Sunday, November 19, 2017
Features and More

Two chefs will have battle of wits Sunday

RECOMMENDED READING


One thing that you'll want to keep in mind if you go to Sunday's battle of wits and food folly between Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert, is that Ripert has a reputation to protect. Bourdain does not.

That will mean Ripert, the impeccable French chef of New York's legendary Le Bernardin restaurant, will squirm a bit on stage. And Bourdain will revel in watching his friend choke back his opinions on touchy subjects.

"He runs one of the best restaurants in the world," Bourdain says recently by phone from his New York home. "I am on TV." Le Bernardin is a three-Michelin-Guide-starred restaurant and often makes the best-in-the-world lists.

This is the second year that Bourdain, 55 and Ripert, 47, have taken their friendship on the road in a show titled Good vs. Evil: An Evening with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert. If there was any question, Bourdain is the evil one.

"But for no reason I can really understand, we are often mistaken for each other," Bourdain says, suggesting it's their full heads of silver hair. "We are thinking of dressing as each other sometime."

The show begins with "hostile interrogations," a roast of sorts, and then becomes a discussion about the state of cooking, food and celebrity obsession. Seafood sustainability will likely be a big topic, as will America's rising obesity rates and the availability of good food for all Americans.

"One of the things I am angriest about is that it's okay to relegate the working poor to food deserts and processed food," he says. "There's nothing traditional or working class about putting a burger and egg in between Krispy Kreme doughnuts. The whole history of cuisine is about people struggling to make something delicious out of little."

If you detected a dig at Paula Deen, you're right. This may be the part where Ripert looks uncomfortable.

For the roast segment, Bourdain jokes that Ripert has his staff combing the Internet for dirt on him. Bourdain will likely bring up Al Roker introducing Ripert on a recent episode of the Today Show as the "Pepé Le Pew of cooking." Offensive and random, Bourdain says, but good fodder for the stage show.

Bourdain was a chef for several decades until being catapulted from kitchen obscurity by his tell-all cooking tale Kitchen Confidential, published in 2000. That book spawned a TV career, first on the Food Network and now two shows on the Travel Channel, No Reservations and The Layover, which has just been renewed for a second season. The eighth season of the Emmy-winning No Reswervations begins next month.

There have been more books (The Nasty Bits and Medium Raw) and a graphic novel, Jiro, comes out this summer. It's about an ultraviolent world ruled by master chefs. A knife-wielding sushi chef graces the cover.

The luck of his good fortune does not escape him, and he's thankful that the Travel Channel has indulged his desire to show what and how the world really eats, even if it means watching a hog get skinned in rural Louisiana.

"I was a guy with no health insurance, no car, living paycheck to paycheck" when fame hit, he says. "I had seen very little of the world then." And now, he's eaten and traveled in nearly every corner of the globe. On his destination dining bucket list are Iran, Myanmar and the Congo River.

The TV shows, Bourdain says, are a means to an end. They let him tell stories about food, and ultimately, that's what the Bourdain/Ripert evening is all about. A couple of culinary raconteurs jawing about the things that bug them and the ways they would change the world.

In other words, topics hot off the grill.

Janet K. Keeler can be reached at [email protected] (727) 893-8586.

Comments
Christmas in downtown Tampa as Winter Village ice rink opens

Christmas in downtown Tampa as Winter Village ice rink opens

TAMPAWhile her teenage daughter and 6-year-old son glided effortlessly across the outdoor ice rink at Curtis Hixon Park on Friday, Danielle Engram, 35, stood nervously on her rented blades.This would be the lifelong Tampa resident’s first time on the...
Published: 11/17/17
With Harry Potter’s Christmas, Universal Orlando proves holidays are big business

With Harry Potter’s Christmas, Universal Orlando proves holidays are big business

ORLANDO — Christmas has finally come to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando in a new holiday attraction opening Saturday. In addition, Universal Studios has completely upsized its holiday parade with more Macy’s balloons, stunning floats and snowy effects ...
Published: 11/17/17
How to make a pie from scratch: filling ideas, decorating tips, crust recipes and more

How to make a pie from scratch: filling ideas, decorating tips, crust recipes and more

Perfect your crust. Try new filling recipes. Learn some decorating tricks. And prepare for the biggest pie day of the year: Thanksgiving.   From apple to thyme You’ve got the crust down. Now it’s time to choose a filling for your holid...
Published: 11/17/17
Thanksgiving 101: Everything you need to prepare for the big cooking day

Thanksgiving 101: Everything you need to prepare for the big cooking day

From appetizers to pies and everything in between, we’re here to help you put together a low-stress Thanksgiving spread. Ideas for sidesThese recipes go beyond the traditional, with a corn casserole, Brussels sprout salad and moreSee what our food ed...
Published: 11/17/17
New shingles vaccine touted as a breakthrough for older adults

New shingles vaccine touted as a breakthrough for older adults

Medical researchers and government health policymakers, a cautious lot, normally take pains to keep expectations modest when they’re discussing some new finding or treatment.They warn about studies’ limitations. They point out what isn’t known. They ...
Published: 11/17/17
Thanksgiving sides beyond the classics: corn casserole, Brussels sprouts salad, pecan pie carrots

Thanksgiving sides beyond the classics: corn casserole, Brussels sprouts salad, pecan pie carrots

There are probably a handful of essentials, things you must have on the Thanksgiving table lest some family members begin to riot. But I find there are often a couple of slots open for new things, chances to get weird or creative or, gasp, healthy. ...
Published: 11/17/17
Before you hit the mall: here are some key holiday shopping hours

Before you hit the mall: here are some key holiday shopping hours

Plotting a shopping strategy for the holiday weekend? Here’s a look at holiday store opening hours for some major retailers:Thanksgiving8 a.m.: Kmart1 p.m.: JCPenney4 p.m.: GameStop5 p.m.: Best Buy, Macy’s, Toys "R" Us, Kohl’s6 p.m.: Old Navy, Target...
Published: 11/17/17
First look: Harry Potter’s Christmas finally arrives at Universal Orlando

First look: Harry Potter’s Christmas finally arrives at Universal Orlando

Christmas has finally come to Hogwarts at Universal Orlando, with the promise of warm butterbeer, a Frog Choir singing carols and a magical light show projected onto Hogwarts Castle nightly followed by fireworks. It opens to the public on Saturday. C...
Published: 11/17/17
How to make solid turkey gravy before Thanksgiving Day

How to make solid turkey gravy before Thanksgiving Day

As far as we’re concerned, anything you can make in advance of actual Thanksgiving Day is a good thing, and this make-ahead gravy fits the bill. Plus, Tucker Shaw of America’s Test Kitchen says it tastes just as good as if you made it wi...
Published: 11/17/17
How to plan your Thanksgiving menu

How to plan your Thanksgiving menu

Planning a really good menu is the stealth approach to being a really good cook. Here are some tips from the experts. New York Times Put some thought into the menu What leaves an impression is not only the dishes you can make, but also how they t...
Published: 11/17/17