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Anthony Bourdain vs Alice Waters

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Anthony Bourdain vs Alice Waters

chefbrian1 | | Aug 16, 2009 10:26 AM

I watched the San Francisco show of No Reservation with Anthony Bourdain and thought what's with Tony's dis on Alice Waters. In the intro of the show Alice Water's restaurant Chez Panisse, is shown, but Bourdain does not eat there. Instead he criticizes the place as some locavore, organic, crunchy food haven that some how represents all that is wrong with the san fran food scene. He later visits a farmers market and tries to go into a "farmers markets are elitist," rants and that the people who shop at this market in an upscale neighborhood all make 80K a year (as if Bourdain does not make more than 80K a year) His rant is foiled by him getting an excellent tamale at the market. What is wrong with farm fresh produces, I think and what is up Tony's but about Alice? In the shows close, Bourdian is having a cheeseburger at a greasy breakfast joint and makes a, Take that Alice Waters remark.

I just did not get it. Alice Water's does not seem to have the standard traits that Tony freaks out about. She is not anti-cheeseburger as far as I know. She is not a vegan, not a raw foodist, not against say drinking, and she creates french inspired cuisine. So why is Bourdain so pissed about Waters? I felt that Bourdain was trying to push his bad boy image at Alice's expense, but his routine fell flat. Bourdain in his own cookbook talks about going to farmers market to find good ingredients, the same farmers markets that people like Waters' helped to create for 30 years. Maybe he is uptight about Water's local food focus, but most of his best meals around the world were fresh local meals.

Besides for the Alice Water's dis, the show seemed to be lacking the magic. There seemed to be too much of him eating and not enough of him checking out the town or doing something funny. Where was the trip to Alcatraz, to the wax museum, to Lombard Street, to a gay bar, to something took him out of his comfort zone. For me, the show jumped the shark along with the food travel show genre. I guess watching people eat on TV has lost its appeal for me.

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