I can confidently say, I think I’m the last one to join the Anthony Bourdain train. I’m not quite sure where I’ve been while his restaurants, books, television shows and live entertainment events have been chugging along with great fanfare for some 20 years, but I can now say I am ready to hop on board!
A few months back, I finally discovered what everyone else loves about him while reading his 15 year old book, A Cook’s Tour. His straightforward, cynical style had me hopping in random cars and taxis all over the globe following him as he indulged in once-in-a-lifetime food experiences.
I was thoroughly entranced as he took me to France for oysters, Japan for fugu and Russia for vodka (of course.) I also loved hearing of his tales in Vietnam. It made me realize that although Vietnam has changed significantly in the last 20 years, especially to the American tourist, a street market is always an exciting place to explore.
In one of the most memorable chapters, I was comforted to know that even the most seasoned chef could get queasy at the slaughter and mutilation of a pig for every edible morsel. Yet, after listening to the all day event, the cultural traditions he shared with this Portuguese family, and the unforgettable foods he ate, the gruesome beginning may have been worth it.
So, whether your are new to Mr. Bourdain like me, or have “known” him for years, I highly recommend picking up this book. It’s the perfect read for travel buffs and foodies or any adventurer looking for a good laugh or two.