Q&A with chef Anthony Bourdain
The author, TV host and well-traveled chef Anthony Bourdain stops in Seattle June 22.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Anthony Bourdain7:30 p.m. Tuesday, The Moore Theatre, 911 Pine St., Seattle; $35, includes pre-signed copy of his book, "Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook" (877-784-4849 or www.stgpresents.org)
Anthony Bourdain is such a rock star, he isn't relegated to some basement bookstore for a reading. He gets the main stage at Moore Theatre on Tuesday.
The former New York City chef who made it big 10 years ago with his Hunter S. Thompson-esque prose in "Kitchen Confidential" returns with "Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook." It will debut Sunday at No. 2 on The New York Times best-seller list.
Much has happened since his cult classic, which dished on the underbelly of the restaurant world. Bourdain, 53, now hosts the food-travel show "No Reservations" and has remarried. Gone is the earring. He's a dad now, after all, a calmer, more content Bourdain.
Still snarky, though. In his latest book, he dissed the slow-food icon Alice Waters and has some scores to settle with his nemeses in the food world.
We caught up with Bourdain by phone interview from West Hollywood.
Q: You're not going to sing, dance or cook. What are you gonna do on stage?
A: I will be reading from the book and having a conversation with the audience. I love when people ask me questions I am not expecting. It keeps me awake and alive.
Q: Craziest thing that has happened?
A: It was a speaking gig, one-hour talk, with Q and A. A guy was shouting and begging to come up on stage to show me his tattoo. He gets up and drops his pants. He has (a tattoo of chef Eric) Ripert and (Iron Chef Masaharu) Morimoto and me. It was like Mount Rushmore on his hairy upper thigh. And he wanted me to sign it ... A year later, he was in the Midwest, he jumped on stage. This time he was not wearing any underwear. Oh, and someone delivered a baby in one of my gigs. She started laughing and spit the baby out.
Q: Uh, I think your talk is gonna sell out in Seattle now. You're welcome.
A: (He laughs.)
Q: You were a judge on "Top Chef" five times. You love that show. Why?
A: The level of competition. There is real suspense after they weed out the deadwood ... any of these guys could win the grand prize.
Q: You say Thomas Keller is the best American chef. Who's No. 2?
A: Oh, wow, there's a lot of great American chefs out there. I couldn't say. Possibly Grant Achatz (in Chicago) ... as far as sheer talent, he has to be in the running.
Q: Why the sequel now, 10 years later?
A: "Kitchen Confidential" was written by a guy standing in a kitchen. I've lived a privileged life (since). It (the book) talks about how my life has changed in 10 years.
Q: You've said Salumi (owned by Mario Batali's father) in Pioneer Square is one of 13 places folks should eat at before they die. You going there Tuesday?
A: It is my hope. I told Mario many times that I want his parents to adopt me. I love charcuterie. I love their dishes. Their vibe.
Q: Chefs and restaurants in Seattle you like?
A: Tom Douglas, I like his stuff. Le Pichet, I love that restaurant. I am a Canlis fan.
Q: The next big thing? The next pork belly?
A: As much as I like it to be pig's tail, it's the lamb neck.
Q: Other trends?
A: The trend toward more casual dining continues. (And) what's happening in Paris is the prix-fixe menu ... four-course menu with the following dishes. No choice ... at a reasonable price. That is happening now in Paris and it is very exciting.
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @tanvinhseattle.