Anthony Bourdain & Mario Batali

I met Anthony Bourdain at a party following his sold-out engagement at the Moore last year. We exchanged a few words, and then he returned to chugging the first of several Heinekens he’d consume that night. It wasn’t surprising behavior from the tall, sardonic host of the Travel Channel’s No Reservations and author of The Nasty Bits, whose persona is a far cry from that of his chirpy celebrity chef peers. Bourdain regularly drinks, smokes, and swears through his international culinary expeditions. And he has no qualms pissing people off with derogatory comments on subjects like Rachel Ray (“a fucking rhinoceros”) and vegetarianism (“rude and crippling”). The outspoken New Yorker is certain to stir up more controversy when he discusses the restaurant industry and cooking this evening. He appears with Mario Batali, his friend and fellow TV chef, who’ll be palling around with Gwyneth Paltrow on the forthcoming PBS series A Culinary Road Trip to Spain. For reasons I can’t understand, they’ll be interviewed on stage by local journalist Luke Burbank, instead of by me. Anthony—don’t tell me you lost my number! ERIKA HOBART

Sat., May 30, 8 p.m., 2009

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