Celebrity Chef, Anthony Bourdain took the stage @McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ Oct 24th as part of a book touring event following the release of his latest book “Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook”. He followed notes and walked around the stage confidently in his skinny jeans cracking jokes and poking fun of some of his peers. Since Bourdain is a seasoned performer, he was able to rouse the crowd, keep us chuckling and shed some light on things he loves and those he hates in the world of Gastronomy.
He opened up calling himself a whore, and sharing some rants about The Food Network having sub-standard “chefs” on the show. He gave people he likes credit like Bobby Flay, Andrew Zimmerman from Bizarre Foods and Ina but in his own comical and sarcastic the way you would expect him to. There were several jabs at Paula Dean which made everyone understand how deep his love for the woman is, especially after sharing that she needs to get her feet pumiced and how that would be so similar to grating Pecorino. (Bad mental image!)
The presentation style was part roast, part stand-up and he peppered in several short video clips from behind-the-scenes of his show “No Reservations” that guided the rest of the talk.
Here are some highlights of his talk:
A video clip of an assistant on the show in the jungle with a leech stuck on her rear-end. The opening shot was a zoomed-in shot of her inside-out undies and Bourdain pulling the leech out. Awe, what a great boss!
Two reasons why his show is different:
1. Time. He and his crew spend hours on set with families and new friends in foreign lands prepping the local food they love. Most of the time, this involves the local beverage of choice. This usually puts a fun spin on his show.
2. They eat everything offered. Bourdain highlighted the nasty worthog part he was offered (maybe a colon) in the Kalahari desert. Even though he had a mouthful of fur, sand and feces, he still made friends because he eats it all with a smile on his face.
Great analogy on Vegetarianism: It is like going to the Louvre and deciding to only look at paintings that are blue and black.
Tony gave inspiring Princetonian TV hosts an insider’s tip on how to do drugs on TV. (Not that he has done this, clearly it is illegal and the Networks don’t let that happen course.) Video clips of party-style Tony toking it up, eating some “happy” pizza and seeming to be in another, happy, world made everyone laugh and some squirm.
Tony opened up the mike to the audience to ask questions. Here were a few and not in verbatim:
Q: Death row meal?
A: Sushi. Something –or-other Japanese that involves topping it with Sea Urchin Roe.
Q: Would you eat dinner with a cannibal?
A: After a brief education on the rituals behind cannibalism, Tony told the man asking the question that if they were both on a lifeboat and he was losing steam, he ‘d eat him. Ha!
Q: If you had to just eat one cuisine which would it be?
Q: What’s your favorite burger in NY
A: The In-And-Out burger in LA.
Tony is no sell-out. He is not on Food Network selling frying pans or providing us with nasty fattening recipes. (We’ll leave that to Paula). He’s no Sandra Lee posting shameful “recipes” like Quanza Cake. He is traveling the world and eating his way through the cultures and subcultures of society. He is a real man with a passion for food that doesn’t end at any border and it was a real treat to see him in Princeton.
If you are a foodie or just a fan of the show or Anthony Bourdain, get a ticket the next time he is in your town. You can check out the rest of his tour dates here.
You can buy Tony’s book here and check follow @NoReservations on Twitter.
Do you have any favorite Anthony Bourdain moments from the talk at McCarter? We’d love to hear it, just post a comment or add something our Facebook Page!