Globetrotting food legend Tony Bourdain hosted some of New York's best chefs last night to raise money for one of his lesser-known passions: teaching kids about writing. Pok Pok's Andy Ricker and April Bloomfield of The Spotted Pig and Del Posto's Brooks Headley turned out dishes like coconut curry prawns, venison sausage and a “butterscotch and frozen apricot thing," respectively, to support the Bronx Academy of Letters, a renowned public school. Its enthusiastic 30-year-old principal Brandon Cardet-Hernandez credits his students’ success to an emphasis on language and communication and Bourdain started supporting the inspiring school back when it opened in 2003. “If it weren’t for words I’d have, let’s call it what it is, a checkered career in the restaurant industry. I’d be upstairs serving previously frozen Durkee pigs in blankets.” He's even gone so far as to teach a creative writing class there last year. The gig make a big impact. “I don’t want to go fishing, I don’t want a hunting lodge, fuck golf; when all this TV shit is over I’d like to teach creative writing, nonfiction writing—I’d even teach jiujitsu—I’d like to teach.” If anyone could keep the attention of a room of 17-year-olds, it would probably be him.
To find out more about the mission of the Bronx Academy of Letters, to donate to the school or to attend the next Food for Thought chef’s tasting, go to Bronxletters.org.