Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Anthony Bourdain Immersion Program

I love food. I love thinking about food, I love talking about food. I love eating food, but only slightly more than I love preparing food. I fucking love food. Strange then, that it has only recently occurred to me to try reading about food.

When I got Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential from the library a couple weeks ago, I didn't have any ideas in mind other than reading it, but things took on a life of their own pretty quickly once I remembered that he'd also done a celebrity playlist for Rhapsody, and that it was really good. So I decided that I would listen to this playlist while reading the book. It's not often that books come with their own soundtrack, right? Then I remembered that there was a short-lived sitcom on Fox a couple years back, based on Kitchen Confidential. And hey, what about No Reservations, Bourdain's Eat-My-Way-Around-The-World show?

Thus, The Anthony Bourdain Immersion Program was born.

Dudes, I have been having so much fun. And it's not like I've learned a whole lot of new stuff. Mostly homie has just reminded me to take a few key things seriously.

1. Ingredients
Last Saturday I had one of the best meals of my life, no joke. I sauteed an onion and a few cloves of garlic, threw in some fresh sage, poured white wine over it and after it had reduced to my satisfaction, sopped it up with Pain Campagne from Dahlia Bakery. Crazy simple, but it was completely amazing because every ingredient was quality.

2. Knives
I use one knife for everything, so why not take care of it? I've decided to start sharpening my knife regularly. My buddy Cody works at a knife store in the Market, it's just a matter of getting myself down there for a tutorial. Plus, it looks really fun.

3. The Stooges
Here's that playlist I was talking about.
Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations Mix
No revelations, but it reminded me that everything is awesome when you are listening to The Stooges. The other day me and Landon were doing the most mundane shit possible (mending pants and filing taxes, respectively) but it felt totally fucking rad, because we were listening to Fun House.

4. Calling Bullshit on Rachael Ray
This was Bourdain's response when asked why he picks on Rachael Ray:
"Well, she can take it. She’s incredibly powerful, very successful, far more loved than I am… so it’s not like I’m hurting her. And on the other hand, she genuinely offends me. I compare her to, the standard I hold her to — foolishly, perhaps– is Julia Child, who wasn’t a professional chef either. When you watched Julia Child, you would see her make Coq au Vin, or some classic French dish, and you’d say “Wow, that’s classic French food, that’s not so difficult. Julia can do it, I can do it. I’m gonna try that.” And it made people aspire to more.

I think when Rachael tells you that it’s perfectly OK to buy a pre-chopped onion from the supermarket… I mean how hard is it to chop an onion? What you take away from Rachael Ray is “I could cook that! I feel better about myself now. I’m not gonna cook that! But I will finish this bag of Cheetos and that gallon jug of Diet Pepsi before dying of diabetes.”

And just to illustrate his point, this video includes a tutorial on how to properly dice an onion:


Erin said...

yes, i shamelessly also love A.B. and i would totally go on a road trip around vietnam with him or something. it even makes my boyfriend jealous. they kind of remind me of each other in a very small way. they would probably get along. the best thing was the no reservations marathon that was playing the day i was sick in hawaii. good timing helped out the bad timing!

Chelsea said...

i'm not sure if landon is jealous of my a.b. thing, but he probably should be.

monique said...

have you seen the Neelys on the Food Network? They're the only black folks on the channel. I have a crush on the husband, but the wife, Gina, is a loud, cantankerous combination of Mo'Nique from the Parkers and Wilona from Good Times.

Chelsea said...

That sounds terrifying. I am not cool with Mo'Nique.