Monday, February 20, 2012

 Good vs Evil:
An evening with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert

Last Thursday evening the Foodie Girls
went to see Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert
in the show Good vs Evil at the IU Auditorium.

Eric Ripert was the Good
while Anthony Bourdain was the Evil,
and played the part of the Devil's advocate
with relish.

These two unlikely friends opened the show by taking turns
grilling each other, 
asking pointed and often embarrassing questions.
The answers were honest and often just as embarrassing.

Just so you know, this was not a child-friendly venue.
Anthony can out-swear a sailor
and you will find out that truffle oil is better used
as a personal lubricant than a cooking oil.
And now we all know - whether we wanted to or not.


After that,
the two gentlemen visibly relaxed, took more comfortable seats,
popped open beers,
and began discussing all things food.

They finally closed the show out with a Question and Answer
segment; taking questions from the audience.

It was obvious that both chefs were enjoying themselves.
It was also quite obvious that the audience had fun listening to 
the two men chat, pontificate, and sometimes rant.

What did we learn?

Eric Ripert dislikes rude chefs and
believes that a professional kitchen can be run well
without the executive chef screaming and swearing
at the help.
He even asked that the house lights be raised so that
he could ask for a show of hands from the audience:
"How many of you like to go into work and be
screamed at and bullied by your boss?"
Point taken.

The Grand Tasting Menu with wine
Eric Ripert's four star restaurant in New York City,
will set you back $325 per person.
Eric believes strongly in being responsible stewards 
of our planet as we are merely visitors here.

Anthony posed a hypothetical question for Eric:
suppose there is one Blue Fin tuna left on Earth
and the Japanese have killed it.
Not only is it the last Blue Fin tuna,
but it is the very best Blue Fin tuna.
Would you eat some of it?
Eric adamantly said no,
he would not and could not.
Anthony said F**k that,
he's eating that fish.
I have to say that I agree with Anthony on this.
The fish is already dead at this point.
I would hope that a few cells had been saved so
the fish could be cloned, though.

Chef Ripert would never have hired Anthony Bourdain
as a chef at his restaurant.
Anthony laughed and agreed that he was never 
a good enough chef to work at Le Bernardin.

Anthony bristles when asked if he is qualified
to be a judge on Top Chef,
given that he isn't good enough to compete on the show.
His counter is that after spending the last
several years eating his way around the world,
he knows if a "risotto is (expletive deleted) good or not."

Anthony Bourdain spends about 250 days a year
on the road and adores his young daughter and wife.

Anthony firmly believes that as a guest,
you should always eat what you are given and
be thankful for the food and gracious to your host.

Anthony also believes that we should eat more
organically grown foods.

Anthony is hopping mad about the hypocrisy of
Paula Deen pushing her unhealthy take
on Southern food, while hiding the fact that 
she had Type II diabetes until she sealed
a deal with a drug maker to hawk a 
diabetes medicine.

He is very concerned about the rising rate 
of obesity in America.

During the Q & A segment,
the chefs were asked whether one should
go to culinary school first or just start working 
in a restaurant if one wants to become a chef.

Eric answered that one should not believe
that one is a chef after coming out of 
culinary school.  
One still needs the experience of the kitchen.

Anthony replied that before going to culinary school,
spend a year in the kitchen so you can be sure
that being a chef is what you really want to do
before you spend the money for school.
Also, one should be in good physical condition.

And both agreed that one shouldn't expect 
to become rich and famous if one becomes a chef.

When asked what is American Cuisine,
Eric said that it is fusion cooking, 
a mixture of all the foods from all the other countries.
Anthony answered that it is what we are 
cooking now.
It isn't what our great-grandparents
or even our grandparents made.

All in all,
it was an evening filled with laughter
as well as insights into the world of food
and the minds of these two very different men.

The Foodie Daughter and I also had purchased
VIP tickets to the after-show backstage party.

Hors d-oeuvres were provided by 

A cash bar was set up for those who wished to drink.

Books by the chefs were available for sale 
and the gentlemen were seated at a table,
ready to sign autographs.

The Foodie Daughter had a tiramisu ice cream
and I tried some meats and cheeses 
from a charcuterie board.  
The meats were from Smoking Goose,
a meat shop in Indianapolis.

I then purchased the book
Avec Eric, by Eric Ripert
and the book Medium Raw,
by Anthony Bourdain.

The Foodie Daughter very nicely stood in the autograph line
for me while I waited in the food line for Restaurant Tallent.

I decided to be brave and try my first raw oyster.

It was good and I would do it again!

I didn't take any pictures of the food as the lighting was so poor
and it was very crowded.

I joined my daughter in line and we chatted while we waited.

And there they are.

Look, we're on stage!

Finally we got to meet Anthony and Eric.
They both were gorgeous and gracious.
I got both books signed 
and the Foodie Daughter got her program autographed.

We then got our picture taken with the two men.
I have to admit that I don't remember much after
shaking hands with Anthony Bourdain.
I think I also shook hands with Eric Ripert?
I do recall telling both men that they just had
to come back to B-town and try out the restaurant scene
some time.
Le sigh.
It was a wonderful evening and I had so much fun.

The Light Totem stands outside
the Indiana University Art Museum.

Another light column inside the atrium.

The art museum was designed by 
world-renowned architect, I. M. Pei.

The Light Totem reflects colored lights
 against the facade of the Art Museum.

Many thanks to my dear husband for paying for the evening
and to the Foodie Daughter for putting up with me.
I was, as she put it, "like a child in a candy store."
I think she was ready to ground me.


Steve Finnell said...

you are invited to follow my blog

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Mar, you and Kelley are beautiful! I'm so happy you got this opportunity.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Love the photographs at the end. Beautiful colors.

Marilyn said...

Thank you, dear.

IU campus, B-town and Monroe County are beautiful places to be and to visit.

Kathy said...

How awesome was that?!