Friday, September 26, 2008

Bourdain: the early years.

In spite of his early attempts at channeling Jimmy Page's hair, I admit to being a big Anthony Bourdain fan. I can't help but love his scorched earth commentary on so many subjects, no matter how self-serving it is. Oh, and he's also a excellent, very funny writer. So where did he come from? For some early visuals, check out this post from the North Jersey Record blog. You get to see "sweet faced" Tony; "sullen" Tony; and "Tony in hippie mode" on photos provided by Tony's mom Gladys. I know, celeb chef shit is pretty lame, but I can't help but look.
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Also interesting reading is Michael Ruhlman and his pal Bourdain's comments on the multi-course tasting menus that are seemingly de rigueur at so many top restaurants these days. The topic: how much is too much? It was part of the focus at a roundatble discussion at the Star Chefs International Chefs Congress where Ruhlman presided and Bourdain and Marco Pierre White voiced their displeasure. Having taken part in a local "food death march" here in Portland where courses kept coming in palate numbing numbers, a dinner that while quite impressive left me surrendering with two courses to go because I had a life to attend to, I understand when dinner goes from satisfying the customers appetite to satisfying a chefs ego. Has anyone had any simlilar experiences?

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Wow, huge hair and skinny jeans. Not a good look for a man.

As for tasting menus, I am ambivalent. On the one hand, I've had excellent experiences when they are limited to five courses and executed thoughtfully. For example, I've found that good ones don't wobble from Asian Fusion to Mediterranean to something kind of American, just for the sake of variety. One of the most overwhelming tasting menu experiences in my life occurred at the Painted Lady in Newberg, Oregon last year. There were a zillion substantial plates and we had wine pairings as well. I thought I'd come home with gout.