When it comes to the culinary world, it seems like there are so many chefs that come and go from the public eye. The rise of reality television has allowed even more chefs to start to make a name for themselves with the public and, of course, everyone is constantly looking for the next big thing. From Emeril Lagasse to Andrew Zimmern, there have been numerous famous chefs and culinary personalities that have become known to the world. Yet, there seemed to be something quite special when it came to Anthony Bourdain. He had an extensive career in the food industry and often spoke about how difficult it was during those early years when he just needed to pound out the grind in the culinary world.
His reputation grew over the years but it was his personality that really seemed to bring on true success. He was featured on a number of different reality television shows, from No Reservations, and Parts Unknown, to The Taste. People loved that he was a flawed human being and he just had such an exuberance for life. Yet, everything they loved about him was also a huge reason why the news of his passing was so heartbreaking.
Although he may no longer be seen in new traveling adventures on television, fans can still take his advice on foods to try and foods to avoid. Check out our list of the 15 dishes Anthony Bourdain says to avoid at all costs and 10 that he recommends and ensure that his legacy is not forgotten.
25 Dislikes: Ranch Salad Dressing
In 2016, Anthony Bourdain gave an interview with First We Feast and he was asked to make a comment about a statement that Ben Adler made in an article for the Washington Post about ranch dressing. Adler wrote, "Ranch dressing is everything that's wrong with America." Bourdain's response to his statement was a bit conflicting since he claimed that he understood what Adler was referring to with the "ranchification of America."
However, he also claimed that he might enjoy it, "Probably all alone with no one watching".
The fact that he felt embarrassed of the possibility of even admitting that he would enjoy it isn't exactly a rave review.
24 Dislikes: Nashville Fried Chicken
In an episode of the CNN series, Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain visited Nashville and partook in some ultra-spicy fried chicken.
Yet, he didn't exactly give it a rave review since he took to Twitter in 2016 and stated, "I'm not complaining or anything but #Nashville Hot Chicken can be a three day commitment".
Bourdain also partook in a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" segment and stated, "... Unless you've got three or four days to spend in a bathroom, I really advise against it." These are some strong words from a man that is known for being quite adventurous when it comes to spicy foods.
23 Dislikes: Truffle Oil
There are some food trends that seem to come into the world and leave a lasting impression but that doesn't mean that it is something that is revered by all. In a 2016 interview with First We Feast, Anthony Bourdain gave an interview at The Roxy Hotel in Tribeca and couldn't help but make a comment about truffle oil.
Bad reviews for Truffle Oil!
He referred to it as, "It's not food, it has nothing to do with truffles. There's no truffles in it!" He even referred to it as "Industrial waste."
22 Dislikes: Chicken Caesar Salad
There are some staple meals that seem to be on practically every restaurant menu, whether it's a low-end diner or a high-end steak house. The classic Chicken Cesar Salad is often thought of as a favorite for millions of people around the world but it definitely wasn't a favorite for Anthony Bourdain.
In his cookbook, Appetites, Bourdain wrote, "God does not want you to put chicken on your Caesar".
He's made comments about the chicken being overcooked and in 2016 he stated, "Look, if you see a chicken Caesar on the menu, you know that somebody has made compromises. They didn't put that up there because they love chicken Caesar; they put that up there because they know it'll sell."
21 Dislikes: House-Made Ketchup
When it comes to the striking failure rate for new restaurants, it's not surprising that there are a number of different venues that have tried to elevate their menus by offering a house-made ketchup. In theory, this would seem like a really great way to showcase a truly unique dish.
Yet, Anthony Bourdain had a completely different perception of it.
During a 2016 interview, he stated, "You know, you have to find a house-made ketchup that's better than the platonic idea of ketchup. Which is the same cheap a** ketchup you always had."
20 Dislikes: Well-Done Steak
When it comes to people's preference in regards to how they prefer their steak to be cooked, it shouldn't come as a surprise that Anthony Bourdain had strong feelings about what it means to order it well-done.
It's a widespread belief that those that order their steaks well-done should expect a cut of meat that isn't of the best quality.
In an interview with Town and Country, Bourdain remarked on someone that would order a steak well-done and use ketchup as its condiment. He stated, "It hurts me. I think that's a window into his soul. Anyone who's that indifferent to food is problematic for me."
19 Dislikes: Breakfast Potatoes
When it comes to breakfast foods, it seems like the same standard dishes are constantly being thrown around for both morning and brunch meals. There are differing feelings about bacon being at every breakfast table and there is a distinct difference in preference between waffles and pancakes but it seems like the potato portion of the meal was the biggest thorn in the side of Anthony Bourdain. Whether they're referred to as home fries or hash browns or any other version of it, Bourdain gave a statement about them to Thrillist.
He stated, "I’m hardly an advocate for healthy living, but it seems to me a big pile of buttered toast is good, bacon is good, sausage is good, eggs is good. Do we really need the potatoes also? I’m not convinced that we do.”
18 Dislikes: Club Sandwich
There are some people that absolutely live for the classic club sandwich, whether it's just a simple take on it or a meatier twist. Yet, Anthony Bourdain seemed to have a real hatred for this standard diner dish.
In his cookbook, Appetites, Bourdain actually compared it to Al Qaeda and on his Crimes Against Food list.
He wrote, "You know who invented the middle slice? Enemies of freedom. Their mission? Sap our will to live by ruining our sandwich experiences through ‘tectonic slide.'” Anyone that's ever had a club sandwich will understand what he meant by this but people still seem to put up with it all the same.
17 Dislikes: Kobe Sliders
Kobe beef has become increasingly popular in recent years since there is a definite unique texture of the meat. Hailing from the Tajima strain of Japanese Black cattle, Kobe beef has become popular for those looking for a complexity in the texture and flavor of a standard burger. Yet, mixing it with a slider version was frowned upon by Anthony Bourdain.
In a 2016 interview, Bourdain stated, "There's no way that you could appreciate the things that make Kobe interesting and good and expensive in a little burger or a meatball drown in sauce."
16 Dislikes: Hollandaise Sauce
There are a number of brunch and breakfast dishes that are quite simple in nature to make for even the most modest home cook. Yet, hollandaise sauce can actually be quite tricky to make and Anthony Bourdain didn't exactly have the kindest words for this favorite sauce that people love for their Eggs Benedict dishes.
In Bourdain's book, Kitchen Confidential, he addressed it by saying, "How about hollandaise sauce? Not for me. Bacteria love hollandaise. And nobody I know has ever made hollandaise to order … Remember, brunch is only served once a week — on the weekends. Cooks hate brunch.”
15 Dislikes: Frito Pie
While there are numerous dishes around the world that feature upscale aspects that really elevate a meal, there are also a number of dishes that are completely simplistic in their design. Yet, that doesn't mean that there aren't millions of fans that really hold a special place in their heart for these simple and often cheap dishes.
In an episode of Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain visited a venue in New Mexico in order to have Frito pie and he described it as, "canned Hormel chili and day-glow orange cheese-like substance dropped... right into a bag of Fritos...
In just six minutes, I've achieved a depth of self-loathing that it usually takes a night of drinking to achieve."
14 Dislikes: Pumpkin Spice Everything
With each new season, it seems like there are certain flavors that come into the food industry. From fruits that have a particular season to seasonal menus that change to feature the best of locally-sourced foods, it's not surprising that the start of fall will inevitably showcase the pumpkin spice flavor.
Bourdain once wrote, "I would like to see the pumpkin spice craze drowned in its own blood. Quickly".
Many people live for this flavor to emerge in everything from coffee to cheesecake but Anthony Bourdain has expressed his disdain for it.
13 Dislikes: Brioche Buns
Anyone that's ever seen a show that has featured Anthony Bourdain is aware that he definitely had a beloved attitude towards burgers. Yet, the trend of featuring a brioche bun to elevate a burger was something that he was very much against.
In his Crimes Against Food list, he wrote, "The hamburger bun is designed to absorb grease, not add greasiness to the experience. A proper hamburger bun should retain its structural integrity, playing its role as delivery vehicle for the meat patty until the last bite. The brioche bun, is woefully unsuitable for this role, crumbles.”
12 Dislikes: Juice Cleanses
While there are certain food trends that seem to have come and gone throughout the years, there have also been a number of health trends. The juice cleanse trend is a combination of both and has been a huge favorite in the celebrity world. Yet, Anthony Bourdain has made a number of different comments that showed that he wasn't exactly on board with this food/health trend.
In his Ask Me Anything segment for Reddit, he claimed that he would like this food trend to pass and stated, "I don’t understand the juice cleanse. I mean, if you’ve ever had a colonoscopy, the doctor gives you something that will cleanse you right quick, so I don’t really understand juice cleanses.”
11 Dislikes: Gluten-Free Foods
One of the biggest food trends that has seemed to take over the world in recent years has to do with people cutting out gluten from their diets. Restaurants are happy to boast about having gluten-free options and there have also been a number of celebrities that have happily cheered on this food trend.
Yet, Anthony Bourdain seemed to have pretty strong feelings against it and was interviewed about it with Adweek.
He stated, "Look, before you start boring me to death at a party about how you got gluten-free, you know, if you think you have a disease as serious as celiac disease, shouldn’t you see a doctor before you make this big move?”
10 Loves: Macau-Style Pork Chop Sandwich
With Anthony Bourdain participating in a number of different travel shows revolving around food and having such a long career as a chef, it's not surprising that people have been happy to learn about the foods that really mean something to him. He's released a number of cookbooks and his opinion has been revered by culinary experts and regular foodies alike.
He is a big fan of Pork Chop Sandwiches!
It's no secret that Bourdain has shown how much he is a fan of pork through his various television shows but it was his book, Appetites, that showcased one special pork dish that he seemed most adamant about and that was the Macau-style pork chop sandwich.
9 Loves: Bodega Sandwiches (Bacon, Egg & Cheese)
While the entire United States of America is seen as a true melting pot of different cultures and nationalities, New York seems to be extra special in the many burrows it features and the amazing mix of different cuisine.
While Anthony Bourdain has talked about the many years he worked having to serve breakfast and his disdain for it, he seemed to hold a special place in his heart for the classic bodega sandwich with egg, bacon, and cheese.
It may seem like something quite simple and strange to rave about from a revered chef but perhaps that's one of the reasons why it is something that is truly special and should be indulged in.
8 Roasted Beets With Red Onion & Oranges
While Anthony Bourdain is often remembered for having a love of meat, that doesn't mean that he didn't have an appreciation for some vegetarian dishes.
In his book, Appetites, Bourdain wrote about a specific vegetarian dish that he frequently made for his daughter.
The ingredients were actually quite simple but that doesn't mean that it's something that the entire general public has indulged in. Roasted beets with red onion and oranges doesn't exactly roll off the tongue but combining these ingredients with a kicker cider vinegar really seems to create something special that should be tried at least once.
7 Loves: Mushroom Soup
Many people have conflicting feelings about eating soup as a meal. While some people think of soup as just a starter to a dish, others can really appreciate the textures and flavors that can only be had with a soup dish. One of the soup dishes that Anthony Bourdain seemed to really hold a special place in his heart for was featured in the cookbook, Les Halles.
Vichyssoise is a French dish that Bourdain once ate on a cruise and it seemed to have burrowed its way into his soul.
Mushrooms may not be everyone's favorite it's definitely worth a try if Anthony Bourdain was still able to talk about it after having it back when he was in fourth grade.
6 Loves: Do Chua Salad With Herbs, Scallions, Sprouts, And Egg
With Anthony Bourdain traveling around the globe to try different flavors from practically every country, it's not surprising fans would remember his love for Vietnamese cuisine.
Known for its ultra-fresh ingredients, he's commented on numerous occasions of how fond he is of some of their simple but flavorful dishes.
One Vietnamese dish that he was particularly fond of was the dish, Do Chua Salad With Herbs, Scallions, Sprouts, and Egg. While it's great as-is, it can be altered to include a bit of meat or even some rice or noodles to make the perfect tasty meal.
5 Loves: Buddae Jjigae (Korean Army Stew)
Korean cuisine seemed to be a huge favorite for Anthony Bourdain and his memorable trip to eat authentic Korean food really showed him in good spirits and truly loving the food. It shouldn't come as a surprise that he featured a number of Korean dishes in his cookbooks.
In the cookbook, Appetites, it was the Buddae Jjigae that really seemed to pique some interest.
The recipe is often thought of as a wartime meal that was created by soldiers that used canned goods to whip up a meal. With simple noodles and some extra spice, this is the ultimate dorm room food that should be revered.
4 Loves: Korean Fried Chicken
Fried chicken isn't exactly a unique type of cuisine since many people think of it as comfort food and typically known for being southern. Yet, something quite special can happen when mixed with different flavors from around the world.
Anthony Bourdain featured Korean fried chicken in his cookbook, Appetites, but it's definitely one of the more complicated and time-consuming recipes.
While it's a two-day affair and features a few ingredients that aren't always readily available, the end product with its extra crispiness and flavor is definitely worth the process.
3 Loves: Boeuf Bourguignon
When people think of French cuisine, Boeuf Bourguignon is one of the dishes that will instantly come to mind. There is something quite unique about cooking this dish in a way that really allows the flavors to meld.
This slow-cooked dish may seem like a simple beef stew but the flavors tend to elevate it and turn it into something worthy of being made on special occasions. Different chefs tend to have a preference in what type of meat to use but Anthony Bourdain stated that the paleron cut of beef was his particular choice for this in his cookbook, Les Halles.
2 Loves: Cassoulet
Anthony Bourdain first expressed his love for the classic French dish, Cassoulet, when it was featured in his cookbook, Les Halles. Yet, he allowed it to be altered a bit on an episode of No Reservations on the Travel Channel when he prepared it with Michael Ruhlman.
The episode featured the two chefs preparing it for Ruhlman's family and there were a few tips on the recipe that really made viewers want to try it out for themselves.
It has been referred to as one of the best cassoulet recipes outside of France and it's definitely something that should be tried at least once.
1 Loves: Hand-Pulled Cumin Lamb Noodles
In the culinary world, restaurants are known to rise and fall from their reviews online and it can only take one bad review to turn an interesting new restaurant to a venue that should be avoided. Yet, the same is true for a rave review and that's exactly what happened when Anthony Bourdain famously visited a small food stand on an episode of No Reservations.
The hand-pulled cumin lamb noodles made its way to the show and it ultimately helped the owners to create the incredibly successful, Xi'an Famous Foods. While there are a number of unique and flavorful dishes to try on this menu, this signature noodle dish was what sparked it all off and is definitely a must-try.
Sources: First We Feast, Food Beast, Serious Eats, Bon Appetit, Thrillist