Thursday, August 09, 2007

Thoughts On: Anthony Bourdain

I first became acquainted with this guy (or his persona, rather) when I read Kitchen Confidential. It was a fully entertaining read, but he came off like an egotistical, macho, badass, thinks-he's-god chef dude (are there any other types?). That kind of masculinity just grosses me out. So I didn't read any of his other books and disregarded his Travel Channel show, No Reservations.

But then something strange started to happen. I happened to watch one episode of No Reservations and started to like what I saw. He seemed more humble, curious, respectful and dryly funny than I remembered. Then he wrote an incredible essay for Salon about being in Beirut when Israel started its attack on Lebanon.

Not too much later my obsession with Top Chef and all things Bravo TV-related reached full force levels. He was a guest judge on the second season of Top Chef and was so hilarious and his critiques were spot-on, it seemed. I started to watch his show more often.

I must say, I'm a fan now. It's true. He's grown on me. I find him hysterically funny and truthful but not necessarily mean-spirited in his observations. His Top Chef blog is now a weekly read. And I really do like his show, even when he's somewhere in Africa eating antelope anus smeared with ashes. Don't ask me to talk about that any more, please.

So...well done, Mr. Bourdain. You've caused me to completely change my opinion. That's a good and rare thing.


Jeff Mac said...

So, wait...we should NOT ask you to talk more about antelope anus smeared in ashes? Huh. You think you know someone.

Alannah said...

Please don't ask me to discuss watching people eat charred antelope anus in the 120 degree African desert. But I'm sure Anthony Bourdain would be more than happy to talk about it. It was his delicious meal after all.

Jeff Mac said...

I wonder if that's how the people who live there express annoyance. As in, "Man, it is 120 degrees outside, and Darryl won't even share the airconditioner. Boy, that really chars my antelope anus."

Candace Dempsey said...

I, too, am an Anthony fan. Like you, a bit reluctantly. He is a scream on Top Chef. I wish he'd come on every week. It'd be fun to see him with Ted Allen. What a pair.

P.S. The antelope sounds good compared to some of the stuff the judges on Top Chef have to eat! Sometimes Padma looks like she's about to throw up.