12 Jun 2010

Anthony Bourdain: 'Most chefs are kind of lost boys or [lost] women'

From Saturday Morning, 11:10 am on 12 June 2010
Anthony Bourdain in 2017

Anthony Bourdain in 2017 Photo: Getty Images / AFP

American chef, author and TV presenter Anthony Bourdain (1956-2018) spoke to Kim Hill back in 2010 after the publication of Medium Raw, the sequel to his best-selling memoir Kitchen Confidential.

On people taking food seriously:

"It's an extension of who people are, what they love, where they come from...

"Try arguing which is the best New York pizzeria on a food website and you'll get death threats."

On food ethics:

"I'm the best kind of hypocrite. I may be critical of fetishising expensive organic food but I sure as hell will feed my daughter nothing but organic food."

"Every chicken than ever was used in a KFC has had a far more horrendous life than the animals that are used in foie gras."

"[McDonald's supplier Cargill Meat Solutions] are soaking cuts of meat in ammonia … I see the hamburger as a great, noble and iconic American dish and I don't think there should be cleaning products in it."

"Repeated or frequent exposure to Ronald McDonald might cause headlice, I've heard it said."

On the personalities of chefs:

"I think they're shy, generally. The business has always attracted people who felt uncomfortable outside of the absolutes of the kitchen. I think even at their noisiest, most chefs – even if they're Type A in the kitchen – outside of the kitchen are kind of lost boys or  [lost] women who sense something in themselves that would not survive in the outside world or would not flourish the way it has inside the kitchen."

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