Anthony Bourdain gets to gallivant around the world indulging in a culinary map of marvels as we suckers sit home, salivating over some rare delicacy, or dry heaving over an even rarer delicacy. If you could go anywhere in the world with Mr. Bourdain, chef and booze-hound extraordinaire, where would you go, and which foods would you absolutely have to try? Pretend that this is a pitch to get him to pick you out of thousands of people, and really sell your idea. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, get out from under your rock, and go to travelchannel.com.
Alright dude. Here's the deal. You have been quite vociferous in your opinion of vegetarians. And that's cool. I don't begrudge you. You coast by on a seemingly endless bank of cool points that others with similar opinions (Nugent, Leary, et. al.) simply don't have. And frankly, after reading over some of the comments on the matter, I find most of my fellow vegetarians to be reactionary humorless morons who simply cannot take a joke. Well, actually, I feel that way about the majority of my fellow Liberals. Sometimes, I'm embarrassed to be in their company. I'd switch parties, but I'm not a racist homophobic misogynist.
But I digress.
My point is, it may seem that we have a great chasm between us, but that's what they said about Anwar Sadat and Menachem Begin. And if those guys could bring peace to the Middle East, then anything is possible. Here is my proposal.
Quid Pro Quo. Tit for Tat. Something for something else. Catch my drift? I've been a vegetarian for almost ten years. But I will put it on pause if only to let you see that we are not the enemy (well, most of us. I can't speak for the crazy ones, but then again, you can't speak for the nuts on your side either.)
Now, I know this seems a bit one-sided. After all, on a hypothetical level, you don't limit yourself to a purely carnivorous diet, while I, though not vegan, subsist otherwise. You always have the vegetarian option, you simply choose to not exercise it. But, have you ever really surrendered to a truly vegetarian meal. I don't mean something that has no meat, but rather, something that was prepared with just as much culinary care and consideration for palette any of your items on the menu at Le Halles. Your fondness for Indian cuisine has been noted, so I know you're willing.
It would make for brilliant television. Each episode, we would stop in an exotic city and you would sample the local vegetarian cuisine. And in exchange, for the duration of the season, I would forego my diet and subject myself to whatever you placed in front of me. Anything. The meaties would tune in to watch me squirm and the veg's would get a laugh out of watching you grumble and bitch about the food you're missing out on. And maybe, when it's all said and done, you might be willing to admit that there are Veg items that can stand firmly with some of the other recipes in your life. Sure, it's not marrow on toast with sea salt, but I suppose few things are. I just want this acrimony to stop. I'll take one for the team as it were. Then you can stop baiting Veg's and they can stop bitching. And honestly, it's not so much your baiting as their bitching that gets under my skin.
But, before we go forward, I do have to admit something in the interest of full disclosure. I'm Mexican. While this may seem to be a matter of little importance, I should point out that I grew up eating the parts of animals that most people throw away. Stomach. Cheek. Tongue. Tripe. Pancreas. All par for the course. Additionally, I'm one of the few vegetarians that will admit that yes, meat DOES taste good. I just choose to not eat it.
And as to the general image of vegetarians as 90-pound weaklings, I stand testament to the contrary. I've gained 20 pounds since I STOPPED eating meat.
C'mon. It'll be fun. And when we're not filming, we can go drink each other under the table at the hotel bar. We'll be the two coolest guys in the room. The Frenchman and the Mexican. It even sounds like a cool movie. Like a Spaghetti Western that takes place in Texas after the Civil War. We can even stay in touch afterwards. Exchange Christmas cards. Message each other on Facebook. Totally BFF's
Uh, did I mention that I developed a man crush on you last year? Yeah. After I read Kitchen Confidential. Even went out and bought my first heavy Chef's knife like you suggested in the book. Best purchase I ever made. Granted, I use it to slice peppers and onions instead of shanks and loins, but you get the idea. Anyway, think it over.