ET & T: Emily, Tracy and Tony [Bourdain, that is]

img_36131Tracy (moi) & Tony

Thanks to the well-informed and best Jumbo I know (ahEM)–we both had the pleasure of meeting and listening to Anthony Bourdain’s lecture on globalization at Tufts tonight. Tony is just as facetious, entertaining and unpretentious in person as he is on television and in writing. I love how he openly jeered at Rachael Ray, Emeril Lagasse and other celebrity ‘chefs’ as he often does on No Reservations. He even kicked-off the lecture with a YouTube video of Sandra Lee preparing Angel Food Cake, commenting on her “beady eyes” and scoffing at her “cooking.” I concur Tony, I concur.

Tony and I share a passion for SE Asian cooking in particular. His allusions to Singaporean hawker stalls, Hainan Chicken and Vietnam on multiple occasions, made me nostalgic and hungry for so many wonderful dishes from the orient: laksa, hokkien, phở , uni…the list goes on. Poor guy didn’t even get a chance to eat some Bahston grub. He’d just landed for the lecture and is flying off again tomorrow. If he had time, I certainly would’ve invited him home for some good eats. Good thing I planned ahead and baked him green tea cookies and cupcakes 🙂img_3615

No no, thank YOU, Tony.

Thank you for not sugar-coating what you say, for not committing cultural faux pas’ when avoidable and for not succumbing to evil endorsements of celebrity chefhood.

Lessons learned:

  • Romania is the least hospitable place of all the places he’s visited.
  • Vietnam and Medellin, Colombia are the most hospitable places.
  • If he were on death row, his last meal would be a piece of uni with seaweed, sushi rice and roe.

Notable and quotable:

  • “Deep inside every chef I’ve met in all the countries I’ve visited, there is a little Chinese man.”
  • “Even though countries are worlds apart, like Brasil and Singapore, you find similarities in their food. Now this is either because the crazy Portuguese at one point or another used to rule the country or it suggests that globalization has had a positive impact on cuisine.”
  • “If you are privileged enough to have a passport, you should use it and see the world”
  • “When you do travel, try and be a good guest. If this means giving up your beliefs and eating a plate of puppy heads, so be it.”

*I forgot to ask Tony if he could guess the secret ingredients in my green tea cupcakes. Hopefully our paths will cross again some day 🙂

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