Food Conversations: I’m hungry for more

By Deb Osa

Dave and I, already fans of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations food and travel adventure series on the Travel network, enjoyed an evening with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert at Clowes Hall in Indianapolis last night.

Bourdain/Ripert

At the sold-out event, salty, potty-mouth Tony kept his trademark snarkiness on simmer unless he was talking about Alice Waters or certain quick service restaurants.  Tony’s food politics tended toward the moderate.  I found myself agreeing with him throughout the evening.  He told the audience that home ec should be mandatory for everyone.  “You learn to walk, to talk, to go to the bathroom:  you should learn to feed yourself.”  He also said that while ‘it may be a good thing to use more organic and locally produced food, he gets it that organic is not affordable for many people and locally produced food isn’t going to be practical for most.  He said ‘farming is hard work!’  He finds it unrealistic to think that many people will return to farming to produce their own food.  Tony also stated that we shouldn’t be spending money to put organic food on school menus—the focus should be on teaching kids to read.

The audience had many questions for the pair.  One young girl (yes someone brought their child to the show) asked the chefs to share their childhood dreams about what they wanted to be when they grew up.  Chef Riperts’ revelation that he wanted to be a park ranger or a chef but the park ranger school was too difficult for him so he became a chef was met with roars of appreciative laughter from the crowd.

Thanks to Indiana Humanities Council for bringing these two superstars of food to Indianapolis to join in the conversation.  Good food for thought.