Anthony Bourdain – slightly crude and infinitely entertaining

Yes I drove over 3 hours so I could watch Anthony Bourdain talk. Yes I am slightly crazy.

In my defence, I did use the time to visit with some friends as well, and to go on a mini-food vacation in Calgary (more posts to come).

Julie van Rosendaal introduced Bourdain and recently wrote about the experience on her blog. She’s gotten some flack for the way she introduced him and for the clothes she was wearing. All I have to say about that is grow up people. Julie did a fine job – albeit not with the practiced prattle of most hosts. She was nervous, slightly awkward, self-deprecating, and charmingly REAL. And I thought she did a really great job helping direct the Q&A at the end. I will take her kind of hosting over a plastic person’s hosting efforts any day.

The talk went longer than I thought it would. According to Julie, he spoke for an extra half an hour and extended the Q&A from 20 minutes to 50.

Anthony Bourdain was everything that I expected him to be. Funny, well-spoken and passionate. He did swear, but if you know anything about Anthony Bourdain then you expect that. Apparently there was some grumbling afterwards about the swearing that he did, but to be honest I frankly expected him to swear a lot more than he did.

He had a lot of nervous energy and hardly stood still the whole time he was on stage. There was a lot of pacing back and forth. And unfortunately for me, he spent quite a bit of time facing stage right, and I was sitting stage left. But it was still worth it.

The VIP reception was held after the talk, and I unfortunately didn’t have tickets to that as well or I would have gotten my books signed. There was a nice treat for all of the attendees though – free fancy cheese and wine from Janice Beaton Fine Cheese and Willow Park Wines & Spirits! Everyone was surprised because we had thought that it was only supposed to be served at the VIP reception.

There might be more food talks coming soon so keep an eye out for more announcements. There was a survey at the event that asked people who they’d like to see next. The names on the list ranged from Jamie Oliver and Rachael Ray, to Ruth Reichl and Ferran Adrià. When Julie asked the crowd who they’d like to see, many people yelled out Thomas Keller’s name, which was not on the survey.

I took a bunch of photos of the event (but most of them were blurry because the man wouldn’t stand still). So instead, please enjoy these couple of videos. (At least until some lawyer sends me a notice to take them down.)

Anthony Bourdain talks about Sandra Lee

Anthony Bourdain talks about Top Chef

Edited to add: found another blog with a short entry about the evening

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12 thoughts on “Anthony Bourdain – slightly crude and infinitely entertaining

  1. Bellavino says:

    I must have been sitting super close to you – that was my exact view! I loved this night and was giddy in anticipation for months. It lived up to all my expectations and then some.
    I read Julies blog about the evening as well and my heart broke for her. I couldn’t agree with you more about having her up there as opposed to someone with no flare or personality. She did a great job and you could definitely tell that she was a genuine fan and not just a talking head up there.
    Not to sure I would make the trip for many others since Bourdain is top of the list in my book but I would definitely be tempted to treat myself to another fantastic evening with a crowd full of people as passionate about food as I am.
    Glad to see at least one review (aside from Julies) from a local. I was very disappointed when there wasn’t a word mentioned from any of the papers after the fact from any newspapers.

    • I was in the 1st balcony, at the very end by the stage. Where were you?

      I was surprised there wasn’t any media coverage too, especially since the event was sold out – it would have been good publicity for the sponsors. And I thought more food bloggers would be there too.

      As for going back, I think it would depend on who was speaking. Grant Achatz or Alton Brown? Quite possibly. Rachael Ray? Not so much.

  2. How did you get your tickets. In all honesty, I wrote back to Beaton’s as soon as I was notified of the event through her e-mail – months ago – and never received a response…. but that was for the VIP event… they said – watch soon to find out how to get to go to it – and believe me, I was watching, but didn’t see anything after that.
    As for the tickets… I didn’t want to go alone. Part of the reason I write about food (besides that I love it, and that my girls are always callig me for the recipe for this or that) is that I have no close friends that share my interest…
    and no one I knew wanted to go. Poor me, eh?
    So glad you went to share these with us!
    Love him.

    • I’m on the Janice Beaton e-mail list and got the presale code in my e-mail. I think the VIP tickets went on sale when the wider sale of the rest of the tickets went up, but when I looked at the page all the VIP tickets were sold out so to be honest I have no idea how people got a hold of those!

      I have that problem too in that most of my close friends aren’t into food like I am either, and I actually bought my second ticket without knowing who would come with me. However, the friend that went with me watches some food tv and was vaguely familiar with his books, so this worked out. I would have had a much harder time trying to find someone to come with me if it had been a chef who isn’t as widely known.

  3. I don’t think it’s crazy you drove over 3 hours to see him talk, I think it’s awesome! How fun.

    I would have fully expected some crudeness, as you said, it’s Anthony Bourdain, what do you expect 🙂

  4. I have to agree with the “I don’t think you’re crazy” crowd. Stranger, and more elaborate things have been done (but I will remain mum). Watching Tony over the years, he’s definitely softened, but like Maki, I would totally expect a crude evening. While his show is obviously written with the TV audience in mind, his opinions are strong enough to carry into an open evening forum. Too bad I couldn’t make it, but another time and location.

    On the Julie factor, I think it’s tough for someone to stand up in front of foodies. Even more so, because most people know that Julie is a speaker/blogger of food. Which probably qualifies her almost instantly to be compared with Tony. Fair or not, that is the job of a public speaker. It’s also easy for people to write comments, which would never be said in person because the internet allows for such anonymous/distant critiquing. I think though, like all events in life, it will help Julie grow. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and she will have a better idea moving forward of what to do, and/or expect.

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