Everyone's favorite cowboy boot-sporting, Paula Deen-dissing globetrotter Anthony Bourdain subjected himself to a barrage of questions from news outlets around the country today via a Travel Channel conference call to promote his upcoming speaking tour that will bring him to Bass Performance Hall on November 9. (He says he's been doing some brief stand-up stints at comedy clubs around NYC to try out some material for the tour.)
When asked by Eater if he'd eaten anywhere exceptionally shitty or notably wonderful on prior trips to Dallas, Bourdain said he hasn't had the opportunity to sample any of the city's restaurants, as he rarely has time to venture out for meals on speaking gigs. (Let's hope no one tries to take him to Sonny Bryan's.) We also inquired about any upcoming new books and he does indeed have another novel in the works, but between the new CNN show, the new ABC show (The Taste with co-host Nigella Lawson) and publishing projects, he's been trying to "take it a little easy".
Other highlights from the call: Was filming The Layover as fun as it looked? "Yes, I was really that drunk." When asked about any barbs he may aim at celebrity chefs and TV personalities on this upcoming tour, he said, "Guy Fieri has opened a 500 seat restaurant in my hometown so that's very much on my mind." Regarding his previous comments on Adam Richman being headed for a heart attack, Bourdain chuckled and noted that Richman is a friend, saying, "I worry about his health."
On his upcoming transition from Travel Channel to CNN, he says the new CNN show will have a "very similar format" but that the infrastructure of a network like CNN will enable him to access places like the Congo River, Libya, Iran, Myanmar, and the West Bank/Gaza that would've been difficult for the Travel Channel to get into for security reasons. Being on CNN will enable them to make "slightly smart television when [they] want to" but he "won't be offering [his] opinion on election coverage or anything like that".
When asked about the appeal of street food as opposed to five-star dining, Bourdain cited "fresh ingredients, simplicity ... I think the fact is a lot of street food is a cook making the same two or three dishes over and over and over again so that by the time you eat it it's been perfected. Chefs love street food because they don't have to endure two hours with a tie around their neck in a formal setting."
Regarding the booming food truck and pop-up restaurant trends: "I think it's a very very positive development both in terms of the options available to people in the city and the options available to young chefs who don't have a million dollars."
When questioned if he had any guesses on the real identity of infamous Twitter parody Ruth Bourdain, he said he does but declined to give any hints, saying he wants the charade to continue as long as possible.
The No Reservations finale airs November 5 on Travel Channel, to be followed by the second season premiere of The Layover on November 19. Bourdain's Death & Glory tour begins November 1.