Speaking of Bourdain…

November 18, 2009

After reminding myself in Monday’s post about following Anthony Bourdain on Twitter (I actually follow @NoReservations, named for his show on The Travel Channel), I read a few of his latest. There was a link to an article about one of his public appearances, in the UK. It included a few quotes of his; I heard him, a year or so ago, open an old-fashioned Can O’ Whoopass (as we say in the South) on Sandra Lee (of Food Network’s Semi-Homemade) on a public radio broadcast of the Commonwealth Club — and here he does it again:

“This frightening Hell Spawn of Kathie Lee and Betty Crocker seems on a mission to kill her fans, one meal at a time. … This is simply irresponsible programming. Its only possible use might be as a psychological warfare strategy against the resurgent Taliban — or dangerous insurgent groups. A large-racked blonde repeatedly urging Afghans and angry Iraqis to stuff themselves with fatty, processed American foods might be just the weapon we need to win the war on terror.”

This is why I love Bourdain. To say he doesn’t mince his words is more than a mild understatement — and he can totally get away with it, because he travels to remote areas of the world and eats or drinks whatever the locals cook up for him. Who can argue with that level of adventurousness? And while I don’t think I would phrase it quite as dramatically as he does (at least not in a public forum, since I haven’t yet eaten the pickled brains of various animals prepared by equatorial tribal people), I agree with him (sans-personal commentary) about this one. Sandra Lee seems like a very friendly person who had a hard time growing up and is now interested in helping low-income folk (or so I learned from a public service advertisement on FoodTV last year). But I see a disconnect between helping those people and emphasizing tablescapes on the level that puts decoration above serving real food.

But just when you think Bourdain couldn’t be a bigger crass, he whips out a gem of wisdom. Here is his quote about feeding his 3-year old:

“There’s no convincing your kids to like something they don’t want to like. If you’re a foodie or you’re trying to be all sophisticated about what your kids eat, it’s not going to work. What it comes down is your kids are going to choose what they see you eating.” *

I really hope this is true — it paints a brighter future for my green-vegetable-deficient 3-year old. I admit it’s encouraging, though, to think that while my children might not know which side of the dinner plate the fork resides (I still rely on my husband for this information on the rare occasion our table is formally set), they might end up knowing how to make a loaf of bread from scratch, or maybe, in my pipe dream, enjoy a can of smoked sardines. On crackers with dijon mustard.

I’ll leave you, though, with Bourdain’s ultimate tweet, from yesterday:

Pro Tip: Eat bacon on everything

Words to live by.

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