guts & glory

we were fortunate to be able to go see Anthony Bourdain perform at Hard Rock Live at Universal CityWalk.  Advertised as an evening of conversation we weIMG_3309ren’t really sure what to expect.  The Hard Rock has a large restaurant and middle size concert venue in the Universal CityWalk entertainment area of restaurants and bars.  We arrived at six so we could take in dinner at the Hard Rock and still make the show at 8.  We pre-reserved our seating time on their website and it really worked well.  We slid into our seats by 6:30.  I ordered a burger and Z some blackened chicken alfredo.  The food is about what you’d think, plentiful, middle of the road, salty and not heavily spicy-a fair neutral for the travelling public.  I had a fruity hurricane-which I find I love-rum and fruit punch with a cherry on top, not sophisticated or classy but fun and warm and summery like Florida.tonyb
We exited the restaurant through the gift shop like any good attraction and headed into the venue.  A couple of $4 bottles of water later we found our fifth row center seats.  A note here about the venue:  dang those seats are tiny and close together and I was beyond thrilled my left neighbors no-showed and we took over one of their seats.  Anthony started speaking a few minutes after eight.  He is more or less what you see on tv-crass, cheerful and thoughtful too.  He broke the evening into a few portions.  The first being a general roast of food television personalities.  He walked over Paula, Giada and lightly over the rest.  His main beef with Paula is really the unashamed hawking of calorie and fat laden dishes when she herself suffers from diabetes and didn’t share that fact with the tv viewing public.  He then talks about his television history and philosophy.  One of things that I respect about his is that he has walked through his show uplifting and singing the praises of the common man and woman.  How they cook, eat, drink, live and love.  He doesn’t turn down food cooked by someone who has little and is offering him the best they have.  He said he knows some of them are going to require a long course of antibiotics and might need the help of his television team to get it all down but he respects that person to their core.  He is not a fan of the chains-the Olive Gardens of the world but did tell us his guilty pleasure-KFC Mac N Cheese in all its salty processed glory.  His current CNN show is still directed this way but has a little more of the politics of food and culture as well.  He wrapped things up speaking a bit about his six year old daughter and then taking a few questions from drunks in the audience.  We really enjoyed the experience and while I don’t agree with him on every point (he is counter to my culture in a lot of ways.) I also agree with him on a lot of points.  We will continue to watch as he travels the world and dream of and hopefully visit some of his stops.  He is currently on CNN on Sunday nights at 9pm.  Tonight we will follow him to Canada.  I can’t wait.

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