Catch Anthony Bourdain's live tour at the Weidner in June
Truthfully, I had no idea. Bourdain, the author of "Kitchen Confidential" and "A Cook's Tour" who has made a living in the past decade from traveling the world in search of the best local cuisine on the Food Network and now the Travel Channel, is a wealth of talent. If you've watched his show, you know he's articulate, literate, thoughtful and profane with a genuine curiosity about the world and a passion for food. But, heck, he could have done jumping jacks for half-an-hour on stage, and I still would have gotten my money's worth.
On Friday, Bourdain got a full house at the Riverside Theater in Milwaukee to listen enraptured to a routine that would make both stand-up comics and Harvard professors proud and jealous. He eviscerated some of his favorite Food Network targets (Sandra Lee, Guy Fieri), waxed prosaic about some of his favorite foods (he would cook Italian food for the rest of his life if he could) and blasted the meat industry for their practice of putting ammonia in ground meat as per this NY Times article. "Top Chef" fans will be glad to know that Bourdain gave high praise to the Bravo show (and Channel Surfing favorite), saying he would probably not last past the sixth or seventh episode himself.
Aside from the Q&A portion -- which was dominated by people in love with their own voice and lame invites to get him out to the bars that night -- Bourdain made the audience laugh, cringe and occasionally groan at his series of off-the-cuff remarks and stories. He's every bit the personality he is on his show, and his tour isn't as much a rehash of things we've already read or seen as it is a private conversation with the man.
Lucky for Wisconsin, we get to invite Tony back to our state in June -- and get this -- he'll actually be IN Green Bay. Presale tickets go on sale today for his show at the Weidner Center for the Performing Arts on June 11.
--Malavika Jagannathan, firstname.lastname@example.org