Anthony Bourdain is never short on valuable insight. Watching an episode of his show or reading one of his books is like medicine in applesauce. We hear powerful insights while being entertained. The world-traveling, surprisingly human, modern day Hemingway — who speaks out against injustices of gastronomy and varying levels of douchery — recently sat down with the leader of the free world for an upcoming episode of his show Parts Unknown. Luckily, we don’t have to wait until it airs to hear what those two discussed over that $6 meal of Bun Cha.
The reaction among regular people in Hanoi to the fact that the US President chose to eat Bun Cha was beyond all imagining. The effect was unbelievable.People were actually crying the next day, describing to me their shock and their pride, the reactions of their neighbors, to this completely unexpected choice of meal—and the venue.
He was among the very few guests on my show who ever asked the camera crew if they got to eat too. And he made a point of taking a picture with all of them when we were done.
Amongst other things Bourdain also noted the president’s chopstick skills, knowledge of Asian culture, and wistfulness for Indonesia. At the end of the post, he mentioned how much Obama seemed to enjoy his beer. Which is a very sound reminder that, medicine in applesauce aside, these guys are hard working, passionate individuals who just want to travel and relax a little.