Anthony Bourdain has never been known for holding back an opinion. And whether you agree with those opinions or not, you still have to respect the guy’s honesty. He calls it as he sees it. Bourdain recently sat down with Helen Rosner over at Eater to discuss the current state of American politics and what it means to, well, everyone. He was not short on responses, ideas, or fears.
Right out of the gate Bourdain doesn’t mince words on how he views The Donald as a fellow New Yorker, “I’m not saying I know the guy personally, not like I’d hug him, but I’m saying that as a New Yorker, we pretty much are neighbors.” Bourdain continues, “and my many years of living in his orbit have not left me with a favorable impression, let’s put it that way.”
This unfavorable impression has made it easy for Bourdain to dismiss Trump’s new DC Hotel restaurant and chef David Burke, who took over for Jose Andres when he pulled out for (obvious) reasons. Bourdain goes for throat when it comes to chef Burke, “I will never eat in his restaurant. I have utter contempt for him.” Bourdain goes further, “Burke’s a steaming loaf of shit, as far as I’m concerned, and feel free to quote me.” Guy Fieri must have just sighed in relief. Evidently chef Burke had tried to poach many of chef Andres’ staff when he took over the DC restaurant, which didn’t sit well in the food community.
So what is it that really gets Bourdain’s pot boiling about Trump and the current state of affairs? It’s the hatful fires that Trumpism is stoking. Bourdain laments that “the threshold of acceptable rhetoric right now, the threshold of hate and animus that’s being shown at this point — this really naked hatred of every flavor, racists, sexists, pure misogyny, class hatred, hatred of the educated — this is something I’ve never seen before.”
Bourdain goes on point out for those in the bubble that the fundamental soul of America steeped in our very murky history has a massive impact on why so many Americans embrace the dark, populist side of politics. “I think it’s worth acknowledging that this is a country founded in violence, a country that has always worshipped outlaws, loners, cowboys, and people who got the things they got by the gun.”
Overall, the interview is a bit of a downer. What did you expect from an avowed pessimist? Bourdain wasn’t going to sugar-coat it and say ‘give him a chance,’ or ‘everything’s going be alright’? That’s not the Bourdain we know and love. Bourdain did offer a sign of hope along the dark path ahead near the end when asked if there was any way out of this. He replied, “Not at all. I honestly don’t think so.” He continued, “I’m sticking it out, I’m not gonna run away to Canada. I’m gonna pay my fuckin’ taxes, I’m gonna vote, I’m gonna do all of that. But I’m not going to be taking it to the streets any time soon — well, we’ll see.”
We’ll see indeed. Read the whole interview here.