08 Jun 2018

Anthony Bourdain, 1956-2018

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Best-selling Chef Anthony Bourdain apparently killed himself last Friday in Paris. Here are some dining tips he published in the New Yorker back in 1999.

The fish specialty is reasonably priced, and the place got two stars in the Times. Why not go for it? If you like four-day-old fish, be my guest. Here’s how things usually work. The chef orders his seafood for the weekend on Thursday night. It arrives on Friday morning. He’s hoping to sell the bulk of it on Friday and Saturday nights, when he knows that the restaurant will be busy, and he’d like to run out of the last few orders by Sunday evening. Many fish purveyors don’t deliver on Saturday, so the chances are that the Monday-night tuna you want has been kicking around in the kitchen since Friday morning, under God knows what conditions. When a kitchen is in full swing, proper refrigeration is almost nonexistent, what with the many openings of the refrigerator door as the cooks rummage frantically during the rush, mingling your tuna with the chicken, the lamb, or the beef. Even if the chef has ordered just the right amount of tuna for the weekend, and has had to reorder it for a Monday delivery, the only safeguard against the seafood supplier’s off-loading junk is the presence of a vigilant chef who can make sure that the delivery is fresh from Sunday night’s market.

Generally speaking, the good stuff comes in on Tuesday: the seafood is fresh, the supply of prepared food is new, and the chef, presumably, is relaxed after his day off. (Most chefs don’t work on Monday.) Chefs prefer to cook for weekday customers rather than for weekenders, and they like to start the new week with their most creative dishes. In New York, locals dine during the week. Weekends are considered amateur nights—for tourists, rubes, and the well-done-ordering pretheatre hordes. The fish may be just as fresh on Friday, but it’s on Tuesday that you’ve got the good will of the kitchen on your side.

People who order their meat well-done perform a valuable service for those of us in the business who are cost-conscious: they pay for the privilege of eating our garbage. In many kitchens, there’s a time-honored practice called “save for well-done.” When one of the cooks finds a particularly unlovely piece of steak—tough, riddled with nerve and connective tissue, off the hip end of the loin, and maybe a little stinky from age—he’ll dangle it in the air and say, “Hey, Chef, whaddya want me to do with this?” Now, the chef has three options. He can tell the cook to throw the offending item into the trash, but that means a total loss, and in the restaurant business every item of cut, fabricated, or prepared food should earn at least three times the amount it originally cost if the chef is to make his correct food-cost percentage. Or he can decide to serve that steak to “the family”—that is, the floor staff—though that, economically, is the same as throwing it out. But no. What he’s going to do is repeat the mantra of cost-conscious chefs everywhere: “Save for well-done.” The way he figures it, the philistine who orders his food well-done is not likely to notice the difference between food and flotsam.

Then there are the People Who Brunch. The “B” word is dreaded by all dedicated cooks. We hate the smell and spatter of omelettes. We despise hollandaise, home fries, those pathetic fruit garnishes, and all the other cliché accompaniments designed to induce a credulous public into paying $12.95 for two eggs. Nothing demoralizes an aspiring Escoffier faster than requiring him to cook egg-white omelettes or eggs over easy with bacon. You can dress brunch up with all the focaccia, smoked salmon, and caviar in the world, but it’s still breakfast.

Even more despised than the Brunch People are the vegetarians. Serious cooks regard these members of the dining public—and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans—as enemies of everything that’s good and decent in the human spirit. To live life without veal or chicken stock, fish cheeks, sausages, cheese, or organ meats is treasonous.

Like most other chefs I know, I’m amused when I hear people object to pork on nonreligious grounds. “Swine are filthy animals,” they say. These people have obviously never visited a poultry farm. Chicken—America’s favorite food—goes bad quickly; handled carelessly, it infects other foods with salmonella; and it bores the hell out of chefs. It occupies its ubiquitous place on menus as an option for customers who can’t decide what they want to eat. Most chefs believe that supermarket chickens in this country are slimy and tasteless compared with European varieties. Pork, on the other hand, is cool. Farmers stopped feeding garbage to pigs decades ago, and even if you eat pork rare you’re more likely to win the Lotto than to contract trichinosis. Pork tastes different, depending on what you do with it, but chicken always tastes like chicken.

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Scullman

“I will never eat in his restaurant,” Bourdain said about Trump, “I have utter contempt for him, utter and complete contempt.”

If Trump and Kim Jong-un were going to have a bit of a summit to try and mend relations and they wanted you to cater, what would you serve?” asked a TMZ reporter.

“Hemlock,” Bourdain replied.

So, this unhappy, miserable, wealthy somewhat famous Food-Jerk off’s himself in a French hotel, and I’m supposed to give a shit?

See ya’!



Maggie's Farm

Some of Bourdain’s comments on restaurant food

At NYM



Dick the Butcher

De Mortuis Nil Nisi Bonum

Now, he is a good liberal.



Let's Review 85: Of Peanut Worms and Ali Mouths - American Digest

[…] Never Yet Melted quotes Anthony Bourdain, 1956-2018 ”Even more despised than the Brunch People are the vegetarians. Serious cooks regard these members of the dining public—and their Hezbollah-like splinter faction, the vegans—as enemies of everything that’s good and decent in the human spirit. To live life without veal or chicken stock, fish cheeks, sausages, cheese, or organ meats is treasonous.” […]



u.k.(us)

Kinda like I try to not let mechanics work on my car on a Monday or Friday.
Just my personal experience, but Monday’s can be a bit hungover and Friday’s concentration tends towards the nearest bar.



Old Codger

At least he can now vote “Democrat.”

Complain too much about the Clintons, as he did, and you’ll end up as he did: “Arkancided!

Same as Kate Spade!

Unless there’s something in the water on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, where both those dearly departed owned spendy digs.

Not buyin’ the “depression” fakenews that the MSM is trying desperately to sell.



Spiro

He was a typical elites nose in the air ass



The Usual Suspect

I wonder if he had his Sushi prior to his ending? He had mentioned this would have been his requested “last meal” Check his stomach contents, no Sushi = murder, elementary my Dear.



Former Lurker

He woke up one day and realized he worked for CNN and would probably work for them until he died. He simply accelerated the process.



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