My Beef with Bourdain

February 14, 2011. The day my mother and I wasted $100 to hear Anthony Bourdain speak in Philadelphia.

I think I expected too much. Is an engaging, intelligent, interesting talk too much to ask for, especially from the man who lives by the “I don’t give a fuck what anyone thinks” motto?


Tony was mundane. The audience was supposed to think it was an extemporaneous speech, but I could tell the punchlines were carefully calculated. Most of Tony’s stories came straight from his texts or shows. Really Tony? You’re going to tell the story about getting molested by Sandra Lee? I read the fucking book, Tony. I didn’t come here to hear you retell the stories. I have the audiobook. I’ve heard it already. Unfortunately it became clear that Tony was catering to his nearly mentally challenged audience. The people that came to see “that tall guy from TV” speak, who wanted to hear a joke or two about vegetarians being dumb.

Everyone sitting there reminded me of a high school class, where nobody read the assignment but everyone pretended they knew what the teacher was talking about. When Tony did stray from his book stories, his lack of explanation sent the audience into confusion. Discussing Adam Richman and Alan Richman was a mistake, Tony. Most of the audience was confused when he first praised Adam and then called Alan a douche. “But I thought he liked that guy from Travel Channel, why would he call him Douche of the Year?”

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Five Ways to Drink Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Turkey…stuffing…mashed potatoes. Yeah, yeah, yeah, they’re all great, but in the ES book holidays are a time to get booze-y. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up traditional Thanksgiving flavors. These five liquor-fueled concoctions put the yay in turkey day.

1. Pumpkin Martini


We’ve been seeing this one pop up a lot lately, whether made with pumpkin spice or pumpkin syrup. At Devil’s Alley in Philadelphia, they say screw the FDA and throw some caffeine in there too. Their espresso pumpkin martini is made from Van Gogh Expresso Vodka, Bailey’s Irish Cream and pumpkin syrup. Leave pumpkin pie for the babies. (Photo by M. Edlow for GPTMC)

2. Cranberry Cocktail


We all know that frightening blob of canned cranberry sauce is gonna be left on the table at the end of the meal, right? Fortunately for cranberry lovers who want their antioxidants in a more easily digestible form, there are now several types of cranberry liquor on the market. At Patina Restaurant in LA, the turkey day menu gets washed down with “the fall cocktail” — 1½ oz. Pear Vodka, ¾ oz. Cranberry Liquor and 1 oz. Apple Juice.

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Cheflebrity Smörgåsbord: Philly Burger Beatdown


The latest and greatest news about celebrity chefs, served up buffet style.

– The locals are not taking kindly to the new Philadelphia location of Bobby’s Burger Palace.  That’s what you get for defeating Philly legend Delilah Winder on Throwdown.

– A new iPhone app will let Mark Bittman follow you around like some kind of creepy food genius.  Question:  How comfortable are you bringing a several-hundred-dollar electronic device into the kitchen with you?

After the jump…food television Upfront-a-palooza!

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