Anthony Bourdain, noted foodie and host of the Travel Channel’s “No Reservations,” is performing at the Chicago Theater tonight. Performing isn’t quite the right word; he doesn’t really have an act. As Bourdain said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune, he’ll “just talk for an hour about what’s exciting (or irritating) at the moment.” Then he’ll take questions.
How I wish I could go hear him speak! I love men with opinions and the experience to back them up. At 53, Bourdain is certainly a guy who has experienced life. A noted chef, author and gourmand, he has not only been around the culinary block a few times; he’s been around the world a few times.
While filming the 100+ episodes of his TV show, Bourdain has traveled to some of the most remote (and dangerous) corners of the world. InEcuador he sampled the local delicacy, roasted guinea pig, which he described as “crackly, sweet, fatty, delish.” In 2006, he and his crew were trapped in Beirut when the Israel-Lebanon conflict broke out.
Bourdain chain-smokes, he drinks, he swears, he climbs mountains, he stares danger in the face, he’ll eat anything. The guy is dashing, sophisticated ,and rough around the edges all at the same time. And his height (6′4″ ) and full head of hair make him one good looking guy.
But the most attractive thing about Bourdain is that he isn’t afraid to tell it like it is – even if his opinions are controversial, which they often are. For example, here in Chicago, Bourdain calls our beloved deep-dish pizza “awful, ugly stuff” that doesn’t even qualify as pizza.
Also, he came right out and said he didn’t enjoy his meal at Grant Achatz’shighly touted Chicago restaurant, Alinea, saying, ”Alinea didn’t thrill me. I was annoyed by the presentation of the food. I found it intrusive.”
Ah, contention! How refreshing.