Happy 3rd Birthday, Ariane Bourdain

By Karen

Time sure flies! Anthony and Ottavia Bourdain’s daughter Ariane turned three on April 9. Ottavia tweeted there was a party with a Little Mermaid cake with blue icing. Apparently, Ariane has also entered her Barbie years, so I hope Tony’s ready to answer the inevitably pointed questions about female anatomy, and will enjoy coming home from his travels to find many tiny, yet lavish and expensive, evening gowns strewn all over.

Tonight’s No Reservations is a new episode featuring winter in Maine. Wendy tells us they eat much seafood and Tony meets crew member Zach Zamboni’s kinfolk, complete with “funny” accents.

I once applied to college in Maine, but ended up in Virginia when my father’s career moves forced my blissful Yankee existence into a free-fall from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Last week, I loved, loved, LOVED the “Techniques” special. I’ve already watched it twice, and will continue to do so because something new soaks in every time. Just this morning, I cracked my eggs against a flat surface like Jacques Pepin and dribbled slime across my stovetop.

Eater offers a smorgasbord of pithy Tony quotes from that episode.

Girl Eats World saw Bourdain in Austin on April 1 and provides highlights. That night, Italy edged out Vietnam as his favorite country (Ottavia — score one!) but then he also talked about living in ‘Nam.

Tony’s recent trip to India is getting excited buzz, with reports on his adventures popping up here and there.

Ottavia tweets that Tony is now in Dubai. My informal calendar has him back in New York by April 20 for his wedding anniversary and a Scripps event.

Time Out Chicago recently interviewed Bourdain, and asked point-blank: “Haven’t you been anywhere that’s made you say, ‘I want to move my family out here and stay forever?’”

Tony imagines himself retiring in Sardinia, but doesn’t mention Vietnam at all. So the question, “When, Tony, WHEN?” remains unanswered.

21 Responses to Happy 3rd Birthday, Ariane Bourdain

  1. Linda says:

    Hi Karen, thanks for the shout out. I love that you’re such a giant fan of Bourdain (your Bourdain tag says you have 123 posts!) I’m in awe!
    – Linda

  2. catsworking says:

    Hey, Linda! I really liked your post about Bourdain in Austin. He makes so many appearances, yet few bloggers seem to publish good reports on them.

    I believe I can say with confidence that no other person on the planet besides Bourdain himself has written more about him. It’s not something I deliberately set out to do. It all started with one innocent post about finding video of his wife Ottavia that lit a spark in Cats Working readership. I was already a fan, so becoming his regular chronicler here wasn’t such a huge leap, and the cats indulge me. But I didn’t realize there are 123 posts about him. That’s a BOOK!

  3. catsworking says:

    Bob, Bourdain would be slapping the back of my head repeatedly over my knife skills. I never peel potatoes because one of us invariably gets hurt, and it’s never the potato. I’m not even good with a paring knife.

  4. Adele says:

    I’d be dope-slapped by AB, for my knife skills as well. I’ve gotten a little better over the years and can cut a large onion into fairly respectable medium dice, but every few months, I manage to cut myself. I remember my mother dicing an onion perfectly with a paring knife — while holding the onion in her hand. And she could quickly peel a potato with a paring knife, removing the thinnest strips of peel. I need a potato peeler and even then, I scrape my knuckles from time to time.

    I’ve been amused at Tony being surrounded by little girls at Ariane’s birthday party. Ten years ago, who would have thunk it.

    The Maine episode was one where I would have liked a little more sense of place, although I did understand that it was an homage to Zach Zamboni’s family and fellow Mainers. As a small child, I cried every time Frosty the Snowman melted, and my love for snowmen has never left me. You can imagine how upsetting the snowman hunting scene was to me. Talk about defenseless creatures!

  5. catsworking says:

    Now, onions, I can DICE. I learned the technique from some cooking show and it stuck with me. I do it all the time. I also know how to peel garlic by smashing it with the broad side of a knife.

    My father saw some of the Maine episode last night (I haven’t watched it yet), and he said the prime rib they cooked at that meth lab-looking place in the sticks was absolutely gorgeous. I have a feeling I’m not going to like the snowman scene.

  6. Adele says:

    I have to say, you dad is right; the Maine prime rib looked surprisingly good, perhaps because I haven’t had it in years. And the Mainers seem a quirky bunch, a little like the folks in Northern Exposure. But the snowmen — the snowmanity, the snowmanity!

    I can smash garlic, but I’ve seen Jacques Pepin smash a garlic clove, smash it again and again, and then mince it. I can’t get the technique at all, but it is impressive.

  7. catsworking says:

    Adele, I know I learned how to smash garlic on Wok with Yan, but he used his “clever cleaver,” as he called it.

    I watched Maine last night and found the snowman scene not as bad as I feared because the snowmen weren’t much more than big lumps of snow. If they’d had good features, I’d have been upset.

    I loved seeing all that great seafood. When I was briefly in Bar Harbor 2 years ago, my girlfriend and I made a point of having fish and chips for lunch, sitting on a porch overlooking the harbor. Can’t remember which fish we had, but it was DELISH!

  8. Adele says:

    I must admit I’ve been craving lobster and steamers since seeing NR in Maine. There’s nothing like fresh-caught seafood. We can get good seafood here, but it’s often prohibitively expensive,and except for lake perch (one of my very favorite things) and walleye, there’s not a lot of good local fish IMHO. (had to use that text abbreviation; I finally figured out yesterday what it means)

  9. Imabear says:

    I really enjoyed the Maine show until the final minutes when they ate some bear meat. From my user name you can probably imagine that I love bears – but not on a plate!!! Yikes!

  10. Joanaroo says:

    Have to check out the techniques show. Thanx for the heads up on the runny omelet scene-I’ll turn away or fast-forward the On Demand past that! Don’t like the thought of bear meat as dinner either, Imabear! I’d rather see them together with their little bear family, alive and well!

  11. Joanaroo says:

    As to Ariana and the Barbie dolls, now not only do parents have to explain anatomy and then later the birds and the bees, but curious to know how many parents have had to explain E.D. and male enhancement products and if so, what age were the kids. Even the Weather Channel shows those ads frequently since they were bought by NBC. I hate on sports broadcasts when they sponsor it and are on ad nauseum.

  12. Joanaroo says:

    Oops! Sorry, I meant to type Ariane! Happy 3rd Birthday, kiddo!

  13. catsworking says:

    That’s why I never watch sports, Joanaroo. With all the products on the market to help men get it up, you’d think the sun orbits around their “package.” I’m just glad that the company who used to feature that smug bitch who spoke entirely in innuendo discontinued that ad. Can’t remember which pill it was for, but I wanted to smack the stupid smirk off her face every time I saw her.

    What I’d REALLY like to see is an explicit ad for the antidote for those stud muffins who get erections lasting longer than 4 hours!

  14. Nina says:

    The only antidote for the more than 4 hour man is surgery…..and then it could be iffy if it works right again.

  15. catsworking says:

    Nina, thanks for my laugh of the day!

    How did we ever “get off” on this topic on a post titled, “Happy 3rd Birthday, Ariane Bourdain”?

  16. Joanaroo says:

    Oops! My bad!

  17. MorganLF says:

    I’ve also marveled at the Jacques Pepin garlic technique, when I try it the garlic ends up under the toaster oven, I suck at garlic mince I can manage a fine slice but its so sticky and gets everywhere!

    As for paring knife skills I grew up without a potato peeler too, when my mom (rarely)peeled taters she also used a paring knife. From watching television I can dice an onion and my knife skills are much improved, I’ve learned to bend in my finger tips and rest the blade against my knuckles. I use the Global knives Tony recommended in KC and they help. I’m far from achieving a perfect bruinoise dice but I’m working on it.

    BTW I did the sauce in my above recipe and added a few touches:
    Saute hot pepper flakes with the garlic that adds some nice heat but not a burn. Since watching Bourdain I am adding heat to my palate in small doses and find that it does enhance.

    I do think that the need to “season” which means salt at every stage of cooking is overkill. Overly salting pasta water (a la Anne Burelle) is silly. Pasta is the vessel, the sauce should contain the seasoning, and I never, ever, salt a dish after it’s prepared.

    If someone requests salt at my table I am insulted. I remember a beau who salted and parmesaned every dish before tasting it, I finally got so annoyed that I served him a bowl of salt.

  18. boscodagama says:

    AB should have contacted Carolyn Chute, author of THE BEANS OF EGYPT, MAINE. Even the woodsy Mainers on this show were high-dollar Mainers since they had so many expensive toys.

  19. catsworking says:

    Bosco, I had to laugh at the subtitles used on some of the Mainers with those thick, “foreign” accents. And there was one point where Bourdain seemed to be channeling Emeril, declaring everything was “happy.” Weird.

  20. Jonna Christensen. says:

    There is already too many notes, tony bourdain when will you go to my hometown copenhagen denmark. I love your shows I have been in rest. business all my life,,,j ch,,

  21. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Jonna! Odd old post for you to join us on (since Ariane turned 6 a few months ago — how time flies!), but I’m with you. I’d love to see Bourdain visit places like Copenhagen and Oslo. However, he’s always said he prefers his countries messy and chaotic (and that usually goes with hot, sweaty, and dirty). Scandinavia is just too orderly and cool for his tastes.

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