NPR’s interview with Anthony Bourdain

Instead of mourning the death of Anthony Bourdain, which I doubt he’d want, let’s listen to a nice 37-minute interview he did with Dave Davies on NPR’s “Fresh Air” two years ago. Click on the screenshot to go there; it’s a nice overview of Bourdain’s life and gives you a good feel for the man:

A quote:

“I’m happiest experiencing food in the most purely emotional way. And it’s true of most of my chef friends as well. When it’s, like, street food or a one-chef, one-dish operation, or somebody who’s just really, really good at one or two or three things that they’ve been doing for a very long time, that’s very reflective of their ethnicity or their culture or their nationality — those are the things that just make me happy.

I’m spoiled, like a lot of fellow chefs. We get a lot of fine wines and dinners thrown our way and you do reach this enviable point where you just don’t want to sit there for four hours, with course after course after course. It’s too much, first of all. It doesn’t feel good at the end of that time, and it’s not interesting. And if the waiter is taking 10 minutes to describe each dish [and] it’ll only take you three to eat it, something’s really wrong. I think people lose sight of the fact that chefs should be ultimately in the pleasure business, not in the look-at-me business.”


  1. mikeyc
    Posted June 9, 2018 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I heard this when it first aired. I was sitting in a car watching my son training in the rain with his youth soccer team. It’s what prompted me to read “Kitchen Confidential”. He sounded so real. I’m sorry he’s gone. It’s a loss.

  2. Merilee
    Posted June 9, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink


  3. GBJames
    Posted June 9, 2018 at 2:02 pm | Permalink


  4. Ken Kukec
    Posted June 9, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    Great quote from Chef Tony. The man had as much of a way with words as he did with food.

  5. bbenzon
    Posted June 9, 2018 at 2:32 pm | Permalink


  6. Randall Schenck
    Posted June 9, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Permalink

    Going to miss this guy. CNN is going to miss him as well. He went to places almost nobody sees. A long house in Borneo? I would not even no what that is if I hadn’t read a book about a plane crew who crash in Borneo during the war.

  7. Mark R.
    Posted June 9, 2018 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    He was a great teacher with a wicked wit…easy to listen to and easy to read. I’ve never read any of his novels, but I’m sure they’re entertaining and well written. I’ve also always enjoyed his many appearances as guest judge on shows like Top Chef.

  8. George
    Posted June 9, 2018 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    You have people like Anthony Bourdain who are fascinated by our species. Bourdain’s show and books were not really about food. They were about people. You see the commonalities we all share and seek to find common ground despite differences. Eating is important to our species. Most of our history has been a quest for calories. And then you have little Donny, the orange short fingered vulgarian who sees the world as us and them, winners and losers. That ultimately is the divide we have today in America.

    I think back to the show Bourdain did in Vietnam with Obama. They went to a hole in the wall in Hanoi and ate Bun Cha while drinking Vietnamese beer. That effect of that meal has had massive consequences in Vietnam. Supposedly, for some reason, the Vietnamese love Americans. That small gesture by Obama sent things over the top. Two years later, it still reverberates through the country. This black man, president of the United State, sitting on a plastic stool eating Vietnamese comfort food. Obama shares Bourdain’s sensibilities about people. Trump cannot even begin to comprehend it.

    Good Rolling Stone article on this topic:

    • Merilee
      Posted June 9, 2018 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Good article and interesting man.
      The picture of the boar’s head reminded me that I made the best spaghetti carbonara ever tonight using wild boar bacon, which I just discovered at a farm nearby. On Anthony’s point about killing what you eat, I would have a very difficult time doing that, hypocrite that I am.

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