Tuesday, January 02, 2007

You've got to love Anthony Bourdain

You've got to love Anthony Bourdain
Tuesday 2 January, 2006

For Christmas I received the 'Les Halles Cookbook' from my brother & his girlfriend and I was thrilled as I love Anthony Bourdain. He's the first chef I ever truly enjoyed reading and have been addicted to his books, especially 'Kitchen Confidential' and 'The Cooks Tour' for years.

My first impression of the cookbook was that it contained so much more than recipes. The beginning of the book contains notes from Anthony and how he came to work at Les Halles in NYC then it goes into how to prepare your kitchen etc for cooking and the importance of lists. I love this as I am a devoted list taker. As he states,

"I am a list fanatic. Write it down on a list, I believe, and there is far less chance that you will ever find yourself beginning a sentence with the pathetic excuse, 'sorry.....I forgot to......'"

I was searching around on the net and discovered an interview with Tony by eater.com where they discussed food bloggers etc:

BL: There are now a dozen restaurant critics, or more, with clout in NY, DailyCandy and a half-dozen influential online publications that track openings (and can get a restaurant’s reservation books filled for the first four weeks), hundreds of online food “journalists” who record, photograph and report on their every bite; plus thanks to outlets like the Food Channel everyone’s an “expert” on how a piece of salmon should be prepared. Has any of this changed the way you run your restaurant? If not, how do you stay above it?

TB: First of all, I no longer run my restaurant. I’ve been traveling nearly 10 months out of the year since 2001--so I’m a “chef” in only the most notional, figurehead, bobble-head, casino-greeter kind of a way. Clearly, the dining public are better informed and have higher expectations than they once did--a nice side effect of the oft-annoying “celebrity chef” phenomonen. You can’t get away with being mediocre--or doing the same thing everyone else is doing (unless you do it better). And yes--the advent of the food nerd means that should you open a new high end, fine dining restaurant, there will be people photographing every course, taking down notes on every mouthful, and blogging about it the next day. This raises the stakes for every plate of food a chef sends into the dining room--as one bad order could well be the one to get splashed all over the net as evidence that you are “sooo last week” or “not as good as you once were”. However troubling that might be--and potentially unfair, I think it’s on balance, a good thing. Anything which raises expectations, places more value on consistent excellence, which pushes chefs to be better and encourages diners to be more knowledgable and to try new things--is good for the world.

So, a little validation for us food bloggers from the man himself has made my first few days of 2007. It's going to be a great year.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gees your brother and his Girlfriend seem like a lovely couple. How thoughtful of them to get you such an excelent gift. It would be nice if they were all like him . His girl friend is one lucky women. Let me know if they break up. Can you talk more about your brother on your blog he sounds facinating. What a Hottie!!!

3:25 pm  

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