Recently, I read an article about Anthony Bourdain and his impressions of Japan. It was interesting to read this article from the ‘Bad Boy’ of the American culinary scene, who got his start in culinary stardom by first writing about the real kitchen environment, then he got his own show, traveling around the world.
He stated, “If I had to eat in only one city for the rest of my life, Tokyo would be it,” This was surprising for me, since he previous programs of Tokyo, seem to focus on fetish bars, which I am sure help his ratings, but do little to expand the culinary horizons of this great city.
He continued, “after going on 9 filming trips there, I don’t think I’ve even scratched the surface and I don’t think I ever will.” While most Japanese would find this comical, a filming trip is not going to develop much of an understanding of Japanese cuisine. To truly understand a city, you have to become part of the city, join the workforce, pay taxes, study the language and complain about the city, while falling in love with it at the same time. But, it’s good to see that unlike some chefs, he realizes that there is more to discover.
More importantly, since Bourdain has no impact on the Japanese culinary direction, he does have an impact on the American scene and that’s where he could help bring back the professionalism, humility and respect. It should be more about the connection of the seasons and respect for the ingredients not the chef, their tattoos and ego.