Wednesday, October 22, 2008

At the Table with Anthony Bourdain

This weeks episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations was a change from the original recipe. At the Table is a concept where Tony sits down for dinner with a few big-shots in the food world and they discuss food, food service, travel and culture. Of course, since it's Tony Bourdain, it isn't surprising that they cover a wide variety of topics and many war stories will be discussed.

For the first episode, Tony is joined at Wylie Dufresne's WD-50 by writer Bill Buford, "Nightlife Queen of New York" Amy Sacco, Ted Allen, and magazine editor and former gossip columnist Chris Wilson (he wrote his own blog for Tony). They talk about the morality of an $1800 meal, whether we should feel guilt for eating certain foods, the most disgusting things they've seen in a restaurant/bar, the place of celebrity chefs in the world and the typical chef question ... what's your last meal?

Oh, and if you're looking for some of the recipes from Wylie, look no further. Grilled Corn Pebbles, Lime Mayo and Scallions or Foie gras, Fennel, Malt, Sherry and Vinegar Jam or Sweetbreads, Peanut, Beet-pomegranate and Pickled Sweet Potato.

This was a fantastic episode, and I'm disappointed that it's only a one-off (or two or three-off).

I tweeted the entire episode, and here are the things that really caught my attention:
  • Anthony Bourdain's new show's pilot is hosted at WD50 with Wylie Dufresne. So.Jealous.
  • "Is it ethically okay to blow $1800 bucks on dinner?" Bill Buford argues that dinner serves 2 purposes, nutrition and culture, making it ok
  • Love Bourdain's blog:
  • Ted Allen: "$1800 will get you one hell of a hooker"
  • Why does the US lack the streetfood scene so prevalent in the rest of the world? Ted Allen thinks it's the lawyers and nanny state mentality
  • Bourdain counters saying that there is no more oppressive nanny state than Singapore, and every night govt agents watch the hawkers clean
  • Amy Sacco blames fast food corps for killing the street-food vendor. That makes sense. I can see how corp america could kill street food
  • Ted Allen: Too many Americans think the only way to eat cheaply is to eat crap in a box filled with high-fructose corn syrup and chemicals
  • @donmball Exactly. There are maybe three outside vendors in St. Paul. One hot dog guy, the grill outside of Dunn Bros and another
  • These four believe London is the new European home of cutting-edge cuisine.
  • Should shame or guilty pleasure be an important part of a fine meal?
  • Ted Allen: "The critter should have the best life it can have" Bourdain: "A happy animal more often than not means better food"
  • Chocolate is like salt, cod or coffee; a prime mover of civilization. Hmm, methinks Mark Kurlansky has a new subject for his next book!
  • Hmm, Amy Sacco says that celebs are much better customers than the regular public. Protecting her clients maybe?
  • Is the celebrtiy chef phenomenon a good thing? Bourdain says post Rachael Ray probably better than pre-Rachael Ray, though he hates to admit
  • Ted Allen: Anyone encouraging people to get in the kitchen, make good food and use natural ingredients has made the world a better place
  • Wylie Dufresne says a blessing and a curse. Turned a lot of people onto cooking better at home. Created a lot of egos though.
  • As citizens of the world, should we know how to cook? Should you be mocked if you can't? No, but don't just eat fast-food and crap
  • Great section! When asked what they would make if having company over: Risotto, Meatloaf, Texas BBQ, Roast chicken. Comfort food wins
  • More and more men are watching Food Network and cooking well. Does this mean fewer women? And if so, is it a change in gender roles?
  • Last meal? Amy Sacco-Mom's spaghetti & meatballs. Backup-KFC or Popeye's. Ted Allen-Baby back ribs.
  • Biggest sellers in New York? Comfort food. Ted Allen says New Yorkers need a hug.