Over the years, Anthony Bourdain has built a career on being a very well-traveled, well-fed curmudgeon. Even as the chef prepares to release a new cookbook in October, and launch an ambitious, 155,000-square foot food market on New York's Pier 57 in 2017, it appears not much has changed for the part-time jiu jitsu champ.
Speaking to Ad Week on Sunday, Bourdain, who appears on the cover of the publication’s “30 Most Influential People in Food” issue this month, maintains his reputation as a fierce defender of food-media purity. Though he surprisingly champions the rise of YouTube culinary stars—calling the trend “good for business” and empowering for chefs everywhere— his tolerance for Food Network chefs is still at an all-time low. Never one to pass up an easy jab at Guy Fieri, Bourdain seems to relish the opportunity to mercilessly mock the Mayor of Flavortown once again.
“I find Guy Fieri a rich and deep vein of comedy, there's no doubt about it, and he's worthy of a solid and maybe relentless mocking as anyone who has made his sartorial choices deserves,” he says. “But is he bad for the world? On balance, probably not. I would greatly prefer to not have a Guy Fieri restaurant in Times Square. It hurts me. It offends me. But somebody clearly loves it.”
Still, it seems the only thing Bourdain despises more than the Donkey Sauce-slinging Mayor of Flavortown is the gluten-free diet trend, laying into dinner party health-food nuts.
“Look, before you start boring me to death at a party about how you got gluten-free, you know, if you think you have a disease as serious as celiac disease, shouldn't you see a fucking doctor before you make this big move?” he says. “I don't think half of these people even understand what they're talking about. I'm quite sure of it, in fact.”
In recent years, Bourdain has achieved a cult status inside the food world, inspiring a new class of rising culinary stars.
“Before [Bourdain] it was, ‘Hi, I’m so-and-so fucking asshole, I’m at this best restaurant in this city, eating this food...cut to commercial,’" the author and celebrity chef Eddie Huang told First We Feast earlier this month. “They’re not talking about the deeper aspects that food has. Food touches so many things; it’s a complicated subject. Bourdain was the first one to recognize that on TV. He started speaking about it in that way, and created a line which allowed us to tell our stories.”
[via Ad Week]