So I’ve detailed in other posts a list of people that I wanted to meet - people whose work I enjoy or am inspired by; people whose hand I want to shake and say, “thanks, I like what you do.”
One big name on that list is Anthony Bourdain. I enjoy everything the man does, whether it’s writing, making television, or public speaking. He is a lovable curmudgeon. He is open-minded, but opinionated. He is a rockstar, and a chef, and a libertine, and a leftie, and a citizen of the world in the truest sense of the phrase. He has an insatiable appetite for life in all of it’s forms and it’s infectious.
Sara and I got a chance to see him speak a few years ago at the Kentucky Center in Louisville and we both loved it. His live talks give an interesting behind the scenes look at his show No Reservations and his travels around the world. So when we heard he was coming again, and this time bringing his best friend Eric Ripert, chef, author, and restaurant owner, we knew we had to go. This time, however, we decided to shell out a little extra cash and pay for the privilege to meet Mr. Bourdain and Mr. Ripert after their talk at a small reception.
Sara and I intended to make a day of it. We planned to go to Louisville early and have a nice dinner at one of several restaurants we’d been wanting to try - then leisurely making our way over to the Kentucky Center.
Unfortunately, poor Sara fought a migraine most of the day - so we ended up leaving as late as possible, grabbing fast food (which I promptly got all over my shirt) and then sliding into our seats moments before it all started.
Once we were in our seats (second row!!), though, the fast food and hectic pace disappeared into oblivion. The talk was great - two profane hours about Paula Deen, Iggy Pop, eating pig anus, and punching racists in the nose. And food. They also talked a lot about food.
One of the best parts of the night was during a Q&A at the end - someone in the audience asked Bourdain where he ate lunch. Bourdain said some really complimentary things about his meal at Proof On Main, a local restaurant. From the back of the room you heard someone shout, “I cooked that for you!” When you turned around and looked there was a kid at the back of the room with a smile you could have seen from space, practically dancing with excitement.
Afterwards Sara and I made our way to the reception where I was second in line to meet Bourdain and Ripert. I nervously handed Mr. Bourdain my copy of his Les Halles cookbook to sign and asked him some questions about the graphic novel that he recently wrote for Vertigo. He was nice and energetic and I was a complete nerdy spaz with Arby’s sauce on my shirt.
Best night ever.
One more off the list: