June 26, 2010
Sometimes I refer to Anthony Bourdain as “King of my Heart” but jokes aside and speaking honestly now: Bourdain is king of my heart.
Maybe it’s his iconic Kitchen Confidential bad boy persona. Maybe there’s something in the fluidity of his speech or in his distinct choice in words. Maybe it’s that he just doesn’t give a shit about what other people say. Honestly, I don’t know…all I know is that man is so charismatic I can’t help but swoon.
When I heard that Bourdain was going to be plugging his new book, “Medium Raw”, by speaking at Royce Hall at my alma mater, there was no doubt in my mind that I would be going. My heart wanted to get the $175 meet and greet tickets but decided to be cheap and admire him from afar instead. (Hey, I was looking out for his well-being! What if I suddenly transformed into the Bourdain equivalent of a Beliber?! I might have bum-rushed the stage!)
(I wasn’t kidding with the “admiring from afar” – I was siting so far away, I couldn’t get a picture of king of my heart on stage! I photoshopped him in instead.)
Sitting in Royce, listening to Anthony Bourdain made me feel like a girl on her first date with that cute boy she’s been eyeing in class – I sat there, enthralled at everything that came out of the man’s mouth. I laughed excessively at his jokes, made mental notes about his favorite things and ran the night over and over in my head. (A disclaimer: For those that haven’t figured it out, I’m exaggerating for literary effect. I love the man but don’t worry, I’m not really stalking him…and if I were, I wouldn’t be telling you…)
Anyway, a recap of that glorious night:
– The night began with a loving bash on Food Network personalities. The winners? Ina Garten and Giada De Laurentiis made it through the battle, unmarred (although I was ecstatic to hear he also thinks that Giada has an unusually large head). The losers? Rachel Ray (of course), Sandra Lee (meeting her has the honor of being his most terrifying moment in life) and Guy Fieri. Bobby Flay made it through, but just barely.
– Onto TV shows: He likes Iron Chef but not Iron Chef America. He likes Top Chef but not Hell’s Kitchen. He has respect for Andrew Zimmern of Bizarre Foods because Zimmern eats the weird and disgusting, but doesn’t drink (whereas Bourdain drinks the horrors away). He thinks that his network is trying to kill the man in Man v. Food.
– He has a 3-year old daughter and is terrified of her falling into the fast food trap. His solution? “Ronald McDonald has COOTIES.” “Ronald SMELLS BAD.” “Did you hear about little Timmy? He went missing…” “…Was it Ronald again?” (Note: I laughed SO HARD at this one. I’m totally raising my kids this way.)
– Words of advice when traveling and eating: 1) Make the most of it. 2) Don’t worry about dirt; eat where the locals eat. 3) Follow local traditions. Be polite.
– Taping in Russia is dangerous. When he’s there, he drinks 3 shots of vodka for breakfast, 7 for lunch and 17 for dinner.
– Best kid story ever: He took his daughter to a restaurant, ordered the seafood tower. She looked at the top of the tower and saw a crab and screamed, “Sebastian!” (i.e. from The Little Mermaid)…then proceeded to tear “Sebastian” down and eat him.
And a couple good ones from the Q&A session:
Oh Anthony, I’ll be counting down the months, weeks, days, minutes until I have the chance to see you again…