Chefs@Google: Anthony Bourdain

Uploaded by AtGoogleTalks on 27.10.2011

>>Female Presenter: We are so thrilled to welcome Chef Anthony Bourdain and
his team here to Google New York. You all may know him
from his Emmy award winning show No Reservations where he
pretty much does everybody's dream job including mine. Of traveling the world and eating whatever
the hell he wants. Including some things that there's no way
you could pay me enough, I think, that you actually
eat. There you go. He has a second show debuting on the
travel channel in November called The Layover, which is
described as a high octane travel series that follows him to cities around the world as
he gives viewers the inside scoop on where to eat, where to drink,
and what to do on the 24-hour layover. He has written several books including
Kitchen Confidential, A Cook's Tour, and Medium Raw,
which I see a lot of you guys have in the audience. These are
books that made many people, including myself, decided
never to eat fish again on a Monday. In case you don't know why, it's because apparently
that's where all the crap from the week before goes to the Monday specials, so don't eat
it. He's joined today by his Emmy award winning team from No Reservations and the Layover.
We have, starting right here, Tom Vitale, an Emmy nominee,
producer director of No Reservations and on the Layover. Zach Zamboni, to his right is
a two time Emmy winning director of
photography for No Reservation and also the director of photography for the Layover. And
obviously Chef Anthony Bourdain is right next to him in case you
don't know who that is. [audience chuckles] And Todd Liebler
to his right who is a two time Emmy winning director of photography of No
Reservations. So we've asked Chef Bourdain to run the discussion here today so I have
no idea what they are going to talk about but I have a feeling it's going to involve
food and travel, and possibly his girlfriend, Paula Deen I don't know; we'll see. [audience
laughs] Thanks >> Chef Bourdain: Now there's an idea. Thank-you.
So what we'd like to talk about today is making things. We make things and with
the people on this stage make -- along with a much larger
group of people, equally hard-working, make No Reservations
and the new series. I guess why it's us up here rather
than Lydia Tenaglia or Chris Collins or Sandy,
or Eleanor or all the people in post production, editing, sound,
color correction or all these other incredibly [chuckles] vital
components of the show. The reason these guys are up here is
because we spend -- we just talked about -- we spend
about 200 days a year with each other on the road. We're
the principal road team for No Reservations. We spend a
lot of miles, a lot of time, a lot of drinks, a lot of poop
jokes. [laughter] And so, I thought we'd talk today about how we
do what we do. And really, why -- you know, I joke about
it, but I mean it. For me, the worst thing about the show
-- in a perfect world, I would not be on it. I would
not be on No R You see the world as I see it. I would
go. I would see it. I would narrate the show and it
would be told through my point of view , but I would really not
like to not see my stupid face up there. If you imagine
the show without me in it, I think it would still be the
best God damned travel and food show on travel television ever. [audience cheers]
And so, the question of the day is, how come it's just so
fucking good? [laughter] Tom Vitale, producer, director, perhaps you
can explain like the process. How does it all begin?
Like, a typical show such a thing exists. >> Tom: Tony is picking on me because he knows
I'm terrified of public speaking. [laughter] How does it
all begin. We start about a month before we go out.
>> Anthony: Generally I'll pick a spot.
>>Tom: Tony picks a spot. You have an idea sometimes a film that reminds
you of a place. You give us some direction and we go
out find interesting locations, interesting people,
interesting things to do and the rest sort of takes care of
itself in a strange way >>Tony: Really so anybody can do it?
>>Tom: Yes. [laughter]
>> Tony: you can follow Tom Vitale, at TV superstar. That's his Twitter feed, by
the way. At Zach Zamboni.
>>Zach: Yes, Tony. >>Tony: Surely it's not that simple. Come
on, the show looks amazing. Look at all the other shows
that try to be like us; they suck. The meal scenes,
they're all sitting there like mummies. Welcome to my home. Guy. Please
enjoy our food. [laughter] You know, they're the photography
is ugly, the lighting if any seems spectacularly inept. There's no human dimension. It's all
happy horse shit. Everything's great . Please help me understand, why are we so damn good
Zach Zamboni.
>>Zach: We got heart, man, we got heart. That's you, me,
these guys, post people, editors -- everybody involved's got heart. We try to do something
good, you know, and we've got skills -- yeah, for
sure. [laughter] But I think -- I do think we got heart. We're
trying to do something. >> Tony: Heart explains why, I think, why
particularly, you know, meal scenes with people seem
to work a little bit better. You know what? I've
often said, you know, we -- that we take the time --
you know, we drink with people. You know, that
we're not alcoholics -- we're television professionals. [Zach clears throat] [laughter]
Drinking with our subjects and the people who host us on the show certainly helps.
But I think it's a function of -- we spend the
time with the people. We're not just gang rushing some
poor rice farmer. You know, and saying, "Okay,
the scene's starting now. Get Tony out of the
trailer. I go in. I sit down, I take a couple of bites. "Mmm, good" and back to the trailer.
The 4-minute scene represents about how long, what do you think?.
Typically Laos show for instance. Maybe it's a four, five, six
minute meal scene. How long did it take you guys
to get those shots, and how much do you shoot between your two or three cameras
because you operate a camera as well for a show
like that. >>Todd: We're probably there two to
three hours before you're even there, because we're
shooting the prep with the food which is actually a
great way to get involved with the family. Because
you know, as a lot of you probably know, a lot of
stuff happens in the kitchen. You know, that's where the hearth is. So we go in there and
have a relationship often incredibly nonverbal, right?
Because as people on the crew know, my grasp for
foreign languages is incredible [ laughter]. You
know, we go into the kitchen and we are just taking
an interest in what they're doing. And that immediately, I think, just opens them up to
us. And of course we're open to them because we're trying to
just get in there.
>> Tony: I mean, you're in the kitchen often in a very tight space with somebody's
grandma. She's not used to having other people in the
kitchen other than family to start with. She's certainly
not used to this -- especially when you're talking
about the mountains of Laos -- this invading army of
hulking white people from America with cameras. That is a weird and
terrifying thing to people particularly hill tribe
region of Laos. I keep using that as example because that was probably -- I'm trying to
think of where we appeared as most shocking apparitions,
you know? [laughter] So you know you go into a
room with cameras, everything changes. Everybody gets weird.
And I think part of the struggle -- I think one
of the things that you guys particularly do really
really well that makes all the difference is the
time spent to A: let people get over that shock. The
fact that you're in -- it's often you. You're in
the kitchen with grandma. She's bumping you out
of the way. You smiling at each other. You're expressing
willingness to try things. You're open to the
experience. You're clearly appreciative of what's
going on and interested. You know, people are proud
of their food, wherever they are. Just about everywhere in the world, people are proud
of their food. It means something. It reflects their
history, their family history, their ethnic history, often a long
story of struggle and deprivation to arrive at these
dishes. It means a lot. They tend to like it wherever
you go when a guest is willing to smile and try
it and be open to it. But I think the time you put
in with petting the family dog, playing with the kids.
>> Todd: Milking the yaks. >> Drinking the local rot gut.
Because let's face it, a lot of these situations, in almost all of them, somebody is fermenting
or distilling something cloudy in a backyard
somewhere in a 55 gallon drum.
>>Todd: Which they are very proud of >>Tony: The willingness to drink that
makes a big, big difference in how things are going
to go. So there's that. [laughter] You know, I talk about
time. But then again, this is a hand-crafted outfit, you know? This is -- you know, we're
not Target. We're Herm├Ęs . It takes a long damn
time to make the bag. [laughter] But at the end
of the day, okay, it's expensive. It's a damn nice bag. [laughter]
>> Zach: Yeah, I think -- I mean, yeah, it's like the Japanese craftsmen that believes
they're part of what they make. I think we go in
like that. We know our signature is on this thing
we're making. We're not -- we're making this thing
that represents us and we put -- we standby it, you
know. >>Tony: You ever watch a show, you ever make
a show, and later -- I mean, to me it's really really
important. Whatever I did yesterday. I know the feeling
of waking up looking in the mirror and going,
"oh, God --," like, whatever I did yesterday was
really, really, shameful and embarrassing. [laughter] Story of a lot
of my life. I guess I determined whenever I decided to go on television to
not be, you know, really I would love to make a joke about
The Chew right now. Should I? No. [chuckles] You
know, I just -- I'm constitutionally unable to wake
up to in the morning. To know that I'm going to
wake up tomorrow morning. "Jesus, God, that show we did
was really cynical, and cheap, and stupid. I don't care if people liked it, it sucked."
Have you ever woken up in the morning after seeing a show that
you made and thought, "oh, man."
>>Tom: I think that's one of the amazing things about working on this show,
we all feel so proud like Zach said. The product
we put out there. I mean, it's just very special.
There's so many other people who work on shows that
you just like you say you don't get to go home and
feel really proud of what you do. It's kind of
awesome. >> Tony: You knew this was coming too?
What about the Romania show, Tom? [laughter] Here's the
problem for me on the show is that, on the one hand,
it's a good thing. Like, if the show goes really
really badly, we tell that story anyway, you know?
And if it goes really badly and it's an utter misery
for me because I found out painfully one of Tom's
early masterpieces, apparently that's pretty damn
entertaining. [laughter] Do you care to tell --. How badly did that shoot go?
>> Tom: It went pretty badly. I can't just any other episode that's gone -- everything
-- it was a perfect storm. Everything was so
bad that it end up being so great in the end. [laughter]
Ultimately, I think it was a fair accurate representation
of our eight or ten days there. Ultimately -- so I can go
to bed at night and sleep with an easy conscience because
again, that's a fair representation of what we saw
during our time there. It may not be all of Romania and we certainly did not go out to
assassinate a country.
>> Zach: We tried to do right. We had the intention of doing right by those people
>> Tony: At the end of the day, that was a funny shit though.
>> Zach: We tried. We tried. I just want to say anecdotally,
this guy, when it starts raining, right? We're in
the middle of nowhere. We got no cover. No trees
no nothing. It starts raining. >> Tony: And I'm always, "this scene is
over. We're screwed. Time to move to plan B."
>> Zach: "shit," and he goes "yes!" >> Tom: Bad weather makes for good TV.
>> Zach: And he's just like as soon as things go off the track naturally "this is
perfect. >> Tony: He starts to smell Emmy.
>> Tom: That's one of the things I learned about this show. There is no script.
We don't do multiple takes of things. If Tony
says something or one of the people we're filming
says something and we didn't catch it for some reason we're
shooting a food insert. We don't ask them to say it
again. I think that's very important. It lends that feeling of immediacy to the show.
It doesn't feel scripted or forced. >> Tony: What do I hate most on the
show? The walk in and the good-bye. That way back
when, we would do what's called "the walk in". It was, "Okay, Tony, stand outside the
house and this is the scene where you walk in and
you meet your hosts." Worst case scenario, "We'd like to do that
again." Boy -- it's impossible to feel any more of
an asshole [laughter] than warmly introduce yourself
to somebody and then "I'll be right back to do it again."
[laughter] Or only thing worse is, "Thank you so much for the
meal and letting me in your home, good-bye." And then
you got to go back and do that again." [laughter]
So we just don't -- we don't do it. The whole organism
is created to never have that kind of artificiality.
So favorite shows -- Favorite show for you to watch
and then favorite show of yours to make? Is there a
difference? >> Todd: Sure there is. Haiti was just
unbelievable, because I think, as I believe Lydia was
saying or someone, we were just running on all
cylinders there. >>Tony: You won an Emmy for that one, didn't
you? >>Todd: I, I, think so
>>Tony: Might that weigh heavily on your--. [laughter]
>> Todd: You know, I was asked, "is there something you want to push forward?"
And I said, "yes." So that was I think amazing.
Every step of the way I would watch it. Pretty
overwhelming. Very, proud. >>Tony: So favorite show? Proudest of
that one. >> Tom: Right now. Most fun show to
do. Well, the India show we did a making of. So we
had two crews on. A lot of friends. It was a lot
of fun, you know? You know, all my stuff hit the
editing room floor but what am I gonna do It's not about me.
>>Tony: Your favorite show you're proudest of and then the show that was the
most fun to shoot.
>>Zach: So hard to say. People ask that a lot. There's moments we have together
making a show that are just incredible moments. Like,
that little rail -- the railroad thing -- Cambodia,
riding scooters in Laos. >> Tony: Stone on top of this moving
platform built out of wood that they jury rigged and put on rails together like with
a little putt putt lawnmower engine moving farmers from the rice
paddies. We were post dinner and we might have beamed up a little bit.
>> Zach: And it's his moment, you know. >> Tom: The sun was setting, you're
blowing through these rice fields. Together after a
rainstorm with the beautiful fresh air. So what we're getting paid right now.
>>Tony: Your favorite show. You're proudest of and then most clever to shoot.
>> Tom: I think I would have to agree with Todd about Haiti as being one of the
ones I'm most proud of. It was a very difficult shoot.
There was a lot of heartbreak spending time with
these people and then we get on the airplane, disappear, and come back here and they're
left there. That was pretty rough. But it was also an amazingly magical
place. It was enchanting. It was something really
enchanting about it. It was just so intense. >>Tony: What are the most fun shows.
>> Zach: You got to say Rome here, come on >>Tom: I think Rome was a really fun show
>> Tony: Rome is the show I'm the most proud of.
>>Zach: That's an amazing -- >>Tony: Because we did -- it all started -- this
group we're sitting around in a hotel lobby somewhere talking about films we like and
how we could do -- you know, I think the driving
mission of this show is that whatever worked last week
-- whatever we did last week no matter how well
it was received, how successful it was, how much
the ratings were, how much people loved it, whatever
we're going to do next week we want to try really
really hard to undermine completely what we did last
week. We want to present a moving target. We don't
want ever for the network to be able to say, "I think I figured
out what the hell you guys are doing. Let's do more
of that." Because by the time they figured that out
we will have moved onto something else. We spend a
lot of time sitting around having a few cocktails thinking, "What is the most fucked up thing
we can do?" [laughter] And I don't know which one
of you guys said, "Let's do a food show all in black and white."
That's how good we are. We can make food porn in black
and white. And we started talking about the early
neorealist Italian films that one percent of
our audience might have seen. [chuckles] We went out and did the just about the stupidest
thing you could do on travel and food. We made it all black and white show. Lit. We
never light.
>> Zach: And they said no way. They said that was.
>> Tony: It is -- for me it is my proudest moment because it was just so stupid.
And it looks so beautiful. And the work you guys
did. And the editing. It looked -- the music,
everything, everything worked exactly better than we
could have imagined when it all came together. That
first Tuscany show that everybody hates, that was a
fun show to make. >> Zach: That was a fun show to make. [chuckles]
>> Tony: Okay, what about worst? Just lowest moment. What's the worst thing about
making the show. I mean, we have the best jobs in the
world. Everybody says so. And it's true. What do
we do for a living? We travel around the world eating
and drinking to excess making incredibly self-indulgent television
any way we damn please [laughter] with as little creative interference as I think,
most people -- very few people are able to do what we do.
>> Todd: Since we're talking about Italy >> Todd: The Sicily show which I think
was Season 2 or 3, we had a picture that was very
self-involved. And it was. >> Tony: Helicopter she no come. Ooh,
we're going to swim with the turtles today. The
turtle was sick. Nothing worked. >> Todd: How about the sea urchin scene? Oh,
that was last week.
>> Tony: Everything. It was desperation as everything. As each day goes by and we don't
know what to do. So we just had to make it up.
>>Todd: Mmm Hmmm. So that was tough. >> Tony: I jumped off a cliff into water of
indeterminate depth. >>Todd: That was cool
>> Tony: That was a measure of our desperation. [laughter] Spinal injury, it's
always entertaining. That will get us five minutes.
[laughter] >> Zach: Bat caves and Bill Murray, those
are my two worst moments just the worst >>Tony: Bill Murray?
>> Zach: Remember that? Went in there did all the sun path work and everything was
perfect. I had it silk screened, because it was all glass. It was this giant
restaurant's all glass looks out on the Hudson. Perfect cloudy day.
>>Tony: Oh that's right and Bill Murray was --
First of all, we were supposed to. I'm supposed to shoot with somebody for
dinner. >>Zach: My hero and it was horrible
>>Tony: First, you got to understand this about Bill Murray.
If you want to make like Ghostbusters 3 and give him
like 30 million dollars apparently he has no agent, he has
no attorney. You call an answering machine somewhere and leave a message and maybe you'll
hear back five years later. [laughter] So this,
he just doesn't behave -- you don't reach out to his people,
right And I was supposed to have -- and someone
else shooting with me, a meal scene in the Hudson
valley and they fell through. The chef of the place said, "How about Bill Murray? Do
you want Bill Murray on the scene?". He showed up the
next day. I think he hitchhiked to the scene. He just walks in. The whole time
I'm sitting there like I have no idea what I'm saying. I know my lips
are moving. I'm just sitting there talking to
him. The cameras are rolling. I'm thinkin', "I can't
believe Bill Murray is on my show. This is so cool. Why is Bill Murray
on my show?" And then just as Bill launched into a
rare moment of personal reflection. >>Zack: Oh I know
>>Tony: I don't know the most meaningful. I think it was the most
meaningful, tearful moment of his life, what happened?
>>Tom: The sun went behind the clouds >>Todd: No, the sun went into his eyes.
>>Zach: Nobody would make me nervous like that, it was just because it was Bill
Murray. But I did sun path to know exactly where the
sun was going to be and I'd hung some silks up on the
windows so if it came out I would be able to drop it
in time so it would be direct sun right on his face. Of course, as soon as he started
talking about that, the sun came out wrong place.
It was totally in the wrong place.
>>Tony: Oh I remember. And because of that So it was like this. Well,
Tony I never told anyone about this before, after
that childhood tragedy, that was the moment I
decided to become an --. And suddenly I see Zach running through the back of the scene
[laughter] >> Zach: They came out and it was just
like this piece of sun that had worked its way
around everything I had put up and it was right
there, right in the worst place possible. I
remember. >> Todd: Your worst moment? Single worst
moment? You weren't the guy who wired up the inside
of the MIG ? The jet. We spent thousands of dollars for me to go up in a Russian fighter
plane. They rigged up the interior with tiny little
cameras. It was a new shooter. It wasn't anyone on this stage. We
go up we do the whole thing barrel rolls lots of comedic footage of me
struggling to not blow chunks. We land . We hadn't
turned the camera on. [laughter] Sweet. >> Todd: Not me. I'm responsible for
other breakdowns. >> Tony: The worst lowest moment.
>> Todd: Well, I think the one you keep picking on now three seasons later is just
my -- I knocked over a dish and or 2
>>Tony: or 12. >>Todd: A gross
>> Tony: It was a classic moment. You know, Todd, you have many virtues but Nijinsky-like
grace is not one of them. What was it called? I forget the name.
Pa dang restaurant? >>Todd: Pa Dong
>>Tony: Where they in Indonesia, right? Where they stack basically all of the
dishes in a huge triangular formation in the window
and underneath it are the mother sauces meaning
the buckets of the back up. You know, basically
the restaurant's entire food supply for the day.
And he's filming closeup and the mic hits one
of the plates. The whole thing comes down. Everything
shatters. Everything falls in. All of the village
elders are sitting there waiting for their food. Of course it's classic television and
we've used that clip at least four times in further shows. [laughter]What made it great
for me was that years later we're in like rural Szechuan province
in China -- it was up in the mountains, Hunan
or Szechuan, we're up in the mountains. Singaporean or
Malaysian tourist and they see Todd and they start
pointing at him, [laughter] "Mr. Clumsy man." Your worst
moment. >> Tom: Brazil shoot was really really
rough. >> Tony: I mean I make you more
miserable than anybody I think. If anybody bears
the full brunt of my unhappiness, self-doubt, self-loathing and misery, it's you. You pretty
much -- you have a pretty wide menu to select from
here. >> Tom: Brazil where you hurt your back,
Zach had the 104 degree fever. We were stranded on the island. That was rough.
>> I like the part where we're waiting on the plane and we're like four hours
by boat from anywhere. Waiting on this little island in the Amazon.
You know, it's late and these couple of other
like Europeans or Americans show up on the tarmac
who we hadn't seen out in the jungle at all. We turned
to our guide and say, "Who are they?" Oh, yes, they
too are waiting for their plane. They come every
day. [laughter] "Oh man." Let's hear questions
from you guys for any at all. Please.
>> Male #1: How are you doing? So I have two questions. One's for Anthony. One's for
everybody else. The first question is with all the
shooting and the traveling and the book writing and
whatever, do you even get a chance to cook anymore
and if not, do you miss it? The second question is,
on location, which one of you has the most fortitude. [audience chuckles]
>> Tony: Okay. I don't get to cook much. Very, very, very, very, rarely do I
get to cook either at home or on the road. I'm actually really
-- some of my happier moments on the show are when
I get to cook, either on camera or better yet off camera.
One of the reasons I like Tuscany. Because we
all rented a villa -- it was very -- talk about
self-indulgent. The idea was to make a show about us making a show.
It was a show about us going staying in a fabulous
villa on the a hilltop on Tuscany and then making a show about the process of living
in a fabulous villa [laughter] But the fun part
for me was I got to cook off cam. You know, we do
these little pot luck things. I got to cook pasta.
That always makes me happy. The second question was--.
>> Male #1: Which one of you has the most fortitude on location?
>>Todd: Tom. >> Tony: It's @TVsuperstar. It's
his Twitter handle by the way. Far, far and away this guy is
up at 6 o'clock in the morning. He's a slave driver. He pushes his crew really, really
hard. But he's also up earliest, out there. If it's
really really stupid and suicidal and incredibly hot and we don't really need
the footage, he's going to go out and do it anyway, by himself
if necessary. He's going to go all night long and in between that, he'll be fretting
and worrying and going out and scouting locations.
And he just goes and goes and goes.
>> Todd: Mobs in Thailand. Shooting at your trains in India. Being attacked by Gila monsters.
[laughter] >> Zach: He always smiles every morning.
I look forward to that. Every morning Tom, big smile.
"Good morning, guys. Hey guys. I love this job."
>>Tom: Just another day at the office >>Zach: We're crippled.
>> Tony: So without a doubt, it's Tom. >> Male#2: Thanks, guys for being here. I'm
sorry, I'm recording this. My wife, Lisa, is back home in Mountain View.
I'm from the Mountain View office and she's a former Googler,
huge fan. So I'm kind of channeling her right now and here
enjoying your presence. >>Tony: Hi [laughter]
>>Male #2: I'm sure she would say hi if she was here. I just want to say seems
like you guys are doing exactly what you want to be
doing. What you love. She's somebody who's still
trying to find that. She's actually a really talented
Italian American cook and chef, somebody I think should
just go to culinary school and do it. I think she's maybe afraid or not
sure about what dream to pursue. So any advice for somebody whose looking to find what they
love. >> Tony: Short answer on the cooking is
hey, before you spend money on a cooking school go
work in a restaurant even for free if necessary. Work in a busy restaurant. Give yourself enough
time to understand how hard it is, how little money you'll be making, how long it will take
you to pay back that student loan. Just how difficult and unglamorous it
is. And how insane you have to be to find a home --
you know, there are two types of people. People who love the restaurant business and thrive
on that sort of insanity and adrenaline and futility
and inequity [laughter] and the pressure and the
heat. And then, there are normal people. And you need to find
out before you go to school. So I'm all for pursuing
your dream, but I think it's a good idea to go find
out early, you know, before you invest in that
dream -- either time or money. Find out what that
means. You know, if there's a downside, you know, I
don't know how we all got this gig. I think it was,
you know, I mean, were you pursuing your dream> [laughter]
>> Tony: Yeah, me too. >> Male #2: Thanks, guys.
>> Tony: It's selfish though. I mean, let's face it. You know, being married to
any of us would be difficult. We're away a lot. And
I think it's also -- I mean, what do you talk about
with your friends. When you come back. When you
have a life like us, who do you talk to? Your friends
from high school -- my friends from high school
or I used to work with in the kitchen only 11 years
ago, 12 years ago. So what did you do last week? Saw a Yankee game, went
out for a beer. Normal stuff that actually sounds
pretty good for me. What did you do? Me and Zach and Todd
and Tom all sitting on top of a dune in an empty corner
of the Arabian Peninsula smoking some hash [laughter] looking
out over the vast expanse of desert. Then we got together
with these Bedouin dudes playing drums and hanging
out for hours. [laughter] Then we were like in a war. You know. How
do you -- you're not doing anybody a favor by
telling them that, you know, what I mean? So it is
kind of. We do live in a kind of freakish bubble when
you come back. Or at least I do. You know, what
do you say.
>>Tom: So alienating >>Tony: Alienating
>> Zach: They always want to know what you're up to. I always want to talk to them
about normal stuff. Let's talk about fishing. Give
me something normal to talk about.
>>Tony: So you never want to rub it in. >> Zach: Talk normal stuff.
>> Tony: But you keep that secret. You know what I'm saying? You have this amazing
amazing thing happen. Let's face it. Amazing, amazing
things happen to us all the time. Do you tell people.
>> Todd: You know, I'm always asked, "Where is your favorite place?" Hands down
I say Brooklyn, you know? [cheering]
>> Tony: Totally run for office, dude. [laughter]
>> Todd: City council. L-I-E-B-L-E-R Yes. >> Female #1: So my question for you is,
"Would you eat Andrew Zimmern?" No, that's not my question. [laughter] But
you're actually thinking about it. >> Tony: Andrew is a good friend, put it
this way, if we're on a lifeboat long enough and
he's not keeping up with the rowing, slow braise . [laughter]
>> Female #2: My real question is, you get your dangerous situations, the bat cave was
scary, riots, someone brings out a vat of alcohol
with dead birds in it. What are you gonna do? When do
you say "no?" When do you say "uh-uh, I'm not doing this." Like, you're
in danger, or.
>>Zach: Tom never says no >> Tony: When do we say, "Okay, we're
not doing it?" >>Tom: I can't think of a time. It's
strange when you're shooting and you're there with a
camera we're making a show. You cease to become yourself. You're not yourself
anymore. You're not a regular human being. You
just have to just do it. Because any time you close
yourself off to any opportunity. When you have --
you're so lucky enough to be there in the first
place, you know? You'd be a fool to say "no" to
anything. >> Tony: We've been -- looking back
there, I've done some really really stupid things on
the show that I probably wouldn't do again, but you
know, I'm a dad now. I probably wouldn't -- I wouldn't make the jump off the cliff for sure.
Other than that, you're in a situation. Violating
your deeply held principles about what to eat for
instance -- is it a pet or is it food?" [laughter] I do have
deeply held principles there. Is it repulsive to me
or is it even rotten? I'm going to eat it rather than
offend my hosts, I'm going to try it. Sometimes that ends badly. What did you say, man? You're
another knuckle head. You're hanging out of helicopters; going out on cliffs, doing stuff
Just seeing him in Iraq when we're -- I'm in the rear hatch of a Russian
helicopter of dubious airworthiness where the hatch in the back
opens up. I'm strapped in; I have a tethered cord and I'm there on the thing and it's wind
coming. These guys are hanging out way further. Just looking at him with a camera, my palms
were sweating. So I know you don't say no. I haven't
seen you. >> Todd: I'm not sure if this is the
right double negative, but like suspend disbelief, because you're doing things and you're thinking,
"Well, that rail car in Cambodia, that goes off the
rails and we're going at 50 miles an hour, it's not
going to be a pretty show." But you just have to
pull back from that and just be there in the moment
and not think of the consequences of that moment [chuckles].
>> Tom: Looking into the camera really helps. It takes you.
>> Tony: So what's my excuse ? I think it goes back to alcohol.
>> Male #3: My wife frequently tells me if I were to be reincarnated, I would want to
come back as you, Tony. So probably true. And I
wanted to ask since you said yourself you've got a pretty
good gig, good life, you guys feel blessed, who would you like
to come back as. >> Tony: Seriously? I would like to
come back as Bootsy Collins, [laughter] or somebody who plays bass guitar as well as
Bootsy Collins. Like Flea or >>Male #3: I figured it'd be rock and roll
>>Tony: Flea or Larry Graham. I would play funk bass from like early James Brown and
the Famous Flames or Parliament Funkadelic. I would play funk bass, incredibly
well. I would throw it all away for that honestly. If I could just play bass at all. No -- really,
really, really well. That to me seems like something
I would -- I wouldn't mind cheerfully coming back but I don't think I'm going to get that
lucky [laughter] >> Female #2: Hi. Thanks so much for being
here today. So I've two questions. One is about
Iceland. The other is about Peru. So the first one
is -- so Iceland is somewhere I've always wanted to
go, but after seeing your show, I'm not so sure.
Because it just sounded like everything tastes so
terrible. So my first question is: is there anything there that any of you
ate that tastes good. >> Tony: There is good food there and there
are good restaurants. >>Female #2: What is it.
>> Tony: They have, you know, European and new Scandinavian cuisine. It's very exciting
on the fine dining end. The everyday food is pretty
decent. Their traditional holiday food is probably the worst in the world. [laughter]
But you're not going to have to eat that unless you want
to. My problem with Iceland is it's tiny. I mean,
as far as, you know, there's one big city. It's not
that big. Eight bars. Basically you're going to
be doing a lot of drinking. Unless you were into
hiking and outdoorsy shit which I'm totally not into.
>>Female #2: You can jog around in 5 days. >>Tony: Cross country skiing, hiking, mountain
biking -- sounds like hell to me. Rock climbing -- then
it's a wonder land. It's incredibly beautiful country
filled with spectacular natural vistas. Big deal. [laughter]
>> Female #2: Did you ride the horses there? >> Tony: Yeah, I rode the little horses.
>>Female #2: The glide is really smooth. >>Tony: Cute
horses. Lot of drinking, lot of marinating in hot
tubs in hot springs. More drinking. >> Female #2: Then you guys made a really
funny commercial at the end. Yeah, that was hilarious.
>> Tony: Not my favorite place. Peru, completely awesome.
>> Female #2: So I was in the Amazon earlier this year. I want
to know about that fermented--. The woman, you showed her I have to say when
you showed her spitting into the cup and making -- I was grossed
out. Which is hard for me --. >> Tony: Very very traditional all through
the Andes mountains. If you're going to be hanging out
in rural mountain regions of Latin America, you
will be drinking that stuff and likin' it.
>> Female #2: What did it taste like. >> Tony: Sort of like --
>> Todd: Saliva. [laughter]
>> Tony: Like if you've ever had pulque in Mexico. It's sort of a sour milk. With beer
with a sour milk component. [laughter] Not that bad.
>> Female #2: Sounds good. Okay, thank you. >> Female #3: Hi again. I have a bunch of
close friends that are not here that were like "you have to ask about Rome" because
that's their favorite. Cacio e pepe dish that you ate, where was it at?
>> Tony: The restaurant's name is Roma Sparita
>>Tom: I believe so >>Tony: in Costavel district. Roma Sparita
>> >>Female #3: I'm going. Thanks. >> Tony: Go. By all means. Over here.
>> Male #4: Unfortunately, I'm less traveled than some of my coworkers so I'm
just going straight to the heart. Anthony, any
bar recommendations in the neighborhood. >> Tony: Here in New York?
>>Male #4: Oh, absolutely. The Village? >> Tony: I don't get out to bars much
anymore. One of the -- you know, my favorite dive
bar closed down. I like the distinguished La Camba
lounge on -- it's ninth avenue -- I'm sorry eighth
avenue and right around 30th. Right next to where
Papaya King used to be. 38th. That is a sinister awesome, you know, late afternoon,
late night drinking bar. You know, it has sort
of a vaguely Latino tiki kind of a thing going
on. It's really one of the last true dives in
the area in an increasingly yuppified world.
>> Male #4: Thank you very much. >> Male #5: Thanks again for coming here to
talk to us. I think a few years ago you once said
your perfect meal was going to be a bowl of pho in Saigon. A very similar question to
what you were saying. So when you were in New York, where would you
go for such a meal.
>> You know, that's a thing. When you've had really good pho in Hanoi or Saigon,
it really kind of ruins it for you here. [laughter] There are
places that have decent pho but I need pho in context now.
I'm not happy eating it in New York. I want to be
on a low plastic stool. I want -- I need the roll
of toilet paper on the table. The little toothpick dispenser. This sort of grimy bottle of fish
sauce. I need the condiments there. I need the chop
sticks. The dirty spoons. The tissues on the ground. And I need Vietnam
outside. I need to smell those smells and see
Vietnam. It's part of the experience for me. So I
just -- I'm not having as much fun. I don't -- I
never go out for pho in New York anymore. It's why maybe I'm so
happy when I get it over there and I am ridiculously happy getting it there. That's an interesting
questions since we're all world travelers here. Your go to international
dish. Of all the things you've eaten, the one that
you had probably be happiest to do again. >> Tome: My favorite is still Nona Josepina's
ragu in Naples with grandma cooking meat and tomato
sauce for ten hours with her right there chain smoking the whole time.
[laughter] >>Tony: What about you?
>> Zach: I can't answer it. There's too many little--.
>> Tony: Oh, pick one -- c'mon. >> Zach: I can't. In China we've had
some incredible meals. In Spain, in Italy we've had
just incredible meals. It's too hard to pick. >> Todd: My short-term memory is only
working now so that two bowls of risotto we just had
in Croatia pretty incredible. >>Tony: 12 hours they're
making this ragu of ox tail or something. Then they
stir in the rice. Oh man. That's good. >> Tony: Yeah. Over here.
>> Male #5: Thank-you for being here, I just have two
very easy questions. But if I don't ask, I'll probably regret it in at least a decade. So
in the spirit of that man's wife whose energy I'm
also sort of channeling [laughter]. I don't know where
he is. So to speak. Have you ever considered having an apprentice
even just for one episode. A special contest where
someone gets to join you. >> Tony: We've done it.
>> Male #5: So the next question is, can you do it again and can that be me.
>> Tony: Where would you choose to go if you were -- if you had to pick a spot to take
us. >> Male #5: That's a good question. So
you've been to a lot more places than I have. I'd
actually like to try South Africa. There are other
places in Africa that I'd like to go. I'm fairly
well-traveled for my age and I love to eat too. I like the places that are really off
the beaten path as I'm sure do as well.
>> Tony: There's a real risk to this you know, by the way. We did solicit a contest
winner to take us to their choice of place. >>Male #5: I saw that a few years ago.
>>Tony: And man these people got so much shit from our
home team. Poor guy from the Philippines who is his life's dream. I
think he'd emigrated as a child. He knew very little
of his country. Yet he'd been once. He was desperate,
yearning to reconnect with his family from whom he'd
been separated, his culture. He single handedly convinced me to
take the show to the Philippines. Man, he got
dumped on so bad by his country men. You're not
Filipino enough. I could have done better. My
grandma's food was better. He got a lot of crap for
that. The buffalo dude. We did it basically four
times. The flip side of people taking their food
very personally and being very proud of it, is they get very
pissed off when they think somebody else from their team
hasn't represented well. So there is a dark side to
that job. You had a second question? Or. >> Male #5: The second question was can it
be me. [laughter]
>> Tony: Over here. >> Female #4: Thank you so much for coming.
I have a question about music because you talk about
how much you love music. I'm curious who would you
see play live if you could see any touring band
that's out today.
>> Tony: Out today. >> Female #4: Yeah.
>>Tony: Out today. [laughter] >> Female #4: Or favorite album of the last
year or so. >>Tony: Of last year, the Rome album, Daniele
Luppi, Dangermouse and Norah Jones, . Jack White, I think is amazing,
amazing album. It was like--. I just saw the last
episode of Breaking Bad season 4 and it closes with
the song from that album and like this show wasn't
awesome enough, my head just completely exploded. [laughter] So
that would be the album for me of the past year. As far as who to see live,
I've never seen Pearl Jam. I'd like to see Pearl Jame before it's all over. Yeah.
Who do you? Who do you want to see? >> Todd: Pavement
>> Tony: Pavement? >> Todd: Yeah.
>>Zach: You know, I've never seen Yo Yo Ma. >>Todd: I've seen him!
[laughter] >>Tony: You
>>Tom: Lady Gaga [laughter]
>>Tony: Over here >> Male #6: I first wanted to just thank
you guys for what you do. My wife and I had our
first kid this year so we're on travel hiatus. So
it's kind of like the methadone for our travel addiction for us to be
able to watch your show. So thank you very much. I
was just curious -- between going to a place that
most people have never been or going to a place that
maybe a lot of travelers have been to and trying to
show a new angle on it which do you prefer or find more exciting to do?
>> Tony: One demands the other. Especially as we do this year after year.
Quite frankly, if we do a Rome show, an Italy show
and a Provence show in short order. I'm putting on what, eight,
ten pounds. That's eight to ten pounds we're putting on.
There's no way. It'll kill you. The sheer abundance of
wonderfulness. [laughter] It's physically just kicks the shit
out of you, all that good food. Also, you start to
get -- it's -- it becomes boring for the viewer, I think, if
it's just one fantastic experience of the other. So
I think we very deliberately pick especially after a show
where there's lots of good stuff, lots of beautiful
scenery, it's a comfortable show, we're deliberately looking for some place
where both food is a struggle and, as importantly, whatever we're going to be talking about is
going to be a struggle. Like, we're not sure how we're
going to feel about this. We're not going to be
-- there are no clear cut moral issues. You know, Haiti,
Liberia, you know, it's not misery tourism. We're
going in looking to do a happy show everywhere we
go. But we're looking for places where we're going
to be, I think, pressed or challenged. I think we're
doing that very deliberately over the last couple of seasons.
Otherwise the show will become boring. We will
become boring. Frankly, you enjoy your fantastic bowl of fettuccine carbonara a hell of a lot
more when you've just gone been to a country where
people are really, really struggling for very, very
little to eat. >> Male #6: That also answers my wife's
question for how you managed to stay so thin. So
twofer. Thank-you very much. >>Tony: Thanks. Question over here
>> Female #5: In your book Kitchen Confidential, you talk about how it's tough to
be a woman in the cook kitchen. You really respect women, you kind of keep up. you
Obviously, you guys are a bunch of dudes. Not a lot
of women going on up there. Do you find that it's -- [laughter]do you think that that's
changing? There are a lot of popular female chefs, is that changing more and more?
>> Tony: I feel that any answer I would give you
would be patronizing. I think I should probably refer you to
the head of our company, Lydia Tenaglia or our executive producer, Sandy Zweig Or any
woman who made this show, who run the show, who oversee the show.
We are all products both literally and figuratively
of -- this is a women-run operation. [laughter and
cheering] So the whole genesis of this show in fact started out when I met Lydia
Tenaglia and her new husband Chris Collins who just
got married ten seconds earlier and we went out to
make a cooks' tour together for Food Network. I met them they
were people walking backwards in front of me with cameras across Southeast Asia. This
whole team, this whole company Zero Point Zero. And
this whole enterprise came out of that very tiny
personal relationship. So and over the years, you
know, as it has happened over the last few years
we're together the most, but we work with a lot of
women basically doing your job as shooters, assistant
directors. So. Just an ugly accident that we're
all dudes up here now. >> Male #7: So before there's like a
million and one celebrity chefs, who was your favorite
80's chef like on the old 80's show PBS? >> Well, I revered Julia child. I
think Julia Child the most single important person in American gastronomy was Julia Child,
without question. She changed the world; not professionally trained. Made the world
a better place, you know? I grew up with a generation
where every refrigerator had a copy of her book
on top. Everyone had seen the shows. Everybody was
a better person. Not only a better cook, but a better
person and a better eater, which means better person
in my view, post, Julia. Jacques Pepin. You know,
Jacques Pepin tells you this is how you make an omelet. The matter
is settled as far as I'm concerned.
>>Male #7: His daughter would disagree and she corrected him many times. It was great.
When they do a show together it's great.
>> Tony: Jacques could write about everything. That's one of the great joys of the show we
had Jacques Pepin on the show. I just worshiped
his work. You know, I would have loved to have Julia
Child on the show. I looked up to her a lot.
>> Male #7: Yeah, she was my favorite too. >> Zach: Black and white food show first come
first served, just sayin'-- >> Female #6: Hi. Thank you for coming. I
actually have a question for the production team.
When you're out shooting, do you always get to eat what Anthony gets to eat?
What about places like elBulli? >> Zach: Tom.
>> Todd: We actually ate out by the dumpsters. You know, one of the nice things
about working in a kitchen is often you'll find
some very nice, you know, chefs that will pop something
in your mouth. So that's always a big perk of
the job.
But we tend to eat what Tony eats. Sometimes a
little cold after we're done. >>Tony: If it's bad, they're definitely
eating it. It's like, "you want me to eat that?"
OK, Dude. Why don't you guys try some. >> Zach: It's very rare that we don't
eat. >> Tom: People treat us very well.
>> Tony: You've all sat down at Robuchon. Sometimes the chefs if they
have time and they have the facilities, they will make a point of, "okay, what
about you guys? You're sitting down. You're getting the full treatment." First time we
shot at elBulli with Lydia and Chris, okay, they didn't get to
sit down and eat all 40 courses, but they did get to
stand up in the kitchen and get like 12 of them in short order which was
pretty cool. >>Zach: At Chibaa, we've eaten at some incredible
places. >> Tony: On the other hand, this is a weird,
you touched on something really unusual that I've
noticed. Television people and camera people in
general, they all behave as if they're part of some
weird international union. Meal time is meal time.
They could be on their way to Robuchon knowing full
well if they just wait an hour, an hour and a half
they could eat the most amazing French meal. They're still eating the bag of snacks and
the hotel-made crummy sandwich. Every meal it's as if it's
their last. You load up for breakfast every day, right?
You're eating that crummy breakfast at the hotel , every time. Whatever nasty
snack or crew meal has been packed by the field
producer, you're eating it. Or they'll stop for lunch
in some horrifying place. "we're about to go off to
this incredible wonder land of food -- why?" Why is
that by the way. [laughter]
>> Tom: Food is fuel. And like you say, we have to spend a lot of time with people.
There's just not time for eating. I mean a few bites here and there. We don't sit down
and have a full meal when we're working there are other
things to be done. >> Zach: Yeah, you never know when your
next meal is going to be. [laughter ]
>>Zach: You really don't. I mean, it could be eight hours. It could be eight hours
later. And then, we'll sit down and we'll have that
incredible meal at Robuchon. But it will be a long stretch.
>> Tony: Alternately the worst thing for me is when-- This happened --. We did this
show in China where this happened every single day. We're on our way to a scene.
It's brown food. We're going to be doing brown food. It's not
very visually interesting. It's good but it's going
to be brown. And on the way we stop off at our
local fix. Oh we'll stop here, you guys need crew
meal; we'll stop here. And you end up at a restaurant and it's like,
"oh my God, this food is like amazing." So the crew is
sitting around eating this fantastic food and I know
I'm going to sit down eating eight courses of brown
food afterwards. It's so hard to resist. >>Zach: Actually you were asking me what one
of my favorite meals was. It was that one. [laughter] It was. I'm not
kidding. That was incredible.
>> Female #7: That's awesome. Well, so this lifestyle, it seems totally crazy and not
sustainable. Not that I want the show to go anywhere. But I was wondering what was the
long-term plan for the show, if any. >>Tony: I'm going to keep doing it as
long as it's fun and as long as I'm interested. We
talk about this. What can we do next that's different? As long as we can figure out a
way to make next episode, next season interesting
to us. Honestly we don't really care about the audience that
much [chuckles]. Because if it's not interesting to us, if it's not challenging
to us, if it's not fun for us, why would it be fun for
anybody else? So I mean, I think at this point, you
know, if you guys turn to me in the lobby one day
and say, "you know what? I think we've gone as
far with the photography as we can go. I don't know where else we're gonna
go. " If I turn to you guys and I say, "you know, this travel and eating thing, I just
want to go home, get a place with a yard and grow tomatoes." I think we all would sort
of say, "that's when we'll stop." But until then, as long as
it's fun, as long as it's interesting, as long as we
can figure out something new, and interesting frightening to the network to do next week.
Until then, we'll keep doing it. >> Todd: No, we're not going to film you
growing tomatoes. >> Tony: No. Reality show. No. Over here?
Couple more. >> Female #8: Hi. So a few months ago, you
said something kinda mean about Paula Deen and she kind
of fired back at you and I was just wondering if you
two ever made amends or --. >> Tony: We don't hang out together, you
know? No. I mean, listen. I never meant to say
"this is the worst person in the world or the worst
person in America." As a business person, I actually have a lot of
respect for her. The story arc of her life is pretty
damn impressive. I just don't like the show and I
think that the food she prepares on the show is
provably bad for the country. [laughter]
>> Tony: You know, my show -- I do dangerous stuff on the show. You know, you
seen me smoking on the show, drinking to excess,
eating unhealthy food. The difference between my
show and her show, my show comes with a parental advisory.
[laughter] And I'm only suggesting that maybe hers should,
too. >> Male #8: So, thanks for joining us
today. I wanted to also first say I play bass so
it's great to hear you say you want to come back to
life as a bass player. So I have a few questions. First one is, if you were on Iron Chef, who
would you want to compete against and don't say
the new guy because he's easier to beat. And then,
what would you secret ingredient be.
>> Tony: Tough one. Who are the Iron Chefs these days?
>>Male #8: Batali. Flay. >>Tony: I'm not going up against Batali.
He'd kick my ass. >>Male #8: The new guy is Mike Symons, I think.
>>Tony: Symon would kick my ass. Flay would kick my ass.
>>Male #8: Cat Cora, right
>>Tony: Cat Cora would probably kick my ass, too. I was never that great a chef. [laughter]
Honestly. I'm not going on. Like, I've often said on Top Chef, where I'm a
frequent judge, I might through age, guile, experience, hustle, street smarts and pure
bull shit be able to weasel my way, four or five episodes
in before I got the chop. But I would not ever
be a finalist or anywhere close on Top Chef. What
would my secret ingredient be? Pork.
[applause] >> Male #8: That's a good one. And then one
last question since no one asked and here you are at Google.
Do you guys use any of our products? What are your favorites?[laughter]
>> Tony: Yes. Yes, I do. In fact, I believe we all use the Google family of products.
[applause and laughter] >> Male #8: Thank you.