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Anthony Bourdain's Top 5 Biggest Fears

The famous chef shared his fears on the List app

Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

File this under the label: things not to bring around Anthony Bourdain. The renowned chef-turned-TV host laid out some real talk using the List app — brought to you by actor B.J. Novak — and addressed the things he finds truly terrifying.

Bearing in mind that this is the same man who wanders the world in search of fascinating cuisines and the cultures they emerge from, here are the top five things Bourdain classified as "scary shit."

  1. Clowns: Bourdain characterized them as non-funny "sinister figures," laden with homicidal tendencies. He was pretty sure he's not the first to think this, too.
  2. Mimes: "Like cats, when entering a space, they gravitate towards the one person who fears them," Bourdain wrote. He said they're "pure evil" and out to embarrass those who are shy, troubled, or, yes, hungover.
  3. Switzerland: This neutral country is quite a foe for the world-traveling chef, who wrote that he lives "with a persistent dread of alpine vistas, chalet architecture, Tyrolean hats, and even cheese with holes in it." No Swiss cheese for Bourdain, then.
  4. Karaoke: Don't ask Bourdain to sing in public, please. "Like anything shameful, I prefer to do it in private," he said. But, Korean karaoke is an exception.
  5. Rats: Bourdain may eat snakes and take on spiders, but place him near a rat and that will be the final straw. "Maybe it's my years in the restaurant business, but the appearance of a rat was always the beginning of the end," he wrote.

Other things he'd rather stay away from include:

Polka music, ukeleles, neckbeards with banjos, golf clothes—in fact golfers in general, The Real Housewives of Anywhere (their glassy gazes, surgical addictions and single minded hunger for attention are a clear and present danger to anyone in their trajectories), pressure cookers, and Nashville Hot Chicken ( the extra hot version).

Odds are Bourdain may encounter some of these things in his travels for Parts Unknown, but given his firm stance against them, those interactions may not end up on camera.


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