, baby!

    3. Indeed. Learn the techniques from his show…but never, for any reason, use his recipes. And when he says…”traditionally this dish is done ______________, but I __________________…always go with the “traditionally.”

  23. I understand his concern about raw food enthusiasts due to their orthodox consumption politics (mainly) but raw foods itself – seperated from the folks who undertake such diets can be made in lots of delicious and creative ways a curious chef like AB should be interested in exploring…

  24. Keith Floyd is what it’s all about in the TV Chef stakes. Note, this has nothing to do with his cooking ability.

  25. Sadly one of my other favorite TV chefs was Chef Molester from The Frugal Gourmet

  26. His blog post a few months ago about being totalled disarmed by Racheal Ray (sp?) being nice to him was pretty funny.

  27. The only TV chef I think is worth a damn is Jacques Pepin. The Worst? Alton Brown.

    I enjoyed the first couple seasons of No Reservations. Then, I think, Bourdain became exactly what he rails against. He’s just as pretentious in his views as the foodie-frou-frou types are in theirs. Just my opinion.

  28. I like Bourdain’s show but my favorite is still America’s Test Kitchen. Mostly for the fact that at the end when they taste the food they have an orgasm. ‘Mmmmm mmmm oh that’s so good!” LOL.

    1. Yeah, ATK is the tops. Honest equipment reviews, great recipes, & Chris Kimball’s homemade maple syrup. Also, don’t forget the joy that is Martin Yan.

  29. Bourdain, libertarian? I don’t think so. Perhaps the “fat bastards” out there don’t think much of insuring his smoking habit and well-publicized consumption of certain mind-altering substances. Typical liberal-statist, “everybody’s vices except mine should be banned.”

  30. Are you following his Medium Raw Challenge? They got lots of awesome stories, including this one about doughnuts and lust sprinkled with sugar. Don’t forget to vote if you like it!

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