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Anthony Bourdain Wishes Death Upon the Pumpkin Spice Craze

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Juice cleanses, too

DC Central Kitchen's Capital Food Fight Larry French/Getty Images for DC Central Kitchen

Anthony Bourdain is not a pumpkin spice latte drinker. The Parts Unknown host just did a Reddit AMA (that’s “Ask Me Anything”), answering user-submitted questions on terrible food trends, Waffle House, having dinner with POTUS, his fast-food guilty pleasures, and the age-old question, “Is a hot dog a sandwich?”

Here now, the most quotable quotes from Bourdain’s Reddit AMA:

On food trends he wishes would die already: “I would like to see the pumpkin spice craze drowned in its own blood. Quickly. Juice — I don't understand the juice cleanse. I mean, if you've ever had a colonoscopy, the doctor gives you something that will cleanse you right quick, so I don't really understand juice cleanses. I believe celiac disease is a very serious ailment, and if you're diagnosed with it, I'm pleased that there are now gluten-free options, but these people who are treating gluten as, you know, an equivalent of Al Qaeda are worrying to me.”

On one of his scariest Parts Unknown experiences: “...immediately after eating Nashville Hot Chicken, that was truly, truly terrifying. And if you're considering going to Nashville, by the way, please notice that Nashvillians themselves don't eat the extra-hot fried chicken. They know better. Unless you've got three or four days to spend in a bathroom, I really advise against that.”

On dining with President Obama in Hanoi: “He seemed very much at ease, like he was having fun...Rarely have I seen someone enjoy drinking a beer from the bottle as much as the president. He's really good with chopsticks...He was generous with his time, quick to answer, and he's funny.”

On his fast-food indulgences: “I have an unholy and guilty attraction to fast-food macaroni and cheese. During the morning I get these horrendous cravings for Popeye's mac and cheese, and, uh, I will often disguise myself to try to slip into Popeyes. Or in a pinch, I will even go to the Colonel. There, I admit it. And I'm always recognized. I hate Twitter, because immediately they take a picture of me holding the evidence in my hand. It's like getting caught coming out of a porn shop with a video in your arms. Very embarrassing.”

On never turning down food: “I think it's my duty as a guest to always accept when my host is offering a good thing. When people are expressing themselves by what they offer, I feel it's my duty to if necessary take one for the team. It's what I call a ‘grandma rule’; I may not like grandma's turkey, but I'm in grandma's house, I'm gonna eat it. And I'm gonna smile and say I like it. I think that's just good manners.”

On cooking competition shows like Top Chef: “I have mixed emotions about it. I think a lot of these shows, on one hand, have been good for the industry. On the other hand, they've created an entire species of cook, who really doesn't want to work in a restaurant; they just want to be on TV. And that's always worrying.”

On things Americans need to stop eating: “Well look, do you really need pizza that's stuffed with cheese? County faire novelty food? Deep fried butter...There is a restaurant in Vegas, I think it's called The Heart Attack Grill, where if you are over 350lbs you eat for free. I think that should be pretty much a war crime.”

On the best sandwich he’s ever eaten: “They do a sandwich at the restaurant at the Ace Hotel that is insanely delicious. It's this super crispy thin Sardinian style flat bread smeared with butter, chilis, and Bottarga, which is like salted tuna or mullet eggs. Doesn't sound so good but man it's good, especially with a cold beer.”

On the age-old question, ‘Is a hot dog a sandwich?’: “No. I don't think it's a sandwich. I don't think a hamburger is a sandwich either...I mean, if you were to talk into any vendor of fine hot dogs, and ask for a hot dog sandwich, they would probably report you to the FBI. As they should.”

On why he’s never filmed a show in Switzerland: “I have a deep neurotic fear of haunting vistas, you know, like a mural of Lake Geneva with snowcapped peaks and yodelers, or those dogs with the barrels under their neck. I'm frightened of all things Swiss, and I'm trying to overcome that. Working on it, and I hope to do a show there at some point.”

On his newfound love of Waffle House: “It is a strange and exotic wonderland to me...I was obviously thoroughly taken by it and cannot wait to go back. In fact, I have a secret urge, as a lot of my chef friends do, their secret urge is that they want cook at Waffle House. Just for a day to see if they can hack it because it's a tough gig.”

On making restaurant reservations: “I'm like super organized, I'm a list maker, and I have a schedule. I'm not one of those people who calls a restaurant at the last minute and says, ‘Do you know who I am?’ I plan ahead. I do make reservations. And I always show up for them.”

On not drinking with fans: “If I took every offer of a shot or other substance that fans offer to me, I wouldn't have made it to 2008, much less to this year...If you were to offer me a shot, I would probably politely decline. I know people offer those things with the best intentions but I'm a dad now.”

I Am Anthony Bourdain and I’m Really Good at Finding Cool Shit [Reddit]
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