On the evening of November 20, Anthony Bourdain, author and TV host of The Travel Channel’s No Reservations will be speaking at the Cobb Energy Centre and dishing on life as a globe-trotting food lover and writer.
Season six of his Emmy nominated show just finished and he’s on the heels of publishing his latest book, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook. Like the title suggests the book is a candid look at popular food culture today, and the realm of people that inhabit it.
I recently had a phone conversation with Anthony where he dished passionately and humorously about food and life on the road. Mr. Bourdain sounds exactly like he does on television. His descriptions and story telling are just as colorful off camera as they are on. What you see is what you get.
Some of his favorite cuisines are Vietnamese street food, high end Japanese, rustic Italian—which he stated have been some of his happiest meals, and Spanish ham.
I then asked him about some of the funkier things that he has eaten that he wanted to spit out. He instantly responded that “rotten Icelandic shark (hákarl) that [Icelanders] eat on a national holiday (Þorramatur) would make you run out of the room on the stench alone.”
Ok, so on the other end of that spectrum I asked him what was delicious that a lot of us would find squeamish? He said the “famous cheese from Sardinia (casu marzu) wriggling with maggots*” came to mind.
*Fly larvae are deliberately introduced to break down the cheese fats and soften the texture.
And then he went on an eloquent diatribe about the “suckling pig” like qualities of cuy (guinea pig, a protein staple in some South Americans’ diet), and how if it were more universally embraced “it could cure world hunger.”
He then gave his two cents about Korean food, which he LOVES (specifically barbecue), and talked about how he respects that for the most part it hasn’t “compromised, or dumbed down” here in America. He loves “spicy, funky” kimchi, and when he has two or three days back home in between shooting or touring he and his wife will usually go do Korean barbecue on their date nights.
Death row meal? In the past he has mentioned roasted bone marrow but his current answer is some San Diego uni (sea urchin roe) and really good sushi—all made with top flight rice and seaweed.
The million dollar question: No Reservations - Atlanta? The short answer – “Maybe, possibly, but not immediately..” I should add that he didn’t sound dismissive here, and he gave nods to spots such as Clermont Lounge and Fat Matt’s Rib Shack.
Anthony Bourdain, John A. Williams Theatre-Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Saturday, November 20, 8:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased here, or copy and paste the link below in your browser’s address bar: