Wednesday, July 20, 2011


Last night I watched an episode of one of my favourite TV shows, "No Reservations", hosted by author, foodie and one-time chef, Anthony Bourdain .  I've long been of fan of Bourdain's going back to when an excerpt of his book "Kitchen Confidential" appeared in New Yorker magazine several years ago.  It seemed like finally someone was telling it as I remembered it from working in dozens of restaurants over the years.  I was jealous I hadn't written it myself.

Over the years I have often wondered why I didn't turn my obsession with food into more of a career - beyond waitering, bartending and wine sales, that is.  Now there are bloggers and food writers galore.  How come I'm not one of them?  I fell like Marlon Brand on in "On the Waterfront": 'I coulda been a contender...'  But then I watched this episode.  On the liked episode you will see various people talking about their food obsessions.  Some of them are within normal parameters, whatever normal is, and perfectly understandable, like the guy who has taken pizza to a whole new level, of the chef that likes to catch the fish he serves.  But when Tony met with a couple of food bloggers that's when I began to be happy I didn't take my love of food in quite the direction they did.  All three of the guys he interviewed confessed that they had never been what you might call social successes so food had become their lover, their friend and replaced everything their lives didn't have.  They were all very obese and one gentleman said, perhaps with a hint of exaggeration, that he was told by a doctor there was more fat in his blood than red blood cells.  As for Tony, a renowned meatatarian, he too is on cholesterol meds, as he confessed at the end of the show.  He's 53 years old!  I was yelling at the TV; "Tony, eat some vegetables!"

So.  Do I want food to be an obsession like those guys and have to go on medication because there is so much fat and undigestable protein in my blood that I can't function?  Hay-yull no, as they say in the south.  I still live for real barbecued ribs and will never turn down a good steak medium rare, please, but watching shows where people act like gluttons (Check out 'Diners, Drive-ins & Dives') for an instant case of vicarious heatburn).  The days of seaching for the perfect eggs benedict (I once ate them every day while on a two week holiday) are over and I do not miss them one bit.

On the other hand, could it not be said that turning up for boot camp in 30C weather is also an obsession?  I had no transport this morning because Higgie was working so I ran down to the beach in what was already registering as 26C (80F) and joined two others in our agility training routine.  It was tough, but I did get a second wind partway through, and despite a few sand flies biting me I was able to do a full minute of plank pose and the rest of the strength training we normally do.  I didn't make it quite a far with bear crawl but my crab was slightly better.  I wouldn't have missed it for the world, truthfully.  I drank plenty of water and walked home up shady streets at a good pace.  Later today I'm going to take my mom out for lunch and might just have a pint and the pub's famous Stilton burger.  I'll leave half the bun and forgo the fries - and guess what?  I won't need medication afterwards - or ever!  Let's see: which do I prefer?  Thirty sit-ups in the sand at 7:00 a.m. or cholesterol meds?  Healthy obsessions?  Nothing wrong with 'em. 

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