Saturday, February 16, 2008
Anthony Bourdain is a hero o' mine ...
In August 2000, one of my bestest buddies gave me Anthony Bourdain's cooking memoir, Kitchen Confidential, as a birthday gift. I remember that I read it in a day, and then I proceeded to read the thing all over again. I'd never heard of Mr. Bourdain prior to reading his book. When I turned the last page of his book a second time, I was a confirmed Fan o' Bourdain.
I think what I like most about Anthony Bourdain is the fact that he speaks his mind without pulling any punches. (He's an unashamed chain-smoker and beer-swiller, too, which I also admire.) For example, he once called Emeril Lagasse an "Ewok." He's shown utter disdain for people who use serrated knifes. And in Kitchen Confidential, he penned what I think is the most accurate assessment of vegetarians ever written. To wit:
“[V]egetarians, and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans ... are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit.” In-****in'-deed, Chef Tony!
Bourdain parlayed the success of Kitchen Confidential into a tour de la cuisine gig on the Food Network in 2003. His Food Network show (A Cook's Tour), and its accompanying book (A Cook's Tour), more or less made Anthony Bourdain a household name. Thus, it was no surprise when he jumped ship to the Travel Channel in 2005 for a more lucrative TV deal. Not only has Bourdain's Travel Channel foodie show, No Reservations, exposed Bourdain to an even wider audience, he received an Emmy nomination for a 2006 show filmed during the 38-day war between Israel and the Shi'ite satanists known collectively as Hezbollah.
Mr. Bourdain has never let slip where he stands politically. His deep contempt for nanny-staters who wish to dictate what we can eat/drink/puff and where we can eat, drink, and puff it leads me to believe that he has strong libertarian inclinations. However, something Bourdain said on his most recent show gives me hope that we conservatives can also claim him as one of our own.
On this past week's No Reservations Bourdain visitied London, England and Edinburgh, Scotland. In London Bourdain bedded down in the Hazlitt's Hotel, a 200-year-old hotel popular amongst authors and artists. While scanning a bookshelf full of authors who've stayed at the hotel, he comes across a book by left-wing nut Noam Chomsky. Bourdain groans loudly, and says, "Noam Chomsky. I think he's been here enough." As he tosses aside Chomsky's book and replaces it with one of his own, Bourdain exclaims, " So long, America-hating crackpot."
Is there any wonder why Chef Tony Bourdain continues to be a hero o' mine?