Tonight is the premiere of the new season of Bizarre Foods and the live chat after is at travelchannel.com. It takes place right after the Thailand show airs.
Speaking of the Travel Channel, Anthony Bourdain rolled into town on Friday and shot a scene from his upcoming Heartland episode during the day and then entertained the adoring throngs at the State Theater later that evening. Several months ago Tony called me and described what he was after in his Heartland show, and he asked if I knew of someone who might fit the bill. I immediately thought of Doug Flicker, a chef of tremendous talent who just recently opened Piccolo in Minneapolis. Tony was looking for a certain combination of personality, skill set, and attitude that would jive with his episode format, and I knew Doug would be an ideal choice. Long story short, I promised not to let the cat out of the bag until after the fact, and, true to my word, I did not, but the buzz around town was CRAZY. So to all the chefs, line cooks, writers, bloggers, and restaurant peeps who emailed me asking me where TB was shooting, especially to my friends, sorry that I couldn’t say anything.
I thought Tony sounded better than ever on Friday and his No Reservations Techniques show is indeed as good as anything in its genre. Bourdain proved to be as insightful as ever on topics ranging from student meals in public schools programs (Little Timmy needs to learn to read and deserves to be able to walk safely to and from school before we worry about his organic lunch options), to his newfound respect for Rachel Ray (she books bands for SXSW; that’s cool). All in all a great evening and the Twin Cities crowd treated him like the rock star that he is.
Before I forget, log onto andrewzimmern.com to check out our awesome premiere day giveaway contest if swag is your kind of thing.
So I was talking to a pal last night, and he was looking to get involved in the matzoh ball-eating contest at Mort’s Deli. If you think you have what it takes to down a few balls, check this out. The rumor mill amongst those looking to get in on this fun event suggests that the folks at Mort’s are limiting participation to 10 contestants, and that they will be arbitrarily selecting the entrants. What a crappy idea! I think Mort’s should allow all comers, don’t you? It’s a matzoh ball for G*d’s sake!!! It’s not steak tenderloin. A ball eating contest is a superb idea for a deli, and I wish Mort’s well, but like their food, their contest suffers from the same problem as the restaurant: great ideas with lousy execution. C’mon, Mort’s, let everyone in who wants to participate.
A couple other things:
Here is David Chang—“the most important chef in America,” as Bourdain likes to call him—on Letterman.
Here is a nice piece on Chuck Hughes, who everyone agrees is going to be very, very big.
And speaking of very big, this story makes my reputation for penis eating pale in comparison.