In one of the more hotly anticipated interviews by US Cannes-goers, celebrity chef and adventurer Anthony Bourdain sat down with television reporter and silver fox Anderson Cooper.
The pair were clearly good friends, and the session flowed more as a conversation than one-way interview. The focus quickly turned to comparisons between Cooper’s brand of journalism and Bourdain’s documentaries on food around the world (and those behind it).
The common theme: sharing the stories of the people they interview is a privilege.
Both offered advice on how to have a successful, unique and comfortable interview with people who may not be accustomed to the setting, right down to details such as how you hold a camera to allow eye contact. Bourdain mentioned he sometimes arrives three hours early to cook in the kitchen and eat with the family so they are used to having the crew around.
More specifically on food, and in stark contrast to Bourdain’s sophisticated gastronomy, Anderson said he eats like a child and often orders off the children’s menu — Spaghetti Bolognese is apparently a favorite. Bourdain’s confessions on his own eating habits included never eating airplane food under any circumstances. He would rather save up his appetite for a twelve-hour flight than eat any food prepared in such a pressurized environment.
Oh, and his advice for finding great food abroad? Look for a restaurant with a long line of locals. If you find somewhere with pictures of the food and too many people that look identical, you’re in the wrong place.
It was a stark contrast between the sharp-edged Cooper with his penchant for bland food, and the charismatic chef who can possibly lay claim to the title as the world’s most adventurous food critic. However, their mutual respect came across in spades and refreshingly they did not try and retro-fit their insights into marketing. That was for us to do.