There’s a new cooking show on the radio: “Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert: Turn & Burn” will run for five weeks; its first episode aired last night. The featured guest was celebrity chef Mario Batali. I was way too busy preparing for the men’s figure skating finals to tune in, and I don’t have Sirius radio (but desperately need it). So I wasn’t there. But wait – cooking show on the radio? How does that work? Hopefully better than the one I hear on NPR sometimes. I have a bleak memory of driving lost through the North Carolina foothills after an overnight canoe trip, listening to some woman talk about pie crust for twenty minutes.
But I’m not worried. Even Anthony Bourdain’s voice is handsome – and he’s the archetypical bad boy of the food world. He can cook and eat anything, climb mountains in Peru while smoking cigarettes, and hang out stoned on a Jamaican beach. I know less about Ripert – he’s more subtle, toned-down, with a lovely French accent and a sly wit that surprises you when it pops out. So already, these two make a good radio pair.
To promote their show, they appeared on the televised Martha Stewart show. Hilarity ensued as they discussed food porn with Martha. Avocados and freshly-cracked eggs made the homemaker maven extremely uncomfortable. “It just looks like egg to me,” she laughed, obviously wishing the studio floor would swallow her up and take her to a brain-cleaning station. There was an inexplicable mound of fresh durians on the table, and when asked what her food fetish might be, Martha said, “Durian.” Which is the most wretched-smelling food item known to the Western world. Bourdain himself gagged on it in one of his shows. So, prickly puke-colored fruits that smell like hot garbage turn Martha on? Well, I guess that explains a few things. Martha quickly moved the program along to the cooking segment; coq au vin was the meal du jour.
If you visit Martha’s Sirius site (is it not XM anymore? What’s up with that?), the show appears to be pleasantly decorous and educational, offering a “taste of the ins and outs of the food world.” But, having learned everything I know about food from No Reservations and Top Chef, I already know enough to know this show will be anything but Martha-esque. Food ethics is a subject on the menu, as well as vegetarianism, sustainability and food in the media. Like Food Network media or McDonald’s commercial media? I’ll have to find a way to tune in, and you stay tuned too for more of my ranting about food porn and the hotness of Anthony Bourdain.