Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Remembering Bourdain on Bourdain Day

Posted By on Tue, Jun 25, 2019 at 2:01 PM

click to enlarge werec_gutsandglory.jpg

On this day, we remember the all-sainted Anthony Bourdain on what would have been his 63rd birthday. He was funny, original, and an all-around truth teller.

Bourdain brought his Guts & Glory tour to Memphis in 2012. We were there. And we eulogized him after his untimely passing last year.

Here's what we wrote ...

From the Flyer's Jen Clarke:

That's why Anthony Bourdain was so beloved: He got them [servers, bartenders, chefs], too, and sought to elevate them to the status they deserve. We need food to live. Food is integral to every single culture. Nourishment is an expression of love. Bourdain arrived at the onset of the "foodie" craze with a different perspective and a mission to tell stories beyond what's on the plate. Knowing those stories made everything taste better.

He was a bard. He was an avatar of so many wise and brilliant restaurant people who, at least in my experience, are the best people.

My review of his Orpheum show:

The nearly full house at Anthony Bourdain's Guts & Glory show at the Orpheum Friday night was made up of many, many hardcore fans — folks who most certainly know Bourdain's No Reservations TV show and his books Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw chapter and verse.

Indeed, the show Bourdain dished out could be viewed as reheated leftovers. Or, it could be seen as something of a greatest hits: chapters from Medium Raw reproduced just about intact, clips from No Reservations, and barbs flung at familiar targets (Paula Deen, vegetarians, Olive Garden, etc.).

But the energy from the crowd was high, and Bourdain met expectations with a sharp, often bawdy approach. Among the highlights: the bit about how to do drugs on television and the one about being a gracious guest (that means eating a poop- and hair-covered warthog's anus).

In a word, it was fun.

The real unknown of the evening came with the audience and the concluding Q&A session.

He was asked how he learned to write and about the NYC restaurant he left when he became famous. A shout-out was given to Vassar (which he attended briefly), and he promised that he would give Memphis barbecue its proper due when he begins his new show for CNN next year. (No Reservations ends its run on Monday night.)

The show was ended when Bourdain laughed and waved off the last question posed by a super-pumped fan.

The man asked, "Who do I have to fuck to get a drink with Anthony Bourdain?"
Another review of that show, from Memphis Magazine's Pam Denney:

While it was difficult to scribble in the dark, I did manage to write down a few more things from Bourdain's show, which, by the way, ran more than two hours:

• Bourdain has little patience for fast food, chain restaurants, and (sorry to say) vegetarians: “Chicken Caesar Carbonara: What the fuck is that?”

• He says all travelers should follow the “Grandmother Rule: Eat whatever Grandma puts on your plate.”

• Russians drink. A lot. When filming his last show, Bourdain’s hosts drank two to three shots of vodka for breakfast, downed another seven to nine shots with lunch, and finished the day with 14 to 19 more. “It’s true,” he said. “I clocked it.”

• And finally, what would Bourdain request for his last meal? “A super high end, super fresh piece of nigiri.”
And more from the Flyer's Hannah Sayle:

What's that saying about breaking a few eggs to make an omelet? Well, to be the candid, shoot-from-the-hip kind of food celebrity Anthony Bourdain is, you have to a break a few eggs to make a few enemies: Paula Deen, Alice Waters, vegetarians — just to name a few.

But for his many devoted followers, Bourdain is greater than the sum of his foot-in-mouth moments and loudly professed enemies. He's a whip-smart food fanatic, an expert in all things edible, and a fearless eater. 

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