Gotta say it was a massive career buzz to score an interview with one of my favourite TV chefs, Anthony Bourdain recently. We've met a few times in the past (heck, I've even lunched with the guy) but getting one-on-one time with him for an interview was something else altogether.
Now, almost 16 years after Kitchen Confidential whipped the cloche off the restaurant industry’s seedy underbelly, the chef and author proves he’s actually a big softie under his tough-guy exterior.
These days, Bad Boy Tony has made way for Big Daddy Tony, and in the rare times he's not flying to another obscure destination or getting wasted on backyard hooch with locals, he's all about being at home with his 9-year-old daughter, Ariane.
Spanning recipes from his childhood in New Jersey, current home life in New York’s Upper East Side, and from his extensive world travels, his new book Appetites: A Cookbook is about as far from the glossy, crowd-pleasing cookbook template as you’re likely to find this Christmas.
“Everyone lies in cookbooks. I wanted it to be real,” Bourdain told me.
In Appetites, there’s no symmetrically styled dinner tables, no air-brushed turkeys, no smiling family portraits. Instead, you’ll see empty, sauce-smeared dinner plates; half-eaten lasagnes; butted-out ciggies; crazy-eyed dogs; dead boars’ heads. Not to mention the opinionated, expletive-studded Bourdain narrative that has become his much-loved/maligned signature.