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Anthony Bourdain Uncensored


© Alex Oliveira/

I wish I could have recorded every word out of Anthony Bourdain’s mouth at the Times Talk at the New York City Wine & Food Festival this past weekend. Especially because he had Frank Bruni asking him super-smart questions. But I only got a few of the highlights. Here they are.

On Kitchen Confidentials big break: "A lot of chefs didn’t want to see the industry spotlighted that way. Then Jacques Pépin got behind it. He said when he was a young chef, if he’d thrown out the bread from a table, his chef would have killed him.”

On the fetishizing of food these days: “It’s a great racket, don’t f*** it up.”

On chefs who might be coasting these days: “It’s hard to be Guy Fieri, you have to wake up every day and put on all that bling. And Rachael Ray sent me a fruit basket. I’m not going to talk s**t about her.”

On what’s made him sick during filming of his hit No Reservations show: “The little taco place with half a pig’s head sitting out under a light — that’s fine. It’s always the breakfast buffet at the Hilton where the trouble starts.”

On the hierarchy of pork he’s eaten around the world: “Puerto Rico’s lechon is great. In Bali, the lechon is even better. And in the Philippines, the lechon is slightly better than that. It’s the best of the best.”

On whether he’d take back any outrageous things he’s said: “There's one thing I'd take back. I said mean things about Jamie Oliver early on [something about being sodomized in prison], and then I read that he’s dyslexic and the only book he’d read from start to finish was Kitchen Confidential. That got to me.”

On Alice Waters: “She’s Pol Pot in a muumuu. I saw her on 60 Minutes. She used six cords of wood to cook one egg for Lesley Stahl.”

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