Mr. Iron Stomach: An Interview With Anthony Bourdain

On the world’s most underrated spot and more.  
Mr. Iron Stomach: An Interview With Anthony Bourdain 2
“I’ve had dinner under a bouquet of human skulls. I guess that was pretty strange,” says uncensored culinary traveler Anthony Bourdain. Photo: Isaac Brekken/Stringer/WireImage /Getty Images

Television host, author, and former executive chef, Anthony Bourdain has licked his plate clean all over the world, from soup dumplings in Shanghai to piranhas in Peru. The New York City native’s CNN show, Parts Unknown, headed to locales such as South Korea, Madagascar, and Scotland during its fifth season in 2015. The late chef was busy in his hometown, too, where he had planned to open an Asian-style hawker market in Manhattan in early 2016.

Which city has it all? 
Tokyo. I mean, if I had to die mid-meal anywhere, it would be Tokyo. If you were to ask most chefs if they had to have house arrest for the rest of their life in one city and eat all of their meals there, just about everyone I know would pick Tokyo.

Tokyo Dishes Japan

Even the most humble of Tokyo eateries dishes out super fresh, visually pleasing plates. It’s easy to eat ten meals a day in this city. Photo: Koji Hanabuchi/Cultura/Corbis/Imagelibrary

What’s the world’s most underrated spot? 
Montevideo in Uruguay, which is to a great extent, undiscovered. Everyone from Argentina knows how cool it is because they fill the place up during the season, but other than them, the rest of the world has yet to catch on. It’s a very laid-back place, the people are really nice, the beaches are incredible, and there’s great food. Tough country for vegetarians, though.

Montevideo Barbecue Port Market Uruguay

In Montevideo, Uruguay’s famous Port Market, barbecued meat is king. Photo: Kobby Dagan/VWPics/Age Fotostock/Dinodia

Did travelling for work change the way you travel for vacation?
Yes, very much. I tend to stay put for vacation. If my family’s taking a lengthy trip, it’s on a Long Island beach, and I’m driving there and I’m not moving. I’m letting my seven-year-old daughter make all of the major decisions about what we’re doing. You know, are we going to the beach today or not? Are we having hamburgers or hot dogs? I’m as close to a vegetable as I could be.

Appeared in the November 2015 issue as “Mr. Iron Stomach”.

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