This wednesday ushered in a wonderful confluence of events: getting to visit with Tony Bourdain, and picking up my new motorcycle! This proved to be a wonderful combination for my brain’s pleasure center.
We jetted up (2 hour drive) wednesday morning to Portland for the Bourdain event, hosted by the cooking supply store In Good Taste. They proved to be a very warm reception, and a wonderful spot to meet Bourdain.
Upon entering the store we were given name tags, which served to help facilitate Tony getting names for book signing (or its a good excuse for chest oogling). The store staff gave us a small plate of grapes, slices of a blue-ish cheese nut roll, and crackers to accompany a glass of sparkling white wine. The crowd size was kept small, to approximately 30 people, so the space felt like a gathering, not a crowd.
I had silly smile moments to be the receiver of store owner Barbara Dawson’s wonderful hosting energy. From introducing Sweets and I to Nick of Extra Msg, to mentioning to Tony that I am in the league of food bloggers, it was fun being highlighted with this distinction.
The event was very casual and relaxed, with Bourdain answering general questions from the audience and then booksigning the rest of the time. Nick taped the conversation, and will hopefully have some choice quotes up on Extra MSG.
I asked about how the El Bulli DVD came into being, as it felt in flavor like an episode from Cook’s Tour. Bourdain shared how the relationship with his show and the Food Network was becoming more of a tussle over creative rights and direction. The opportunity to visit Ferran Adria came during the taping of Cooks Tour and Foodtv balked at the topic. In their mind this was yet another person on the show who didn’t speak English- and way too many foreign accents; they wouldn’t fund it. So Tony and his producers funded it themselves out of pocket. ANd ended up leaving for Discovery’s Travel Channel.
Some of Tony’s philosophies that came out:
- Being a chef is about bringing the ultimate pleasure to your dinner. What tastes best is of utmost importance (vs raising methods and ethics).
- To travel to another culture with personal restrictions in place with your diet is insane.
- The best meals are never planned, they sneak up on you. This underlines the importance of keeping yourself open to new experiences.
- Cooking/feeding is a practice of control and power. The chef is and should be dominant in establishing what is to be fed to the diner. Tell me what is good and then feed it to me… don’t confuse me with unnecessary choices.
Extra MSG has fun behind the scenes write ups on Bourdain’s Portland tattoo excursions.
Also, there are sneak previews of some of the food related tattoos to be featured on No Reservations.