|Enjoying his own humor, Anthony Bourdain|
So when I found out that Bourdain was landing in Brooklyn at the BAM Opera House to speak, I debated whether I should attend the more personal session (pricier) to share photos, drinks and snacks with this exceptional writer and traveler, or just warm a seat as close as I could get to the stage. I did the latter which I'm thrilled that I did, but I rue that I didn't do the former as well. It would have been a gas to take some photos and post them here with a few choice rubies thrown to me during a brief exchange from this Will Rogers of the food universe.
The show was one half hour getting started because the crowd was packed out, the only criticism of the evening which was more the fault of Ticketmaster, the producers and the Opera House venue creators, I think. Who knows, but our expectations were raised as was the suspense to see the man live and in person. At last, the announcer introduced him to warm applause and catcalls by his throng of twenty to thirty somethings.
He jaunted out on stage, dark classes, signature black sweat shirt and jacket and designer Nikes or whatever brand they were. The audience still clapping didn't realize it. At first, I was like, "What? Oh no. It's an impersonator and Bourdain got stuck in air traffic over Mumbai." When I looked again, I nearly fainted, and those around me were like, "Not. Bourdain. That's his buddy." Then the Bourdain twin took off the glasses and jacket and Voila!
|Eric Ripert (Bourdain's doppelganger revealed)|
Ripert is awesome. Bourdain respects and shares Ripert's concerns and appreciates Ripert's phenomenal interest and artistry in developing his culinary lexicon and perfecting all aspects of his restaurant, Le Bernardin. Ripert's food palate is superb and he is a gentleman and a perceptive, temperate soul. Bourdain is sanguine, humorously ironic to the point of sardonic and in your face. The two make a great team of complements. It is obvious how and why they are friends.
|Who better than a close buddy to introduce you to the Brooklyn crowd and cheer you on. (Eric Ripert and A. Bourdain)|
|Bourdain during the question and answer session. Eric Riper (left) sitting and listening.|
|Answering the question about food quality|
Bourdain's take on American junk food gyrations? Great answer. Make the junk food look like the food court in Thailand or other Asian nations with food stalls run by entrepreneurs where you could sample Dim Sum, or roasted goose or duck, and other treats. These would be more nutritious and fewer calories than the typical garbage slid toward us. What he was discussing is happening outside of Eatley across from Madison Square in NYC. That is a wonderful food court of more upscale fare from various restaurants in the city from seafood to deli. It's a step in the right direction, but Bourdain was discussing more exotic offerings for more reasonable prices; not corporate, not industrial, not big business, but something equivalent in other countries as street food. And he's right. Expanding the palates and intellectual curiosity of Americans just might decrease their waistlines. Quality not quantity might be the right imperative. That and an unadulterated food supply that is not rife with additives, preservatives, GE/GM (genetically modified) produce and products, pink slime hamburgers, E coli-spinach and hamburger, salmonella eggs and antibiotic fed animals... would slim all of us down.
|The inimitable Bourdain listening to another question.|