Anthony Bourdain Answers Questions About His Checkered Past

Our favorite chef and cranky traveler Anthony Bourdain jumped on the internets earlier this week to answer questions about his past as a cook, traveler and troublemaker, and as usual, the internets had lots of prying questions.

One of the best things about Mr. Bourdain, though, has always been his brutal honesty, and he held little back in replying to the numerous questions. The travel superstar, who readily admits to heavy drug use in his early years, fielded a variety of questions ranging from inquiries about his tenuous relationship with the Travel Channel to stealing Guy Fieri’s Lamborghini to details of his new show on CNN.

An excerpt from the questions and his responses is pasted below. You can read the full Q&A session over on Reddit.

Q: What do you think of Rick Steves?
A: I wish he’d remember to give me my bong back.

Q: What is the best “meat in tube form” in the world?
A: The Chicago hot dog.

Q: What kind of person were you in your twenties? What were your goals and do you think you would have ever imagined you’d be where you are now?
A: I was a complete asshole. Selfish, larcenous, druggy, loud, stupid, insensitive and someone you would not want to have known. I would have robbed your medicine cabinet had I been invited to your house.

Q: Why did you steal Guy Fieri’s Lamborghini and then frame a teenager?A: Yes.

Q: You openly admit to being an ex-addict. Plently of ex-addicts can’t drink at all, because if they do it tumbles into drugs again. How are you able to still drink and continue to live your lifestyle without slipping?
A: I am a VERY unusual case. You are correct. Most people who kick heroin and cocaine have to give up on everything. Maybe cause my experiences were so awful in the end, I’ve never been tempted to relapse.

Q: What would you say your best/worst experience was on drugs?
A: Combing the shag carpet for paint chips in the hope that they were fallen crack bits. Smoking them anyway.

Q: Considering you and Ted Nugent are from pretty much opposite ends of the spectrum, what was it like to have him on your show? Did y’all joke around off camera. The episodes that he was in on “No Reservations” were probably my favorite. And also, you’re my favorite person ever.
A: I’m proud of the fact that I can be friends with someone with whom I disagree violently about absolutely everything.

Q: What was your favorite episode of No Reservations you did?
A: I’m proudest of Rome. Because everybody said it was the stupidest idea ever–to make food porn in black and white.

Q: You’ve said before that you are kind of overprotective of your daughter. If she decides that she wants to get into the culinary industry and become a chef, what would your reaction be?
A: Horror. Fear. Eventually pride that she’d want to do such a difficult thing.

Q: I’m from San Francisco and live in Amsterdam. You hated Amsterdam didn’t you? (The food here sucks.)
A: Amsterdam may not be the first place I think of as a food destination but I liked it fine! #420

Q: Are you and Andrew Zimmern actually friends? You seem incredibly different.
A: Andrew is actually a great guy. Very smart, very funny, very loyal. We have a lot more in common than you might think.

Q: What prompted the move to CNN? Was it issues with Travel Channel a la the Cadillac product integration debacle, or simply a chance to do something in a different vain than “No Reservations”.
A: CNN is letting me and my crew make smarter TV in places that Travel never would have allowed. Also–the new regime at Travel were a pretty unpleasant, uninspiring bunch. I saw the writing on the wall.

Photo: @OttaviaBourdain