Preview: Meeting Ottavia Bourdain

By Karen

It takes a lot to shock Cats Working reader MorganLF, but she was definitely in shock after the Capital Food Fight in Washington, DC, on November 11, co-hosted by Anthony Bourdain.


Anthony Bourdain hosting the 2009 Capital City Food Fight (Photo - Cindy)

Back at the hotel afterward, it took 3 martinis to steady my own nerves. I don’t know what reader Cindy did when she got home (we met her there), but her husband just told me she can’t stop talking about it.

I’m 2 days behind in client work, so I must attend to that right now. But I want you to know I’ve got lots to share. Once you read it, you’ll be able to say you know the real story of Tony and Ottavia.

Yes, Mrs. Bourdain was there. She’s a regular reader of Cats Working, and she stunned Morgan and Cindy by recognizing them by name. I spent about 3 hours with Ottavia, most of it one on one, and I came away regretting I never had a daughter. If I did, I would have wanted her to turn out exactly like Ottavia.

All I’ll say for now is, if you liked her in Sardinia on No Reservations, you’ll love her after I fill you in.

Winnipeg Bob, Bourdain knows all about your visit to Les Halles last week.

Note to Tony: I saw you cast many worried glances from the stage in our direction. Rest assured, I’m not out to embarrass anybody. On the contrary, you and Ottavia have empowered me to set the record straight, and I’ll do it with discretion. Hey, we’re fellow writers; we watch each other’s backs.

Readers, stay tuned. The details (with photo proof) are in the works…


18 Responses to Preview: Meeting Ottavia Bourdain

  1. Adele says:

    OMG! Can’t stop grinning; can’t wait to hear the story. This is better than the Christmas card. Alice hopes your feline family did okay while you were away.

    I’ll bet you’ve been elevated to goddess status in Morgan and Cindy’s eyes.

  2. Adele says:

    And to think, after I saw a photo of the crowd at the Food Fight, I worried that you might be trampled.

  3. catsworking says:

    Cindy, thanks for the links! I got to see the judge’s table, which I couldn’t see at all from my seat. It was great meeting you, and thank you so much for sending me your photos so fast. I haven’t even uploaded mine yet, but I’ll send them to you as soon as I do.

  4. Wendy says:

    Can’t wait to hear all about it!!!

  5. Bob says:

    Wow you brat I thought I scored when I got to meet Timmy and Carlos.

    I hope that the air is clear between everyone.
    No hard feelings and all of that 🙂

    Looking forward to seeing what you have in store.

    Any chance of getting a sneek peek????

  6. catsworking says:

    Bob, no hard feelings at all. The Bourdains couldn’t have been more friendly and gracious. I’m getting ready to upload my photos to see if any are salvageable (I’m not the photographer you are), and going through the notes I typed back at the hotel after 3 martinis so I can present Ottavia to you in the way she should have been presented, which is…

    Absolutely NOT like she appeared on Miami Ink. But more on that in a bit.

  7. MorganLF says:

    I’m still processing, what a fun night!!! Stay tuned kids we were front row and sat right next to Ottavia all night. Karen & she were like old pals.

    What a doll, all I can say without sounding like a douche is she is lovely and down to earth.

    The event rocked the food- off the hook Tony and Jose Andres did the color commentary and were great fun. The competing chefs were great. Tony and Carla even teamed up for a quickfire against Jose…it was fun.

    Adele, Eric in person is dreamy and Anthony well we’ve been all over that, he looked great and was gracious and cool, but the star for us was Ottavia and I’ll let Karen take it from here.

    I highly recommend you all save your pennies and go next year.

    Cindy & Karen it was great to meet up we were like star struck teenagers!

  8. MorganLF says:

    PS Sorry for the sophomoric prose, “great” and “fun” repeated in the same paragraph? Karen I must have sustained a bit of head damage from that drive-by back pack attack!

  9. kimw says:

    I can’t wait to read about this encounter. CatsWorking is the go-to Anthony Bourdain site, but you have to wonder, as busy as he is, how much notice he takes of fan blogs. Sounds as thought he did note, however, your care in giving all updates available.

    Here’s something to savor before we get to read the details, an old video interview with Bourdain at the beginning of his tv fame. Cut and paste the link to your Google search; don’t try to paste it into YouTube search:

  10. catsworking says:

    Kimw, thanks for the Bourdain interview, but I’ll make one correction to your intro. He was well into his TV fame by 2007. Remember, he’s now completed 5 seasons of No Reservations and had done A Cook’s Tour on the Food Network. He married Ottavia and became dad to Ariane in the spring of 2007.

  11. catsworking says:

    MorganLF, too bad we didn’t get that guy’s business card so you could threaten to sue.

    Readers, after the Food Fight, Morgan, her friend Donna, and I adjourned to our hotel bar to “process,” as Morgan calls it. A young man in a suit passed our table and hit Morgan in the head with his backpack and didn’t realize it. But he heard me say, “The old backpack to the head trick,” and returned to our table. He was very drunk and his apology to Morgan was lengthy, but he wasn’t so chivalrous as to offer to pay for her drink.

  12. Adele says:

    Geez Morgan, sorry to hear that after such a splendid evening, you were beaned. I had the feeling that Eric Ripert would look better in person than in pictures — and he looks pretty damn good in pictures. Those eyes! I’m finally getting Avec Eric, and he’s a very good cooking teacher.

    I’m on pins and needles waiting to see the photos from the event, and really really really can’t wait for the narrative. Karen, I hope Morgan and Cindy will appear as well as the Bourdains. I know what Bob looks like, now, and I look forward to seeing some of the rest of the Cats gang.

  13. Bob says:

    Adele.. You know what “I” look like.. awww shucks.
    Looking down, rubbing my foot into the sand shyly..

    Looking forward to the next installment, Lets get er cranked up here karen, People are waiting LOL

  14. Nina says:

    What Bob says. 😉

  15. catsworking says:

    Adele, Bob, and Nina, happy to oblige. In today’s installment, you get to see Morgan and Cindy.

    Now, Adele, it’s only YOU we have never seen. 😉

    Bob, I’m working on the story. After talking to Ottavia for several hours, I’ve got a lot to sift through to put together a coherent narrative here. Part of it was what she said, and part of it was how that whole evening unfolded.

  16. MorganLF says:

    Beaned! That’s exactly the phrase I was searching for! And Eric is tall, not so tall as Tony and a reliable source (hint) said he is mad funny.

    For the record, I wore heels in the early part of the evening and as I was grazing with a sesame tahini something in one hand I fell backwards off a step I had not realized was there(it was a stupid & dangerous place to set up a table with hundreds of thronging people)I was heading for a face plant on terrazzo floors when a fine young gent slipped his arm through mine and we did a dos e doh around but I stayed upright (lost the tahini deal though).

    I was so shook up I went right to coat check and retrieved my sensible shoes I had the foresight to bring. I don’t think Karen even knows how close I came to being bruised and toothless!

  17. catsworking says:

    Morgan, you never mentioned the step! Boy, it really was your night for physical comedy, wasn’t it?

    We all marveled at Ottavia’s shoes, black pumps with 6″ stiletto heels on a platform about an inch thick or more. She towered over me. Her legs and ankles must be in top-top shape, because when she walked up the steps to the stage ahead of me after the Fight, I was afraid she’d fall and I’d have to catch her. And when I thought about the distances she had to walk in those shoes just to get around the Ronald Reagan Building, my feet hurt FOR her!

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