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?
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.