Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Why We Like

Tony Bourdain is an unapologetic BAMF. Born in New Jersey, trained in New York, he eats, drinks and generally consumes the world with reckless abandon.

He scoffs at vegetarians and defends his love of the American hamburger with pure evolutionary logic. We enjoy meat, he says, because that’s the way we evolved, “designed to chase down smaller, stupider animals and eat them.” He doesn’t care about consuming the still-beating heart of a rattlesnake. He wouldn’t mind giving his daughter chocolate-covered steel wool wrapped in a McDonald’s container if it made her hate the reviled fast food chain and its “smelly” spokesclown. He muses Keith Richards and a newly svelte Mario Batali will piss on his grave.

A speaking engagement at the Waukegan, Ill. Genesee Theater offered a glimpse into the travels of a man who is “not an advocate for anything.” For the hundreds of devoted fans in attendance, Bourdain’s show “No Reservations” on the Travel Channel is the bible. For many others, it’s the traveling hedonists’ guidebook. In the show, the chef pops from locale to breathtaking locale, taking in food, culture and plenty of indigenous beverages until all hours of the night. In his gastronomic exploits, he reinterprets places as familiar as New York City and introduces audiences to far-off sites like Laos and Panama, all by way of food and life. He has the job any aspiring food writer would kill for – he drops in for nine days, eats, drinks and chills to his heart’s content, comes back and crafts a gluttonous story about it. He is the Travel Channel, the Food Network and their ilk taken to their ultimate conclusion – a mosh pit of food and experience at their most pure. He’s no prepackaged Rachael Ray, because all good things take longer than 30 minutes.

But does he miss his culinary roots of being in the kitchen? No, because he’s “traveled halfway around the world bitching about the thread count at the Four Seasons.” His reason for traveling? “You can’t cook really brilliantly until you know how to eat.”

In his lecture, Bourdain recalls a moment: A perfect day sitting with his wife in the center of Venice when a gaggle of marching tourists comes into view. He said he wanted to tell the poor souls to run away – turn a corner and find something mysterious, gritty and real in their surroundings. The reason why Bourdain is so awesome is that maybe because of him, there may be fewer Hawaiian-shirt clad, Croc-wearing tourists out there one day.

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881
Why We Like