by Patricia Grandjean
Feb 11, 2011
03:57 PMBox Office
Q & A: Anthony Bourdain
(page 4 of 4)
You've also delved into this sort of noirish fiction writing.
I do. I like noirish fiction; I read a lot of it and try to write it now and again. I like lurid, hyperbolic language, always have. I'll be publishing a crime novel next. It'll return to the same themes as my other books . . . I won't be writing about 19th-century sharecroppers, you can be sure that food and New Yorkers, whether in New York or displaced, will always play a prominent part in my work.
You have a young daughter—has she changed your outlook on food and the way we eat at all?
Sure. I actually concern myself with whether or not food is healthy now. I pay acute attention to what she's eating or likely or likely to eat. Her mom and grandparents are Italian, we spend a lot of time in Italy, so she eats like a normal Italian kid.
In the last decade, we've all been informed more and more about kitchen culture. Has that folded back on itself and changed kitchen culture?
It's changed for the better. It's a profession with some prestige attached now, so there's a lot more pride and professionalism than a lot of the time period I was talking about in Kitchen Confidential, that's for sure. There's never been a better time to be eating in America, and certainly never a better time to cook in America.
Since you're coming here this month, have you ever eaten in Connecticut?
No, and I'll probably have little chance to—I'll be in and out, unfortunately.
If possible, check out the New Haven pizza.
So I'm told, the best in the country.
Speaking of Connecticut and food, one of our local residents is Jacques Pépin. What are your feelings about his work?
My hero; worship him. Absolutely. My God, he's a pioneer of food television, he's appeared at just about every important point in culinary history in my lifetime; if Jacques Pépin shows you how to make an omelet, that is how to make an omelet, period. End of argument. He wrote the quintessential "how-to" book on cooking. That's that. He's the man. He's an enormous figure in American gastronomy, a great guy, I consider him a friend and a mentor.
People talk about your mean streak. Has that softened any?
Probably. I'm a dad now; it's hard to stay angry when you've got a beautiful little girl chasing you around who thinks you're the sun and the moon.