Six Things You Probably Don't Know About Anthony Bourdain
Like that he's afraid of Switzerland.
We already know a lot about Anthony Bourdain. The television show host, cookbook author, and chef has told Travel + Leisure all about the hotel he would live in for the rest of his life, and we have it on record that Iran knocked him sideways.
But in a recent Reddit AMA, or “Ask Me Anything,” Bourdain was particularly unreserved with his fans and followers.
One Redditor asked Bourdain about the countries he's most eager to visit next. Though he's already been to 75 countries, Bourdain confessed he hasn’t yet been to Switzerland. We wouldn't exactly call him “eager” to see the country, however.
“I will tell you I would like to overcome my childhood-born phobia of Switzerland,” Bourdain wrote on Reddit. “You’ll notice I’ve never done a show there.”
In his words, it’s the country’s “haunting vistas—like a mural of Lake Geneva with snowcapped peaks and yodelers,” as well as the dogs “with barrels under their neck(s)” that he finds most unsettling.
For a man who’s traveled through “the Democratic Not-So-Democratic Republic of the Congo,” had lunch with President Obama in Vietnam, and eaten Nashville’s very hot fried chicken, the European destination was perhaps the last we thought he would find terrifying.
That was just one of our favorite, unexpected highlights from Bourdain’s AMA.
On his favorite tacos in the world: “I’ll dodge the question and tell you that the best tostada in the world is in Ensenada in Baja, Mexico at a place called La Guerrerense.”
On his favorite comfort foods: “I have an unholy and guilty attraction to fast-food macaroni and cheese. During the morning I get these horrendous cravings for Popeye’s mac and cheese. I will often disguise myself to try to slip into Popeyes. Or in a pinch, I will even go to the Colonel.”
On the food trends he'd like see go away: “The pumpkin spice craze [should] be drowned in its own blood. Quickly. [And] I mean, I like a good craft beer, but don’t make me feel bad about my beer choices. You know what kind of beer I like? I like cold beer."
On where he wants to retire: “I use to think Vietnam…but lately, I’m leaning very much toward Italy! I like it there! I like the food. All those carbs are dangerous but Italy’s a pretty nice place.”
On where he's had the best sandwich: “The sandwiches I crave most when I’m abroad are a pastrami on rye from Pastrami Queen, in New York. [And] they do a sandwich at the restaurant at the Ace Hotel that is insanely delicious, super crispy, thin Sardinian-style flat bread smeared with butter, chilis, and Bottarga.”
Melanie Lieberman is the Associate Digital Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @melanietaryn.