Kinder and gentler is becoming chronic with Anthony Bourdain. On May 14 he shared a stage with Alice Waters, the organic food maven he’s compared to the Khmer Rouge — and nothing happened.
The Connecticut Forum’s “Food for Thought” event was so sold out, they ran a simulcast. Bourdain fans must have expected some verbal blood sport, but they got thumb-wrestling instead.
Back in January, Bourdain did start backpedaling on Waters by calling her a “visionary.” Maybe he felt like a rat when Rachael Ray and Emeril Lagasse were nice to him after he’d trashed them, and wanted to avoid déjà vu.
For Jules Pieri of the Daily Grommet, the panel was all about Waters.
However, I found that just when Bourdain was softening in January, the Feedbag lit into Waters for importing chefs and food to those soirées she held during inauguration week, instead of walking the walk by relying on locally grown produce (in DC? in January?) and talent.
The panel moderator, local personality Colin McEnroe, compared Bourdain’s “world-class ego” to Kurt Vonnegut’s, and mentioned that Tony dropped a lot of f-bombs.
Fox61 described Tony’s defense of people who can’t afford organic. I knew he’d stand up for food budgets.
Eat Me Daily revealed what the panelists all ate the night before the Forum, and it wasn’t the gourmet fare you’d expect of culinary experts.
When asked which food trend he’d ban, no one seems sure whether Bourdain said “buffalo” or “truffle oil.” (My guess: truffle oil.) And he called Whole Foods grocery the “Starbucks of organic food.”
When Waters’ expressed her utopian dream of school children getting 2 organic meals and a snack every day, Bourdain said they should learn how to write first.
And in answer to the inevitable “What would you want as your last meal” question, when Waters said she’d like shark fin soup, Bourdain (who gave his usual bone marrow response) observed that her dish didn’t sound very local.
Waters got in one little dig on both Bourdain and Goldman by stating she never watches television.
If you want to read the whole history of Bourdain v. Waters, Evenson.org.uk has it all. Warning: He’s no friend of Tony’s.
In other Bourdain news…
Grub Street reports that one of Tony’s old pots will sit on a shelf in Daniel Boulud’s DBGB Kitchen and Bar, opening in June in New York City. Apparently, Boulud’s a collector.