Anthony Bourdain Clarifies Criticism of Alice Waters

Gothamist got in touch with Anthony Bourdain to clarify his criticism of Alice Waters, and he had this to say:

I don't have any burning issue with Alice Waters, a restaurateur and visionary whose accomplishments clearly dwarf my own, so I doubt it. In a perfect, candy-colored world, I'd like to eat most of what she'd like to see us eat. I feed my daughter mostly organic food whenever possible—and greatly admire what Dan Barber is doing. My comments were a heartfelt reaction to her wildly hubristic letter to the (then) president-elect, a document whose tone, timing and content I found distasteful—particularly coming from someone who hadn't even bothered to vote in the four previous elections.

True, I am suspicious of wealthy suburbanites who preach “back to the soil” philosophies—as if most—or even many—could start digging subsistence gardens in their back yards or afford expensive organic or locavore lifestyles. But Chez Panisse was inarguably a cradle of the food revolution. I respect Alice Waters’ enormous contribution to changing the way we eat and cook today. No one can take that away from her. No one should try.

I intend to treat her with the respect she rightly deserves. She says some stupid shit sometimes—and she is certainly free to call “bullshit” on me when I do the same.

Relatedly, Anthony Bourdain will be appearing with Alice Waters and Duff Goldman on May 14, 2009 at The Connecticut Forum.

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