At this point, we're not sure if the blueprints for Bourdain Market—think Eataly, but with Anthony Bourdain at the helm—will ever come to fruition.
Don't get us wrong, now; we're really trying our best to remain optimistic. After all, the market, which would feature Bourdain's favorite products and foods from his many travels around the world, sounds exciting, innovative, and, of course, delicious. But the idea for the project was originally unveiled all the way back in 2015, and its team has since experienced a number of setbacks—including the loss of their CEO. The latest projected opening year of 2019 feels like an eternity.
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Still, the most recent news makes it seem possible that we can rest easy. Today, Bourdain himself sorted out a bunch of the rumors surrounding the project in a press conference at the World Street Food Congress 2017 in Manila—and offered some candid reflections on the whole thing, too.
“Is there a market in New York for char kway teow? I don’t really give a shit,” the chef and Parts Unkown host said. “I love it and I’m pretty sure that if New Yorkers are introduced to good char kway teow, they will love it, too. The determining factor to me is that if a Singaporean grandmother and her hipster grandson come to this market, that both of them will immediately recognize this to not be bullshit. This will not be some Disneyland version of McHawker or HawkerWorld. We’re talking about the widest selection of the real deal.”
Continuing in his usual outspoken manner, Bourdain told the group of reporters and fans that he wouldn't be featuring any "modern, Westernized" versions of global foods, and that he's hoping to find ways to subsidize retailers so that the prices can be kept low.
He also made a bold prediction about what might become the newest "hipster" food.
“Filipino food is definitely underrated worldwide. In New York, it doesn’t have hipster credibility yet," he concluded. "But things are changing, and I hope to be a part of that change."