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Anthony Bourdain in DC for Book Signing


syzygy8
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His grillbitch, by the way, is great.

:shock: ....she does exist!

She does indeed - we met her at the press club dinner, which was also pretty well-behaved, although I think some of the geriatric set might have been offended by the language. I'm not sure some of them quite knew what they were in for. :laugh:

Food wasn't bad - the mussels and pork rillettes rocked, the amuse was a veal cheek meatball-thing and a cup of some sort of foie gras soup, also excellent, and the "chartreuse of quail," apparently from a Careme recipe, had particularly nice broth-soaked cabbagey bits. All the recipes are in the book, so it'll be fun experimenting.

Best question of the night was from the Press Club's chef, who asked "when you were on The Restaurant, why didn't you pull Rocco aside and ask him what the heck he was thinking?" He repeated his two on-air lines from the show ("This blows" and "This utterly blows,") said that Rocco had basically done it to himself, was now restaurantless, and was reduced to telling people on his radio call-in show where to find good kosher chickens - "Rocco has jumped the shark."

"Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cookbook! Little Red Cookbook!" --Eddie Izzard
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Hi, everyone. New member -- very glad to be here! Anxious to know if anyone attended Anthony Bourdain's author dinner at the National Press Club last week. The event itself was great -- good food from the Les Halles cookbook and entertaining stories from Mr. Bourdain. But I thought the atmosphere was a bit off for two reasons. First, the Press Club tends to be very "buttoned-up" and I felt a certain disconnect between the surroundings and the famous badass attitude of the guest of honor. Felt there should have been more opportunity for bad behavior. Second, people in Washington try very hard to appear unaffected by just about everything and everyone, and despite spending nearly $100 for a ticket, many attendees were terribly standoffish.

(I'm probably making a bad impression as a new member with this long post, huh?)

I'd love to hear if anyone attended the event, and if you had the same feelings I did. Or, should Mr. Bourdain happen to stumble upon this message, I'd love to hear his take!

Once again, glad to be here, and promise to keep it shorter next time. :rolleyes:

Lori

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Fuck our sensibilities.  I want to see how he behaves for the Dames d'Escoffier in Atlanta.

About the same as anybody on a book tour who addresses an enthusiastic but decorous crowd in a formal setting---a little stiff, despite the fact that the entire crowd would really rather he just have taken off his clothes and told bawdy stories.

Today's Atlanta Journal & Constitution featured an interview with John Kessler, local restaurant critic (though he doesn't do so much of that anymore, regrettably) that was interesting mostly for the fact that Bourdain didn't come off as particularly witty or interesting, because Kessler usually manages to make people sound witty and interesting.

Grillbitch was, by the way, very cool.

Can you pee in the ocean?

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Fuck our sensibilities.  I want to see how he behaves for the Dames d'Escoffier in Atlanta.

About the same as anybody on a book tour who addresses an enthusiastic but decorous crowd in a formal setting---a little stiff, despite the fact that the entire crowd would really rather he just have taken off his clothes and told bawdy stories.

Today's Atlanta Journal & Constitution featured an interview with John Kessler, local restaurant critic (though he doesn't do so much of that anymore, regrettably) that was interesting mostly for the fact that Bourdain didn't come off as particularly witty or interesting, because Kessler usually manages to make people sound witty and interesting.

Grillbitch was, by the way, very cool.

Tony was actually pretty impressed by the Dames and had a good time both event itself and afterwards, at the bars they recommended. Evidently they pointed him in the direction of some of Atlanta's more depraved nightspots -- dives with which they had had more than a little experience themselves, though perhaps not recently.

Taking off clothing appears to have been a theme of the evening.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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Today's Atlanta Journal & Constitution featured an interview with John Kessler, local restaurant critic (though he doesn't do so much of that anymore, regrettably) that was interesting mostly for the fact that Bourdain didn't come off as particularly witty or interesting, because Kessler usually manages to make people sound witty and interesting.

Here's the link...(you may have to register tho) for Kessler's article/interview

http://www.ajc.com/search/content/auto/epa...2632d30041.html

I like to cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.

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Tony was actually pretty impressed by the Dames and had a good time both event itself and afterwards, at the bars they recommended.  Evidently they pointed him in the direction of some of Atlanta's more depraved nightspots -- dives with which they had had more than a little experience themselves, though perhaps not recently. 

Hey, I'll have you know that I've had both personal and recent experience with said dive. Though I tend to look beyond the, um, entertainment (The Clermont Lounge is also known as "where strippers go to die") and head directly for the dance floor: Saturdays after midnight features a local DJ, Romeo Cologne.

But then I'm not actually a "Dame"---the dinner in Atlanta was open to anybody with sufficient scratch and the time to chase down the person at the Four Seasons responsible for booking spots at the dinner (which a friend kindly did for me).

Can you pee in the ocean?

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I went to the Press Club dinner and had a great time. I enjoyed talking shit with Anthony B about other food network people, he was hilarious, saying that Rachael Ray was in mens magazines not looking so hot, he made fun of Rocco, he joked the other usual suspects as well. He also talked about his show that will be on the travel channel next year. When I asked why his show got dropped he said "Well, they figured out they were spending a ton of money to send me all over the world, when they can only spend 8$ an episode for a show like Unwrapped". Anyway, the food was good, I liked the Veal Cheak and Foie Gras soup.

Overall, a fun guy to eat and get drunk with.

I did feel pretty young for the crowd, even Anthony made some type of joke "long time press member?" to me when I got my book signed, but I was there for the food, drinks, and entertainment and I had a great time...

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Well, I'm very much looking forward to seeing/eating/drinking with him at Les Halles for the Dec. 6 event. You gotta think he'd be allowed to turn his own restaurant into an appropriate den of iniquity, no? Is anyone else from here going besides me?

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  • 2 weeks later...
Did anyone go? How was this??

It was...okay. We enjoyed the man, but not so much the meal and not so much the restaurant.

For starters, there were a lot more people for this thing than I expected. Seemed like some 150 perhaps. The whole front of the house was closed for this event. Now it was planned for months. You'd think that Les Halles would have some kind of an inkling that their bar would be slammed at about 6PM that evening. Apparently not. They had one bartender, who eventually got some help from someone from the floor staff. Neither could figure out what they were doing, who's credit card they were holding, or even how much a glass of wine was. An absolutely massive clusterfuck at that bar.

When you arrived, they had coatracks, and then were selling the book. Tony was there to sign and was happy to greet and chat with everyone, answer questions, tell jokes, etc.

Then when everyone sat, the Smithsonian folks introduced the owner of Les Halles (his name is escaping me) who told stories and then introduced Tony. He talked a little about the book, about his next project (Travel Channel program), made fun of Emeril's hairy back, and busted on the Food Network. In the Q&A, he admitted that even though Food Network sucks, the world is a better place because it exists. Americans have access to better ingredients because Food Network has helped raise the demands of the consumer.

The meal was pretty unimpressive. Some good sauces, but when you're trying to bring out 150 dishes all at once, you suffer, and it did.

Terrine Alsacienne

(Wild Board Terrine)

Chateau Trimoulet, St. Emilion, 2000

We preferred the wine to the terrine.

Lotte a l'Americaine

(Braised Monkfish, Lobster Sauce)

Chateau Preuillac, Medoc, 2000

Yummy wine, cold fish, but really good lobster flavor in the sauce.

Boeuf Bourguignon

(Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce)

Chateau Taillefer, Pomerol, 2001

Probably the tastiest of the dishes.

Gateau Basque

(Almond Pastry Cream in Brioche)

Freixenet, Carta Nevada

I was really surprised by the wine selection here which went down somewhere between a notch and a tall cliff. Liked the dessert though, which was huge.

Aside from the dessert, the dishes were too small. I would have liked more beef. Thankfully, they were very generous with the wine. Refilling glasses constantly. And it wasn't just a few tastes. They were healthy pours and it contributed greatly to me enjoyment of the event.

Tony wandered from table to table between courses and said hi, answered questions, etc. A real down to earth, likeable, genuine guy. A far cry from what I'd expect from other "celebrity chefs."

I kinda was hoping the menu would have included items in the new book, which it didn't. The event wasn't worth the $85 I paid. And it definitely makes me less interested in returning to Les Halles. Although I really do like sitting outside there in the summertime with a bottle of wine and the cheese and meat selections.

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Did anyone go? How was this??

Boeuf Bourguignon

(Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce)

Chateau Taillefer, Pomerol, 2001

:huh:

Burgandy in the dish and Bordeaux in the glass? Who picked this combo?

:huh:

Well, at least it wsn't a left bank.

Edited by JPW (log)

If someone writes a book about restaurants and nobody reads it, will it produce a 10 page thread?

Joe W

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Did anyone go? How was this??

Boeuf Bourguignon

(Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce)

Chateau Taillefer, Pomerol, 2001

:huh:

Burgandy in the dish and Bordeaux in the glass? Who picked this combo?

:huh:

Well, at least it wsn't a left bank.

Clearly the same folks who didn't think they'd need to have a bartender on duty at the same time 150 people were walking into their door.

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Did anyone go? How was this??

Boeuf Bourguignon

(Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce)

Chateau Taillefer, Pomerol, 2001

:huh:

Burgandy in the dish and Bordeaux in the glass? Who picked this combo?

:huh:

Well, at least it wsn't a left bank.

And another Bordeaux with Terrine Alsacienne!

Oh well, I mix and match at home, too.

I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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