"I have a fundamental belief that we have as part of our social contract with our fellow citizens, that every person should cook." "If we were stuck on a boat with a bunch of other people, and there's a cook and a writer, who's gonna go over the fucking side first? You're keeping the cook around." Anthony Bourdain inspires me to no end. He's charismatic, funny, and just so damn likable. Best of all, he's real. He's himself. Thank you for showing us your view of the world, Mr. Bourdain. My day began at 7:30am. I rolled out of bed and got on a line to snag one of the limited number of wristbands to see Bourdain. That meant no breakfast before leaving the house. That meant deciding where to eat in Union Square. L'express was one of those places we always passed by when we lived in Stuy-Town in the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Finally got to try it. I ordered a cappuccino ($4.25) and a croque madame ($13.00). What is it about a runny egg that makes everything taste that much better?
Went back home, went back to sleep, went back out at 5pm to get decent seats at the event. So what did I learn from his talk, aside from the fact that he's even more awesome in person? His voice sounds exactly the same as on TV, BUT his NYC accent peeks through during his little asides. He's 60 and knows he's too old for the restaurant game. He travels 250 days out of the year, and the rest of his time is devoted to his nine year-old daughter, for whom the book is dedicated.
His advice for budding writers and those who want to do food television: find your own perspective. "Something with a voice and a perspective that seems pretty honest. Write your own voiceover. It doesn't have to be perfect English... Don't use that weird TV voice. Who the fuck says 'mouthwatering'?" When it was my turn to have my book signed and my picture taken with him, I asked, "So do you work for the CIA?" He laughed and denied it. I still think either he or someone on his team has to work for the CIA. They got into the interior of Myanmar, for crying out loud. Who else can get to all of those places?
Heaven. I was in pure heaven after meeting him. Therefore, celebration was in order, and we decided to go to Nomad Bar, by Daniel Humm, another of my favorite chefs. Nomad bar is classy, though not quite as classy as Bemelman's. They seated us on the second floor, and the view of the bar was nice.
We started with cocktails, and I had Island Time, mixed with Panamanian rum, Barbados rum, suze, crème de peche, orgeat, ginger, grapefruit, lime, and angostura ($16). Sweet and deceiving. I felt the effects after two of them.
We ordered fries ($9), chicken pot pie ($36), and burgers ($19). All delicious! I was pleasantly surprised by the lemon zest on the fries. The chicken pot pie had black truffle and foie gras in it. I'm basic when it comes to truffle and foie gras, so sue me. And the burger. Wow. Best burger to date. Juicy. And that special sauce, whatever it was, was perfect. I've been a fan of Daniel Humm since I first went to Eleven Madison Park. And this solidified my awe of the man.
Since Chris was already way past his drink limit, we didn't make it to Court Square Diner. We did, however, pass by Krystal's in Woodside and got tapsilog (a Filipino dish of dried beef, fried rice, and egg, $7) to go. Another perfect night.