Anthony Bourdain gets to travel around the world having adventures and eating great food. His new network, CNN, has already ordered another season of “Parts Unknown.”
Back in New York, Bourdain is a fan of the Bronx Academy of Letters, which helps students develop strong writing skills. We spoke at the school’s 10th anniversary celebration just before he stepped up to host the event.
That’s the only way it happens. They’re historical obsessions, places that I’ve seen as a location in a film or read about that always seemed intriguing. Or there’s sheer self-indulgent, 100-percent food porn.
I’m free to be food-oriented or not, depending on where the journey takes me. Most importantly, they have the boots on the ground, the experience and the infrastructure to allow me to go to places like the Congo and Libya and other potential conflict zones.
We do not travel with armed bodyguards. But we do have people with a lot of experience in those places who are very good at assessing an ever-changing situation and saying, “Now’s the time to get back in the van,” “Now’s the time to leave the country” and “Here, let me set that leg for you.”
If we suddenly find ourselves in a situation like in Libya, where we do need armed bodyguards, we’re hiring local guys.
I think that’s real cooking.
I’m excited by any food that’s prepared by someone who’s proud of what they’re doing, who puts a personal imprint on food. There always is a story, be it a street stall or a three-star Michelin, and if it’s interesting, I’m going to enjoy it.
If it’s antiseptic, highly technically beautiful food, with no story and no personality behind it, with nobody talking to you, I’m not that interested.
The roots of creativity are hungry people trying to figure out how to take something that’s not particularly fresh or tender and transform it into something delicious that everyone will love.
I stay in one place with my family and cook barbecues, steamer clams, corn on the cob.
Yes, the product line, the pots and pans, the kitchen clogs, the knives – there could have been all those things.
Vanity. I just don’t want to be that guy.