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A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines by Anthony Bourdain
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A Cook's Tour Quotes Showing 1-30 of 34
“They're professionals at this in Russia, so no matter how many Jell-O shots or Jager shooters you might have downed at college mixers, no matter how good a drinker you might think you are, don't forget that the Russians - any Russian - can drink you under the table.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“The journey is part of the experience - an expression of the seriousness of one's intent. One doesn't take the A train to Mecca.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“I wanted adventures. I wanted to go up the Nung river to the heart of darkness in Cambodia. I wanted to ride out into a desert on camelback, sand and dunes in every direction, eat whole roasted lamb with my fingers. I wanted to kick snow off my boots in a Mafiya nightclub in Russia. I wanted to play with automatic weapons in Phnom Penh, recapture the past in a small oyster village in France, step into a seedy neon-lit pulqueria in rural Mexico. I wanted to run roadblocks in the middle of the night, blowing past angry militia with a handful of hurled Marlboro packs, experience fear, excitement, wonder. I wanted kicks – the kind of melodramatic thrills and chills I’d yearned for since childhood, the kind of adventure I’d found as a little boy in the pages of my Tintin comic books. I wanted to see the world – and I wanted the world to be just like the movies”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“ Once you’ve been to Cambodia, you’ll never stop wanting to beat Henry Kissinger to death with your bare hands. You will never again be able to open a newspaper and read about that treacherous, prevaricating, murderous scumbag sitting down for a nice chat with Charlie Rose or attending some black-tie affair for a new glossy magazine without choking. Witness what Henry did in Cambodia – the fruits of his genius for statesmanship – and you will never understand why he’s not sitting in the dock at The Hague next to Milošević.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one's life. I mean, lets face it:when you're eating simple barbecue under a palm tree, and you feel sand between your toes, samba music is playing softly in the backgroud, waves are lapping at the shore a few yards off, a gentle breeze is cooling the sweat on the back of your neck at the hairline, and looking across the table, past the column of empty Red Stripes at the dreamy expression on your companion's face, you realize that in half an hour you're proably going to be having sex on clean white hotel sheets, that grilled chicken leg suddenly tastes a hell of a lot better”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“I am in no way supportive of hunting for trophies or sport - would never do it and don't like it that others do. But if you kill it, then eat it, it's fine.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“Only desperation can account for what the Chinese do in the name of 'medicine.' That's something you might remind your New Age friends who've gone gaga over 'holistic medicine' and 'alternative Chinese cures.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“if you look someone in the eye and call them a ‘fat, worthless, syphilitic puddle of badger crap’ it doesn’t mean you don’t like them. It can be – and often is – a term of endearment.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“I wanted kicks – the kind of melodramatic thrills and chills I’d yearned for since childhood, the kind of adventure I’d found as a little boy in the pages of my Tintin comic books.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“There is no halfway. You don’t, it turns out, sell out a little bit. Maybe you thought you were just going to show a little ankle – okay, maybe a little calf, too – but in the end, you’re taking on the whole front line of the Pittsburgh Steelers on a dirty shag carpet.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“These are the end products of the Masterminds of Safety and Ethics, bulked up on cheese that contains no cheese, chips fried in oil that isn’t really oil, overcooked gray disks of what might once upon a time have been meat, a steady diet of Ho-Hos and muffins, butterless popcorn, sugarless soda, flavorless light beer. A docile, uncomprehending herd, led slowly to a dumb, lingering, and joyless slaughter.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“ Portugal was the beginning, where I began to notice the things that were missing from the average American dining experience. The large groups of people who ate together. The family element. The seemingly casual cruelty that comes with living close to your food. The fierce resistance to change – if change comes at the expense of traditionally valued dishes. I’d see this again and again, in other countries far from Portugal.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“One in eight Cambodians – as many as 2 million people – were killed during the Khmer Rouge’s campaign to eradicate their country’s history. One out of every 250 Cambodians is missing a limb, crippled by one of the thousands and thousands of land mines still waiting to be stepped on in the country’s roads, fields, forests, and irrigation ditches. Destabilized, bombed, invaded, forced into slave labor, murdered by the thousands, the Cambodians must have been relieved when the Vietnamese, Cambodia’s historical archenemy, invaded.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“The whole concept of 'the perfect meal' is ludicrous.

I knew already that the best meal in the world, the perfect meal, is very rarely the most sophisticated or expensive one....Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one's life.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“Portugal was the beginning, where I began to notice the things that were missing from the average American dining experience. The large groups of people who ate together. The family element. The seemingly casual cruelty that comes with living close to your food. The fierce resistance to change - if change comes at the expense of traditionally valued dishes. I'd see this again and again, in other countries far from Portugal.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“A sampler of England's hottest 'chefs' would include a mostly hairless young blond lad named Jamie Oliver, who is referred to as the Naked Chef. As best as I can comprehend, he's a really rich guy who pretends he scoots around on a Vespa, hangs out in some East End cold-water flat, and cooks green curry for his 'mates'. He's a TV chef, so few actually eat his food. I've never seen him naked. I believe the 'Naked' refers to his 'simple, straightforward, unadorned' food; though I gather that a great number of matronly housewives would like to believe otherwise. Every time I watch his show, I want to go back in time and bully him at school.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“When I finally leave the market, the streets are dark, and I pass a few blocks where not a single electric light appears – only dark open storefronts and coms (fast-food eateries), broom closet-sized restaurants serving fish, meat, and rice for under a dollar, flickering candles barely revealing the silhouettes of seated figures. The tide of cyclists, motorbikes, and scooters has increased to an uninterrupted flow, a river that, given the slightest opportunity, diverts through automobile traffic, stopping it cold, spreads into tributaries that spill out over sidewalks, across lots, through filling stations. They pour through narrow openings in front of cars: young men, their girlfriends hanging on the back; families of four: mom, dad, baby, and grandma, all on a fragile, wobbly, underpowered motorbike; three people, the day’s shopping piled on a rear fender; women carrying bouquets of flapping chickens, gathered by their feet while youngest son drives and baby rests on the handlebars; motorbikes carrying furniture, spare tires, wooden crates, lumber, cinder blocks, boxes of shoes. Nothing is too large to pile onto or strap to a bike. Lone men in ragged clothes stand or sit by the roadsides, selling petrol from small soda bottles, servicing punctures with little patch kits and old bicycle pumps.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“Tim and Andy stood there in head-to-toe leather motocross outfits, covered in road dust, behind me in a dark corner of the hotel’s dining room. Tim has penetrating pale blue eyes with tiny pupils, and the accent of an Englishman from the north – Newcastle, or Leeds maybe. Andy is an American with blond hair and the wholesome, well-fed good looks and accent of the Midwest. Behind them, two high-performance dirt bikes leaned on kickstands in the Hang Meas’ parking lot.      Tim owns a bar/restaurant in Siemreap. Andy is his chef. Go to the end of the world and apparently there will be an American chef there waiting for you.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“Just believe me when I tell you that the city is beautiful – and not in the oppressive way of, say, Florence, where you’re almost afraid to leave your room because you might break something.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“Shortcut.’ The word filled me with dread. When has a shortcut ever worked out as planned? The word – in a horror film at least – usually precedes disembowelment and death. A ‘shortcut’ almost never leads to good times.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“Hot, salty, crunchy, and portable, the previously awful-sounding collection of greasy delights can become a Garden of Eden of heart-clogging goodness when you’re in a drunken stupor, hungering for fried snacks. At that precise moment, nothing could taste better.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“I talk about these mysterious forces all the time with my chef cronies. Nothing illustrates them more than the Last Meal Game. You're getting into the electric chair tomorrow morning. They're gonna strap you down, turn up the juice and fry your ass until your eyes sizzle and pop like McNuggets. You've got one meal left. What are you having for dinner? When playing this game with chefs - and we're talking good chefs here- the answers are invariable simple ones.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“At the time of their deaths, three out of five Russian men, I am told, are found to have a blood-alcohol level exceeding what one needs to qualify for a DWI.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“Superbock beer?”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“His hands flew, twirled, an entire ballet with ten digits. It had taken him, he told me, three years, during his training and apprenticeship, just to be considered as having mastered rice alone. For three years in his first kitchen, it had been all he’d been allowed to touch.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“What is love? Love is eating twenty-four ounces of raw fish at four o’clock in the morning.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“I lurched away from the table after a few hours feeling like Elvis in Vegas - fat, drugged and completely out of it.

Portugal was the beginning, where I began to notice the things that were missing from the average American dining experience. The large groups of people who ate together. The family element. The seemingly casual cruelty that comes with living close to your food. The fierce resistance to change, if change comes at the expense of traditionally valued dishes.

If you're looking for hard-living, fun-loving folks, Spain is the place.

It was the Russia of my dreams and adolescent fantasies that I was looking for: dark, snowy, cold, a moody and romantic place of beauty, sadness, melancholy and absurdity.

No cuisine, broadly speaking, makes as much sense as the Japanese cuisine: the simplest, cleanest, freshest elements of gustatory pleasure, stripped down and refined to their most essential.

Over the centuries, the Japanese have given a lot of serious thought as to what, exactly, is needed and desirable in the taking of pleasure. The unnecessary, the extraneous, the redundant, the less than perfect - these are discarded. What is left is often an empty room, a futon, a single perfect flower.

Turkeys drown, sometimes, looking straight up into the rain, forgetting to close their mouths ( kind of like Bon Jovi fans ).

Cooking has crossed the line into magic.

"Perfect", like "happy", tends to sneak up on you. Once you find it, like Thomas Keller says, it's gone.

She's a cross between a Jewish mother and the head of the Genovese crime family, driven, relentless, smotheringly affectionate, dangerous, warm, complicated and attentive.

Glasgow has a working-class vibe and the familiar feel of parts of Brooklyn or the Bronx.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“When I was in Bulgarian paratroopers – we like this plane very much,’ he said. ‘Of course, we were all wearing parachutes.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“The Khmer Rouge is in the casino business now!’ Casinos? Run by the most vicious, hard-core Commie mass murderers in history? Well, why not check it out?”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines
“Suddenly and without warning, one of the men stepped around and, with the beast's nether regions regrettably all too apparent, plunged his bare hand up to the elbow in the pig's rectum, then removed it, holding a fistful of steaming pig shit - which he flung, unceremoniously, to the ground with a loud splat before repeating the process.”
Anthony Bourdain, A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines

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