Anthony Bourdain charms at the State


The lauded bad boy of the culinary world talked smack about his competitors, offered his tips on travel, and, of course, complimented the Twin Cities' food scene.

Dressed in jeans, a black T-shirt, a gray blazer, and tan cowboy boots, Bourdain was his outspoken self before the packed house at the State. He started off spitting good-natured insults at Iron Chef and Hell's Kitchen, where "the only suspense is will the morbidly obese guy with a heart condition wet himself and pass out."

Bourdain praised our local golden boy, celebrity Andrew Zimmern, and is impressed with Zimmern's adventurous eating. "What you need to know is that Andrew doesn't drink at all," Bourdain said. "To face a breakfast of nutsack? Let me tell you, man, alcohol helps!"

Bourdain has apparently been keeping a grueling travel schedule: he headed Thursday to Syracuse, Friday to Minneapolis, and tonight, Saturday, he'll be doing his shtick in Chicago. All this, he admitted, was after skiing in Dubai. "What do I know about reality?" Bourdain said. "I know I'm going to be working the celebrity chef scam for a while."

Here are Bourdain's travel tips:

  • "Appreciate the fact that you can even do it," he said. "If you're lucky enough to go to Tokyo and you're spending fucking 10 minutes at the Hard Rock Cafe, you've got a fucking problem."
  • "Dress appropriately," he said. He told a horror story about a teenage girl dressed in Daisy Duke shorts, a low-cut top, and clear plastic six-inch heels at the Blue Mosque in Turkey. "Guys, would you wear a Speedo to the Vatican?" Bourdain asked.
  • "Accept meat and liquor from strangers," Bourdain advised. "This is my problem with vegetarians: How can you go to Thailand and not eat anything in sight?" he said. "It's like going to the Louvre and seeing only the paintings in the color blue." He likes puppies as much as the next guy, but Bourdain said if he had to choose between eating puppies and offending his hosts, "I say pass the fucking puppy heads."

    Bourdain also revealed his simple strategy for getting his daughter to avoid McDonald's: Tell her "Ronald McDonald has cooties."

    Bourdain admits he's got his own junk-food downfall: the mac 'n' cheese at KFC. He claimed to be terrified that someone will see him coming out of the chain and Tweet about it. "It's like coming out of a porn shop with Anal Rampage 3," Bourdain says.

    When Bourdain opened it up for questions, a man in a black T-shirt and jeans seemed like he'd been following Bourdain around the country.

    "Sorry I was drunk in San Jose," the man said.

    "Oh, you," Bourdain said, laughing.

    The man came onto the stage and told a story about food. Then he dropped his pants. He wasn't wearing underwear, but he covered his junk with his hand and and bared his right thigh, which bore the tattooed image of Bourdain's face. The audience howled.

    Then the man zipped up his pants and reached out his hand--the same one that had been covering his penis--to shake Bourdain's.

    Anthony Bourdain said though the Twin Cities food scene is great, he wouldn't be doing another show on it. He ate lunch at Piccolo. He said that would be it--he had an early morning departure and wouldn't be out on the town Friday night.