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Anthony Bourdain Lives by a Clearly Defined ‘No Asshole’ Rule

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Life lessons from the food world superstar on how to do business and enjoy a meal

[Facebook/Anthony Bourdain]

Globe-trotting author/TV host/former line cook Anthony Bourdain has reached a place in his life where he can pretty much do whatever he wants, whenever he wants — whether that means filming gutsy episodes of his show Parts Unknown, ranting about politics, or publishing a gonzo cookbook with his favorite recipes. In a new interview with GQ, Mr. Bourdain reveals that there’s one rule that he abides by:

It is truly a privilege to live by what I call the “no asshole” rule. I don’t do business with assholes. I don’t care how much money they are offering me, or what project. Life is too short. Quality of life is important. I’m fortunate to collaborate with a lot of people who I respect and like, and I’d like to keep it that way.

And Bourdain’s non-nonsense attitude also extends to the dining room, so please don’t bore him with soliloquies about where each little herb, nut, and grain in his meal was foraged. Bourdain quips:

I like to eat like a child, in an emotional way. I don’t like to overanalyze. I don’t like my food explained with tasting notes. I want to sit down, get a couple of beers, get a buzz, and enjoy my meal.

Amen. These are some truly top-notch Bourdain one-liners. But the bulk of the GQ interview actually focuses on the American opioid pandemic, a subject that Tony, a former drug addict, has a lot of strong feelings about. Bourdain points out that “large corporations track their sales very carefully,” so the pharmaceutical industry is definitely aware of how their drugs are affecting people in small towns across the country. He also notes:

Now that the white captain of the football team and his cheerleader girlfriend in small-town America are hooked on dope, maybe we’ll now stop demonizing heroin as a criminal problem and start dealing with it as the medical and public-health problem that it is, and should be.

Anthony Bourdain Has a Lot to Say About the Opioid Epidemic Destroying Small-Town America [GQ]
All Coverage of Anthony Bourdain [E]

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