Anthony Bourdain is a man of many talents. He’s a chef, an author, a television host, a jiu jitsu champion, and, perhaps most importantly, a father. And though Bourdain has in fact been training his daughter in martial arts since she was four—teaching her “Ronda Rousey-quality” arm bars—he’s a little less concerned with forcing his offspring to participate in the culinary arts. In fact, he’d prefer it if parents would stop raising their kids to be pretentious “foodies” altogether.
In an interview with Esquire on Thursday, Bourdain dished on his recent interview with President Obama (Barry says you should never put ketchup on a hot dog, for the record), giving his thoughts on fatherhood and food.
“The last thing you should ever try to do is to make your child a foodie. Nothing could be more annoying or futile,” Bourdain said. “I always ordered her whatever she wanted, so if she wanted grilled cheese or pasta with butter, I was happy to give it to her. But I never dared say, ‘Honey, you should try this, it's good,’ because if my parents did that to me, of course I'd be like, ‘Oh God, no.’”
“[S]he'd reach out for stuff and over time would surprise me by showing a real liking to things like raw oysters,” the chef added. “She loves foie gras and demands it for her birthday. She likes spicy food, salty little fish, stinky cheese. But, you know, she's an Italian kid, so she comes with an advantage.”
The next time you try and pressure your toddler into tasting a spoonful of caviar or a sliver of dry-aged beef, just remember Bourdain’s wise, wise words.