Heartfelt Encounter: Rendezvous with Mr. Anthony Bourdain!

Primarily, I publish recipes and restaurant reviews.  But when you meet a food rock star, you are left with an elated sense that ought to be shared with food lovers alike.

I couldn’t contain myself…Oh My God, I am going to meet “the” Anthony Bourdain?  But wait a minute he is ONLY a culinary celebrity, so you ask, what is the big deal?

This is why—

When the tickets for the meet and greet went on sale, I was in New Delhi due to unforeseeable, and extenuating circumstances.  Imagine my disappointment when I returned home to discover that all VIP tickets were sold out.  Which meant that I had just lost my one chance to meet this man in person?

If you get to know me, you will quickly find out that the one quality I strive for is perseverance.  Long behold, I went on a crusade to get access.  All the right ingredients fell into place for the perfect recipe.    I received an unexpected phone call in the middle of the day from the organizers in Chicago inquiring if I was still interested in the Guts and Glory show.  What is one to do when fate knocks at your door?  Answer it of course!  I put forward one condition:  I would go but I needed VIP tickets to meet Anthony Bourdain.

My daughter begged me to go, this little darling of mine had religiously watched all seasons, including re-runs with me.  She certainly deserved to go but common sense prevailed suspecting that the show might be for adult eyes rather ears only. So, she settled for me getting something autographed for her.

I was doing the math: 200 people, 30 seconds per person to autograph or take a picture. It seemed unrealistic to expect Mr. Bourdain to stay up till the wee hours of the morning, just to chat with his fans? My logical brain understood that holding a conversation with him would be nearly impossible.  But my heart wondered how could I engage in a food conversation with a man who has probably heard everything.

I began to list the similarities in my head:

We both have strong opinions about food, unforgiving ones at times.  Our tastes are similar.  But this is not extraordinary!  What could I offer to get his attention so that we could engage in food banter and how could I get him to my dinner table and have an incredible opportunity to cook for him?

These questions burned restlessness in me and I had some sleepless nights over the anticipation of meeting a food god!

My dreams never became a reality. All I had was a mere 5 seconds to take a picture and keep walking….bittersweet, though it was.  The night ended on mixed notes, on the one hand I had been in the presence of a brilliant and suave Mr Bourdain in all his glory and on the other hand feeling robbed of an opportunity to have a “real” meeting with him.  Saving grace was that we managed to procure an autograph for our daughter.

Mr. Bourdain was brilliant, wickedly funny, just as I had imagined and more. He even sported genuine humility, a rare virtue in today’s star-struck world.

I quickly turned to optimism, he made it at the age of 44, then there was a bright hope for me yet.  I have yet to reach that milestone decade!

There is still hope as the gods of food are smiling down me….and perhaps one day my wish will come true.  I will get to Cook for Mr. Bourdain….until then, I shall religiously continue watching his shows and try to appease myself.  For, I am an Indian girl who has the soul of a Mexican grandmother, heart of an Italian mother, and aspirations of a French chef.  And, food is my foremost and perhaps the only passion.



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