Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Tonight, Genevieve and I headed out on our second visit to the New York Public Library (main). This time, for a talk by Bill Buford, who's written a new book on working in Mario Batali's kitchen (he's actually a writer, not a chef, so it's similar to what Michael Ruhlman did with his books). He was joined by Mario Batali and Anthony Bourdain (since you can't have a event about the "real world" of restaurant kitchens without him involved) ;)

We got there early, so our seats were very good, just 5 rows back from the stage. Most of the first 4 rows were taken by reserved seating (i.e. old rich people who smelled like scratch n' sniff at Bergdorf Goodman).

It started with a set of questions about the book and Mr. Buford's experiences working at Babo, MC'ed by Bourdain and then moved into the (more entertaining) Q&A from the audience. The last one of these we'd been to was a cringe-fest, with most people asking incredibly awkward or geeky questions. This time, other than someone basically asking Batali why he was so fat, they were quite good. Bourdain, of course, was the most entertaining of the three, with his Lou Reed-as-Chef persona, often poking fun at his own stardom and the culture of the celebrity chef. (Even bringing up the, in his words "evil devil", Rachael Ray. Who he encouraged to, in her "$40 a Day Show" his words "TIP, BITCH!")

The talk was ended by Mr. Bourdain announcing that "we have time for one more question, 'cause I really want a cigarette."