The Tonight Show has long been a safe place for celebrities and notable people to appear, erring on the goofy and non-confrontational side of the comedy spectrum. Goofy and non-confrontational aren’t two words you’d likely associate with Anthony Bourdain, and yet with a slough of projects to promote, the Parts Unknown host found himself seated next to Jimmy Fallon and actress Sienna Miller in a “guess the gross ingredient” contest.
Fallon and his two guests were served a three-course dinner of mozzarella sticks, blackened sea bass, and a creamsicle and parfait combo for dessert. Each dish had a surprising secret addition, which they were tasked with identifying. Bourdain, who’s used to eating a broad spectrum of foods, ended up winning (as if that mattered to the segment) but only just, correctly identifying only a couple of the offending ingredients and looking truly miserable as he chewed his way through some horrific concoctions, as seen below:
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Bourdain was also promoting his new documentary Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent which he produced and appears in. In the interview portion, he described Tower as “the first celebrity chef… the first glamorous chef, the first chef in America that customers wanted to see in the dining room.” Looking to put it delicately he added, “he was the first chef people wanted to sleep with.” He also credits Tower and his Stars restaurant with spearheading the idea of celebrating regional ingredients and cuisine.
But Tower suddenly disappeared and was, in many ways, forgotten. “Why doesn’t everyone know his name?” Then, somewhat serendipitously after most of the principle photography had been completed, Tower surprised everyone, including Bourdain’s documentary crew, by returning to New York after 15 years to take over Tavern on the Green.
Bourdain also discussed his ongoing mutual pranking with Eric Ripert, in an upcoming episode of the ninth season of Parts Unknown. After Bourdain forced his friend to suffer through spicy Szechuan food last year, Ripert gets his revenge this season by betting Bourdain $1,000 the host can’t get milk from a cow on a visit to the Alps. Fallon also asked Bourdain if he ever thought cooking would land him this kind of career. Bourdain recalls starting as a dishwasher “a profession of losers and misfits” and wouldn’t have thought he’d be traveling the world for CNN. “I feel like I robbed a bank and I’m driving the getaway car, I keep looking in the rearview mirror expecting to see the flashing lights… so far, nothin’!”
Bourdain recently debuted a travel website that allows fans of his CNN program to immerse themselves in the places, recipes and stories featured on the show.