There are few television personalities as uncompromising as Anthony Bourdain. The chef holds all the keys to his creative kingdom, save for the actual platform to air his show on. And in reading his views on work, life, and future plans, one gets the feeling Bourdain doesn't even care if he has a show on the air. He's still in it for the art, man. That's the gist of his recent cover story interview with Adweek, which delves into, among other things, his love of mac and cheese, his position on Chic-FIl-A’s politics, and at what point he's willing to sell out. Here are a few highlights:
On gluten-free diets:
"…if you think you have a disease as serious as celiac disease, shouldn't you see a fucking doctor before you make this big move? I don't think half of these people even understand what they're talking about. I'm quite sure of it, in fact—juicing and all the rest."
On "ugly Americans" abroad:
"We've definitely evolved, and I think a lot of people I meet around the world now are surprised by the Americans who come. They expect the worst; they expect the cliché, but there are more and more Americans with good chopstick skills and a reasonable, working knowledge of their cuisine, a reasonable attitude, an openness, an eagerness and a willingness to say, 'I don't really know what you do, but I'm very interested and open to trying whatever it is that everyone says you're so great at—give me something in a bowl, I'll eat it.'"
On selling out:
"I could only think of one area where I might bend at this time on this. If we were flying to Hanoi, I get the front end of the plane, but my crew sits in the back. You're telling me if we include a shot of Vietnam Air so that my crew gets to sit in the front—it's a quick shot. I'm not pure in this regard, you know—that's a long flight and some of them are tall [laughs]."
On boycotting Chick-Fil-A:
"I support your inalienable right to say really stupid, offensive shit and believe really stupid, offensive shit that I don't agree with. I support that, and I might even eat your chicken sandwich."
On what's in his fridge/pantry:
"I love macaroni and cheese. I've always got some elbow macaroni around and some processed or not particularly good, easily meltable cheddar-like stuff that I can make macaroni and cheese with. I have a deep love for that."
On Guy Fieri:
"I find Guy Fieri a rich and deep vein of comedy, there's no doubt about it, and he's worthy of a solid and maybe relentless mocking as anyone who has made his sartorial choices deserves. But is he bad for the world? On balance, probably not. I would greatly prefer to not have a Guy Fieri restaurant in Times Square. It hurts me. It offends me. But somebody clearly loves it."
Read the entire interview, including previews of his upcoming cookbook and the ongoing Pier 57 food market project over at Adweek.