Maybe you haven’t heard of Anthony Bourdain? He’s only the author of several New York Times’ best selling books and host of The Travel Channel’s No Reservations, adventurous eater, occasional guest judge on Bravo’s Top Chef, a chef himself, and well, all around cool guy. He even has a blog! people! A blog! Which, obviously, makes him _that_ much more cool.
Did I mention how cool Anthony Bourdain is?
As someone who rarely gets to eat any place of culinary consequence, who has proclaimed that they are scared as hell to travel outside of the U.S., and if I were to visit a foreign country, I’d be too scared to try actual authentic food, too afraid of looking stupid or doing the wrong thing, I live vicariously through Chef Bourdain. He eats things that I’d only dream of eating, truly local flavors, some things that I’d LOVE to try, others, uh, not so much. (The no list including bugs, head cheese, durian, or drinking straight vodka with every meal…Russia I’m looking at YOU.) I dream of being foodie and I look to him inspiration.
Saturday night I got to hear Anthony Bourdain speak of food and loving food and traveling and culture and drinking (2nd row, yo!!!). He was witty, sarcastic, and surprisingly warm. After his talk, those of us VIPS (said in my best snooty person voice) GOT TO MEET Anthony Bourdain! I got to actually talk to him! He signed my boobs books!
All of us la-ti-da VIPS got to eat like him (though it was served buffet style and I’m quite sure that Chef Bourdain abhors buffets). The menu? Oh holy deliciousness, a foodie’s dream, MY dream, but best of all, my reality. A whole pig roasted, braised pork cheeks, with warm pimento biscuit, fennel slaw, and flavored honey, venison, lamb, and bison sausages with house-made mustards, charcuterie selection including sweetbread terrine, smoke pork jowls, chicken liver paté…and much, much, more. My favorite? The smoked duck breast. So delicious. (Thank you Northshore Brasserie for the delectable spread. Next time we’re in Knoxville, I will be seeing YOU again.)
You know it’s a good evening when you are trying to work your camera, but for the life of yourself CANNOT remember how to set your camera to let in more light in such a dark theatre, but having at least some wherewithall not to set the camera to automatic during his speech because ***FLASH*** would be a little distracting and OBVIOUS. Thank you too many chardonnays.
Eventually my drunken brain remembered to change the ISO. Voila! Less blurry pictures. Maybe they would have turned out better had I not been tipsy and not exactly steady handed? Whatevs. It was all worth it.