January 22, 2009

Anthony Bourdain tells Alice Waters where she can take her local, organic food.

Update, via New York Magazine:

“I don’t have any burning issue with Alice Waters, a restaurateur and visionary whose accomplishments clearly dwarf my own, so I doubt it. In a perfect, candy-colored world, I’d like to eat most of what she’d like to see us eat. I feed my daughter mostly organic food whenever possible—and greatly admire what Dan Barber is doing. My comments were a heartfelt reaction to her wildly hubristic letter to the (then) president-elect, a document whose tone, timing and content I found distasteful—particularly coming from someone who hadn’t even bothered to vote in the four previous elections.

True, I am suspicious of wealthy suburbanites who preach “back to the soil” philosophies—as if most—or even many—could start digging subsistence gardens in their back yards or afford expensive organic or locavore lifestyles. But Chez Panisse was inarguably a cradle of the food revolution. I respect Alice Waters’ enormous contribution to changing the way we eat and cook today. No one can take that away from her. No one should try.

I intend to treat her with the respect she rightly deserves. She says some stupid shit sometimes—and she is certainly free to call “bullshit” on me when I do the same. I might, in the spirit of good fun, point out that following even my own not particularly distinguished career in kitchens—most of it in view of the “Choking Victim” sign, I DO, at least, know the Heimlich maneuver.”

~~~ Original post ~~~

I was bummed to see this—but not surprised:

Anthony Bourdain: “Alice Waters annoys the living shxt out of me. We’re all in the middle of a recession, like we’re all going to start buying expensive organic food and running to the green market. There’s something very Khmer Rouge about Alice Waters that has become unrealistic … I’m suspicious of orthodoxy, the kind of orthodoxy when it comes to what you put in your mouth.” [DCist]

I love Bourdain’s show…Bourdain’s belly-first strutting machismo makes for an entertaining, great effing show. He—like Dubya—would be a fun guy to get drunk with. But don’t denigrate our Alice Waters, Tony—she is the real thing, doing good for school children, the cause of Victory Gardens and local food (what’s cheaper!?) and organics (which is, simply, food-minus-chemicals—nothing pretentious about that, rather just old-fashioned as-God-intended-it good for you good tasting food). 


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