On his show Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain drops into some exotic spots all around the world. One place that doesn’t seem to fit that criteria: Hooters. But according to Bourdain, when touring China with his friend Eric Ripert, he had to go to the American-based breastaurant. Ripert practically begged him for a stop. Before you change whatever opinion you have of one of the world’s foremost French chefs, let us explain.
Ripert, in addition to running the Michelin-starred Le Bernardin, is also a good friend of the eccentric Bourdain. When the celebrity chef/TV host decided to bring his pal with him for an episode of Parts Unknown set in China, Bourdain knew a bit of “torturing” (Bourdain’s words) would be in the cards. Apparently, part of the focus of Ripert’s episode is Sichuan cuisine. “The level of heat presented by the Sichuanese specialties in Chengdu, where we spent most of our time, was, shall we say, rather more than [Ripert’s] delicate French palate was used to,” Bourdain wrote for CNN.
Bourdain says that wimpy palate is what led to their unexpected Hooters detour. “Around halfway through our adventures in Sichuan Province, though, the Frenchman was folding at the knees,” says Bourdain. “He pleaded for a respite from the delicious but damaging local flavors. So my crew, taking pity on him, took him to the nearest western style eatery — a HOOTERS.”
Bourdain continues, sadly stating, “I did not have the heart to take photos of what I saw that night. I saw many terrible things. I can be a cruel man. But not so cruel that I could or would Instagram the sad spectacle of my Michelin starred friend gratefully digging into a ‘Double D’ burger while our servers, in spandex hot pants, gyrated robotically to Justin Bieber between courses. But I will treasure the memory. Oh, yes.”
Okay, so you didn’t Instagram it, but did your crew film it at least? You’re shooting a TV show, Bourdain. That’s entertainment! That’s what Hollywood is all about! Though I guess Parts Unknown is on CNN. Entertainment isn’t really their specialty.
[h/t First We Feast]