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Gordo, Tony Wilson and Anthony Bourdain

The Big One and the other big ones and food and being a bon or even a mal viveur

Published on August 26th 2010.

Gordo, Tony Wilson and Anthony Bourdain

Way back when, maybe ’03, Tony Wilson came round to Gordo’s office to deliver his Xmas present, fresh back from New York City; a cookbook like no other, called Kitchen Confidential.

They may include his theory that everyone should learn to make an omelette before learning to fuck, as well as how NYC restaurants are dealing with the recession: if you are in the food game, you need to listen to him.

In fact it wasn’t a cookbook, it was a three hundred page rant about the state of the food business in and around New York called Kitchen Confidential, written by the heroin addicted ‘rock star’ chef, Anthony Bourdain.

Gordo came away with the impression that Bourdain was killing two birds with one stone in delivering this book, writing and self harming at the same time, such was the edge to his very taught tale. AA Gill described it as ‘Elizabeth David written by Quentin Tarantino’ whilst the Guardian commented ‘it’s not exactly Delia’.

Mr Bourdain spent the first half of the book warning the public about the dubious practices of restaurants. Gordo has never eaten at an ‘all-you-can-eat-buffet’ ever since. The second half of the book allows Bourdain to show his true feelings about his industry; here is a man who is actually in love with his profession and the people in it. A man who, at times in his career when he is on his arse through his various addictions, is flipping burgers and poaching eggs for wraps but still wants to poach ‘the best fucking egg in the world’ whilst dripping in cold sweat and shaking like a leaf.

The book became a bestseller and transformed his life.

Today, Bourdain is a respected but edgy food commentator with a pretty good cookbook of his own based on his menus at Les Halles in New York. Gordo has learned a few great tips from it; unusual in amongst ‘celebrity cookbooks’ that the recipes actually work. Two further books, A Cook’s Tour and The Nasty Bits have shown that he is more than one trick pony.

Just before leaving for a weekend in New York last week Gordo did a brief phone interview with Bourdain. The Manchester Food and Drink Festival (MFDF) have invited him to Manchester this coming Tuesday to give a talk, mediated by The Magnificent One himself, Gordo, at The Lowry Hotel.

Bourdain’s new book, the follow up to Kitchen Confidential, Medium Raw will be on sale.

He will be giving his now polished talk on his experiences; having been to a couple of his recommendations in NYC last weekend, the quite extraordinary Spotted Pig included. Gordo will have a few questions of his own to put to him.

They may include his theory that everyone should learn to make an omelette before learning to fuck (eh? Ed), as well as how NYC restaurants are dealing with the recession: if you are in the food game, you need to listen to him. If you are interested in food and like a laugh, you need to be there as well.

There will be a Q & A session so you lot can get to have your own questions answered. There will also be specially created, 'Bourdain-inspired', locally sourced canapés by Chef of the Year Nominee Oliver Thomas along with a good Cava; there are a few tickets left. Click here to buy.

Gordo will be writing about the Bourdain interview and the Q&A session next week. He’ll have some interesting conclusions to make.

Follow Gordo on twitter GordoManchester

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16 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Scott NeilAugust 26th 2010.

i'm reading Medium Raw at the mo. great fun.

the below YouTube is just shy of four mins and is Bourdain in a Mexican border town on the hunt for tacos, from his No Reservations programme. everything i like about the guy in 3 mins 46 secs.

Pablo EscobarAugust 26th 2010.

Like the video, Mexico needs our support right now...

Peter HarrisAugust 27th 2010.

I read his book "A cook's tour - in search of the perfect meal" in 2001 and was instantly inspired to go to San Sebastian. I have been returning every year since. There is a publicity photo there this year of the ten, yes 10! Michelin star chefs that were born in SS and are still mostly in their own restaurants in SS. This says it all. Bourdain's early TV shows based on this book (and filmed when he was researching are amazing.

Peter HarrisAugust 27th 2010.

I forgot to say, drop whatever you are doing next Tuesday and book to see this amazing guy. Forget Ramsay et al. Tony is King.

MaggsSeptember 1st 2010.

What a brilliant evening - we loved every moment!!! Thought Anthony was just great, especially the way he tackled Fergus's questions with such tact and diplomacy, Fergus being unable to string a sentence together by the time he got on to the stage bless him!!!.

bestcanapeseverSeptember 1st 2010.

Hmmm, Maggs, Do you know that Fergus Henderson suffers from Parkinson's Disease?

GordoSeptember 1st 2010.

Really pleased with the way it went last night and so happy to see the room full of mancon peeps. Ferguson of course does suffer from Parkinsons, and is the same pissed or sober; the measure of the man is that he is still prepared to come on stage and say his piece, in his charming way. I was so proud that he came up, I wasn't sure if he would be able to or not. Tony was great as well, he made my job easy.

paulywalnutsSeptember 1st 2010.

Fergus may have Parkinsons but he was far more eloquent and intelligible than the "director" of the Food and Drink festival who introduced Bourdain onto the stage completely arseholed – that was embarassing. Great night other than that though.

AnonymousSeptember 1st 2010.

He's a delight isn't he? The MFDF Director that is.......

ashamedSeptember 1st 2010.

EDITORIALLY REMOVED. This is getting too abusive in an unsubstantiated comment way. And people are hiding behind pseudonyms which if you're going to give people a kicking seems a little unfair. If you have comments to make about the individual in question please send them too jonathans@manchesterconfidential.com and we'll forward them.

AnonymousSeptember 1st 2010.

Nice idea Ashamed. Gordo, get on it...

AnonymousSeptember 1st 2010.

EDITORIALLY REMOVED. See our replacement comment a couple of places above this.

AnonymousSeptember 1st 2010.

I see. OK to call him 'arseholed' though

BourdainwitnessSeptember 1st 2010.

Yep, the arseholed thing was a recordable fact if you were in the room. The removed stuff seemed a bit vague.

WandererSeptember 1st 2010.

Great night, Tony was on great form, it was a nice bonus to see Fergus too. Great canapes, loved the shrimps. Though I was ready to give a shoeing to some tw*t in a suit who couldnt wait to eat everyone of them 5 times over. And no, it wasn't the fella from the MFDF.

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