We're two sisters who are craft book publishers and found ourselves in the midst of an avocado grove. We bought this house where we planned to conduct our publishing business and in the deal got 4 acres of avocado trees thrown in. Now we're not only publishers but ranchers as well! This blog is all about avocados and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Anthony Bourdain in Escondido!!

Yes, Anthony Bourdain spoke (entertained) in Escondido Saturday night at the California Center for the Arts. It was a sold out crowd, which really surprised me. I still can't believe there are that many foodies in this part of the world. Just goes to show.

We thoroughly enjoyed his talk. He's a very entertaining guy. The audience loved him - even shouted out questions and comments during his talk - they just couldn't wait for the Q & A at the end.

He started out talking or should I say bashing the Food Network and some of its stars - most notably Sandra Lee and Paula Deen.

He talked about Emeril's bad treatment from the network and thinks that the Food Network is trying to economize by hiring cooks instead of chefs which is probably true. He thinks Bobby Flay may be the next to go and lambasted his "Throwdown" show as if it had been thrust down Bobby Flay's throat to humiliate and degrade him, which also may be true. I wonder. He had kind words for Ina Garten, Giada, Alton Brown and Mario Batale.

Then he talked about his TV show and his travels which was also entertaining. He spoke a lot about the "ugly American" syndrome and advised how to travel. First of all, don't wear one of these pins!
You'll only be asking for trouble.

Don't go on a tour. If you're on a tour - run. Find a dark alley and find a restaurant where the "real" locals eat and go there even if it looks scary. Don't ask your concierge where the locals eat. They won't tell you. He thinks eating at the hotel buffet is more dangerous than stopping by a little street stand because the locals who cook at the hotel don't have their heart into cooking what the "Americans" would like. But the street stand person has put his whole heart and history into his cooking.

 should you eat here?

or here?

He also advised that tourists should dress appropriately to the area they're visiting, to do their research before going to see what local customs are, to respect the culture, etc. etc. These are things we all know, but we still see and hear lots of "ugly Americans" everywhere we go. Don't they read?

I shouldn't say "they" because I've been known to fall into the "ugly American" category from time to time. I've eaten at McDonalds in Hong Kong and gone to a Starbucks in Madrid. Yes, I'm guilty, I confess. But I've also eaten street food in Peru and China and Guatemala so I'm not all bad, am I?

Anyway, it was a great evening and worth every penny of the expensive tickets - $45.00 for the cheap seats! If you paid $95.00 you could meet and greet Anthony himself. But that was a little much. I enjoyed seeing him from our lofty balcony seats.


  1. My husband LOVES his show. A few wks ago I sat through 3 in a row. That was more than I could take. His take on the food and preparation in other countries is always fascinating. Sometimes, tho', I can't stomach it. The raw whale or seal blubber...ugh. Eyeballs? double ugh.

    Funny as heck to hear him bash Food Network. I used to watch it avidly but it became too niche. I loathe Paula Deen! She is so full of bull shit. Her southern drawl is SOOO put on. I lived in Viriginia and traveled to North & South Carolina on business and I know a put on when I hear it. Southerners love to amuse themselves doing that. Sandra Lee is another weird cook. Who wants to learn how to cook out of the can? I learned that by myself. Jeez.

    Very cool and entertaining post. What a fun night.

  2. Hi California Girl,
    Glad you enjoyed the post. It was a really fun evening.
    Yes, I also don't like Paula Deen. How about using her husband and sons for everything. This always really irritates me.
    And Sandra Lee really annoys me, too. Especially her over-the-top tablescapes. And her "you're going to just love it". Ugh.

  3. P.S.
    For some reason Barbara's photo got on my blog. And it should say "Nancy said". We both have blogs and we can't seem to separate out our photos, etc. Such a problem.

  4. Isn't there supposed to be a room temperature boar head on the counter of that local food stand? Great report. He didn't mention avocados did he? His handlers should have told him he was going to be next door to avocado capital of the world.

  5. yes, I was really surprised and also disappointed that he didn't mention avocados. It's so hard sometimes to fit a post into my blog that's not about avocados.