I’ve had a crush on Anthony Bourdain since reading Kitchen Confidential in the early 2000s.
I ate at his restaurant Les Halles in New York City and follow his footsteps in No Reservations every time I’ve travelled. In an age of celebrity chefs, his bad boy attitude is provocative. But, most of all I love his attitude towards food.
He eats with locals, recognizes the beauty of food in its simplest forms, and says yes to everything. It’s this last point that led me to ordering the pigs annus from a food cart in a small town in Columbia. A memorable experience, although not for the reasons it should be.
During his Hunger tour in Toronto, he recalled another time he ate wort hog annus. It was served as a special dish, and in an effort not to offend his hosts he advised, “sometimes you have to take one for the team. The act of eating is a political statement; who’s eating and who’s not eating, but also what people are eating.”
He acknowledged our North American obsession with food and, “it’s getting weird.” Everyone’s taking pictures of their food—even the chefs.
Now 60, and a majority of those years spent in restaurants, kitchens, and dining tables around the world, he has a few strong opinions—on everything from cruelty free food and craft beer to child rearing and D-list celebrities.
But, Bourdain did leave us with a positive thought: “Bad shit can happen. It’s a big world filled with ugly but also pretty nice people doing the best they can.”
Feature image photo credit: Cover of Appetites a Cookbook, courtesy of Amazon