Ok, so this Tony is also famous, loves to use taboo language and has impacted thousands of people lives... but I can't say that him impact is always so positive.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE this guy. I want him to be my (cranky) Uncle Tony who shows up on holidays, drinks too much, and regales us with stories of chaos and crudity in the kitchens of New York City at the dinner table. Le sigh.
As you may have guessed, this Tony would be none other any Anthony Bourdain. The man who has done every drug, gone to every place, eaten everything known to man and somehow survived. I don't get it... I eat the wrong kind of grain or have one too many glasses of wine (that would be 3 glasses in total) and I want to die for a week straight, he eats bacteria infested food and drinks 72 cocktails all in ONE night and lives to tell the tale. Seriously, the guy acts this is no big thing, a casual Tuesday in fact.
For those of you who don't know, Anthony Bourdain is the chef turned author, turned tv host, turned social activist food explorer.
Kitchen Confidential was published in the year 2000 and exploded. People took it as an exposé, a tell all, revealing the deepest, darkest, dirtiest secrets of kitchen life. The language of the kitchen the decorum (or lack there of), the health and safety violations... not to mention the copious amounts of drug use. Kitchen life begins to look like bootcamp come Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. This may lead you to believe I didn't like the book, quite the opposite in fact. Anthony is a brilliant writer. His tone is easy to read, and, if you have watched any of his tv shows you hear his voice narrating every word on every page. It is intense sure, it is crass, of course, but it is also incredibly beautiful and well worth the read.
Anthony, Tony, Monsieur Bourdain, Chef, etc. was a humble dishwasher in the very beginning, moving up through the ranks of the kitchen, eventually becoming the head Chef at Las Halles in New York. He cooked of course and he was, I assume, a brilliant chef (I have never had the pleasure of eating a meal by has hand, but a girl can dream), but in his time away from the kitchen he began to write. He was published and then his career took a turn to TV with his first run of episodes for A Cooks Tour. He followed this series up with a several year run on No Reservations. He then hosted The Lay Over for the Travel Channel, and now he is the host of my personal favorite Parts Unknown on CNN.
Parts Unknown is brilliant. The show marries travel, food, history, politics, and what it means to live together in an eloquent fashion... ok a mostly eloquent fashion. There is copious drinking at times, foul language (of course), and the occasional animal 'sacrifice' (that is the pc way of saying several animals meet their maker on this show... but that is a part of life and culture and to say otherwise would be to place rose colored glasses on the process which most of us choose to ignore- death is a part of life after all). There is a sense of longing to this show, a desire to find what it means to be a human living in this f*&^ed up world. Anthony asks his hosts questions about their culture, their history, their politics and faith, and he isn't afraid to challenge or antagonize them, which blows my mind. However, his probing often exposes the beautiful, vibrant, determined power of the human spirit, which is rather unexpected in a show such as this.
Food is more than food. It is culture. It is nourishment. It is life. And to say otherwise is to deny your humanity.
At this point you may be wondering how on earth Anthony Bourdain and Tony Robbins are alike... The fact is they aren't... but they are.
They both have struggled and channeled that struggle into a better life.
They both have inspired people to get out of bad circumstances and pursue better lives for themselves.
They both connect to something raw and human inside of us.
They are, I'm assuming, around the same age.
They both curse more than a sailor on leave!
Both have obsessive and addictive personalities- Tony Robbins is addicted to the feeling of helping others. Anthony is addicted to chasing feeling itself.
And they both have impacted the people of this planet (for better or for worse).
Where they differ, in my mind, is in how they channel their energies. Anthony has used the tiger like spirit inside of his being to fight his way through life (figuratively and literally, he is trained in Brazilian jiu jitsu). Tony, on the other hand, is a gentle giant, a lion who channels his roar into motivating others. It is a question of motivation- for self or for others.
I could go on and on about these too men. Their power and presence, their talents and troubles... but I will spare you the diatribe (for now). I mean, I would be pretty content to watch Parts Unknown and Tony Robbins talks on repeat for the rest of my life... with some Gilmore Girls or something mixed in for fun (lets be honest, thats a whole lot of Tony for one girl to handle).
Incase you were wondering, Drew will probably look like (a more handsome) Anthony Bourdain when he gets older (sorry Tony, but you did lots of drugs back in the day and my husband hasn't so he will have better skin in the end) and he (Drew) has recently fallen in love with Tony Robbins and all his positive energy via podcasts and, as we talked about yesterday, his Netflix Documentary.
What about you? Are you a Tony fan? If so which one? Both? Neither? Do share with the class in the comments below.