TV icon Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin displayed facets of their friendship and the culinary world during last night's Good vs. Evil tour at the Benedum Center. Among topics: Mr. Bourdain described in lurid detail the process of eating an Ortolan, the bird consumed whole as a French gustatory rite of passage. He quizzed Mr. Ripert as to whether he berates line cooks, Gordon Ramsay-style (Answer: no). And he told of Mr. Ripert losing his temper while dining out when a patron mistreated a server.
Mr. Ripert's follow-up started with a questioning of Mr. Bourdain's kitchen skills. He responded, "At no point were my skills good enough to get a prep job at your restaurant." He prompted his telling of his strangest dining experiences. And he encouraged Mr. Bourdain to recall the debacle of his one and only appearance on Martha Stewart's show.
After two hours of storytelling, a "favorite chefs" confessional and a White Castle taste test, the night ended with a brief question and answer period.
Before the show, the Post-Gazette interviewed Mr. Bourdain in his dressing room, where he ruminated on dining out in smaller cities, the trouble with authenticity, and his new show on CNN, "Parts Unknown."
For more on Melissa McCart's interview with Anthony Bourdain, visit PG Plate.
Melissa McCart: 412-263-1198 or on Twitter: @melissamccart.