Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert brought their tag-team act, Good Vvs. Evil: An Evening With Anthony Bourdain & Eric Ripert, to Chicago's Auditorium Theatre last night. Under the luminous arches of Louis Sullivan's fin-de-siecle masterpiece, they spoke about the place of food in our world today from celebrity, to sustainability, to how big an appliance Ripert needs to be holding to conceal his junk. Our man Huge Galdones was one of the official photographers for the event; here's his retelling of some of the prize moments from this night of two stars.
Bourdain and Ripert interrogated each other throughout the night. One of the first questions Bourdain asked was what Ripert ate for dinner. Shamefully, he admitted to indulging in buffalo chicken tenders from the restaurant of former Chicago Bears coach Mike Ditka.
When asked if anyone was blacklisted from Le Bernardin, Ripert blurted, "You [Tony] after tonight … and John McEnroe." A TV interview gone awry where McEnroe was filling in for Letterman left a sour taste in Ripert's mouth.
Ripert's favorite Chicago hot dog? He doesn't have one because he doesn't eat hot dogs. What about Italian Beef? He doesn't even know what that is.
Prompted by a heckler in the audience, Bourdain spent a solid chunk of time explaining/defending his "distaste" for Paula Deen and why she is so dangerous. On the contrary, he's made amends with Emeril; receives gift baskets from Rachael Ray saying, "I'm your biggest fan, get over it"; and refrains from commenting on Sandra Lee.
Ripert rips into Bourdain for smoking two to three packs of cigarettes for 30 years of his life and asks him if he even has any taste buds left. Bourdain replies, "That's why God made salt."
Bourdain exclaims that "vegetarians should live by the Grandma rule" when it comes to eating meat. If your grandmother has you over for dinner and she cooks you her disgustingly awful turkey dinner from a can, you suck it up, eat it, ask for seconds, eat that, thank her, and be done with it. Sure, it tastes bad, but at the end of the day, it's your grandmother.
The duo takes a minute to admire each other's junk; Bourdain's concealed by a cow femur and Ripert's by a Vitamix (that, according to Bourdain, could have been much smaller). Ripert's porn name (first pet and street you lived on): Sammy Mouffetard. Bourdain's porn name: Poochie Orchard.
Bourdain's late-night guilty pleasure: macaroni and cheese from KFC. Ripert's late-night "not-so-guilty" pleasure: saucisson sec, Camembert, and a glass of Cotes-du-Rhone.
Bourdain made Ripert blind-taste Malort (an only-in-Chicago rotgut) and a corn dog. It was unclear which he disliked more.
An audience member asked where would they eat in Chicago if they had the time? Stephanie Izard's Little Goat. Any Paul Kahan restaurant. Alinea. Additionally, Bourdain regrets missing Next: Paris.
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