Anthony Bourdain is the irreverent, sound-bite-spouting host of the TV shows No Reservations and The Layover. Eric Ripert is the soft-spoken, brilliant chef at the astounding seafood restaurant Le Bernardin in New York City. Perhaps surprisingly, the two men are buddies who delight in insulting and one-upping each other. Recently they turned their friendship into a live show, Good vs. Evil, with events around the country. (Check anthonybourdainontour.com for upcoming dates.) On stage, Bourdain and Ripert playfully torment each other and seriously discuss the state of food and restaurants in America. Recently, F&W got the two men together to hear their varying perspectives on food trends, both good and evil.
Anthony Bourdain: I’m not categorically against food trends. Cooks tend to see a breakout dish and replicate it, and eventually, you see that dish re-created all over the world. Sometimes good ideas are just good ideas. The impulse to copy them is understandable. When the public goes into a frenzy over something like a cupcake or a meatball, it may be annoying to us jaded foodie observers, but at the end of the day, a meatball can be a pretty damn good thing. Yeah, I don’t have strong feelings against food trends in general. You know what I’m against? Listicles. Those lists that are created by the media to predict the coming year’s food trends. They are always based on absolutely nothing. I don’t like those.
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Eric Ripert: Actually, very often, those lists are all wrong.