Bourdain’s ‘Get Jiro!’ an Acquired Taste

By Karen

THIS JUST IN: Bourdain’s cooking competition with Nigella Lawson on ABC to be called The Taste and run for 8 episodes. Read more at Variety.

Now, back to the original post…

Anthony Bourdain may be spawning yet another new writing genre — apocalyptic culinary science fiction — with his first graphic novel, Get Jiro!

A lot of it went over my head, but I assume foodies will marinate with glee in the gastronomic references and restaurant inside jokes. And there are enough lopped-off limbs and beheading gross-outs to appeal to teenage boys who wouldn’t know good sushi rice from Rice Krispies.

Tony covered a lot of familiar ground with the food, including recreation of the infamous ortolan scene from Medium Raw. He also got in his digs at vegans, locavores, fast food, fat people, restaurant chains, and Alice Waters.

Visually, it’s beautiful, with cinematic artwork by Langdon Foss and Jose Villarrubia that features many mood-evoking futuristic cityscapes.

But I didn’t particularly “hear” Tony’s voice until this impassioned speech near the end: “We make BEAUTIFUL revolution, so you and I, brother and sister, our children…without shame…can live and cook foods we love without oppression from IMPERIALIST JACKALS who make us buy their SHIT INGREDIENT and live like dogs!”

Speaking of dogs, he included a few cats. We first see Jiro in his restaurant with a manekineko (Japanese beckoning cat) in the window, and a couple of real cats have walk-ons in a restaurant scene.

Be warned: This may be just the beginning for Jiro. The ending screams “sequel!”

Tor did a far more insightful review of the book than I could ever hope to write.

Bourdain gave a good interview to Comic Book Resources.

In other news…

Belated “Happy Birthday!” Tony turned 56 on June 25. Broward Palm Beach NewTimes suggested 5 gifts for him.

And “Congratulations!” No Reservations won the Critics’ Choice 2012 TV Award for Best Reality Series.

When Tony visited Jimmy Fallon recently, backstage he filmed this little video on how to make negronis, a concoction of Campari, gin, and sweet vermouth — with a slice of orange.

The Bourdain and Ripert families rented houses in the Hamptons this summer, and Tony and Eric did a Hamptons magazine cover shoot where they modeled some clothing and accessories. Eric sported a $38,000 Rolex.

The accompanying article misstates Tony’s birthplace as NYC, and then makes a rookie usage error in the second paragraph about how Tony’s paid Eric many “complements” in Kitchen Confidential. But then the inept intro gives way to a straight transcript of a great conversation between Tony and Eric.

Here’s some video of Tony and crew eating around NYC for and paying a surprise visit to Les Halles.

Andrew Zimmern talks these days like he and Bourdain are BFFs and praises Tony effusively. On the other hand, just about every time I’ve ever heard Bourdain mention Zimmern, he’s a punchline.

Bourdain recently raised $10K for the NYC Food Bank by skydiving in tandem with the COO of Air Canada.

Ottavia, in addition to earning her blue belt recently (Congrats!), is executive producer on a pilot for a scripted Web series about the restaurant business called “Employees Only.”

Still no word on names for Bourdain’s new shows on CNN and ABC.


10 Responses to Bourdain’s ‘Get Jiro!’ an Acquired Taste

  1. Bacardi1 says:

    As usual, many thanks for all the wonderful links. I’m sure my husband would also like to thank you as well, since I’ve just wasted more than an hour this morning enjoying them instead of getting on with everything I have to get done today – lol!!!!! 😉

  2. adele says:

    The Bourdains go to the Hamptons, and I in my small way, am contributing to their lifestyle, because Amazon is about to deliver my copy of Get Jiro! If Tony’s summer off has begun, it doesn’t look like he’s really begun puttering.What with Comic-con and maybe some more Layover stuff to film, it still sounds like he’s pretty busy.

    And I try not to be envious and remember what my Marxism teacher in the Free University said, when I was apologetic about a new pair of shoes — “Adele, there’s nothing wrong with you having expensive shoes, we want everyone to have expensive shoes.” So I’ll say,”Good for AB on renting a house in the Hamptons; we all should be able to rent houses in the Hamptons.”

  3. Bacardi1 says:

    Eh – you’re not missing all that much. I’m a born & bred Long Islander, brought up on the waterfront, & spent nearly every summer weekend cruising the east end. The Hamptons? Lots of hype & very little else. We preferred to visit, dine, & inhabit the less-frequented-by-celebrities areas. Had a lifetime of a ball. And I actually felt sorry for the “Hamptons” folks. Tony should follow my lead, because he ain’t going to find any “street food” worth shit in “The Hamptons” proper. But with Eric by his side, I’m sure he’ll still dine well.

  4. catsworking says:

    It was impossible to pinpoint exactly when the Bourdains were in the Hamptons, if they have been. The whole photo shoot may have been rigged by the magazine, which probably requires months of lead time. With all the traveling that Tony has been doing lately, I was thinking they’d probably be taking August off. And I thought for sure he’d rent a regular place in New Jersey. But I guess the lure of Eric was too strong.

    Adele, you follow the Bourdains on Twitter much closely than I do. I haven’t seen any tweets from either of them about the Hamptons. Have you? Ottavia seems to have been training in NYC all summer, except when she went to Brazil with Tony, and just recently to Vegas.

    Bacardi, all I know about the Hamptons is what I’ve seen on Sex & the City.

  5. Bacardi1 says:

    Well, I haven’t been back in 15 years now, but from what I’ve seen/heard/read, I haven’t been missing all that much. We always preferred to follow “the road less traveled” – fishing, crabbing, dining at little out-of-the-way casual seaside spots. Would hit the public beach in Westhampton (don’t know if that’s even there anymore after the last few hurricanes), & then enjoy lobsters, steamer clams, etc., at some dockside shack. Frankly, we much preferred the North Fork of Long Island’s east end – Greenport, Montauk, etc., etc. MUCH less hoity-toity than the south end & it’s Hamptons.

  6. adele says:

    Until I saw the Hamptons magazine covershoot piece, I saw nothing from the Bourdains about the Hamptons. I think you’re right, Karen — the time off there hasn’t begun yet.

    I know nothing about the Hamptons, beyond loving Ina Garten’s (The Barefoot Contessa) house and wanting to live in the Diane Keaton’s Hampton beach house in Something’s Gotta Give. Seems like either Mario Batali or Tom Colicchio talk about fishing off of Montauk, so I figured I’d like it there.I’ve always wanted to do an East Coast steamer and lobster tour. All Chicago has is that big lake (and an admittedly gorgeous lakefront), and one of my favorite places, until it was torn down, was a fish shack near Navy Pier. Of course in these parts, the big deal is lake perch, but it was great to sit with your feet dangling over a retaining wall, feed the ducks, watch the fishermen, and look back over your shoulder at the skyline.

  7. catsworking says:

    Count me in on the seafood! I love lobster and steamed clams.

    I spent a night at Virginia Beach 2 years ago. You could smell the water (and not a briny scent) and after walking in the sand, my feet were BLACK. I may never go back.

    Just read that the DC Food Fight is October 8 this year. Isn’t that early? Wasn’t it always in November? Bourdain and Andres are hosts, and they’ve got Carla Hall, Zimmern, and (YUCK!) PADMA to be judges.

  8. adele says:

    A friend of mine’s mother-in-law is an assisted living facility in Virginia Beach. When he complained about going there, I said, “You love beaches; that must be a big one.” He said that it was, but it was kind of grungy, not at all like the North Carolina beaches, where the mil used to live.

    From the time I first knew about the DC Food Fight, it was always around Veteran’s Day. I’m too lazy to look up the NY Wine and Food Festival, but isn’t that usually in early October? I actually think the DC Central Kitchen is a very good cause, but I’m not feeling this year’s crop of judges.

    I would love to see the Bourdain roast at the NY Wine and Food Fest, but $400 + airfare + extortious hotel prices — I just can’t see it.

  9. adele says:

    So ABC now has The View, The Chew and The Taste. The format (except that 8 episodes is shorter) doesn’t sound that different from The Next Food Network Star.

  10. catsworking says:

    The only way ABC could dumb down the titles even more is to eliminate the “The.” View, Chew, Taste. One syllable, tied to the 5 senses. Their target demographic must be total morons.

    OTOH, Adele (the cat) was very pleased to read yesterday that Good Morning America beat Today Show in the ratings Monday, when Savannah Guthrie took over as co-host. NBC was hoping their ratings would go through the roof with the curiosity factor. NBC’s demographic isn’t morons, its management is. DUH! We’ve been seeing Savannah and her gummy smile on Today AND Brian Williams’ nightly news.

    Instead, NBC felt the justified backlash of viewers outraged over the shafting Ann Curry got. May it continue.

    Virginia has a very long coastline, and I remember as a kid living in Massachusetts that going to Virginia Beach was a big deal because it was SO MUCH nicer than our beaches. Well, it’s nasty now. NC beaches tend to be pristine, and they haven’t crammed the shoreline with high-rise hotels like Va. Beach has. They’ve kept it mostly residential, with a small-town vibe.

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