Tour of Tony

Having taken his own life in June 8th, and then his birthday being June 25th, June seemed the most appropriate month to honor Anthony Bourdain. I took a little cooking tour through his last cookbook, Appetites.

He stated in interviews that he had wanted to write a cookbook with family friendly recipes, with his daughter in mind. Admittedly, even for an intermediate cook, I found some of the recipes a little difficult. Some of the ingredients difficult to find, or quite expensive. And some of the recipes were time consuming, definitely not after work cooking.

But overall, they were all delicious.

Budae Jjigae

“Korean Army Stew”

Halibut Poached in Duck Fat

Macau-Style Pork Chop Sandwich

Cast-Iron Grilled Chicken

Spaghetti with Garlic, Anchovies, and Parsley

Sunday Gravy with Sausage and Rigatoni

Braised Pork Shoulder with Fried Shallots and Pickled Veg


Here are some youtube clips of him cooking with Anderson Cooper.

In the first, hes teaching Anderson about the Korean dish Budae Jjigae. Yes, it sounds like it would be gross, but it is actually so surprisingly good.

In the second, hes cooking his Sunday Gravy with Sausage and Rigatoni. A dish, I spent the day cooking, and sharing with friends, on what would have been his 63rd birthday.


In truth, I still can’t believe that it’s been a year since I woke up to a message that broke my heart. And I can’t believe how much he still comes to mind. Almost every week, from random foods, to things he’s said, even to the time he had a pair of custom shoes made… room full of people’s wooden shoe impressions. “How do you know if someone’s died?” he asked, I wonder the same thing…
A whole year later and I still feel my eyes filling. I can’t believe how much he touched me, his honesty. The time he bought food for hungry onlookers in Haiti, and before he knew it, he was overwhelmed with hungry people. It was horrible, but it was real. He was our ticket to the world, the real world. And he made us love it as much as he did…
I can’t believe its been a whole year since the world lost one of my greatest heroes…

(June 25, 1956 – June 8, 2018)

South China Sea Culinary Tour

I decided to take a culinary tour of the South China Sea. I included Thailand in the tour, because who doesn’t love Thai food?

I discovered that across countries alot of the food is very similar, or even the same. It was hard to find food that was unique to a specific country. So I started looking for interesting dishes to make and challenge myself with.

Indonesia – Beef Rendang

Spicy Dried Caramelized Beef Curry

Singapore – Hainanese Chicken Rice

Malaysia – Curry Laksa

Thailand – Angel Wings

Boned out chicken wings, stuffed with Pork, Shrimp, and Vermicelli. Steamed, then fried.

Vietnam – Bahn Bot Loc

Pork Belly and Shrimp Clear Dumplings

Hong Kong (restaurant) – Szechuan Fried Tofu, Sizzling Black Pepper Beef, and Crispy Noodles with Chicken

Hong Kong (restaurant) – Xiao Long Bao, and Hong Kong Style Milk Tea

Taiwan – Lu Rou Fan

Braised Pork over Rice

Philippines – Kare Kare

Oxtail Peanut Stew

If there was a lesson to learn here, it was that Asian food is complex. It is time consuming. Some of the recipes asked some 6 hours of my time. I have developed a deeper respect for it. I don’t think I’ve felt more connected to the food I was cooking before. You could feel the depth and history of some of the dishes.

If you want to develop a greater appreciation for South China Sea flavors, watch the show on Netflix, Street Food. It is excellent.