A couple of weeks ago, TeamSugar and I headed out to Lafayette (east of San Francisco) and trekked out to a fancy pants high school where Anthony Bourdain was speaking. As you may have figured out, I have a slight infatuation with him and was quite eager to hear what he had to say. Would he be as brash in person? Would he complain about Rachael Ray? Or would he be slightly humble and have intelligent things to say? The answer to all of those is yes. He was brash, yet humble. He railed on Rachael, but he also gave a great perspective on our food industry.
The talk was hosted by The Commonwealth Club of California and is actually available online. To get the link to the audio, as well as read some of my favorite bits — including his run down of your fave Food Network chefs —
- On vegetarians:
"How do you travel? I like a clean colon just as much as anyone, but [vegetarianism] just seems rude."
- On Ina Garten:
"She's good. See, I surprised you. I might not want to spend a weekend at her weird house in the Hamptons, but she's good. She raises expectations and actually teaches you something."
- On Mario Batali:
"He's godlike, a walking buddha."
- On Emeril Lagasse:
"He's good for the world. I don't like the show either, but he raises expectations."
- On Sandra Lee:
"Good or evil? I don't think there's any questions there."
- On Rachael Ray:
"She scares me. She could have me killed with what she spends on Triscuits each week."
- On cooking and eating:
"Cooking is about domination and being in control. Eating, however, should be a submissive act."
- On opening his own restaurant:
"Life's good. Why would I want to go and f**k it all up by opening a restaurant?"
- On the slow food movement:
"[The slow food movement] is really important. Anything that improves things is. But do I think the world will go that way? No way. I like Whole Foods just fine. I don't like paying $1 for a lemon, but I'm glad that I can."
- On Top Chef:
"The judging is totally honest. When Tom sends home the 'wrong' contestants [the producers] despair in silence."
Like I said, those were some of my favorite bits, but definitely check out the audio (RealAudio only) when you have a chance.