Anthony Bourdain's Fitness Secret: Fighting
In a new interview, the straight-shooting celebrity chef talks fitness, family, and, oh yeah, food.
This story originally appeared on foodandwine.com.
This fall, Anthony Bourdain, acclaimed chef, author, and host of CNN's Parts Unknown, will release Appetites, his first cookbook since 2004's Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook. The celebrity chef and longtime TV personality who's built a career on his take-no-prisoners straight-shooting assessment of the food and restaurant industries, sat down with Nuvo's Joshua David Stein to talk about food, family, and, uh, fighting to stay in shape. Here are three essential things you need to know about Bourdain, the man and the living legend.
How Bourdain maintains his trim figure: If Anthony Bourdain seems intimidating on television, rest assured he could probably beat you up in real life. He dedicates time every single day to train in Brazillian jiu-jitsu and has earned himself a blue belt in the combat sport. "At one point, he raises his soft grey T-shirt to polish his reading glasses and reveals a torso that seems transplanted from a man half his age," Stein writes. "Those are some calendar-level abs." Bourdain explains his training regimen to Stein: "I train every day, wherever I am in the world. When I'm in New York, I train at the Renzo Gracie Academy, an hour private and then an hour and a half general population. That's basically Fight Club."
What he cooks for his family is different from what he cooks for the public. Appetites is filled with recipes that Bourdain cooks at home: "scrambled eggs, roast chicken with lemon and thyme, a turkey at Thanksgiving," Stein explains. Three decades of cooking professionally took Bourdain outside of his home kitchen—but now he's back. "As somebody who cooked professionally for 30 years, I only saw the normal world as dark silhouettes in the dining room. I was never home. I had no idea what people did on weekends on what it's like to have a family."
There are rules in Bourdain's kitchen. Rules about: "The third slice of bread in the club sandwich. The brioche bun on the hamburger. Toasting the muffin on only one side when you make eggs Benedict." According to Bourdain, "These are terrible food crimes." But just because he's strict when it comes to muffin-toasting doesn't mean he's completely unforgiving—"Everyone lies in cookbooks," Bourdain tells Nuvo. "That's why they're generally so frustrating. Nobody ever tells you, for instance, that you're going to screw up hollandaise. It's not gonna happen for you the first time. It takes professionals many repeated times."