Friday, July 13, 2007

It's Friday, I'm In Love

with Anthony Bourdain.

I am a food junkie.

[I refuse to say "foodie" because then I just feel fat and/or like I should own cats and/or live with my husband on the outskirts of a large city, whom I met in grad school (I am studying 18th century French poetry, he is an engineer, natch) in the cookbook section (he is wearing Tevas with socks, I am sporting a scrunchie) of a local bookstore on a Friday night because we're both too nerdy to be invited out, well, sometimes we're invited out, but it's to another grad school friend's house and we're going to watch a foreign film then take one hit from someone's old roommate's (whom they hated, obvs) bong and pretend we're stoned, but really go home and read Kafka. Now that we're married, we go to Whole Foods to purchase overpriced salmon and wines we read about Married Grad Students Monthly and have our friends over for a night of Cranium and slide show of our pics from our honeymoon/research trip to Ecuador. Yes, I am jealous of you people. And I love Cranium.]

Right, so I'll eat anything. The exbf, for better or worse, ingrained this in me - well, demanded it of me, if I didn't, we'd have GINORMOUS fights (in restaurants/international markets/where ever, but always in public) that resulted in me crying AND eating chocolate dipped pickled tripe, or how I learned to stop crying and love the food. I have eaten a lot of stuff most would classify as "not fit for a toilet," but I really get off on it. Actually, I get off on it to the point of being a total snob in the face of normal things like Kraft Dinner or Lil ' Smokies. I'd rather eat an insect than a not all beef hot dog. Mind you, I'm not saying this makes me better than you, in fact, it makes me worse than you. As usual. This whole thing worked pretty well for me until I made the move back to OK. Now there is limited sushi, no credible Indian food and negligible Thai cuisine (well, that I can find), no fish monger or butcher shop, one gigantimous Asian market, but no one who will eat soft shell crab with me.

Anyway, I was a fan of food shows before (ask me anything about Ina Garten, Bobby Flay or gray salt), but now I am obsessed. No Reservations totally gets my rocks off. Anthony, with his unruly, graying hair and skin tight threadbare shirts clinging to a body that belies the chef in him leads the viewer through culinary calling cards and delicacies from Paris to cook smoke filled shacks in China - all while smoking 8,592 cigarettes and mildly toasted. It is only natural that I should be in love. Watch it. You'll see.

Also, he wrote Kitchen Confidential (one of my favorite memoirs) which unabashedly describes his ascension into culinary society through a haze of booze, drugs and rotten fish (you will rethink the idea of brunch - for a while anyway), but not in a way that leaves you thinking he knows he's too cool for school. The chaotic and nomadic lives of those who make up the underbelly of America's kitchens is better than any reality TV show. But of course, someone tried to make the book into a TV show starring my beloved Bradley Cooper, and of course, it failed. Boo.

Maybe someday I will see you at the Siberia Bar, but until then, I will watch you on my tiny TV. Alone. Oh so alone.


Julie_Gong said...

I too love Anthony Bourdain.

I aspire to be in that same cloudy drunken haze with wonderful food surrounding me.

John said...

I have to disagree with one part of your Bourdain assessment. He totally thinks he's too cool for school. It didn't keep me from reading "A Cook's Tour", but he's nowhere close to knocking Alton Brown off of my favorite chef pedestal.

blythe said...

no way, anthony's the real deal. i put alton brown in a different category. he's more of a nerd than a chef. if you look at the actual food he makes, sometimes i find it quite unappetizing, but the way he makes it is pretty rad. i've got to stop saying rad.

Clinton said...

Fuck, Oklahoma, I'm starting to think that you and I were seperated at birth.

In my bookbag, right now, is his book "Gone Bamboo" which I just started reading yesterday. I've read Kitchen Confidential, no lie, 14 times. I've read Cooks Tour 8 times. If Bourdain were here right now, I'd get arrested trying to give him a hug.

He's a total jerk and a snob and I love him for it.

The [Cherry] Ride said...

Two things:
1/ I too hate the word "foodie." Fuck anyone who calls themselves a "foodie."

2/ Anthony Bourdain sucks. I don't know what it is about chefs and their egos. You're not curing cancer, nor are you a "rock star" - you cook pork tenderloin, you moron. And he's up there with the worst of them.

[Sorry, I guess I'm in a bad mood today.]

Colleen said...

I haven't had cable for years so I know not who most of these chef types are, but I totally met Mario Batali the other night, thinking he was some regular dude, and then had to be told who he was.

Also my bf forces me to drink good beer. Which is a really good thing to be forced to do, but makes me more of a jerk, so I know where you're coming from. Wish he were more receptive to me trying to make him eat better food of the vegetable matter type.

Julie_Gong said...

I don't think I've ever seen Alton Brown actually make any food.

chuckdaddy2000 said...

I hate cooking shows, but I liked the Anthony Bourdain one. At least until they started talking about the food... Maybe I just like travel shows.

blythe said...

clinton - we were. i've been meaning to tell you that. we even look alike. i forgot about the new book! must read asap (after harry potter...)

cherry - jeez, buddy. that cleanse is going real well, huh. i know he's got an ego, but with him, it's valid.

colleen - so jealous! a friend's bro used to work at babbo and i always meant to hit him up for the introduction or something, but never got around to it. was he wearing his orange clogs?

julie - i know. but i still like his show. i want to be a food anthropologist for him.

big daddy - the food's the best part! actually, i want to be samantha brown.

Mr. Shain said...

i loved the aside at the beginning because it's true--not of me so much, but in general, spot on.

Anonymous said...

I love foods that others may find odd/different but I also love down home cooked meals, too. I can enjoy the best of both worlds when it comes to food.

Big Daddy said...

I liked Bourdain until I saw him on some show, be a total ass.

I'm more of a Bobby Flay person myself.

Well, him and Giada De Laurentis.

JebusHChrist said...

I think Anthony Bourdain is the only man I would let shout at me without me responding by punching him in the face. I admire him for being such an unapologetic asshole. Please tell me you read his pointed critique of all the "Chefs" on the Food Network? It was awesome.
Like you.

JebusHChrist said...

* Jebus would also like to include Gordon Ramsay and Bob Knight to this list. Thank you.

d said...

what is it with all of you people and the cooking shows? i'm sitting here shaking my head in disbelief that so many of you spend so much time watching other people cook food.

is this some underground phenom that is sweeping the hipster nation?

explain please.

Annie said...

i only watch cooking shows when my sister makes me, but always find myself zombified by how much purpose there is to them. all that food needs to be cooked. that cook has to do it. the people involved are so precise and productive. it's this whirlwind of activity and none of it has to involve me (except the term "getting baked," used loosely). that's a beautiful thing.

plus you can eat whatever you want while you watch them.

blythe said...

mr. shain - thank you. i try. i usually fail, but every now and then, i write something almost as good as a random person's comments on [redacted].

sru - what is not to be enjoyed about food, right? except perhaps the state of my ass. hey, beyonce gets away with it, so can a 5'1" white girl...

big daddy - i watch bobby flay because he's an ass and giada because of her fun bags. god bless them.

jebus - exactly and yes. mario batali scares me, but he knows his shit. and sandra fucking lee is a joke. she made a margarita with beer and bottle lime juice. i have more respect for the president. seriously. and thanks. unless you are being facetious, and from what i know of you, i assume that is the case.

d - they're awesome! people watch sports, right? it's the same thing, but with food. sort of. not really. a quite terrible analogy. i want to marry tyler florence and/or jamie oliver with a side of dave lieberman? oh, and i think the hipster nation would be angered if they knew you'd included the likes of us in their fold.

annie - yes. exactly. esp. the part where you get to eat what you want. word.

JebusHChrist said...

I was going to explain the beauty of cooking shows but Annie did it perfectly. So.

Not being facetious, Blythe. I try to limit my assholery to my own comment threads.
I like your moves.

stewpid said...

I was at a party with Anthony Bourdain last year so I decided to touch him so I could say I was at a party with Anthony Bourdain and touched him which worked nicely because here I am saying it but when I touched him, like I walked by and leaned too close and like brushed him, he turned around and gave me this withering "did you just lean and touch me" look and was, like, horrified.

So let me repeat: I touched Anthony Bourdain.

I LOVE Cranium a lot and much to my shame (oh, who am I kidding, it's to my DELIGHT), I cheat at it because I love it so much.

5 of 9er said...

I love him too. He makes smoking look cool.

G said...

MOVE TO NEW YORK!! Be a food...ette foodette with me.

Actually, my neologism sounds more like a foot disease. Nevermind.

blythe said...

i know. i know. if you find me a job or some way to forgive my student loans, i'm yours. until you move to paris, of course.

Big Daddy said...

Jamie Oliver! I forgot about him.

I love him.

Hellafied said...

Have you read "A Cook's Tour" yet?

Anthony Bourdain is what you would get if James Dean, Johnny Rotten and Julia Child had a threesome and somehow produced a love child.

Pure. Fuckable. Food. Genius.

Anonymous said...

anthony bourdain, bobby flay, guy feire, emeril,alton brown all suck they are total morons. they couldnt cook their way out of a paper bag