Interview with Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio and Anthony Bourdain

If you’re a fan of Bravo’s “Top Chef,” you have something big to look forward to starting December 1. The new season is “Top Chef All Stars,” pitting contestants from previous seasons in what is sure to be the best season of the show yet. Along with host Padma Lakshmi, head judge Tom Colicchio, regular judge Gail Simmons and new judge Anthony Bourdain, some of the past competitors who return for this season are Carla Hall (season five finalist), Spike Mendelsohn (season four, top five), Fabio Viviani (voted fan fav, season five) and Marcel Vigneron (season two finalist).

We had the chance to participate in a conference call with Colicchio and Bourdain recently and naturally they had great things to say about this season and are looking forward to sharing it with the world. Below is the transcript, and the show begins airing Wednesday, December 1 at 10:00 pm ET/PT.

Our first question from the line of Sophia Sparks, Rock ‘n Roll Ghost. You may proceed.

Sophia Sparks: Hello Tom and Anthony.

Tom Colicchio: Hi, how you doing?

Sophia Sparks: I’m good thanks.

Tom Colicchio: Are you a Replacements fan?

Sophia Sparks: So we’re…

Tom Colicchio: Are you a Replacements fan?

Sophia Sparks: Yes.

Tom Colicchio: Oh, okay Rock ‘n Roll Ghost is sung by The Replacements. Anyway, go ahead.

Sophia Sparks: Okay, so my first question since we’re out of Chicago is, if you guys were up and coming young chefs would you pick New York City because it’s a better culinary scene? Or, would you pick Chicago because there is more opportunity, and you’d think you’d stand out more here?

Tom Colicchio: Why do you assume there is a better restaurant scene than New York City?

Sophia Sparks: Well a lot of people do.

Tom Colicchio: And you’re from Chicago – wow, okay. You know, what’s interesting nowadays is when we start a cooking – or I’ll talk myself – I’ll speak myself, when I started cooking it was out of New York, San Francisco maybe Los Angeles, and that was pretty much it.

And nowadays if there is a up and coming cook you can pretty much work anywhere and find great food.

You can find great stuff in Cleveland, there is some good chefs there. You can find great food…

Anthony Bourdain: Milwaukee right?

Tom Colicchio: …in Milwaukee, exactly. There is great chefs and so I don’t think you’re limited to just the sort of big cities anymore or, the New York and San Francisco.

You know, it’s interesting I’m from the east coast, so I would probably gravitate towards New York since it’s home.

Anthony Bourdain: Yes I mean you know, for me it’s a close call these days over you know, to your question it would be a close call because Chicago has the kind of customer base that, you know, basically in order to have the training ground, a proving ground for high-end cooking clearly you need a lot of wealthy people. You need a big megalopolis, if you’re going to have a lot of really good restaurants competitive fighting over the same dollar and Chicago’s got that.

Of course I’d go with New York because I’m a New Yorker like Tom. But like I said it’s a close call and, you know, I’m fascinated by the whole – the whole (Meshland) thing that just came out. I mean I just saw (unintelligible) last night and just walked away from three (Meshland) stars.

And from what I hear from the (Meshland) Director he has been said to have said to other people that it was the single best meal he had in America all year.

Sophia Sparks: Oh wow.

Anthony Bourdain: So, you know, big respect to Chicago.

Sophia Sparks: Okay.

Tom Colicchio: Yes well, you know, what’s interesting is – one second – hold on one second and I’m going to answer that. What’s interesting in Chicago right now there seems to be more an openness for the sort of ad vanguard cooking that you see at (Alinea).

And you know, at New York we have Wylie Dufresne who is kind of on the forefront. But he’s, you know, he has a tough location, and I think Chicago is just a little more receptive to it. You have Moto and a few other restaurants that are sort on the cutting edge of cooking.

And so, I think if you were interested in that as a cook, Chicago may be a place for you to start out.

Anthony Bourdain: Agreed.

Sophia Sparks: Okay. And then my other question for you since both of you I believe are fans of (food) products how do you stay so slim with busy schedules and traveling?

Anthony Bourdain: Wow I never been – how do I stay so slim?

Sophia Sparks: Yes.

Anthony Bourdain: I never been in a gym in my – no, I went into a gym for 20 minutes once. My wife bought me some training sessions and I decided that there was nothing attractive about laying on the floor trying not to vomit in front of total strangers.

I basically Google (Keith Richards) everyday, if he is still alive I figure there is hope for me.

Tom Colicchio: Exactly. I’m the opposite, I’m you know, a hamburger away from 250. So I have to work out. I try to – I box actually. I used to run, my knees can’t do it anymore, but I try to box three days a week with a trainer.

Sophia Sparks: Okay. All right, thank you.

Operator: Our next question from the line of Maggie Furlong with AOL. You may proceed.

Maggie Furlong: Hey guys, thanks for taking the time.

Tom Colicchio: Sure.

Maggie Furlong: So Tom knowing that you know all of these chefs very, very well who would you say has changed the most since we saw them on Top Chef?

Tom Colicchio: Dale comes to mind, he seems to have matured a lot since the – since the Chicago season. They all seemed to have grown, some of them I mean, Spike has obviously done a lot since his season aired. Professionally I think he’s doing really well.

They all seemed to have matured a bit. They all seem to, you know, I think they are (cognizant) now they are actually on our – you know, they are on TV. I think before they knew they were – I think once you get the chance to see yourself it kind of reigns in a little bit.

But I think – I think they’re all, you know, I think more on top of their game. But Dale definitely.

Anthony Bourdain: I’d have to agree with that you know, given what we can say and what we can’t say about what is going to happen. I think it would be fair to say that there is a lot of surprises on this season. I mean people who were surprisingly strong, and also surprisingly strong talented people who fell down that you wouldn’t expect.

So and it’s – it was just as a Top Chef fan boy even though as sitting at Judges Table I was enjoying this season.

Maggie Furlong: And you are always everyone’s favorite Guest Judge, Tony.

Anthony Bourdain: Okay.

Maggie Furlong: Everybody loves it when you come on because you’re just so brutally honest, and that’s what people need to hear. Is there any chance that you might take a seat when the normal season of Top Chef returns?

Anthony Bourdain: You know, it’s strictly a matter of – I mean in a perfect world I would be there all the time because I’m a huge fan of the show. And frankly I just enjoy hanging out with Tom and you know, doing – you know, enjoying the whole process.

So it’s really just a matter of logistics. You know, I’m shooting my show and doing other (nonsense) for about 175 to 225 days a year. So, to the extent that I can squeeze that in, you know, that’s the determinant.

Maggie Furlong: Now obviously neither one of you can give specifics about the cooking or the meals or everyone’s performances. But if you had to step back and pick the one chef that you’d want to hang out and have a drink with late night after a long day of cooking, who would you pick?

Tom Colicchio: Tony.

Anthony Bourdain: I’d, you know I…

Tom Colicchio: I mean I’d rather have a drink with you.

Anthony Bourdain: Yes.

Tom Colicchio: I find I think as most people do I find Fabio, you know, very loveable.

Maggie Furlong: Oh, he’ll love reading that. Thank you guys very much.

Tom Colicchio: Sure.

Operator: Our next question is from the line of Bobby Pellegrino with US Weekly. You may proceed.

Bobby Pellegrino: Hey Tom and Anthony.

Tom Colicchio: Hey Bobby, how you doing.

Bobby Pellegrino: Hey you guys – you both have young children. I’m just wondering, you know, what are they eating right now, and you know what are they up to?

Tom Colicchio: I left the house about 15 minutes ago and he was toddling around eating anything he can, you know, stuff in his mouth.

But seriously he’s on an organic only diet for, you know, for various reasons. But one that we believe that there is a whole environmental factor that leads – is part of a perfect storm that can – that can bring on autism.

And so we’re trying to, you know, keep any kind of metals or, any organic materials from sort of getting into his system especially at a young age.

So that’s kind of what we’re – we all – we’re feeding him.

Anthony Bourdain: My wife is Italian and takes a dim view of American dietary and eating and cooking practices, and we’re basically raising an Italian baby.

So she’s in school, she is 3 1/2 actually, she is a little girl now. She is in school and her little lunch box, you know, she had some homemade organic pasta, and you know, I think the thinking around here regardless of the way I may feed myself and even choose to feed others comes from my little angel. She is eating organic, and she is eating Italian.

Tom Colicchio: Yes.

Bobby Pellegrino: Great. And also with the holidays coming up what would you put on your menu if you were to throw like a glitzy holiday cocktail party?

Anthony Bourdain: I tell you right now I’m eating turkey, I’m not a communist. I mean, by God lets fill up with turkey, stuffing, gravy. It doesn’t even have to be good turkey, stuffing and gravy. It’s – you know, it’s the holidays.

Bobby Pellegrino: Yes, exactly.

Anthony Bourdain: This is America.

Tom Colicchio: Yes, Christmas Eve, if we’re talking Christmas Eve for me it’s all about 13 fish being Italian, Anthony I think you’re going to run into this one soon. It’s the big Christmas Eve Fish Dinner.

So it starts off with (Fredo Meesto) with about five different fish. We do salt cod, there is a big (cachuko) and it includes lobster and scallops and shrimp and mussels and clams. And so it’s kind of, you know, it’s Christmas Eve for me.

Bobby Pellegrino: Great. And last question for Anthony you got kind of a big shout out in the movie Morning Glory. You know, Harrison Ford’s character said he was a friend of yours. So I’m just wondering is there a back story to that – or?

Anthony Bourdain: I was completely unaware of this. Really, wow?

Bobby Pellegrino: Yes.

Anthony Bourdain: Harrison Ford toasted my name – awesome.

Bobby Pellegrino: Well his character does – yes.

Anthony Bourdain: Wow.

Tom Colicchio: Apparently he had some interview with Conan last night. I haven’t seen it yet, but I heard he’d seemed pretty out of it.

Anthony Bourdain: Well there you go – there is an explanation right there.

Bobby Pellegrino: All right, great. Thanks guys.

Tom Colicchio: All right.

Operator: Our next question from the line of (Han Nuan) from

(Han Nuan): Hi guys.

Anthony Bourdain: Hi.

Tom Colicchio: Hey, how you doing.

(Han Nuan): So was there anyone from the previous seasons that you really wanted to get, but for some reason or other they couldn’t make it?

Tom Colicchio: We’re not involved in casting. So that’s something that you probably have to either talk to you know, one of the producers about that is involved in that.

You know, I think we have a great lineup. I’m sure, you know, it would have great to have Bryan Voltaggio back, but I’m sure he is busy with the restaurant right now.

You know, it would have been great to have maybe – I’m trying to think. I don’t know, I think we have a great lineup. I mean really, I don’t…

(Han Nuan):Yes.

Anthony Bourdain: Yes I had nothing to do with the casting. I had no idea who was going on, I was just – when I saw who it was my first episode I was really pleased with the lineup.

Tom Colicchio: Yes.

Anthony Bourdain: Some of my favorites were on.

Tom Colicchio: Right. You now, what’s difficult about this season and we sort of – I think we’ve all felt this, all the judges is that we – you know, doing the regular season if we’re doing, you know, a new season on a show, we’re not allowed to interact with the contestants at all. They are kept from us. We only talk to when we’re on camera. So it’s a walkthrough when we’re eating their food or at Judges Table.

And you know, after the season is over when we do the reunion the guard is let down, and we get to know them a little bit. And some of the chefs you know, I’ve seen them at festivals and things like that and gone out and hung up with them. So that made it very, very difficult to judge them.

It’s much easier to judge someone if you don’t know them at all. But then you get to know them and you actually start to consider them your peers. It’s very, very difficult.

Anthony Bourdain: And (weird).

Tom Colicchio: Yes, yes so it is hard. I mean, so I think if anything I think the judging this season is a little more constructive at least from my point of view. I just need to be, you know, I know, when I was getting reviewed I’d rather here constructive criticism then you know, the normal stuff you get in a review.

(Han Nuan): Awesome. Let’s see I know Tony you had said something about turkey. What are your actual Thanksgiving plans as far as like you get together with family, is there going to be a (unintelligible).

Anthony Bourdain: You know, turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy, eggnog, you know, like that.

(Han Nuan): Tom is that important to you too on Thanksgiving?

Tom Colicchio: I will spend the early part of the day feeding people who are a little less fortunate. And then after a little later I will have dinner.

My dinner is the same one I’ve been doing for a few years now. It’s roast turkey, the stuffing is actually it’s – in New York Magazine you can get a recipe for my stuffing I think the last issue of New York Magazine.

It’s a golden raisin semolina stuffing that I make with pork breakfast sausage. And only because I have a restaurant, and I have access to it, there is a lot of pork belly and foie gras scraps thrown in there for good measure.

(Han Nuan): Oh, cool.

Anthony Bourdain: Screw my family dude, I’m coming to your house.

(Han Nuan): Nice.

Tom Colicchio: And – you know, you got to get it in there. And brussels sprouts, bacon, onions, butternut squash puree, roasted root vegetables, cranberry sauce.

If my mother-in-law is coming over, it’s canned cranberry sauce, because she doesn’t like the fresh stuff. So I’ll do both.

And she happens actually – and she happens to be a very good cook too but, – my wife’s stepmother that is. And what else…

Anthony Bourdain: Well the best part of Thanksgiving is the next day, it’s the leftovers the next day cold turkey sandwiches.

Tom Colicchio: Oh yes, well for me it’s the tryptophan nap that puts you in like a coma which is just always great. But yes, it’s very traditional start – maybe start with a chestnut soup. But that’s kind of Thanksgiving.

(Han Nuan): Is there one food that you consider a downfall food for you?

Tom Colicchio: A downfall food meaning?

(Han Nuan): That you can’t resist it, you probably shouldn’t eat as much of it.

Tom Colicchio: Oh, oh, oh, yes ice cream – sure.

(Han Nuan): Okay.

Anthony Bourdain: Yes, sweet gyros those really nasty, sinister like you know, it doesn’t even look like meat. I’m not sure if it is on a stick kind of a thing twirling around under a light bulb on the, you know, I can’t resist those things. I know it’s like, you know, it’s an extra hour on the thunder bucket but I got to have it.

(Han Nuan): Thanks for that.

Tom Colicchio: Nice. Yes, it’s a good visual.

(Han Nuan): All right, thank you very much guys.

Operator: Our next question from the line of Rodney Ho with the Atlanta Journal Constitution. You may proceed.

Rodney Ho: How you guys doing.

Tom Colicchio: Hey Rodney, how are you?

Anthony Bourdain: Hey Rodney.

Rodney Ho: Yes Anthony you’re coming to Atlanta in a couple of days aren’t you?

Anthony Bourdain: Yes sir.

Rodney Ho: Well wanted to ask you a fairly parochial question in terms of Richard Blais here in Atlanta. I wanted to just – can you access sort of his strengths and weaknesses in terms of potentially winning the competition. Obviously you know, the answer already but can you at least give me sort of an assessment of things.

Tom Colicchio: No, no we don’t know the answer yet. The finale hasn’t…

Rodney Ho: Oh, okay.

Tom Colicchio: …we haven’t had the finale yet.

Rodney Ho: Oh okay.

Tom Colicchio: We shot the season, so we know who is going to the finale but we don’t have an outcome yet.

Rodney Ho: Gotcha, okay. But just tell me what…

Anthony Bourdain: I was going to say it was just days on the previous season he was on, it is clear this guy is you know, an enormously talented chef – enormous.

Tom Colicchio: Yes, and here are the pros and cons, Richard had a great season got to the finale probably should have won. Stephanie, you know, stepped it up and took it that year.

The downside of it is that he’s been doing burgers for the last couple of years. And so he is kind of out of the fine dining game. So that could be a bit of a handicap.

Rodney Ho. Gotcha. And who – when earlier Tom, so you mentioned Dale or somebody who has matured quite a bit. There was too Dale’s actually on the cast, which Dale were you referencing – I apologize, was it – was that – was it (unintelligible) that you were referencing?

Tom Colicchio: No actually Dale Talde.

Rodney Ho: You were referencing Dale Talde, okay got you.


Tom Colicchio: Yes Dale Talde because he was kind of you know, really kind of arrogant, kind of bad boy.

Rodney Ho: Yes.

Tom Colicchio: In fact I think he and Anthony got into a little bit. And he matured quite a bit.

Anthony Bourdain: No, no, actually I thought Dale was a tremendous – a tremendous competitor that year (unintelligible), also (Dory) he just happen – he – you know, as happens on the show sometimes and one of the things that is so fascinating is he perfectly reasonable, incredibly talented people do something just so inexplicably awful out of the blue, it just defies all explanation.

And he – I think he come to realize served me what is really the single worst dishes like, you know, I’ve ever tasted. It was a scallop and butterscotch (stuff).

It was just, you know, I don’t know what happened that led he to that place but he’s capable clearly – it was clear before that. Capable of much, much better – much better, I mean he is a very talented guy.

Rodney Ho: Yes I did watch the first episode – I did watch the first episode so I did see you know, I know what happens next on that one. The topic does come up again, doesn’t it?

Anthony Bourdain: Yes.

Rodney Ho: Well thanks so much guys.

Tom Colicchio: All right.

Operator: Our next question from the line of Jim Halterman, with You may proceed.

Jim Halterman: Hi gentlemen, good morning.

Tom Colicchio: Hey Jim, how are you?

Jim Halterman: Hey I’m good, I’m good. Tom you touched on this a little bit, you know, about judging and the fact that you do know these people now. Could you elaborate on that a little bit? And just how did you kind of pull back from that when you were trying to be you know, just a judge.

Tom Colicchio: Well, you know, you kind of have to really just you know, remind yourself that you can be objective as possible that personally has nothing to do with it.

But you know, we know the – kind of know them of all, so it is an even playing field. But I think you just kind of focus on the food, and the food only. And that’s pretty much it, you know, there is no – there is nothing to do but to prepare yourself for it.

I mean there are times when I’d get a dish and say to myself I can’t believe, you know, this person is going to go home. I thought they would make if further I thought you know, they’d be really strong.

And so sometimes you felt like oh, I can’t believe this is going to happen and – but you have to just go about your business – so.

Anthony Bourdain: It’s all about the food. At the end of the day, I mean there is a lot of back and forth at Judges Table. You know, some pretty passionate arguments.

When the end of the day it doesn’t matter, you know, how likeable the guy, how close – it just doesn’t matter. I mean if you serve me bad food, I will cheerfully drag a rusty butter knife across the (unintelligible).

Tom Colicchio: And you know I do this – in my restaurants I have, you know, chefs who run my various restaurants for me. And there are times I have to go in there and sit them down and say hey, I don’t like what you’re doing here and it’s just – it’s just professional.

So it’s and, you know, I love these guys who run my restaurants they’re you know, that’s my team. But occasionally, you know, you have to give them so harsh comments.

And so, you know, I kind of look at all the contestants as if they work for me. And sometimes they need encouragement, sometimes they need a little tough love and sometimes they are receptive to it, and sometimes they’re not.

Jim Halterman: Okay. And, you know, with any season of Top Chef there is always a good mix of personality – an ego. Did you do that on a bigger scale this time because one, that they’ve been on the store before and also that you know, a lot of them do have big egos and personalities. Do you see a difference?

Anthony Bourdain: We don’t see it. We don’t see it, because we only see the food really, you know, all of the backstage stuff we don’t see that until later, we see it when you see it.

Tom Colicchio: Yes. Yes, we’re not privileged to anything that goes on behind the scenes. You know, when Hosea had his make out session with I’m forgetting her name I – we had no idea that was happening – absolutely no idea. Nor do we care – so.

Anthony Bourdain: You know, what’s great about the show is it really is, it’s about the food you’re judged, you live or die by what is on the plate this week. You know, it’s also the what have you done for me lately rule, it doesn’t matter whether you the most talented person, it doesn’t matter what you did last week, if you suck the worse this week you go home this week.

Tom Colicchio: Yes. Or the old saying in our industry is – you’re only as good as your last dish.

Anthony Bourdain: Yes.

Jim Halterman: Right, right. All thanks so much guys.

Operator: Our next question from the line of Mike Farley from Premium Hollywood. You may proceed.

Mike Farley: Hey guys how are you doing?

Tom Colicchio: Hey Mike, good how you doing?

Mike Farley: Good. So when I first took a look at this press release the first thing that came to my mind was wow, there is going to be a lot of big egos this season. I’m curious…

Tom Colicchio: You talking about the two of us?

Mike Farley: …no the contestants.

Tom Colicchio: Oh, okay.

Mike Farley: But I’m curious if there were any fights or bickering that might have may, you know, been stepped up this season as compared to seasons in the past.

Tom Colicchio: I guess you’re going to have to just watch that.

Mike Farley: Okay.

Tom Colicchio: Just watch it happen, as they say – the tag line goes, watch what happens. We can’t comment on…

Anthony Bourdain: I think if you look at the players, you know, it is fair to extrapolate or anticipate that they’re, you know, it would not be unusual or unnatural for some of these personalities to clash.

But we don’t really – there is not a lot of duking it out in front of Judges Table. Though there was some of that.

Mike Farley: Right. Okay, well thanks guys.

Tom Colicchio: Sure.
Operator: Our next question from the line of Lisa McKinnon with the Ventura County Star. You may proceed.

Lisa McKinnon: Good afternoon.

Tom Colicchio: Hey Lisa.

Anthony Bourdain: Hey.

Lisa McKinnon: Hey. This was – has been sort of nibbled out around the edges, but I’m going to go ahead and ask it specifically.

Tom Colicchio: Wow was that punt – that punt intentional?

Lisa McKinnon: Well I do write about food a lot so it tends to sort of stick in there.

Tom Colicchio: Got it.

Lisa McKinnon: And I should preface this by saying that my local – or our local competitor is indeed Mr. (Fabio).

On the other Top Chefs you – we’ve really been seeing and you guys as judges at Judges Table have been dealing with relative unknowns.

This as the name implies and says, they are now All-Stars and it – at, and I have seen the first episode. And I looked at my husband after watching it and I said, I really get the feeling that we’re going to see more stuff at Judges Table than ever before.

I know you can’t get into specifics, but is the fact these folks are just much more known than ever before, is that going to be a factor in some Judges Table fireworks?

Anthony Bourdain: I mean – I don’t know, I just, I know we all of us I think have had higher expectations maybe because you have a sense even if you just watched these people. I think Tom has seen them – you know, Tom is on every show.

But if someone who is familiar them with all from either having, you know, seen them live and judged them before, or having seen them on television. I guess I have – you know, I came at it with a little slightly higher expectation which maybe makes you a little more passionate about you know, strengths and weaknesses.

Tom Colicchio: You know, from a judging standpoint – again, it was difficult we touched on this before because we knew – we know them, really just, you know, they just focused on the food.

I think from a competitive standpoint I think it’s like any all-star game whether it’s, you know, the NBA or, you know, you’re playing with the best of the best.

And I think you want to bring your A game because not only do you want to win this competition, but I think you also – there is one-upmanship and then that is sort of your – you want your competitors to think highly of you as well.

I always get a sense on the show that beside winning, you want to walk away with the other contestants going hey, that person can really cook. And I think that is – as important as winning the show, I think it’s the respect from your peers.

So I think there is a lot of friendly banter that goes on because they all know each other a little bit, and they’ve seen each other in various events and things like that.

And some of them may know each other from TV. But, there is a sense that they really want to perform well.

Anthony Bourdain: Their tougher, I mean they’ve been toughen up by the process of our past seasons.

Tom Colicchio: Yes.

Anthony Bourdain: They’re – the competition is tougher because they are as Tom says you know, you know, the cream that has floated up to the top.

And also it’s a New York based – it’s a New York based show I think the challenges are really good. I mean you know, it looked to me from my full, you know, from my standpoint, it’s looking like a really good, really exciting season with some really good challenges.

I mean if I wasn’t on the show I’d be looking forward to watching it.

Lisa McKinnon: And Tony one last question for you, and I’ll let you go. What is it about Fabio that makes you call him likeable? I mean I can guess, but what are you thoughts on that?

Anthony Bourdain: I – come on, he’s an enormously likeable guy.

Lisa McKinnon: Yes.

Anthony Bourdain: You kind of – you can’t help he’s charming, he’s Italian. I love Italian food, my wife is Italian. In my, you know, I wish – if I’m bitter about anything in my life it’s that I’m not Italian American.

So you know, he is a very – he is a very charming guy.

Lisa McKinnon: Okay. All right, thank you so much.

Tom Colicchio: Sure. Tori?

Operator: Our next question is from the line of Kathy Paterson You may proceed.

Kathy Paterson: Hi Chefs. I have a question for Tony while your friend Eric Ripert last season seemed really petulant and pouty, in your appearance as a judge you were positively perky by comparison.

What I want to know is, did the aliens who kidnapped you returned your snark? Or, will we see the return of nice Tony again (unintelligible).

Anthony Bourdain: I could – you know, we’ve actually – kind of the most perverted thing I could do is to make Eric the bad guy on that show.

I mean, I saw my opportunity – I mean he is always the good one you know, he’s a very good friend, he’s always seen as the good guy, the nice guy, the loveable one. And he was being – I thought he was being, you know, pretty harsh.

So I saw my opportunity to make him, you know, Darth Vader.


Anthony Bourdain: He enjoyed the rare moment of being the good guy, the kinder gentler one. I don’t know that you’ll be lot of (unintelligible).

Tom Colicchio: I’m sorry.

Kathy Paterson: Well I’m glad we won’t be seeing a lot of the good guy anymore. That was – it was kind – it was kind of scary. It’s like oh, you know, he was married he’s got a little baby now, he’s changing, that’s not fun.

Anthony Bourdain: Oh I don’t know, you know, I’m mean you know, I’m trying to be you know, cuddlier, you know, in fact right after this I’m putting on my jammies and watching Dora meets Dora.

Kathy Paterson: Well thank you very much.

Operator: Our next question from the line of Barry Courter with the Chattanooga Times Free Press. You may proceed.

Barry Courter: Hey guys, thanks for taking the time to do this.

Tom Colicchio: Sure.

Barry Courter: Part of the appeal for watching both shows, Top Chef and Anthony your show, No Reservations for me anyway is learning new things, you know, discovering new foods.

And I’m wondering if you guys are seeing these shows have any impact I guess in the food world in general. Are you seeing chefs trying new things, are you seeing patrons demanding new and more adventurism type foods?

Anthony Bourdain: Well I don’t know, I mean I don’t cook anymore, you know, it’s been a long time. And I was never a creative genius or influential. I mean, that’s really a question for Tom.

I mean you know, did Tom’s cooking at Gramercy Tavern you know, change the way people cook more than Top Chef has changed the way people cook? I think that is anybody’s guess.

I mean I think Tom in a lot of ways has been more influential as a working chef to teach other working chefs than the show might be. But I don’t know, what do you think?

Tom Colicchio: Okay.

Barry Courter: Yes (unintelligible).

Tom Colicchio: I think what it’s done – yes…

Barry Courter: Sorry Tom. Go ahead please.

Tom Colicchio: Okay. I think – I think what it’s really done is just made sort of the general public at least more people of – more in the creative process. This sort of how difficult it is to sort of you know, come up and create food especially on the fly.

So I think it’s created a huge interest in food. And you know, the amount of children who watch the show that are really sort of into food now and the same idea that people walk into a restaurant expecting the (muse bush).

Barry Courter: Yes.

Tom Colicchio: And so it’s really just raising awareness of – for restaurants and for chefs in general. And I think that’s you know, more than anything I think that’s done it.

I still think that the, you know, for the most part Americans are still pretty conservative when it comes to food. And but I think those barriers are being broken down because of thing like Top Chef and just food TV in general.

Anthony Bourdain: I think to the extent at which, you know, having watched Top Chef for years makes people actually care what the chef thinks. They are more aware of the Chef as someone whose opinion they’d like to consider and value.

And to the extent that they like to order what the chef thinks they should order. Then I think Top Chef has been really influential in that regard, and a positive influence.

Barry Courter: Perfect, thanks.

Operator: Ladies and gentlemen as a reminder to register for questions you may press the 1 followed by the 4.

Our next question from the line of Kathleen Purvis, The Charlotte Observer. You may proceed.

Kathleen Purvis: Hey guys.

Tom Colicchio: Hey Kathleen.

Anthony Bourdain: Hey.

Kathleen Purvis: Hey. One of the rituals of watching the show has become following the live twitter comments that people make. I wondered if you guys watch that and do the tweeters get it right or wrong and they’re second guessing.

Tom Colicchio: Wow, I’m oblivious to it. I’m not – yes, I’m…

Kathleen Purvis: Well and that was my other question Tony was I know you’ve blogged in early seasons. Are you going to be blogging or tweeting this year, or are you leaving it all to Ruth Bourdain?

Anthony Bourdain: Maybe blogging a little bit.

Kathleen Purvis: Blogging a little bit, not tweeting?

Anthony Bourdain: I don’t tweet.

Kathleen Purvis: You don’t tweet, you leave it all to Ruth Bourdain?

Anthony Bourdain: I leave it to Ruth – yes.

Kathleen Purvis: I also wanted to ask you…

Tom Colicchio: You know, I have tweeted and usually people get very angry. Which I find, you know, very fascinating when you’re actually when you give up who won, and they’re like, don’t give up the winner, its like get off my blog. What are you doing here, if you don’t want to know?

And I don’t – I won’t give it away, I wait until it’s over and say, you know, my comments. And then I – you gave it away, I’m on the west coast, and so – wow.

Anthony Bourdain: My wife tweets, I need to feed something in the twitter sphere, I call my wife and say put this up.

Tom Colicchio: Yes. No, I don’t – I don’t really look at a lot of tweets. I mean I’m kind of, you know, it’s hard for me to sort of keep track of everything. I do write a blog in (Sun Bravo) and that’s the extent of it.

Kathleen Purvis: Okay. And can you guys talk a little bit about the return to New York, why go back where you’ve already been? Why not go to a new city?

Anthony Bourdain: It’s New York. I mean, you know, it’s our town, there is so much, you know, I saw – I mean I have no idea what the thinking, the strategic thinking was.

But it seemed to me as an outsider, and you know, someone who is not a you know, regular – it seemed to there was a real attempt to get New York right this time.

And you know, it is a very – most of the challenges are very and uniquely New York. And I think they really did – they made it an extra effort and it shows to really capture typically the uniquely and specialty New York things.

So I think there is going to be a lot of New Yorkers will be happy for sure, and anybody who is interested in New York.

You know, it’s the big leagues and I think the show plays to that strength.

Kathleen Purvis: Okay, thank you.

Operator: We have no further questions at this time. You may resume with your closing remarks.

Victoria Brody: Thank you Tony and Tom for joining us. And thank you to all the press who were on the call today. And we hope you enjoy the premiere. Thanks guys.

Tom Colicchio: Thank you. Bye.

Anthony Bourdain: Bye bye.


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