Archive for the 'Tony Bourdain' Category


I don’t think I’m alone when I say that I totally Would Tony Bourdain. I mean, look at this fuckin’ guy. The man is pure sex. I would sop him up with a biscuit. He’s tall, lithe, seemingly untouched by years of hard drugs and fattening foods…I just want to lean against a brick wall and share a cigarette with him, asking question upon question until he grabs my hand to shut me up…..

ANYWAY. T.B. has been my guru since my college boyfriend introduced me to his 2000 book, Kitchen Confidential. I ate that shit up with a spoon, savoring every acerbic, biting anecdote and seamy detail of the various kitchens Bourdain labored in over the years. BJ’s from the waitresses, lines of coke in the dry-storage freezer, all while soaked in alcohol and heroin. GOD YES. I want to be just like him. Or I wanna be on him. Potato, potahto.

He followed up KC with A Cook’s Tour in 2001, then released The Nasty Bits, as if he sensed that his two previous rehashings of his years as a drugged-out, sexed-up line cook just weren’t enough for his ravneous fans. Let me just assure you here that Bourdain is indeed a classically trained chef, having graduated from the CIA in 1978. He’s not some bum off the street who decided that a chef’s hat would be a nice change of pace. This man can, and does, cook his ass off. He worked his way through the ranks at Brasserie Les Halles in NYC, eventually making himself known in the culinary world as a kind of prodigal son of punk rock chefs; establishing himself as a persona and a brand before branding onself was “in”.
Now, this guy is not your average Food Network star (though he did have a show on the increasingly bland food channel, pulled off the air in response to viewer’s Puritanical outrage at his filthy language and unabashed sexual innuendos). He doesn’t specialize in anything in particular, and has nothing but disdain for your Rachael Rays and Emeril Lagasses and their watered-down versions of accessible cuisine. Instead, Bourdain circles the globe on his Travel Channel show, No Reservations, his lanky body awkward and obvious in places like Thailand and Japan, a collossus surrounded by Lilliputians. He eats chicken sashimi, still-beating cobra hearts, and downs cow’s blood like shots of Patron, all between drags of a cigarette and sarcastic commentary on his awareness of how he sticks out like a sore thumb.
One of my favorite foodie stories involves Bourdain and Thomas Keller, executive chef at the very chi-chi, very exclusive, very expensive French Laundry restaurant in Napa Valley. As a nod to Bourdain’s fondess of ciggie-butts, Keller served Bourdain a 20-course tasting menu, the midpoint of which Bourdain was presented with a “coffee and cigarette” course consisting of a tobacco-infused coffee custard with foie gras mousse.

I’d lick the bottom of his kitchen Crocs for just fifteen minutes with this guy, picking his brain and letting him regale me with stories from the “seedy underbelly” of life in the back of the house.


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