Friday, May 31, 2024

Anthony Bourdain Grandma Rule


Anthony Bourdain


Anthony Bourdain was famous for many reasons, not the least of which his extensive culinary travels, which landed him in kitchens and restaurants around the world. He had the best advice for finding great restaurants in any city and many other food rules he swore by when traveling, including the so-called "Grandma Rule." This was Bourdain's catchy term for a respectful bit of food etiquette to use when dining as a guest. In the same way you'd do at your grandma's house, accept the food a host offers without complaint, and even if it's not to your liking, be gracious and grateful to them.  

As seen in an excerpt published in Forbes, Bourdain's memoir, "Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook," expounded on the idea. The famed chef wrote, "You may not like Grandma's Thanksgiving turkey. It may be overcooked and dry [...] But it is 'Grandma's Turkey.' And you are in Grandma's house. So shut the eff up and eat it. And afterwards say, 'Thank you Grandma, why yes, yes of course I'd love seconds.'" Bourdain was known for seeking out foods in the only countries where they can be found, and while it's impossible for absolutely every dish to be to his (or anyone else's) tastes, his respect for the cook -- and therefore, the cuisine -- was always paramount. 

Bourdain was also big on following the advice of locals and trying their favorite restaurants, adding that obsessing over cleanliness or safety can get in the way of having authentic experiences. He also advised travelers to avoid airplane food and arrive at their destination with an empty stomach, ready to enjoy new foods and flavors ASAP. Food can actually taste different while flying, so it's worth it to wait for a more satisfying meal.

Above all, Bourdain preached humility. He believed that being open to new experiences was the secret to living a rich and full life. According to an excerpt of his book "Medium Raw" as featured in Variety, he wrote: "Without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, moribund." 

Anthony Bourdain's Grandma Rule

It Applies to Cookbooks Too !