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