Anthony Bourdain should be used to travel at this point. After the books, 100 episodes of his Travel Channel show No Reservations, all the various lectures and readings and sold-out, highly public celebrity chef gang bangs he's been a part of, the man is a pro.
Tony, in his wilder years
But the book tour schedule for his newest memoir/essay collection--Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook--is just brutal. We're talking 17 cities, everywhere from Manhattan to Bakersfield, in just 22 days. There are meth-addicted long-haul truckers who lay on less mileage than that in a month, dinosaur rock bands on the county fair circuit working for a hundred bucks and free corn dogs who book fewer dates. But of all the many things that Bourdain has been accused of in his time, no one has ever tagged the man for being lazy. No one has ever said he doesn't get up there on stage and shake what the food gods gave him when the time comes.
And on Tuesday, June 22 (that's tomorrow for those of you keeping track), he's gonna be shaking it just for the Seattle fans when he hits the stage at the Moore Theatre in an event hosted by the University Bookstore. Bourdain will be reading from Medium Raw, talking about chefs and food and life on the road.
If I had to lay odds on the topics of discussion and make a drinking game out of this appearance (something I'd be severely tempted to do, if only in honor of the Harbin, China episode of No Reservations where, I believe, Bourdain put away something like 127 shots of vodka while hanging at a Russian restaurant in that frozen, northern city, drinking to peace and love and the eventual domination of the world by the Chinese people), it would go something like this:
Take a nip from that hip flask every time Tony:
Talks about being a dad. (Because that's one of the big, sweet focuses of the early chapters of Medium Raw.)
Talks about eating chicken ass. (The man is like the world ambassador for eating chicken ass yakitori.)
Gets asked some knuckleheaded question about his whole "Fish on Mondays" schtick by some brain-damaged simp still hung up on Bourdain's break-out book, Kitchen Confidential, which is now 10 years old.
Gets asked whether he still misses the kitchen. (The answer, in case you're interested, is no.)
Gets pilloried by some grill-scarred and twitchy line cook for "selling out" or betraying his former compadres in the galley.
Talks about Guy Fieri's sunglasses.
Backpedals on his earlier excoriation of guys like Emeril Lagasse. (There are some honest-to-jesus fascinating bits of Medium Raw where he examines the machinery of celebrity chef stardom and makes a bit of a mea culpa for some of his earlier bad-mouthing of the Food Network A Team)
Calls GQ food writer Alan Richman a cunt. (He's got his reasons. I'd bet heavy that he'll talk all about them.)
But who knows? Maybe I'm wrong about all of this. Maybe he'll use his stop in Seattle to recite poetry or debut his new interpretive dance routine on the life cycle of the opium poppy. The only way to know for sure is to actually go and see for yourself. And the details on how to do that can be most easily found right here, at the ticketing area of the Moore Theatre website.