Good vs. Evil: An Evening with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert | chicago foodie girl


Good vs. Evil: An Evening with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert

Anthony Bourdain + Eric Ripert = über awesomeness

Last Friday, Diana and I attended what is totally the culinary equivalent of a rock concert: an evening with the super-awesome Antony Bourdain and Eric Ripert. The auditorium was packed with foodie fans, and as with any hot show, there were the requisite inappropriate screamers ("I love you, Tony!" "Come home with me, Eric!"), the note-tossers (I'm just going to guess that the notes two guys in skinny jeans & skull caps put on the stage pre-show contained phone numbers and invites to hipster bars), almost nonstop laughter & clapping, and a plethora of cheap beer.

The evening started out with a roast. Ripert was first to take the hot seat - Bourdain questioned, chastised, and drilled him about everything from his "fancy" clientèle at Le Bernardin (such as The Situation and Snooki) to his disdain for John McEnroe (it all goes back to a post-9/11 Letterman episode & ill-received references to freedom fries). Bourdain went particularly hard on him about a gross/weird traditional French delicacy involving a baby bird eaten under a hood (more about it here). Of course, after describing the practice in the most appalling way possible, Bourdain fessed up that he actually took part in the meal along with Ripert. We also learned all about Ripert's hatred for Gordon Ramsay, his love for Guy Fieri (although Bourdain proclaimed him to be one of the douchiest guys out there), and his special relationship with Martha Stewart (Ripert was subjected to a slew of sexual double-entendres involving being "on top" of Martha numerous times). As Ripert blushed and stammered answers in his sexy French accent, Bourdain showed him no mercy.

When it was finally Bourdain's turn in the hot seat, Ripert gave it back just as good as he got it. No topics were off-limits or left untouched, including Bourdain's disgust for Paula Deen, his extensive drug use, why Martha Stewart is on his permanent shit list, and his views on vegetarians ("The enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit."). There was a particularly great bit centered on Bourdain's time in Namibia when he ate pig's anus with the bushmen (the worst meal of his life). Ripert also badgered him about his jealousy of the Food Network chefs and the fact that he sold out by appearing on The Taste, which is owned by the Walt Disney Company ("How appropriate that the chef who doesn't cook works for Mickey Mouse."). Ripert questioned him about his appearances on Top Chef - Bourdain admitted that the judges all keep large gin and tonics under the table and that Padma doesn't handle her liquor all that well.

After about an hour or so of questioning, Bourdain and Ripert moved to a segment that was more casual banter and less interrogation. They started out by attempting to embarrass each other by showing mostly-nude photos they had taken for various books/magazines. Bourdain then subjected Ripert to a blindfolded taste test of Malört (a disgusting locally produced liquor) and a corn dog. They questioned each other about their secret food shames (Bourdain's is KFC's macaroni and cheese & Ripert's is Camembert and pâté). They also touched on some serious topics, including the importance of sustainability and the integrity of the ingredients a chef uses, the dangerous practices of Monsanto, and why the angry chef personalities on television are bad role models for the new generation of chefs.

Bourdain & Ripert ended their show with an audience Q&A session (of course there was the one annoying guy who tried to put a damper on the whole event - there's always one in every crowd). As Diana mentioned on the cfg facebook page last week, we both walked away with a new respect for Anthony Bourdain, along with a confirmed love for Eric Ripert (he's so much funnier than I had previously realized!). It was such a great event and I'm so glad we had the opportunity to attend.

Next up... an afternoon with Marcus Samuelsson! Stay tuned for more details next week! :-)



  1. Oh lord, I can't believe I clicked on that Bourdain photo here at work... ;-) This sounds like such a fun event, I'm glad you guys had a great time. Looking forward to the Marcus Samuelsson post!

  2. @Renee: Ha! The Eric Ripert photo is even better; unfortunately, I can't find it on the internet. Boo!

  3. Oh man what a great evening for you! OK, that picture of Bourdain is hilarious. I saw him last time he came through town, and he was as great in person as I imagined him to be.

  4. Will this be broadcast ever?

  5. @Jacky: He was hilarious! I totally want to kick back & share a beer (or three) with him.

    @Francine: There was someone there recording it, but I'm not sure if it was for broadcast or just for Bourdain & Ripert. I wouldn't be surprised if they released something at the end of their tour!

  6. sounds like such a fun experience!! jealous :)


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