During a recent interview with Esquire, author and global gastronome Anthony Bourdain discussed food, family, and the Commander in Chief while lamenting the growing trend of parents raising pint-sized bon vivants. Bourdain is promoting his new cookbook, Appetites, and also shedding light on his top-secret, $6 meal with President Obama at a humble Vietnamese bún chả restaurant. “No one knew he was coming. … It was a closely held secret at the White House,” he said of the covert lunch date, the full segment of which will appear on Bourdain’s Peabody Award-winning series Parts Unknown. The chef also mentioned Obama’s proficiency with chopsticks, his appreciation for his beer, and his concern for the film crew’s empty stomachs.
Despite Bourdain’s reputation as a culinary elitist, he’s very quick to dismiss such behavior in children. “The last thing you should ever try to do is to make your child a foodie. Nothing could be more annoying or futile,” he warned, perhaps speaking from experience; earlier in the interview he praises his daughter’s knife skills. “She is very good, very determined. She likes to make sure that her dice is exactly right.” Bourdain never discloses whether his daughter is a dreaded juvenile foodie or exhibits any “annoying” characteristics. Of course, the “mortal terror” he experiences every time he watches her wield a “big, razor-sharp chef’s knife” is probably worse than any pretension she could unleash.