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Anthony Bourdain Makes Eric Ripert Eat a Fried Twinkie

Anthony Bourdain, right, grills Eric Ripert, who's sitting on the worst folding chair in the house.
Anthony Bourdain, right, grills Eric Ripert, who's sitting on the worst folding chair in the house.

[Photos: David Becker/WireImage]

Just a month ago, Anthony Bourdain blindfolded chef Eric Ripert to make him eat his first Chicken McNugget. The audience in Las Vegas got to witness another first, this time a fried Twinkie. "Is it a beignet of some sort?" Ripert said as he tried to guess what he was eating. "The cream is really terrible."

The duo, Bourdain known for his shows The Layover and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, and Ripert, the French chef behind Le Bernardin in New York City, brought their traveling road show Good vs. Evil to the Pearl at the Palms on Saturday night.

Bourdain appears on stage first, and brings out Ripert, giving him the worst metal folding chair in the house as his hot seat for an interrogation that revealed that Ripert is indeed an American citizen (and he could prove it if needed). Bourdain wanted to know what "Le Bernardin" means, and the audience discovered it was named for an order of French monks who liked to eat and drink. He grilled Ripert on his love of Guy Fieri (he's an entertainer), his coolness toward Gordon Ramsay (who wants a boss who yells at you all the time?) and admits that he used to be that chef until he discovered a happy staff cooked better. And while Ripert made no apologies for a tasting menu paired with wine setting diners back a cool $350, he did admit that should the president of France request a cheeseburger, he would comply since he was knighted by him. All others are stuck with the fish on the menu. Should Ripert ever have the opportunity to eat the last bluefin tuna in the world, already dead, he still would eat it the endangered fish.

Bourdain didn't get a reprieve when Ripert switched seats with him, striking first at his drug use. Bourdain admits he did them all and loved LSD. He wouldn't reveal the nickname his wife Ottavia calls him ("next question") but did admit he misses smoking two to three packs of cigarettes a day but he doesn't think it affected his taste buds. Bourdain admits he has cooked in some good kitchens, but never a great one. He got the most hate mail when he had "Uncle" Ted Nugent on his show and he did indeed eat a pig's anus in Africa because he believes everyone should finish what they eat, especially when it's his grandmother's dry turkey and canned cranberries on Thanksgiving Day (he'll even ask for seconds). Getting through an episode of Top Chef requires rather large jugs of gin and tonics hidden under the judge's table by Tom Colicchio and Padma Lakshmi. Martha Stewart remains on his shit list for fawning over Ripert on an episode with Bourdain because she kept slapping Bourdain over his method for making pasta ("I've never made pasta in my life") but softened his view of Rachael Ray after a joke she told during a roast at New York Food & Wine ("If you give Mario Batali a BJ, he'll actually lend you his scrunchie to pull your hair back."). Paula Deen remains in his crosshairs for being a hypocrite about cooking fatty foods while knowing she has diabetes.

The duo then settled into more comfortable chairs to crack open a pair of Sierra Nevadas and talk about hot topics in dining, from sustainable fish, farm-to-table (Bourdain hates it though he calls himself a hypocrite because he only feeds his daughter organic foods) and who they would rather be stuck on a deserted island with: Alice Waters, Mario Batali or Rocco DiSpirito.

Back to that blind taste test. Ripert blindfolded Bourdain and asked him to guess simply whether the wine was red or white. Bourdain guessed that it was not only a white wine, but a Cotes du Rhone, proving his taste buds weren't affected by 38 years of smoking.

And their favorite restaurants in Las Vegas? When pressed, Ripert says Joel Robuchon, while Bourdain loves the steak at Carnevino.
· All Coverage of Anthony Bourdain [~ELV~]
· All Coverage of Eric Ripert [~ELV~]

Carnevino

3225 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Las Vegas, NV 89109 702-789-4141 Visit Website

Pearl

3799 Las Vegas Boulevard S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 702-891-7380 Visit Website

Joël Robuchon

3799 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109 702-891-7925 Visit Website

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