Those of you who love TV food shows will no doubt recognize the man on the left in this photograph. It’s Anthony Bourdain, chef and author of such marvelous books as KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL and A COOK’S TOUR. I’ve long been a devotee of his books and his TV show, “No Reservations.” In fact, I love watching all TV chefs, from Gordon Ramsay (“Kitchen Nightmares” is spectacular) to Andrew Zimmern to Rachael Ray. I myself grew up in a restauranteur family. My father was a seafood chef and both my sons have worked in restaurant kitchens. Like just about everyone else who loves food and loves to cook, I too have wondered what it would be like to start up a restaurant. I know just how grueling the work is, so I’d never dream of actually doing it.
Instead, I watch TV food shows. I’m addicted to them.
When I heard whispers that Anthony Bourdain was coming to Maine to film an episode of his show at Primo, one of my favorite local restaurants, I booked a table for that night. Wonder of wonders, my table happened to have a direct view of the actual filming! Although I’m pretty shy about approaching celebrities, I had brought my hardcover copy of A COOK’S TOUR, just in case there’d be a chance to get it autographed.
It felt so intrusive, I almost didn’t do it. But during a lull in the shooting, the dad of one of the restaurant’s owners hustled me over to Bourdain’s table to get my book signed. And yep, that’s me in the photo, with my new cherry-streaked hair, feeling tongue-tied in the presence of one of my idols.
It happens to all of us.