Is Vietnam Anthony Bourdain’s Impossible Dream?

By Karen

Anthony Bourdain has had a love affair with Vietnam for years, and its reckoning day may have come.

He recently returned to Vietnam in No Reservations, planning to get serious about fulfilling his dream to spend a year there. He hinted on his blog it would begin in 2010.

Now he’s left me wondering if he can go through with it.

Vietnamese lifestyle and his new roles as husband and father seem to have put him between the proverbial rock and hard place.

Tony’s house-hunt began in Hoi An, the sort of laid-back locale he loves.

It turned him into Tonylocks.

The first house he found was a hovel, with an open fire for a stove and primitive bathroom facilities – an accident scene waiting to happen to daughter Ariane, who would be about 3. Tony admitted the place would have his wife in tears, but declared if he were single, he’d love to live there.

The next home was sumptuous, with modern, Western-style amenities galore – its only drawback a culinary school teeming with detested foodies just across a picturesque bridge.

Tony claimed the home was beyond his price point. But if he could afford such air-conditioned splendor, complete with indoor plumbing, could he still be enchanted by the scenic vistas around him of the locals toiling in rice paddies and living in near-squalor?

I think not.

Tonylocks never found the house that was “just right,” returning to bustling Saigon with the issue seemingly unresolved.

Sitting on a curb, he restated his devotion to everything Vietnamese, yet there seemed an unspoken subtext: “I’m never going to get Ottavia to go for this.”

For the second time in his life, I’m afraid Bourdain may be faced with choosing between satisfying his wanderlust (and a book deal) by going it alone while his wife and child live elsewhere in comfort, or putting family first and accepting that Vietnam’s a nice place to visit, but he’ll never live there.

My guess is that he’ll choose the latter, he’ll write a different book, and he’ll get over it. He knows better than anyone there are plenty of breathtaking spots in the world where he and his family could thrive. Italy, for one.

As this plays out, I wish the Bourdains the best and hope they find a way for everyone to live happily ever after.

35 Responses to Is Vietnam Anthony Bourdain’s Impossible Dream?

  1. Deb says:

    I love reading about your love affair with Bourdain! And…martinis…even the 4 legged ones!

  2. Bob says:

    Planning on watching the NEW Vietnam episode today.

    I can see what you mean about the choice that he will obviously have to make. He’s definitely in dreamland when he talks about the country. But does Ottavia share his, let’s call it, “Sense of adventure”????

  3. catsworking says:

    Deb, no love affair here. He’s a married man! I’m just someone who finds his activities fascinating because I obviously don’t have enough of a life of my own. 😉

  4. catsworking says:

    Bob, when you see that first place he checks out in Hoi An, you will be reminded of Bette Davis’ famous line from one of her old movies: “What a DUMP!”

    Unless he opts to live in a city like Saigon where there are probably decent lodgings, he may have to either lower his standard of living to a level Ottavia may find unacceptable, or go for the big mansion and become an overlord to the people around him, and I feel sure that’s the last thing he would want to do.

    But if he lives in Saigon, he might as well be in Manhattan (except for the food), because he will lose the rolling hills and farm land he loves so much, replacing it with streets clogged with motor scooters.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t return from that trip feeling very conflicted about the whole plan.

    PS: I thought the episode itself was one of his best, writing- and photography-wise. You can always tell when he’s in the zone and genuinely moved by a place. Instead of being struck dumb with awe, it makes him even more articulate.

  5. Adele says:

    I figure Tony’s got a small window in which he can move to Vietnam for a year. Once Ariane’s school-aged, the family will need to stay in one place. I still think it’s possible that he might find a place. The manicurist, I used to visit, (when I was more flush)was Vietnamese, and she went home every summer for a couple of weeks. She showed me pictures of her father’s house, which, as near as I could understand, was in Central Vietnam, and although it didn’t look like house#2, it was a lovely home, with a western style kitchen. I asked her about the plumbing, and she grinned proudly and said, “American plumbing.”

    Ottavia is interested in Asian martial arts, and I suspect that she may be up for adventure, within reason. The greater concern, I would suspect, would be finding an acceptable source of medical care for Ariane, and the family in general — that could be the real deal breaker.

    I just received A Cook’s Tour from Amazon, and although I’m finishing another book, I did read the letter to Nancy at the beginning and the introduction. I think it’s pretty obvious that she didn’t share Tony’s wanderlust.

  6. catsworking says:

    Good points, Adele. Medical care would probably be a valid concern for them. But Ottavia could probably take her martial arts skill up a few notches studying under the experts.

    Why do I picture a house like the one you described as being something out in the Vietnamese ‘burbs? Is there even such a thing? If so, I can’t see Tony living there. If he can’t be in the middle of the action, he seems to want to be out in the middle of nowhere.

    A Cook’s Tour is high on my list of books to reread. It was the first book of his I ever read, and I devoured it, so I don’t remember much about it. But I do remember laughing a lot in delight.

  7. Adele says:

    I’m trying to finish Lush Life, by Richard Price, but I had to read a few chapters in A Cook’s Tour (is there some Control+number formula I can use to find italics — haven’t figured out how to do that when writing on a blog). I’ve read the first Vietnam chapter, Spain, and most of Cambodia, and I’m struck by how much more open Tony was than he is in No Reservations, Around the World On An Empty Stomach. I’m loving the writing; he seems much younger, even though he was in his mid-forties, when he wrote it. He’s also way less cautious about letting his political views creep through.

  8. Petunia says:

    Hmmmm…I have to say, I share your feeling that Tony may never pull off this dream of his. From knowing other people who have spent long periods of time living in Asia (for research mainly) I don’t think it’s a probelm for kids, who usually can adjust very easily to different cultures and locales and even thrive in them. As for the medical care, you’d be surprised how “advanced” some so-called Third World countries are. After all, the US has shameful rates re women dying in childbirth, infant mortality etc. We are no longer in the higher echelons of health care here.

    I would think the problems would be: what would his wife do all day? An interest in martial arts is not enough. I have no idea what ambitions she has or skills but when you are away from the life you’ve made and have moved basically to satisfy someone else’s agenda, it can be rough. Living in another culture–and I’m not talking about the 2-week kinds of situations that No Reservations entails–that is NOT getting to know another culture–is not easy–it brings a lot of stuff to the surface. Also, if they did move to Vietnam, that would pretty much cancel out a plan of having another child–I’m sure the wife would not want to be pregnant or deliver in Vietnam.

    But I think the bigger problem may be Tony himself. I don’t get that he has a very clear idea of the book he is thinking of writing (or contracted to write). I find his fiction pretty superficial, so can’t imagine a great novel coming out of this. There are lots of people writing about food in Vietnam already…The only thing is a kind of Year in Provence type work…What I have trouble imagining is Tony away from the constant travel, from the paid speaking engagements, from the press attention etc. I don’t think he will find giving all that up very easy. And how can you write a book about your experiences living in another country unless you give yourself over fully to it? It would be too bad–such a great opportunity missed.

  9. catsworking says:

    Adele, I just put italics in your comment to see the keystrokes. When I select Reply, I get a little menu at the top of the window that gives me some options, including bold, italics, etc. I don’t know if readers get the same thing. But when I select italics, it puts HTML code around the text. Did you ever use Wordperfect? It’s the same principle. If I just type the codes here for you, I think they will be translated into italics, so I will spell it out.

    At the front of the text, it’s “em” in brackets that look like this . The keystrokes are:


    At the end of the text, it’s:


    It’s a lot of trouble to get italics, but if you’re used to it, guess it becomes second-nature.

  10. catsworking says:

    Petunia, I sure hope the Bourdains are reading these comments because you guys are bringing up so many good points. I’m sure they’ve probably thought of all this stuff, but it’s always good to get an impartial third-party perspective.

    You’re right about medical care in other countries. In this morning’s paper, there were results of a study detailing just how far behind we are behind every other industrialized country–even though we throw far more money at healthcare than anyone. People are going to Eastern Europe to get their teeth fixed, it’s that bad.

    So, OK, maybe medical care will not be an issue. I don’t have any facts on that.

    And it’s true that Ariane will adjust to wherever they place her. And she’d probably end up trilingual (English-Italian-Vietnamese), which would be great.

    The real wild card is Ottavia. I remember when my family moved to Virginia from Massachusetts when I was 17. My mother lost her friends and family contacts, and didn’t work, so while the rest of the family was out making new friends, she was sitting home alone all day. We got so sick of listening to her complaining, we begged her to get a job, and she studied for her real estate license.

    Ottavia would have it even worse, moving to a place with such a vastly different culture, and where many people might not speak English. Sure, she can work on her martial arts, but that’s not a full-time occupation. And if they settle in some remote area, she’s probably not going to find a job. Besides, she would have a 3-year-old.

    Maybe she could go Zelda Fitzgerald and write her own book!

    The book Tony is supposed to write is a non-fiction account of living in Vietnam, and you’re right. How could he do that well if he’s gone a lot filming No Res? It seems more like a project for his retirement.

    And if he does do it now, giving up his public life, in a year when he returns, will people be asking, “Anthony who? Is he still alive?”

    Watching him in this last episode, I really do think he’s now seeing all the obstacles. I hope he can work it out.

  11. Petunia says:

    I forgot to add that, even if one is an accomplished cook, living in a culture where the food is so different, not to mention kitchens and cooking utensils as well as how you do your marketing, often makes it necessary to hire a cook or servant to do that for you (as well as clothes washing, housecleaning etc.). Thus would cut down even more on Ottavia’s activities. You can’t go out to dinner all the time!

  12. catsworking says:

    Petunia, you’re right. I had to laugh when they toured that first hovel and walked into the “kitchen.” I’m sure Tony had the same reaction. No way would Ottavia (or 99% of other women I suspect — myself, certainly) be caught dead going from a modern kitchen to squatting over a charcoal pit to fix meals.

    Even if they didn’t hire a servant, would Ottavia be content just keeping house after being a career woman before she met Tony? Especially if he continues filming for TV and is gone a lot?

    I really see her spending most of that year (whenever it is) in Italy with her parents and Ariane so he can do his thing in Vietnam and get it out of his system. In the process, I just hope he doesn’t get too changed and “outgrow” her, repeating the history of his first marriage.

    After seeing more of the Vietnam he has in mind, I really feel for the pickle she’s in, although they must have discussed this before they got married. He’s been talking about moving to Vietnam long before he met her.

  13. boscodagama says:

    Going Zelda? That’s dire.

  14. Petunia says:

    But even if they split their time up with him in Vietnam and her and the baby in Italy, I don’t think it would be easy for him to be on his own. He may travel the world but it’s a lot different when you have a camera crew and production unit constantly about than when you are on your own in a place where you will never really “fit in.”

  15. catsworking says:

    Boscodagama, I only meant it insomuch as Zelda’s literary endeavors. She wasn’t a bad writer.

    Certainly not the later insanity and unfortunate end. :-0

  16. catsworking says:

    Petunia, I think Bourdain may have inadvertently created one of those “be careful what you wish for” scenarios for himself. Once he gets there and the camera crew is gone, and maybe his family is elsewhere, reality may set in and he’ll regret he ever had the idea. Or he’ll plunge in with both feet and write one hell of a book.

    Two years ago, my sister suddenly decided to move to Scotland. She sold a lot of her stuff, put the rest in storage, shipped a pile over there (at great expense) along with her cat, and just went, much to the family’s dismay. She found a flat and a roommate from Germany and stayed nearly a year, working odd theater jobs here and there. Now she plans to return every summer.

    I’ve seen that transatlantic relocation can be successfully done. On the other hand, the culture shock involved with Scotland was minimal compared to what Bourdain would face in Vietnam. But he loves all things Asian and he’s really good with chopsticks, so if he takes the plunge, I’m sure he’ll make it work. He’d never let himself succumb to the humiliation of throwing in the towel after a few months like a pussy. His chef friends would never let him hear the end of it.

  17. Cindy says:

    Sorry to change the subject but I just found this
    Tony is rating and giving his comments on 18 food programs.

  18. catsworking says:

    No, Cindy, thanks for that link! Really good stuff!

  19. MorganLF says:

    Vietnam was a great episode, but his blog post “How can I miss you when you won’t go away?” was the shit. The old Tony is back! Funny cutting to the bone.

    I spent the next days looking for a Vietnamese restaurant. Finally found one in Montclair and I had my first bowl of pho. I’m a goner. I need it for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

    As for Vietnam it’s not in my blood. Don’t care for the heat, there are other places on my list. I once has a beau that hiked through Thailand eating snake, sent me cool postcards brought home magical pics but I was not moved.

    Me I’d rather go to a perfectly preserved European Medieval city like Bruges. Has anyone seen the movie with Colin (Yum ) Farell, “In Bruges”? The dialog is spectacular and funny and the cursing is poetic only the way the Irish can do it, but it’s far from a comedy. I recommend it.

    I think the move will be fine for Ottavia, look who she gets to hang with…

    Karen your sister has the right idea. When ever I am in Europe it’s the Scottish men I find the hottest. Can’t understand a f’n word they say but when I do they are funnier than balls.

  20. catsworking says:

    We have a good Vietnamese restaurant here called Me Kong. I’ve eaten there several times, and it’s always full of Asians, which speaks well of it.

    Funny you should mention a couple of things, Morgan. I had some weird Bourdain coincidences this week on a trip to Charlottesville, where I was taking a cousin from Massachusetts to visit Monticello.

    We went into downtown C’ville and had lunch at this noodle joint where everybody was eating with chopsticks. You won’t see that in Richmond. The noodles were cold (which I’m not wild about — spoiled by Top Ramen, probably), but the dumplings were hot, and everything was delicious.

    Just this morning, I was telling a friend about that, and she told me there’s a pho place on the other side of town. Now I’m going to have to refresh myself on what exactly pho is, and maybe check the place out.

    Back in C’ville, I was browsing through a gift shop and found a stone engraved with, “How Can I Miss You When You Won’t Go Away?”

    Tony’s title!

    I almost bought it, but reminded myself that I need another rock around here like I need…another rock around here.

    Haven’t seen In Bruges. I’ll have to add it to my Netflix list. I did just see The Reader, though. I say, if you haven’t, don’t bother. I’m a big Ralph Fiennes fan, and to have him replaced in all the hot sex scenes with Kate Winslet by some kid playing his younger self was the pits.

  21. kim says:

    Surprisingly enough, a restaurant owned by a Vietnamese family is due to open in our city. I say surprisingly, because even though I live in the state’s capitol city, it’s an Appalachian state that inspires Jay Leno to make jokes about our unfamiliarity with dental work. We do have Mexican restaurants run and staffed by Mexicans, the same with Chinese, one Indian restaurant, but that’s it. So the Vietnamese restaurant, which promises to offer the fare of their country, should be interesting.

    Ms. Catsworking, I’ve been a long-time lurker on your blog. I relish your writing skills whether the subject be politics, cats (of which I have six), or Anthony Bourdain. I don’t recall what impelled me to check “Kitchen Confidential” out of the library several years ago, but I ended up reading the whole thing in one night. What, this guy has a tv show now? So I’m hooked on No Reservations, one of the few things on tv I truly make an effort to watch. And yesterday I reread the book, and it’s just as much fun as I remembered.

    I enjoyed reading about your meeting with Mr. Bourdain in Durham (I have family in Raleigh and on the NC coast). Mr. Bourdain and I are also the same age, so I enjoyed reading his description of his youth as a 1970’s self-entitled pampered punk. Ah, those were the days, pre-Reagan, getting stoned in our claustrophobic student apartment and walking miles to the move theater to watch Apocalypse Now and later pretentiously compare it to Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” in Capri’s Pizzeria with the 1.25 all-you-could-drink pitchers of beer, the projectile vomiting in a toilet that could have inspired Trainspotting insuring you had got your money’s worth. At age 52, however, such hardcore partying is now mostly a wistful/grimace-inspiring memory.

    I viewed Mr. Bourdain’s episode in which he toured the Rust Belt cities of Detroit and Baltimore with interest, as it occurred to me that he had never visited Appalachia. For a sophisticated New Yorker such a visit might be like sampling one of the levels of Dante-inspired Hell. Still. He makes a big deal in his books and his tv show about poor people creating good food out of necessity, that such, in fact, is how most great cuisines evolved.

    In Appalachia we’ve been the poster child for poverty since the inception of the nation. The grandmas in the “hollers” can do amazing things with local ingredients (everyone grows a garden here, even those of us who live in town). And a vegan is considered an alien creature, with our history of farming and hunting. Would he be snarky when confronted with a culture of poverty in his own country, of a centuries-old way of securing and cooking food, in some places so isolated that it is little changed?

    I recall he framed his Las Vegas trip around Hunter Thompson’s “Fear and Loathing,” his Polynesian trip around Paul Gauguin. In Appalachia he could use an Obama inclusion theme, visiting the red states at first out of a sense of ironic noblesse oblige, then being swayed by the authenticity and grit of the impoverished rural culture that, amazingly, exits in the US today, far from the media centers. I personally believe that drawing and quartering is too good for GW, that hanging should precede it, as it did in the old days, but he’s gone now, no longer our worry. Still, as a side to the very old food culture of our more isolated regions, ways of doing preserved for many years, Mr. Bourdain could pick up some psychic dissonance on why people would vote against their best interest to play off of his NY, world-traveler sensibilities. He might be surprised by the paradoxes that exist in his his native country.

    I’d advise him to take the author Denise Giardina as his guide.

    Are you familiar with the mountainous reaches of Western Carolina? If so, you know what I mean. Maybe you, too, have attended a hog-killin’.

    Odysseus, the stray cat we adopted this summer, is nursing on my slipper. He must have spent an odd kittenhood before he followed the neighbor boy home this summer insistingly, stumbling sometimes, but determined to stick with someone who had paid attention to him scarfing leftovers from the Taco Bell bordering the highway. Skinny and thick with fleas then, now he has blossomed into what the vet thinks is a Maine Coon cat lineage, with luxuriant thick raccoon-like fur, complete with lion’s mane and enormous paws. A beauty. He still approaches by biting, but briefly, not really putting fangs into it, then wants to suckle on a human’s foot or finger. A psychologically screwed-up cat in some ways, unlike our other strays who can be uncomplicated purring lap-cats now. I’ll have to send his pic.

  22. Bob says:

    Ok now that I have see the entire episode and had some time to think about things….

    Well I am Sure Anthony could afford something in the middle of the two, and looking back that may have been exactly the point. In every culture you are going to have the poor and the Rich..

    I don’t think he would be comfortable with his family living at either extreme, but given his “need” for water pressure. I think if they as a unit are looking it would be something more west than east..

    Of course this is all extrapolation and insight.

    Although Freaky snarky, chain smoking Tony is not on the air any more. let’s not take anything away from him. He’s globe hopping with and without his family at any given second.. As a Single guy myself I know that the freedom is great. But it’s also nice to come home to comfort.. not forget cuddles..

    I am sure that everything will work out for the best.

    Sorry to be gone for so long..

    Working on Sharing Pots and Pans….. And as it turns out Paint..


  23. MorganLF says:

    He eats pho a lot. It’s a Vietnamese staple.

    It’s hot steaming fragrant broth (mine I think almost smelled jasmine-like) poured over rice noodles and some kind of char-grilled meat, I had pork but beef balls and rare beef were also offered. On top of that you heap fresh greens and herbs. Mine was served with a spicy pepper sauce that I mixed in, (sparingly). It was a fresh, crunchy, steamy, slurp-y bowl of noodles.

    I need it now!

  24. catsworking says:

    Kim, welcome to Cats Working. It’s always interesting when a lurker turns vocal.

    I agree with you that it would be very enlightening for Bourdain to venture deeper into the “country.” My guess on the reason he hasn’t done it yet is fear. Pure and simple. He’s probably seen Deliverance. So he played it safe by sticking to BBQ places in South Carolina. He hasn’t even scratched the surface of the South.

    The Rust Belt episode (Baltimore, Detroit, Buffalo) with Zamir isn’t set to air until the next half of the 5th season. Have you really seen it? If so, where? The Washington episode showed up in its entirety on Comcast on Demand before it officially aired.

    Bourdain did go to Cleveland, which maybe is what you’re thinking of.

    When I first got Fred, he loved to suck on fabric, and had a favorite knitted blankie whose fringe was a delicacy. He’d soak the front of my shirt. So I bought a kitten bottle and some kitten milk to “re-wean” him. We did that for about 5 days, until he suddenly pushed me away as if to say, “Enough’s enough,” and he was over it, as far as people clothes. He did continue to occasionally suck on his blankie for a few years, but gradually that stopped as well. However, he really is into licking people. I thought it was just me, but he’ll lick anybody.

    HBO just filmed Will Ferrell’s Broadway show where he plays Bush. Parts of it had me in tears they were so funny. If you get a chance to catch it, do.

  25. catsworking says:

    Thanks, Morgan. I thought that’s what pho was, but I wasn’t sure so I didn’t want to let my ignorance hang out. What Bourdain eats in that vein always does look delicious. Now you’ve got me craving pho! Since I know now that it’s within reach here, I’m going to have to make a pilgrimage to check it out.

    I will say I made some rice noodles recently (experimenting with noodles thanks to Tony), and either I overcooked them badly or they turn to mush really fast because I thought they were gross and threw them down the disposal.

    It must be the Italian in me that likes me noodles a little al dente.

    Bob, didn’t you just start dating this woman a few months ago? If she turns up pregnant any time soon, I’m going to think you’re living your own version of Nadya Suleman/Angelina Jolie with Bourdain. 😉

  26. MorganLF says:

    Ralph Fiennes is in “In Bruges”, in a role like no other he has ever played, but that’s his calling card isn’t it?

    I got my pho as a take out version and the noodles were at first gummy looking but pour over the hot steaming liquid and man…

    Welcome Kim could not agree more with your assessment of GW.

    Bob…hope the move works out for you, why is it that divorced men can’t wait to jump in again and women (at least the one’s I know) could take it or leave it? Could it be co-habitation is better for men?

    Look at Bourdain, Mr. Bad Ass apparently could not be alone for a minute.

  27. Adele says:

    Morgan and Karen, you guys have me craving pho. It is one of the best things ever. I need to figure out if there’s a place closer to my house than the Vietnamese neighborhood, which is a little bit of a hike.

    Karen, rice noodles require very little cooking time, and they won’t ever be al dente; they’re just another animal entirely. And speaking of animals, I think it’s adorable that Fred had a blankie. I’ll bet it embarasses him to talk about it.

  28. MorganLF says:

    Well it seems I lucked into a great restaurant for my first pho experience. Here is review from Jason Perlow of e-gullet and Off the Broiler fame:

    Home today under the weather heading out for some pho.

  29. catsworking says:

    Morgan, I just had ramen noodles for lunch after all your pho talk, and now this! Pictures! Everything looks so good!

    Adele, I learned my lesson with the rice noodles. And you should have seen my attempts to recreate my favorite Chinese place’s lo mein with spaghetti. I just could never get the sauce right.

    Fred still has his blankie. It’s a little afghan I knitted to keep fur off the furniture. It’s now in a cat bed in my office that they rarely use. He prefers to sack out on the floor under the desk. I’m so glad he got over his cloth-sucking fetish. Now he likes to eat string. Once he nabbed some dental floss and it took a week to come out the other end — but thank goodness, it did come out.

  30. kim says:

    Sorry, I thought I had seen an episode in which Mr. Bourdain tours Rust Belt cities. Perhaps it was Cleveland. Since I have to get up for work at 5:30 a.m., often I can’t stay up to watch the new No Reservations episodes, catch them on the earlier reruns instead, and so may confuse old with what is to come.

    Interesting idea, re-weaning a cat with a bottle. My fifteen-year-old daughter will be gaga to try it. We have another stray who does like to lick people at times, but only us, and just once in awhile. We thought that perhaps he had a salt fetish, and a part of him just being big, dumb, and playful even after five years. He runs toward our van when we try to pull into the driveway, as if he believes our vehicle is a flesh and blood extension of us. Luckily he only behaves that way toward our car, or he would have been flattened long ago.

    Yes, I believe I saw or read something by Mr. Bourdain in which he references the movie “Deliverance.” As some sing to the tune of “The Waiting Is the Hardest Part,” another group has a knockoff song about Deliverance in which they warble, “Ned Beatty had the hardest part.” James Dickey burned unfair archetypal stereotypes into New Yorkers’ brains. Actually, most Appalachians, especially those who live in isolated hollows, are the most friendly of people (unless they are of the new generation and are busy cooking up a batch of meth in their Mr. Coffee).

    Everyone’s noodles sound delicious (even the ramen), as I’m trying to eat low carb in order to lose some weight. Such can make any white carb grain product seem as enticing as chocolate. How on earth does 52-year-old Mr. Bourdain eat and drink as heartily as he does and stay rail-thin? I certainly can’t envision him sticking his finger down his throat. He’s never really answered that question.

  31. catsworking says:

    Kim, funny you should mention Bourdain staying rail-thin. I was watching a 2007 interview with him the other day where somebody asked him that question (I’ll probably post the link in my next Bourdain installment). He mentioned that he has no sweet tooth and never snacks between meals. Never.

    However, since he has quit smoking, we have seen evidence of little Buddha belly forming under his loose shirts. But he’s so tall (6’4″), he can get away with a lot and still look trim.

  32. samanthaelise says:

    I met Mr. Bourdain last week…like a dream come true!

    not only was it great to meet him, but the meal was fantastic.

    Look for a SF episode of ‘No Reservations’!

  33. catsworking says:

    Samantha, tell us more! How did you meet him? What did you talk about? We knew he was filming in San Francisco. Bloggers were tracking his every move.

  34. MorganLF says:

    Yes Samantha please expand on your post!!

  35. Tuxi says:

    No sweet tooth and no snacking between meals? Is this guy made out of DNA like my mom has? Mom is trying to lose weight and she is having a spay-uh, hysterectomy, on March 18 because of abnormal bleeding. Whatever she hasn’t lost by pre-surgery, she wants to lose post-surgery. The hospital is to use a laparoscopic robot to reduce recovery time. So hopefully by the full recovery is complete, she will work thru the snack/sweet tooth/carb thing.

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