The Dining Dish blog is Dara Bunjon's take on anything food, both national and in her hometown of Baltimore. Warning: this food blog can be harmful to your waistline.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Anthony Bourdain spotted in Baltimore

This afternoon on Elizabeth Large’s blog, Sean posted “Um... in COMPLETELY unrelated news, Anthony Bourdain is filming in Baltimore (No Reservations) with his Russian friend Samir. Just saw him at Penn Station. Even THEY commented on the Man/Woman thing...” It took me a minute to figure out he meant the sculpture outside the train station.

The outspoken, gruff chef turned celebrity’s new season of No Reservations premieres tonight on the Travel Channel at 10 p.m. I am a big fan of Tony Bourdain, his writing and his 'what you see is what you get attitude.' I subscribe to his personal fan page and also No Reservation’s fan page on Facebook and have received an invitation to watch the No Reservations premiere this evening along with thousands of others.

Meeting Anthony Bourdain

I had the pleasure of seeing and meeting Anthony, a moment long gone from his memory but lingering in mine. It was at the first StarChef.com conference in New York, two years ago.

I couldn’t have looked worse if I tried. I had fallen two days before the conference and sprained my ankle very badly, leaving me in a cast and walking with a cane. Had I not fallen, I had planned to be in New York City the day before. I was left to catch the early morning train, around 5 a.m., with my clothes in a backpack because I needed to walk with the cane. What makeup I might have put on disappeared and my hair was a wreck – not a pretty picture.

When I arrived at the conference, there was no concierge service so the backpack of clothes remained over my shoulders as I manipulated my way around all day.

Bourdain opened the conference for chefs talking about his expectations for staff in his kitchen. He explained that during the hiring process he would ask the applicants what music they listened to and if they replied Billy Joel he wouldn’t hire them. He was thoroughly engaging, just as you see on TV.

Well, in all my glory, frizzy hair, no make up, cast, cane and backpack I chatted up Tony. I’m surprised he didn’t hold up his fingers like the cross, as to keep the demon away. My purpose was to see if he would donate a recipe for the cookbook I was co-compiling for Microplane that benefits the National Kidney Foundation (YUM-Tasty Recipes from Culinary Greats). He so generously jotted down his e-mail address and I remember it because it was so apropos to what he has written. He wore a black T-shirt with an illustrated skull with a chef’s toque on top of it and below it a chef’s knife with dripping blood. I asked him if he was going to sell those T-shirts, he just smiled. You can probably see the t-shirt in some of his past episodes.

So long story short, I wrote Tony a couple of e-mails and never heard back but other culinary greats at the conference came through with recipe donations: Elizabeth Falkner, Dorie Greenspan, David Myers, Norman Van Aken, José Andrés and my friend, Nick Malgieri who was on stage that day.

2 comments:

baltimorediary said...

I have this memory of Bourdain saying, in one of his books, that he worked in Baltimore for a little while and considered it to be a less-than-impressive experience. Based on what he'd written, I figured he'd avoid this town at all costs.

Anonymous said...

He has said on his blog, that his massive drug addiction colored his opinion on Baltimore.

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