Photo: New York City
Wine & Food Festival.
Not surprisingly, Bourdain is a natural and answered practically every Bruni question with a clever, brutally honest quip. Bruni began by inquiring about one of the more unusual things he had seen Bourdain eat on his Travel Channel show, "No Reservations." The delicacy in question was a warthog's rectum. After firing off a few expletives, Bourdain admitted that while he was eating the warthog delicacy, he knew he was "in trouble," adding he humbly tries to eat everything that people around the globe offer him.
"Where we're going is based on directors we like and want to dupe," Bourdain said of the show. "We want to make something along the lines of films we admire." Of course, he capped the exchange off with a self-mocking, "But, it's all about me in the end."
Bruni was curious about how the Big Apple stacks up in regards to reflecting the world's culinary diversity. For a chef who's traveled seemingly everywhere on the globe, Bourdain turned it into a Queens, N.Y., love fest.
"Queens is pretty great. Everybody's in Queens," Bourdain said. Though he did lament the absence of good-quality, accessible and affordable street food, comparable to what he's eaten in Singapore and Hong Kong. And then we were treated to a short video of Bourdain and Chef David Chang eating authentic (there was a dish of still-wriggling octopus) Korean food in Queens.
One of the most interesting topics Bruni touched upon was Alice Waters. Bourdain has famously spouted off on how unrealistic he believes her eat-organic-only-shop-at-farmers'-markets philosophy to be. On Saturday, he clarified that while he does agree with what Waters says on principle, he is offended by her tone and timing, calling her a "well-off, spacey, elite resident of Berkeley," who is basically totally out of touch with how most Americans live and cope with the recession.
Next up was the question of whether or not the glorification of chefs has gone overboard. To this, Bourdain sarcastically fired back, "This is a good racket! Don't f*** it up for me!"
Turning serious, he explained that chefs are finally getting what's due them, after working grueling hours for little pay and recognition. But he also took the opportunity to clarify what he means when he says "chef" -- and what he absolutely does not mean is Guy Fieri or Rachael Ray. He does recognize that these TV personalities are very popular and entertaining: "It's a Food Network world and I'm just living in it."