Lifestyle

The 7 Coolest Things We Learned About Bourdain From His Radio Chat

Opie with Jim Norton recently treated us to an hour of uninterrupted, unfiltered Anthony Bourdain when they had the sarcastic chef on their show. There's a ton of great stuff in the interview, from Bourdain's nuanced opinions on Beirut to his less nuanced opinions on chain restaurants. We pulled out seven of the wildest or most interesting findings in case you don't have time to listen to the whole thing -- but if you do, it's available right here.

His wife is hardcore

Whereas Bourdain is known for his verbal beatdowns, it sounds like his wife Ottavia could beat you down with her fists. She's a competitive mixed martial arts fighter who sometimes trains for six hours a day, and apparently sticks to a diet of almost all meat. Bourdain told an especially great story about his friend staring in amazement/horror as Ottavia ordered a filet mignon as an appetizer and then a porterhouse for her entree at dinner.

He also has a thing for Iranian women

When the guys got around to asking Bourdain the real, hard-hitting questions ("Which Middle Eastern country has the hottest women?"), their guest had a lot of nice things to say about the ladies of Iran. He called them beautiful, fierce, and confident -- and not afraid to tell you their opinion.

He has strong feelings on shark meat

While discussing Iceland with a caller, Bourdain first suggested he try hákarl, or fermented shark. But then he backpedaled. Hard. In Tony's own (extremely indelicate) words, "I'm going to guess that if I were to dig my dead Grandma up and eat her ass -- that's what it tastes like."

He hates comped meals

Obviously Bourdain has people begging him to come to their restaurants all the time, but he really would like you all to stop offering him free food. It makes him feel uncomfortable and he'd "much rather eat at a place where they don't give a f*** who [he is]." Make sure to treat him with appropriate scorn the next time he swings by your establishment.

He's had "hazardous environment" training

Since he spends a lot of his time traveling to exotic places that aren't always the safest, Bourdain has security advisers in tow when he's walking the streets of a sketchy neighborhood. But just to make sure he's extra prepared, Bourdain's advisers sent him to "hazardous environment" training in the woods of Virginia, where he learned basic triage and chest wound care, how to get through roadblocks without pissing off the wrong people, and at least one flying kick move, presumably.

He enjoys sheep balls

TMZ miserably failed to rile Bourdain up one evening when he was out to dinner with Mario Batali. A cameraman asked the guys which balls they prefer, hoping their masculinities were so fragile they'd take a swing. But instead they had a lengthy discussion about the merits of different animal genitals. Bourdain endorses sheep balls for their texture and flavor, though he also thinks chicken balls are on point.

He thinks the best cheesesteak is in Jersey

For Bourdain, it's all about the Camden spot Donkey's. He insists it's got the best cheesesteak anywhere, so hopefully he's already increased his security detail to handle the mobs from Philly heading his way.

Kristin Hunt is a Food/Drink staff writer for Thrillist, and thinks she'll pass on the fermented shark. Follow her at @kristin_hunt.