I have No Reservations on permanent DVR. I highlighted half of Kitchen Confidential because the voice is as addictive as the drugs Bourdain confesses to once snorting. So, there was no way I’d miss Anthony read from his new book, Medium Raw, and answer questions at Barnes & Noble tonight. Let me say this, I saw John Grisham interviewed by Charlie Rose a few months ago and the second area was standing room only. Tonight, the second area was fully seated and the standing room was literally on the other end of the building, in the back stacks. I got there early. VERY early.
Anthony read a powerful and sometimes seething chapter on travel, his stirring of the culinary pot with Kitchen Confidential and how he actually, well, really likes those guys he poked fun at. He also waxed poetic about pork — Mmm, those salty, delicious, piggly wigglies — and vegetarians (aside from Hindus), how when offered meat abroad they should let their culinary beliefs lay down to their humanitarian beliefs and accept as a gracious visitor. Lots of questions — favorite pizza in New York (Serafina order), best pho in the world (Singapore or Hanoi), and recommendations for helping the people of New Orleans and the gulf coast (go there and eat in their restaurants).
He also dropped some hints on fun new episodes including one in Rome shot entirely in black and white, and possibly (just an idea) taking some people from the show’s past (like Snoop from Baltimore) to some crazy places on the other side of the world. He also spoke of working with security details in some places he never thought he’d get to visit, let alone shoot shows there.
Anthony’s the kind of guy who has an opinion on anything even if it’s contrary to yours, and that makes him interesting. He’s very approachable, unless you have a trillion people with eight books cradled in their arms cutting in front of you to have them signed. He was also generous with his time, staying to sign every book. For any fan across the country, get out to see him at a tour reading and ask him a question. You won’t regret it.