Posted by: michellelowrey | June 5, 2009

Why I Heart Anthony Bourdain— Michelle’s perspective

Both Dina and I had the great pleasure of seeing Anthony Bourdain speak the other night at The Flint Center, in Cupertino.  We were not able to get tickets and go together, but went with other people that were also huge fans ….and have two totally different perspective’s.  So lucky you, fair reader, you get to read about our adventure’s twice!  Enjoy…….

So  it’s not until we quietly slide ourselves into our seats that it hits me.  “No way, I’m five rows away from him!”  I stare at my FFB (Foodie Friend Bonnie) in disbelief.  She had surprised me with tickets, and told me that we had seats way in the back, and yet here I sit, five rows from the stage.  No…. way!  Then he glides onto the stage, stares at the crowd and  smiles…..the guy just oozes cool.   So, who’s this guy standing on stage that I’m five rows from? It’s Anthony Bourdain.  Anthony.  FREAKING.  Bourdain.

Dina first let me borrow her copy of Anthony’s book,  “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly” back in 2004, and we have both been in love with him ever since.  In fact, the name of this very blog, “Cooking Club Confidential” is a nod to him.  From the above mentioned book, spawned more books, and eventually led to one of my favorite shows on television, “No Reservations” on The Travel Channel.

People  always ask me, “Just what is up with you and your obsession with  this Bourdain guy?”   I could never answer in a way that I felt made anyone understand…  You just either get him, or you don’t.  But as I looked at the reactions coming from the people sitting around me as he spoke, one thing was for sure….  we all want his life!  This guy started out as this strung out druggie chef, working 13 hour days in a hot kitchen in N.Y.C, and now travels the world eating exotic foods, visiting amazing places…..on someone else’s dime!

Through his travel exploits, he’s famous for eating raw sheep’s testicles in Morocco, ant eggs in Puebla, Mexico, a raw seal eyeball as part of a traditional Inuit seal hunt, and the still beating heart of a cobra in Vietnam, but according to him, the most disgusting thing he has ever eaten is a chicken McNugget.    He ‘s a great chef….and does it well.  He travels the world, and he writes (very well) about his exploits.  He’s an amazing foodie that is not only a giant hunk, but he’s very articulate, and smart.  I go weak at the knees for ANY man that can cook, but he is smart….AND he is cute.  He is the whole enchilada, and that  is why he is the king of all things awesome….

Okay, I forgot what I was talking about for a few moments….Where was I?   Anyway….So there he sits in front of me talking about his food lust, his complete and utter disdain of Sandra Lee from The Food Network, and his beef (pun intended) with vegetarians.  He’s funny, as jaded as ever, and has the most filthy mouth…….But when he really hits his stride is not when he is dissing the latest celebrity chef, but when he just simply talks about his love of food.  He speaks so respectfully about each region and place, as well as culture that he travels to.  He is a man who shows no bias to any race or creed.  He loves them all pretty darn equally.  Fermented shark in Iceland?  No problem!  I mean, Fermented shark may not be what is on the menu here in the good ol’ U.S. of A, but Anthony will eat and experience anything,just for the experience.  Food is, after all, the common denominator that binds us all together in this melting pot we call planet earth.  Racism, prejudices and fear of another culture melt away in the presence of food.  I love that through his show, and through his words as he speaks on stage,he shows us how similar we all are.  He gives us a little glimpse of what people are doing, as well as eating all over the world, and reminds us that we all want the same things for our children, and ourselves…..and that we all eat.  He show’s us, not how different we are, but how very much the same we are.  And what is not to love about that?

Yes, I love the guy, and I always thought of Dina and I as some of his hugest fans.  Dina did an entire cooking club menu that consisted of recipes from his Les Halles cookbook.  That was a great night, let me tell you!  We even took a picture of ourselves in front of a makeshift shrine of pictures adorned with candles that Dina had set up….


But as I sat in that auditorium, I realized that we are not even in the same league as most of his fans.  Mr. Bourdain is out there living a very big life,  and attracts a certain type of fan, and it wasn’t until he finished his lecture, and they brought the house lights up, that all the “crazies” came out.  His fans are scary, man!  People were trying to get on stage, begging for his autograph…..this one freak job stormed on stage and asked Tony to sign his thigh.  His thigh.   The guy had this giant tattoo of Anthony Bourdain’s head on his thigh that was freaking enormous!  I’m sorry, but Ewwww.  There was this other guy that stood up and spoke about how he had lost over 200 pounds and gave all the credit to Tony, saying, that the life he watched Tony having every week on television, made him aspire to create a better life for himself as well.  Wow.  What do you say to something like that??  The guy then asked (pleaded with) Tony to sign his book……and Tony did.

……and with that Sir Anthony Bourdain left the stage to thunderous applause…. and two happy females got their foodie fix on for another day.

Thank you Bonnie, for an amazing night….and yes…..the six hour round trip of driving we did that night,  for a two hour lecture was definitely worth it!!!!

Anthony Bourdain

Sir Anthony Bourdain

I can't believe that Tony signed his calf....and check out the giant tattoo!

I can't believe that Tony signed his thigh....and check out the giant tattoo!



  1. I too enjoyed Kitchen Confidential – he is definately an interesting guy with an amazing story. What a fun treat for you!

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