#ICYMI Day 9: Anthony Bourdain: “The Hunger”

For the entire month of December your WGSN global editors are coming live and direct to you through the WGSN Insider blog. We’re rounding up this overwhelming year, by cutting through the noise to deliver you, our “WGSN #ICYMI” rundown.

It’s a rundown of the coolest moments of the year, the most innovative ad campaigns, plus super cool products that may have flown under your radar this busy year, and we’ll give you insight into the people (read: key influencers) from this year, and those predicted to be the stand out stars of 2017.



WGSN Staffer: Vincent Pantano, Software Engineer


Few people have tapped into our instinctive human drive towards delicious food and wanderlust the way Anthony Bourdain has. The man has made a career out of travelling the globe and soaking in the culture and cuisine of more countries than most can even identify on a map.

In late 2016, Bourdain took to the road in a series of talks, promoting his new cookbook, and sharing his experience with an America that, in his opinion, could do well with a little culture shock.

It was a pleasant surprise to find that his two-hour monologue was far from a book tour (in fact, Appetites: A Cookbook was not mentioned once).

When he visited the Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn this November, it was more like catching up with your eccentric uncle in an intimate and hilarious talk about his career, global culture, and the obligatory jab at hipster food culture.

In fact, this stop on his tour felt rather deliberate as he had quite a few things to say in particular to the BoCoCa audience. A recurring theme throughout the talk was respect, tolerance, and open-mindedness, and how disregarding every item on a meticulously prepared menu at a restaurant for an hour …then asking if you could instead have a kale salad… is something that undermines the very trust and respect chefs spend their careers building.

Referring to his long held “Grandma Rule,” he reminded the audience that no matter how burnt and dry your grandmother’s turkey comes out every Thanksgiving, when you’re in grandma’s house, you eat her food and you graciously say thank you. No one could argue this after Bourdain elaborated on a meal of freshly hunted pig’s anus prepared specially for him by the chief of a tribe of bushmen. Although less relatable, this really crystallised his message in his own distinctively unfiltered way.


It is surprisingly refreshing to be reminded of just how little you know about the world, and being told in person from such an intelligent speaker and writer is a fantastic step up from sitting at home and binge-watching episodes of Parts Unknown. This was a gold star highlight in a 2016 with its fair share of cultural distortion, and for anyone with an appetite for quality, insightful conversation and mouthwatering tales of amazing food, I could not recommend more strongly that you catch Bourdain on his next visit to your city.


Look out for our full #ICYMI calendar coming up everyday on WGSN Insider, this month. Check out day eight here, remembering fashion photographer Bill Cunningham.

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