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Bobby Cannavale Says His 'Master of None' Character Is Definitely Not Bourdain

The actor debunks a popular theory about the hit show

Courtesy of Universal/Master of None

One of Master of None Season 2’s biggest surprises was the inclusion of a world-traveling, no-nonsense TV chef character played by Bobby Cannavale. Chef Jeff, as he’s called, befriends the show’s protagonist Dev, played by Aziz Ansari, and ultimately proves to be a toxic figure. When the series premiered, several critics and TV obsessives (including the ones on Team Eater) wondered if Chef Jeff was inspired by America’s favorite real-life world-traveling, non-nonsense TV personality, Anthony Bourdain.

But now, in a chat with Vulture, Cannavale sets the record straight:

I think Aziz is smarter than to just go, “I’m going to base him on Anthony Bourdain.” He never mentioned Anthony Bourdain, he was just like, “Dude, I love these cooking shows.” He just wanted me to be really fucking friendly, and really into his job, and really excited about everything. He’s just fucking inappropriate and it just takes Dev a second to figure that shit out. I think it happened to Aziz. He was relaying some kind of story loosely based on a guy that he met. He thought he became friends with him and then was like, “Oh, shit. This guy’s wrong.”

You know, Aziz loves to cook and he knows so much about restaurants. I really think one of the reasons my character’s a chef is so that we could go and eat at all these places. We shot at all these cool, hip-ass, four-table, three-table restaurants that nobody could get into.

Cannavale has nothing but great things to say about his real-life buddy Aziz Ansari and working on the hit Netflix series. In other Master of None news, Ansari says that he’s taking a breather before diving into the next batch of episodes. In a Times Style profile this week, the star/co-creator of the show remarks: “I have some things in my own life I need to sort out! I’m in the middle of trying to figure out Season 34 of Aziz Ansari.”

Bobby Cannavale on Master of None, Aziz Ansari, and the Inspiration for Chef Jeff [Vulture]
All Master of None Coverage [E]