Tony Bourdan Reception

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Joined Aug 11, 2000
Found out today, we're having a reception/booksigning/party!!! with Tony in Two weeks, industry and writers only...potluck, cash bar. What a way to break up winter! So it is amazing the response I've gotten.....the question of the day is what would you bring for potluck (nothing that needs extended attention)
and what questions would you ask? I talked to kitchen guys that soooo related to his books, "Julie I'm the guy with the burnt hands"....so it'll be a great time, wish you all were here....I'll see about posting pix and an antidote or two.
 

isa

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Joined Apr 4, 2000
Have fun Shroom!


Will look forward to your impression of the evening.


I wouldn't know what to bring to such a evening. I did read somewhere he likes Vietnamese food....
 
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Joined Aug 29, 2000
Wow! That sounds a lot more interesting than the one-hour book signing and remarks I'll be attending in Milwaukee on January 31. Based on my scant knowledge, he seems to enjoy raw meat and fish, so some sort of carpaccio would be nice, with the platter on ice if necessary. What's not to like? :p
 
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Joined Nov 21, 2001
check out "Gourmet" august, 2001. looks like you need ant eggs and worms along with large amounts of booze.
 
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
Wow~ ask and you shall recieve.
nope no ant eggs, or reptiles....possibly a pate though...
Yeah this is such a wonderful excuse for a Feb party, we are all needing to let loose....and who better to be a guest?
 
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Anneke, you're the best!

Shroom, I'll tell him hello from me; you're his next stop after the Twin Cities.
 
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Joined May 26, 2001
Wow, what a rough schedule! Who ever said the life of a famous chef/author is glamorous?? I hope people will take pity on the guy and give him some really good food (he's already so thin!)

How about some miniature banh mi (Vietnamese sandwiches)? Little French rolls with pate, some sort of cold cut, cilantro, shredded carrot, jicama and/or cucumber, mayo, fish sauce, hot peppers ...? (See Pot on the Fire by John Thorne for a full discussion.)
 
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I think if I was cooking for him I'd probably make either Steak AuPoivre with Pomme Frites, or baked bluefish gratin.

Questions? Do you see yourself ever getting off the line, or out of the restaurant itself for good and just write.
 
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Chrose, you got me thinking: I'm not even sure he's taking questions in Milwaukee, but I'd probably have only one shot. I'm sure I can think of something to ask (!!!), but I'd be curious to know what others might ask, given the opportunity.

Any thoughts?
 
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He was awful fun when he was here in the Bay Area, I went last week and it was great. He read two bits from his new book, and answered plenty of questions. At least twenty of them, and with great answers. It is wonderful hearing him read, his "voice" in his writing is just the way he talks, so to hear him read his own stuff is an absolute treat! He was super friendly and enthusiastic. We were in Marin, which is a rather ritzy county overall, so the store was full of well read foodies and the like. Those who worked in the business, we were loving it, he was talking to us at times, making references and jokes that it takes being "in the life" to fully appreciate. I mentioned to him that reading his posts on here on ChefTalk when he really gets going is like getting extra little bits of books!

Ask him the questions you really want answered, challenge him, I'm sure he gets repeated questions in his promotional circuit, throw him some curveballs! Look at the questions all posted here, pick a thread he hasn't gotten involved in and ask him one of those perhaps!

If he comes by you, be sure to go check it out!

SG:bounce:
 
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Joined May 14, 2001
Hello!

I will have the rare privelage of being a "author-escort" for Mr. Bourdain this coming Friday when he comes to Iowa City to read at the best bookstore on the planet, Prairie Lights Books. This means, essentially, that I provide his wheels for this leg of his trip, and I get to take him to dinner.

This is where it gets puzzling, though. Do I follow my knee-jerk instinct and take him to one of my restaurants, or do I take him to one of the other area places (an outstanding Thai place here in town comes to mind)?

I've read all his stuff, including the Typhoid Mary biography and his two works of fiction. While I found Kitchen Confidential a touch apochryphal, I loved it, and I identified with so many scenes.

So whaddaya think about the restaurant dilemma? And do you think I should ask for a walk-on part in the movie version of Kitchen Confidential?:cool:

Peace,
kmf
 
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I think that, while it may seem selfish and self-serving on the exterior, taking Anthony to your place would be a good idea (I've seen your menu!). Especially on a busy Friday, because the other place may not know of him. They would not be able to gaurantee a pleasurable dining experience, whereas you would.

BTW, how's the wood-burning oven thing going?
 
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Take him someplace different and interesting where there is unusual offterings - if that's your place, all the better. If it's the unbelievable local specialty, fine.

Look at this guy's brutal schedule. The only thing that keeps him going is probably looking forward to a bit of exploration. And the booze, of course.

My thinking, once you've had royal Thai banquets in Thailand, how interesting can your very good local Thai place be?
 
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Tony Bourdain was here this past weekend, about 1/4 of the way through his tour. I believe he is in Minneapolis through today then headed for St. Louis.

The world's greatest bookstore, Prairie Lights , hosted the biggest reading ever to be held in their store for Bourdain Many larger readings have been held at University venues for the likes of Vonnegut & Irving, but this was the biggest one they ever hosted in the store. About 150 people showed up. The reading was broadcast live via WSUI , and you can listen to an archived version of it online at their website.

As I mentioned in an earlier note, I was to have the pleasure of escorting him during his brief stay in our humble little burg, so my first job was to pick him up at the airport. He was easy to spot, 6'4" with a light leather jacket (in our 10 degree weather) and cowboy boots. We introduced ourselves, and then he was promptly interested in finding a light.

Any of you who have read his work know he is a prolific smoker, and he says simply that he's given up enough vices for one lifetime. If you have read his most recent book, A Cook's Tour, you know of his procurement of a Zippo in Viet Nam that had, in all likelyhood, been taken off a dead Marine. When going through security at the airport on the way to Iowa City, though, he nearly got it confiscated. Through an ingenious compromise, they took the internal workings of the lighter, and left Bourdain with the valuable case. One of our first stops in Iowa City was the Tobacco Bowl, to replace the contraband flint, steel and fuel.

Following "Live-to-Cook"'s advice in the previous note, I took him to my places for drinks and dinner. First, a local brew at Adagio, then Tapas and Paella at my first place, Devotay. We were joined for dinner by members of the Faculty of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, who quizzed him endlessly on what sort of chicken is best (he said kosher) and what was so wrong with brunch, anyway?

After dinner it was off to the reading, just 2 blocks away, where we had to go in the back way like the Beatles because there was no way to get through the crowd at the front. Bourdain read his letter to his wife Nancy, which serves as a preface to the book, and he read one of his Reason's Not to do Television: Number One in a Series (the tete du veau and Jerry Lewis).

The first question from the crowd was asking where he'd eaten dinner :p (and it wasn't even a schill, love the free testomonial on the radio!). He took a lot of questions about how true or untrue various accounts were in his stories, one about the rivalry between front and back of house, and I asked him how an Executive Chef at a very popular New York restaurant finds time to write.

After the reading it was off to the local cook's bar, the Dublin Underground, where Bourdain seemed to hold court as 30 or 40 of the area's best cooks and chefs came to meet, shake hands, or tell him their favorite part of the book. His drink, by the way, was Guiness. I love this bar because I can go there in professional cook's attire and not get stared or laughed at. After we closed the Dublin (last call here is 1:45am) we walked him back to his hotel.

The next morning I took him to breakfast at an Iowa City institution, the Hamburg Inn, where we ate a greasy fried midwestern breakfast and he loved every bite. Before heading to the airport, we stopped at Prairie Lights one more time, where he bought a couple detective paperbacks and a Prairie Lights sweatshirt.

It was a very pleasant visit, and he assured us of his imminent return on his next tour. For those of you still ahead on this tour, by the way, he said he really appreciated being hosted by professional cooks, rather than the writer's and the occasional food snob he'd encountered at some of his other stops. So pass that word along to your own various "World's Greatest Bookstores"

Peace,
kmf
 
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Devotay -- thanks for the report!

I dragged my hubby to hear him a year or two ago when he was out flogging KC. Yes, he is actually quite a good speaker, and charming. It's good that real people like you are able to host him. That tour must be horribly gruelling! (And the gruel must be pretty horrible, too.)
 
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Was does Bourdain post under? I'd love to read threads he's posted to.

Eat well no matter where you are!
 
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So Devotay, what was his answer to you question, how he finds time? I'm just curious.

Also, did you happen to mention your common hangout, cheftalkcafe?;)
 
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