18 August, 2007

Intrepid Anthony Bourdain (Vegetarian Unfriendly post)

Anthony Bourdain may have one of the most disgusting shows on television. In fact he makes it a point to search out strange, exotic foods and that often/always includes eating parts of animals that you didn't even know they had. Or of animals that you never heard of, and after watching the show, never want to meet. You certainly won't be searching out a lot of the food he shows. Some of it is only available in remote corners of the world, but even if it were in the local supermarket, you wouldn't want to pick it up, and say boil it in a big vat for two days before you roasted it in a sauce that took you three more days to make, and then sit it out to"season" (rot) for a few more, before you spread it on some kind of bread. The show is half travel, and food culture, and half horror. Yet, it's mesmerizing. And the guy is so interesting you want to tune in next week just to see what he's up to. Probably he has a lifetime gig here, if he wants it.

If you live in the world outside Japan, you surely know who he is. He's an American, ex-chef of long experience, turned TV star, writer and journalist. Some call him a "rock chef". He's opinionated and reputedly doesn't like vegetarians. He thinks it's impolite to refuse food that someone is offering you, and I have some sympathy with that view.

He also looks better than any chain-smoking, over-eating, constantly-travelling, forty-something (I presume) has a right to. In fact he looks spectacular. Looking at him you are aware of just how good those Classical genes can be. He literally can't take a bad shot, even in hot sweaty harrowing conditions, like when he's eating strange disgusting foods in the middle of deserts, and almost gagging them up. But not usually gagging them up, because he's too polite. He's invariably charming to the people he meets who are his hosts on food adventures around the world. At least on camera. But I suspect off-camera, too. This man has more energy and verve than 50 other non-smoking vegetarians trying earnestly to live good healthy lives. (Like me.) He's obviously on to something.

Could the magic ingredient be fun? Has he found out what turns him on and managed to market it to the rest of the world? Certainly seems he's tapped into the Serendipity Muse. Each day looks like he is squeezing out all the joy he possibly can, like an endless party, the kind we had in college before the "real jobs" sucked up all the possibilities and receding horizons. Whatever it is, I want some more of that in my life. I'm not about to start eating animal body parts, or chain-smoking my way around the world, being followed by a camera crew. But, I can watch the show, guilty pleasure that it is. And I can plan a few more adventures of my own.


JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I love Anthony Bourdain! Mainly because I want his job but also because he seems like I guy I could totally hang with!

vegetablej said...

Another fan!

Who says there's not room for an Intrepid Leftover Queen, too?


Julia said...

hehehe, i love his show, too!
no matter what he eats ;P
it is strange but although most of the things he eats look disgusting, i often get hungry seeing his show! maybe just because he or at least his hosts are so enthusiastic about it.

brandon lee said...

i think you have him confused with Andrew Zimmern

cecilia said...

What I got from this post is your own well-developed (or well-preseved?) ability to come across joy wherever it may be. Even if its on 'the other side'. Inspiring