We think of celebrity chefs as willing to try anything, and for the most part, they do. Still, that doesn’t mean they like everything. In fact, there were several types of food Anthony Bourdain hated.
Years after his tragic death, Anthony Bourdain remains a colossal figure in the culinary world.
During his life, he turned countless hole-in-the-wall restaurants into tourist destinations. If he liked something, it meant something. It also meant a lot when he disliked something.
Below, read about the 20 foods Anthony Bourdain hated the most and why he found them so abhorrent.
Brioche Hamburger Buns
Anthony Bourdain didn’t dislike brioche dough or bread. He just didn’t like it used as a hamburger bun.
Brioche buns have a shell-like exterior that doesn’t absorb liquid well. That’s what disqualifies them from hamburgers, according to Bourdain.
He firmly believed that a good hamburger bun should absorb all the juices that leaked out from the scrumptious meat, and since brioche doesn’t do that, it was a no-go for him.
Bourdain railed against the club sandwich in his cookbook, Appetites.
It wasn’t the combination of bacon, deli meat, cheese, and vegetables that he found disgusting, though.
It was the extra piece of bread in the middle, which he encouraged all of us to part ways with.
In his opinion, it was an unnecessary addition to the meal that blocked the flavors of the other sandwich elements.
Frito pie is a southern delicacy consisting of a small bag of Fritos smothered in chili, cheese, and spices. Its portability makes it a favorite of workers on the go.
However, Bourdain described it as “feeling like holding warm crap in a bag.”
He may not have hated the flavor, but he feared what the combination of ingredients would do to his digestive system- which is fair enough!
Bourdain hated everything about brunch, right down to one of its most popular dishes, eggs benedict.
The worst part is the hollandaise sauce, which he saw as a haven for bacteria due to the uncooked eggs in the sauce.
He only liked it if it was made to order, which is impractical during a brunch service.
For Bourdain, ranch symbolized what was wrong with food in America.
Instead of freshness, preservative-laden food gets smothered in strong flavors like ranch, which disguise the true flavor of the ingredients.
While he admitted that he might like it in private, he’d never order anything with ranch in a restaurant, believing that a chef should be talented enough to impart flavor without relying on pre-made dressings.
Bourdain had a lot to say about truffle oil. He described it as “industrial waste” and went so far as to say he doesn’t even think of it as food.
One of the worst of its crimes is that it doesn’t even contain truffles.
If you’ve seen Bourdain judge on cooking shows such as Top Chef, you know the wrath truffle oil invoked in him during tastings.
Extra-Hot Fried Chicken
Extra-hot fried chicken is a favorite in Nashville, but Bourdain wasn’t a fan.
Rather crudely, he stated that the dish was a two or three-day commitment to being in the bathroom.
It wasn’t like Bourdain didn’t like spicy food, either. He had a strong stomach and ate adventurously.
Something about this chicken didn’t suit him- maybe the heat of the chicken left him unable to taste the rest of the meal!
Starbucks introduced unicorn frappuccinos in 2017, about a year before Bourdain died.
Like some other celebrities, he didn’t jump on the bandwagon. He thought it had too much going on, and while he enjoyed dessert, the sweetness overwhelmed his palate.
Plus, if he wanted sweetness, he’d order an actual dessert- not waste time in a drive thru line for a glorified coffee!
Bourdain was famously cautious when it came to seafood. While he usually enjoyed the taste, he avoided certain types, and swordfish was one of them.
As a trained chef, he knew that improper preparation–which is not uncommon–could easily cause sickness.
Therefore, he seldom ordered it unless he knew where it came from and who prepared it.
He may have loved fresh fruit and even fresh-squeezed juice, but he didn’t understand juice cleanses.
He thought it was nonsensical to make oneself ill and nutritionally depleted to make one’s body healthier. He described it as herd mentality.
To Bourdain, the ketchup you buy in a bottle in stores is as fancy as it ever needs to be.
He didn’t think it made sense for chefs and their staff to waste their time making ketchup.
In his opinion, it never ends up tasting better than the original.
What’s more, since ketchup’s sweetness is meant to simply complement other flavors, it could detract from those if a chef heavily flavored theirs.
It surprises some people that Bourdain didn’t get on board with the craft beer craze.
But to him, beer has historically always been a beverage for the common person.
Making it fancy or even pretentious defeated the point, and you can see him drinking whatever’s cold in many episodes of his TV shows.
There are a lot of foodies who refuse to eat fast food, but Bourdain wasn’t one of them.
Bourdain said he refused to eat these popular staples because he had no idea how they were made or even what was in them.
Rarely did Bourdain rule out entire categories of food. But airline food was one of the few.
He stated that he didn’t know anyone who ever felt better after eating it.
Even though he was a world traveler, he apparently never ate on airplanes.
He preferred to wait until he arrived at his destination.
Bourdain loved beef, but he saw Kobe–especially Kobe sliders–as a scam.
Not only is Kobe beef an unclear designation, but a real chef probably wouldn’t waste good beef in a slider.
Bourdain called Kobe sliders the “epicenter of douchedom.”
I mentioned brunch above when discussing hollandaise sauce, but Bourdain wasn’t a fan of brunch in general.
In one of his first books, Kitchen Confidential, he said brunch was a way for chefs to get rid of unused food from the night before.
It was overpriced and not fresh, and he opted to pass.
Chicken Caesar Salad
Bourdain loved chicken in many forms and didn’t have a problem with caesar salads.
He just didn’t want them together.
To Bourdain, a caesar salad was an appetizer meant to be enjoyed before a main course, not as a main course. Besides, the chicken will be overcooked.
To be clear, Bourdain didn’t oppose gluten-free foods for people with Celiac disease.
He didn’t think anyone without a serious medical condition should adopt such a drastic diet unless they needed it.
He didn’t believe–and many medical professionals agree–that it was necessary for most people.
Bourdain didn’t like many things about eggs benedict, and another aspect of them he hated were English muffins.
He thought these particular pastries didn’t toast properly because of their unique texture, especially when toasted under a broiler.
What’s more, he felt they got too soggy- definitely not ideal for sandwiches!
Anything Pumpkin Spice
Bourdain was not one to jump on a bandwagon.
Pumpkin spice was another fad he couldn’t get into, both in food, desserts, and coffee.
He thought it was just a craze and found it rather disgusting. He hoped it would drown “in its own blood.” Those are strong feelings!
Anthony Bourdain’s Least Favorite Foods
- Brioche Hamburger Buns
- Club Sandwiches
- Frito Pie
- Hollandaise Sauce
- Ranch Dressing
- Truffle Oil
- Extra-Hot Fried Chicken
- Unicorn Frappuccino
- Juice Cleanses
- House-Made Ketchup
- Craft Beer
- Chicken McNuggets
- Airline Food
- Kobe Sliders
- Brunch Foods
- Chicken Caesar
- Gluten-Free Foods
- English Muffins
- Anything Pumpkin Spice