Walnut Crusted Salmon and “Thank You” Letter to Anthony Bourdain

There are many chefs I admire and who have influenced me in pursuing a culinary career. And some have inspired me beyond the kitchen. The big two that I owe a big thank you is to Julia Child and Anthony Bourdain. I have already written somewhat of an ode to Julia, so today I continuing on day two of my week of thank you letters to Anthony Bourdain. Some girls love Robert Pattinson, some girls love Johnny Depp, but I’ll take Bourdain anytime.

Dear Tony (do you like being called that?),

I remember when we first met. You hosted some show on food network way back when it was Rachel Ray free (I think it was called “A Cook’s Tour”?) and it was love at first sight. Mainly, because this was the only show I had seen on food network where I heard I “bleep”.

But I really need to write a thank you letter for the ways you have inspired my career, my recovery, and my palette.

Being an aspiring yoga instructor, I have considered going meat free and conforming to the “yogi” stereoptype by becoming vegan or something noble of that nature. But instead of longing too feel all vegged up “cleaner,” but you Tony, make me want to feel dirty and imbibe goblets of wine and devour savory thinly sliced pork (which will make my Jewish herritage so proud).

I love that you show that recipes in the world originated from poor people trying to make bad food taste good in tough circumstances. Like when you said“Do you really think the first guy to eat a snail was a fucking gourmet?” And then you continued to say that the person was probably starving and said to himself “maybe if I put enough garlic butter on that…”.

I’m so very sorry I doubted you when your other books came out after “Kitchen Confidential”. “Kitchen Confidential” felt to me like a great first album where everything afterwards is just down hill. Boy have you proven me wrong with “Medium Raw”. I was so humbled by the rich quality of every sentence in your books. Conjuring imagery, offending multiple constituencies, and making you believe that whatever the topic of the moment may be, it really matters.  Your writing talents are impressive enough to be demoralizing.  Why even bother blogging? I may as well look for a new hobby.  Nonetheless, I really related to your inability to control your primal knee jerk reactions or to tame your inner skeptic.  And so that gives me hope… that after taking the lemons you’re given, and making lemonade like the cliche goes, people might actually drink it and like it, or dislike it, either way motivating you on to continue.

I appreciate you admitting your flaws. In many senses, I think its helped me to embrace my own. You own them, you don’t act like they aren’t there. And in many ways, I think that has actually softened your image over the years (don’t worry, I still think you are a bad-ass). And this may be a shock to you, but you helped me be a bully to my eating disorder. You inspired me in some ways to kick it’s ass a bit. Don’t worry that’s the most sappy I will get in this letter.

So thanks for being you and for grounding me a bit. Because like you said “We all wish we could play guitar. We got a lot of the drugs and alcohol that rock stars get… but you are flattering yourself if you think you are a rock star and your are a chef.”

Thanks, Tony. Its been fuckin delicious.


And here’s one of my favorite Tony clips

To make the walnut salmon you will need:

-1 salmon fillet

-2 tbs walnuts

-2 tbs dijon mustard

-about 3 tbs white wine vinegar

Simply smother the filet with the mustard and vinegar and coat with the walnuts and some salt. Bake in a pouch at 400 degrees for a out 20 min (depending on the thickness of the filet).

Has Bourdain pissed you off or helped you see the no bull light? Did some culinary genius inspire you in ways beyond cooking?

16 thoughts on “Walnut Crusted Salmon and “Thank You” Letter to Anthony Bourdain

  1. I actually think that he and Alton Brown can be huge jerks. But they are both brilliant. Tony did a special on Puerto Rico and I really feel that he didn’t do the island’s food justice at all. So I was a bit disappointed. Needless to say, he is not my favorite (and neither is Alton Brown). I have always been a fan of Carla from a few seasons back of Top Chef. I loved that she was vegetarian but had no qualms about tasting the meat in a dish she cooks. Now that is the marking of an awesome chef! Plus she is gorgeous!

  2. I fucking love Anthony Bourdain. Hands off him, you huss. Tony’s mine!

    That said, I don’t get why people think he’s “hot”. He’s not so gorgeous. I mean, the guy smokes and has terrible skin and he’s old now. But. He certainly has charms. The guy knows how to talk and write, too. I love that in a man. And I love man who is strong and unapologetic about his opinions, even if he pisses off strews of vegans and pompous foodtards (food retards who thinks they are the ultimate foodies). Tee hee. Oh, and a man who has eaten every kind of pork imaginable? Now, that’s sexy.

    Dude. We need to roast a pig some time.

    • I don’t find him “hot” but there is something about him… maybe its because he seems to have so much love for food. However, that being said, I’ve dated chefs and I dont see myself with one ever again. Their egos can get the best out of them. I do think Tony has let go of that “badassness” lately and I like it.

  3. I love the discussion here on how people think this men is hot. Let me tell you what is hot about him! I think it is super hot that he just goes to places, eats what their ‘special’ meals are and really really enjoys what he is doing. I think he really turns aroud the whole attitude of being super healthy, low fat, whole grain dilema that this wolrd is dealing with and brings food bacl to what is suppose to be. To feed us! And that happens in the way that he goes back to the roots of how some foods came into different cultures and apprechiates them being there no matter if the food swims in butter, that’s how it should be in that particular dish! And that is what I love! eating REAL foods!
    now that is seriosuly how about anthony

  4. IT’S A GOOSE, not a DUCK! With that said, I’m sure Anthony could make it taste delicious–either as a duck or a goose.

    I don’t watch his shows, but I obviously know who he is and have seen clips. I think we would bond, as his no bull-shit attitude is more attractive than any six-pack set of abs (OK, maybe not ANY set of abs, but it’s an asset.)

    Oddly enough, I’ve kind of been craving meat lately. It’s probably a good thing I’m on the other side of the country from you and Sophia. 😉

    • thats what I thought when I saw the clip but I wasn’t sure. My duck or goose knowledge is slim. I just like that he yelled at it. I suppose its kinder to yell at it than eat it.

  5. I have never heard of Anthony Bourdain… but then again, I’ve lived a sheltered life when it comes to the culinary profession. I am definitely part of the ‘Rachael Ray Generation’.

    The salmon looks awesome! I actually had salmon and squash last night, but without the mustard or walnuts 😛 I never said I was a chef!

  6. Tony has pulled me out of the lure of veganism many times. He reminds that that deep down I need a bloody steak and potatoes cooked in pork fat every once and a while.

    I had a chance to meet him at work the other day and he was a pretty cool, normal dude. I’d love to have dinner with him one day!

  7. Because of Anthony Bourdain, I searched for this hole in the wall noodle store while I was in Hong Kong a few years ago. He definitely inspired me to get off the beaten path and explore good food that was not in the typical touristy area of Hong Kong.

  8. I agree with most of the people commenting; there is definitely ‘something’ sexy about him! How he carries himself, his confidence (bordering on arrogance) etc.

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