Anthony Bourdain explains why visiting North Korea isn't on his bucket list
I don't know about you, but I can think of quite a few reasons to become a celebrity chef. Not only do you have the power to bring into being some deliciously delightful culinary concepts, but you also get to be on television, and make people happy simply by living your dreams.
If you're lucky like chef Anthony Bourdain, you might also get to travel the world some day. He first made his way to our screens in A Cook's Tour, where he got to go around the world, eating weird and wonderful dishes along the way, and alongside the ranting rage of Gordon Ramsay and the bizarre cult-feel of Guy Fieri, Bourdain has carved out his own niche as the veritable foodie of the celebrity chef community.
As somebody who's been all around the world, you'd imagine that Bourdain is chomping at the bit to visit even more countries and sample more exotic cuisines, but in an interview with TMZ, he revealed that one country that's definitely not on that list is North Korea.
I certainly don't blame Anthony Bourdain for his opinion; it doesn't quite seem like the place you'd go to experience new cultures or anything like that. But once Anthony Bourdain explained himself a little bit more, you can kind of see where he's coming from.
"There's nothing they're going to let you see in North Korea," Bourdain told a TMZ reporter who happened to catch him as he crossed the street. Kudos to this reporter for asking a genuinely interesting question instead of all the standard fare, but Bourdain went on to explain himself further: "Most of the population are starving. Don't you think that would be in kind of bad taste?"
This isn't just a random thought Anthony Bourdain had while being accosted by a TMZ reporter, either; Anthony Bourdain has actually been asked this question before, when he was a guest on Wolf Blitzer's CNN show The Situation Room. Here, the situation in question was actually Wolf Blitzer's own trip to North Korea, and when Bourdain was asked if he'd end up in that part of the world at any point, he replied that such a journey was "inevitable".
"I have kind of low expectations for food scenes there. I'll certainly be taking a look at it, if I can get in and if there's any expectation of a story to tell and a few meals to have I'd love to go."
Now, I don't know what changed in the intervening years that convinced Anthony Bourdain was in fact not the place to go (though I can think of a couple of things), but having said his piece about North Korea in the past, it'll be interesting to see if Bourdain sticks to that opinion in the future.
Either way, when asked by TMZ what he'd serve at a dinner for Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, Bourdain simply replied "hemlock". Take from that what you will.