Culinary swashbuckler Anthony Bourdain now occupies the enviable position of making more money talking about food than actually cooking it. Still, his charisma and wit were both too big to be contained behind the line, and its Bourdain we can thank in part for ushering in the era of chef as rock star.
Just as the Food Network was gaining real steam and the era of the foodie was dawning around the turn of the millennium, into the spotlight came Bourdain with an attitude that flew in the face of both. His 2000 memoir Kitchen Confidential shattered the idea of professional cooks as perky or refined. Instead, as he recounted, they were a rarefied if sometimes unsightly bunch the few who could hack it in the high-pressure world of a commercial kitchen or those who just couldnt hack it anywhere normal.
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Although the revelations of the true origins of daily specials might have shocked some fine diners, it only won Bourdain legions of fans in both the front and the back of the house. Since then, hes continued to share his Iggy Pop-style swagger through his TV appearances and published writings, the most recent of which was last years Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook. Expect reminiscences from all of that, plus some suitably cheeky answers to your questions, when he speaks 8 p.m. Saturday at the Coral Springs Center for the Arts (2855 Coral Springs Drive; coralspringscenterforthearts.com; 954-344-5990). Tickets cost $33.92 to $44.52, but the second thoughts about your pre-theater dinner are free.
Tue., Feb. 15, 8 p.m., 2011