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A.V. Club

Interview: Anthony Bourdain cooks for his harshest critic: his daughter

Sixteen years have passed since Anthony Bourdain entered our conscience, his memoir Kitchen Confidential slicing through the crisp-suited maître d’ ideal of fine dining like a serrated knife through ripe tomato. The book exposed what chefs and servers knew happened beneath the industry’s prim veneer—a pressure-filled kitchen culture manifesting in profanity, vice, and cooks doing gross things to the food of griping diners.

Perhaps it was his predilection for salty language (what cook doesn’t drop an F bomb?), but Bourdain got stuck with the “bad boy” chef label. This is a bit of a misnomer. His television shows—first No Reservations on the Travel Channel, now Parts Unknown on CNN—reveal a man curious and non-judgmental of the world he inhabits. Food is the through-line but rarely the most interesting part of the show. It’s the conversations he holds while breaking bread, with political activists in …

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