Been watching Bourdain on No Reservations and being impressed by his sardonic humour and lanky lofty languid way and rather enjoying the experience and flavour he brings to food shows, rather like a nicely aged, woody, oaky, slightly acidic but always rich red wine.
Watching Bourdain smoke after a meal of animal blood, beak, organ and bone is rather like finding a comrade against those pesky do-gooders who insist on healthy living. SInce I am one, I might as well admit now to my rather schizoid take on healthy living. I'm torn between a kind of puritan desire to be completely healthy and smoke, cholesterol and fat free, and the belief that worrying about living well will cause enough stress to reverse the effects of healthy practise, so I might as well throw caution to the wind and enjoy life! So most of the time I see Bourdain and wish I could be sharing a fag with him while devouring lots of fatty comfort foods.
However, the reality of what Bourdain is doing to himself does occur to me, and I wonder how long it will be before gout and high blood pressure force him to turn to dried beans and tofu for lunch. He detests vegetarians, but I reckon they'll be flipping the bird at him once he succumbs to some kind of meat-related health complication (not that I wish that upon him).
Anyway, the romance of his programme and the quality of his persona have had me enjoying a rather dreamy view of the pros of eating like a bit of a pig. But today I watched A Cook's Tour, an early one, in Vietnam, where he went to eat a beating snake heart raw.
Now, it's not so much what he was doing which kind of niggled at me, but rather the Bourdain from the Beginning who seemed so much more like a rather tart, filling-zinging, metallic white wine way back then. He was so full of strut that I had to turn my head away to avoid getting poked in the eye with it.
It was interesting to see how the cocky, brittle young(ish) man has developed into the roast he is now (still crispy on the outside but, dare I say it, tender on the inside) I know, I know, don't puke till later.
IT's the same with Jamie Oliver. Now that he's developed a few frown lines he looks so much better than when he was lisping over the stove as a pimply babyface. Also, the trials of School Dinners have brought about a maturity that's great to watch, and now that he's grounded by that experience, seeing him experience Italy with abandon is great.
What is it with me and cooking men? Aside from the fact that I love watching anyone cook who's good at it, I don't know. Maybe I'm not really keeping things in perspective. After all, I like most of the male leads in all the CSIs. I also loved the three leads in the original Star Trek. So maybe it's just men in general who host or lead shows. It ain't about eye candy, that's for sure.
I think it's the passion and love for their work which appeals most. Faces furrowed by complete absorption in what they are doing.
Anyway, I won't be watching Bourdain of '92 again if I can help it. No Reservations for me, please.