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Anthony Bourdain on Vices, Humanity, and Foodies

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Photo: Anthony Bourdain/Facebook

It's been a big week of interviews for Anthony Bourdain, whose CNN Show Parts Unknown returns later this month on September 28. He opened up to the Wall Street Journal about traveling and how it has changed his perspective on the world ("It made me hopeful"). Plus, he made time to offer up his opinion on "foodies." Bourdain recently sat down with Men's Journal as well where he dished about his vices, his "bullshit meter," and life altering experiences. Below, the 10 best lines from both interviews.

From the Wall Street Journal:

1) On how he used to see the world: "Most of my life I've been a pretty pessimistic guy, and I've had a pretty dark view of human nature."

2) On what traveling has shown him: "It made me hopeful and made me feel better about the human species…We like to be good, we aspire to do good things, and we're generally trudging through life trying to do the best we can."

3) On the only upside to America's growing 'foodie' culture: "We continue to grope toward a different relationship with food that others have been enjoying as a birthright for centuries."

4) On being too old to be a chef: "It's a very physical, very punishing business, and by the time you're 38, you're not getting any smarter, you're not getting any faster, you've been an air-traffic controller your whole life, and planes are starting to crash."

5) On his time as a chef: "No one will remember me for great innovations in the world of gastronomy."

6) On not shooting in dangerous countries: "I feel an obligation to at least try to stay alive until my daughter reaches the eye-rolling phase…I'd at least like to be around long enough for my daughter to be embarrassed by me."

From Men's Journal:

7) On his first trip to Japan: "It was like my first acid trip. It was that mind-expanding and climatic. I came back thinking about everything in a completely different way. I went there thinking that there were a certain amount of primary colors. I came pack knowing in fact that there were 10 or 12 more."

8) On his finely tuned "bullshit meter": "It makes it a lot easier to navigate your way through Hollywood when you find yourself at a table when everybody says, 'We're all big fans of your work.' Well none of you mother fuckers have actually read it. You don't fall victim to amateur bullshit when you've put up with professional bullshit."

9) On his "inner hippie": "There's a guy inside me who wants to lay in bed and smoke weed all day and watch cartoons and old movies. I could easily do that. My whole life is a series of stratagems to avoid and outwit that guy."

10) On how he controls his drinking: "I'm pretty moderate in my vices: when I indulge, I indulge. But I don't let it bleed over into the rest of my life. I have shit to do, I caught a bunch of lucky breaks, I'm not going to fuck it up."

· Anthony Bourdain's Full Plate [WSJ]
· Anthony Bourdain's Life Advice [MJ]
· All Anthony Bourdain Coverage on Eater [-E-]

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