Bourdain Coming to Richmond – At Last

November 13, 2012

By Karen

My eyes boinged out of their sockets this morning at the news Anthony Bourdain is finally — FINALLY! — coming to Richmond. He’s gracing us with his Guts & Glory at the newly-renovated Landmark Theater April 23, 2013.

I can hardly wait.

Moving on to chocolate, the rumor of Bourdain taking the merchandising plunge — with Eric Ripert — is true. Their Good & Evil bar hit the market November 9.

Last April, Eric hacked his way through the jungles of Peru with Pennsylvania chocolatier Christopher Curtin to reach rare trees that produce cacao beans long believed extinct, and he helped harvest them.

The result is a delicacy that’s 72% cacao, weighs 2.6 ounces, and retails for $18. Each.

If anybody splurges and orders one, please let us 99-Percenters know if you could detect its dark cherry notes.

A blogger at The New Yorker recently ripped Tony a new one for his very existence, accusing him of “brutishness” and leaving a “crude hickey on food culture.” Tony shot back promptly in the third comment. He must get Google alerts on himself.

As you probably know, No Reservations wrapped forever with Tony’s visit to Brooklyn. Especially poignant was the thought that his locales may have been doomed by Hurricane Sandy. (I wondered what happened to one man’s collection of vintage cars? And will Zamir follow Tony to CNN?)

Bourdain blogged what he considers his best and worst episodes of No Res. I have to agree that Rome, even in black and white, sticks in my mind. Tony in suit and tie tooling around with Ottavia glammed up like Sophia Hepburn was so Roman Holiday.

His remaining Travel Channel series, The Layover, debuts its second (and last) season November 19. I’m waiting to see to what new lows TC will sink to stretch the illusion of a Bourdain association.

But maybe they won’t be sorry to see the last of Tony after his cuss-filled Twitter tirade when they secretly spliced gratuitous shots of Cadillacs into Brooklyn show promo, making it look like his endorsement.

It took me right back to the days they had him flash a Chase Sapphire card to pay for his meals in exotic places.

UPDATE: Just discovered that Tony blogged at length about the Cadillac incident. He’s STILL pissed with Travel Channel, and rightly so, by the sound of it.

Travel Channel is such a clusterfuck on so many levels, you have to give them credit for creative underhandedness in advertising. I just realized they recently started duplicating episodes out on Verizon On Demand to trick hapless viewers into watching the longer one laced with commercials.

Almost forgot… I caught the first 4 half-hour episodes of Tony’s PBS series, The Mind of a Chef, starring David Chang. It came on at 2 a.m. here. Thanks to Bourdain, I’ve got this obsession with finding the perfect noodle, and that’s what the first episode was about. I didn’t expect the series to hold my attention, but it totally did. Highly recommend it.

And finally, Tony’s still writing for the HBO series Treme, and did a scene for Emeril Lagasse that reveals him in a light (and with a mouth) you’ve probably never seen before.

UPDATE: This will teach me not to read Twitter before I post. Bourdain’s new CNN series is called Parts Unknown. I like that. Here’s the promo.


Is Bourdain Stalked by a Tattooed Freak?

April 26, 2010

By Karen

On April 24, Cats Working reader Adele (human, not feline) met Anthony Bourdain after his appearance in Chicago. She promises to tell us all about it, but in the meantime, last week wrapped Season 6 of No Reservations and proved extremely full.

April 19 was the Bourdains’ wedding anniversary. Tonic.com reported on the April 20 Can-Do Awards Dinner to benefit the NYC Food Bank  they attended. Emeril Lagasse was the special honoree and the event raised $1.4 million for hunger relief.

On April 21, Tony visited Borders’ HQ in Ann Arbor, Michigan, talking to Merchandising about his upcoming book, Medium Raw. Makes me wonder if there’s extensive book tour in the works.

In advance of his April 23 appearance in Minneapolis, Pioneer Press got an advance phone interview.

Star Tribune also talked to Bourdain in an interview titled, “Bad boy and mellow fellow.” Seems Tony has changed his mind about his last meal.

City Pages provides a run-down on what Bourdain discussed in Minneapolis, and mentioned the heavily-tattooed possible stalker who joined him on stage and dropped his pants.

Chicago Tribune got an excellent interview with Bourdain before his appearance there April 24. Tony admits he’s “burnt out” on 20-course menus and intriguingly mentions his future Vietnam book as just a “hope.”

Personally, I’d advise him to go sooner rather than later for Ariane’s sake. My parents uprooted me at ages 10, 14, 15, and 17 and it was rough. Let Ariane help Dad satisfy his yen for Southeast Asia by middle school so she can find friendships that will last through high school and beyond. Losing that opportunity can be a real bitch later in life.

Chicago Business got another interview.

Saint Tigerlily loves Bourdain, but Les Halles Cookbook, not so much. She made his coq au vin and meticulously details what went wrong.

And while we’re ripping Bourdain a new one, NY Restaurant Examiner Howard Portnoy takes serious issue with Tony’s very existence and his views on food bloggers.

The Little Things invokes Bourdain in discussing the new Scripps Cooking Channel, set to debut May 31. The Stir has just the opposite opinion.

Tony’s take on the new network was mostly positive, as reported in the Washington Examiner: “What’s worse, another network about food, or another network filled with steroid-jacked reality freakazoids?”

Eater.com again collected Tony’s best one-liners from the Food Porn 2 finale.


Bourdain Gets Snarky on Sandra Lee

September 16, 2008

By Karen

Answering an off-beat question from Cory Streeter of The Kansas City Star, Anthony Bourdain side-swiped Sandra Lee. Here’s the exchange:

Streeter: You have differing opinions on a lot of celebrity chefs. Here’s a different twist on it: If Britney Spears became a chef, would you ever try her food?

Bourdain: So you’re talking someone that’s as stupid and talentless and messed up as Britney Spears cooking? Hasn’t it happened already? (Laughs.) I think we have a pretty good idea what that creature would look like if that happened. It would be called “Semi-Homemade,” and she has a show on Food Network already.

Read the rest of his wit and wisdom here.

I did feel warm and fuzzy when he said he wouldn’t scoff at someone who fails with chopsticks – if they’re enthusiastic about trying. I study his technique every time I see him eat with them, but his dexterity still escapes me.

Bourdain’s in Kansas City presenting, “A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Conditions” tonight. Interesting that he’s using his old Food Network title again, since it really fits him best. He’s probably still trying to buff the tarnish off No Reservations after somebody slapped it on a so-so “chef” movie to lend Catherine Zeta-Jones credibility in front of a stove.

Bourdain in NYC, Sept. 14, 2008

Bourdain in NYC, Sept. 14, 2008

A day earlier, Tony was in New York City at the Star Chefs International Chefs’ Congress having a discussion with Marco Pierre White moderated by Michael Ruhlman. He had kind words for Emeril Lagasse and others, and praised the late Julia Child as lovingly as he’d soon be disparaging Sandra Lee:

She [Julia] struck the ideal balance between chef and chef personality, plus her recipes still work today. She could have been the Martha Stewart of her day with a huge multimedia enterprise.


Assessing the Bourdain Backlash

April 14, 2008

By Karen

Travel Channel finally reran No Reservations in French Polynesia, the only episode I’d missed, but I’m bummed because Anthony Bourdain is crisscrossing the U.S. like a maniac with no signs of ever stopping in Richmond, Va.

Tony and ham sandwich at Parisian sidewalk cafe

Tony in Paris, my favorite No Reservations

Snipes at Bourdain have been crossing my radar lately, so I Googled “hate Anthony Bourdain” to see how bad it is and got only 80 hits. Rachel Ray’s fans apparently aren’t into defending her honor. Even so, I’m sure Bourdain knows that saying exactly what he thinks about everyone and everything may get him cornered in a dark alley one day.

To give you a few examples, in July 2006 he was just back from Beirut when he managed to slam everyone on the Food Network in the Washington Post while paying Emeril Lagasse the ugliest compliments I’ve ever read:

“I still hate his [Emeril’s] show and will continue to say so. Emeril the man, however, I have come to know, deserves a lot more respect than I’ve given him. He’s an accomplished chef and businessman in spite of what you see on TV. He has a sense of humor and given the current crop of talentless, cabbage patch kids, bobbleheads and dimwits on the Food Network, Emeril now looks like Escoffier by comparison.”

Hezbollah Tofu is a new blog by Sara that bills itself as a “Bourdain Veganizing Collective, meant to call attention and mockery to the absolute ridiculousness of Anthony Bourdain earnestly comparing vegans to the freakin Hezbollah.”

She’s steamed over this passage in Kitchen Confidential:

“Vegetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans, are a persistent irritant to any chef worth a damn. To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food.”

To retaliate, Sara’s blog publishes vegan versions of his recipes.

There’s also a fake Gordon Ramsay blog at News Groper that skewers the new Top Chef cookbook and blasts Tony’s chapter for his lack of cred as a working chef.

I’m guessing Bourdain appreciates his bashers’ humor, even when it’s unintentional.


Indulging My Bourdain Habit

February 17, 2008

By Karen

Watching each episode of No Reservations is to fall under the spell of Anthony Bourdain all over again. I particularly love when he visits my favorite places, such as London, and Edinburgh, where my sister lives.

bourdain3.jpg

(Photo by Entertainment Weekly)

Tony’s a changed man these days. When Marco Pierre White said, “Time for a cigarette,” this new ex-smoker didn’t even wince. His wedding ring’s now a permanent fixture, and he exchanged his beloved leather jacket for a sports coat to prowl through Soho, looking like a mature, world-savvy sophisticate with a wife and child back home – or back at his hotel.

(After seeing him next to that mysterious baby in Greece, I now study every frame for signs of family.)

To please admirers of his hard-bitten style, he did pull out his well-worn leather friend in Scotland.

The man showed true sang froid when they placed before him the head of the deer he’d killed while he was eating its liver. Then again, a severed head centerpiece on a white tablecloth was pretty classy compared to some table settings he’s had.

In Edinburgh, he sampled the nastiest bits he could find, but that was about it. Surely there was enough worthy gastronomy for him in each country to have given them their own hours.

Although I can’t get enough Bourdain, I’m striking out on Food Network’s reruns of A Cook’s Tour. My VCR acts like it’s cursed whenever I try to record it, perhaps manifesting my utter disgust over how FN dissed Emeril Lagasse, my No. 1 favorite (still)-working chef.

emeril.jpg
(Photo by The Cleverley Show)

Seeing Emeril and Bourdain breaking bread together in New Orleans like old friends was another moment to savor – one of thousands they’ve both given us.


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