Anthony Bourdain was on Late Night With Seth Meyers last night, discussing the good and the very ugly. After discussing Parts Unknown, the conversation veered toward José Andrés’s relief efforts in Puerto Rico, which Bourdain described as “a testament to what individual people can do, what chefs can do.” Which brought Meyers to the epidemic of sexual harassment in American culture and Bourdain’s apology in a Slate interview for contributing to or validating the restaurant industry’s “meathead culture” — or what chef Preeti Mistry calls a “culture of aggression.”
Bourdain talked about his pride in enduring the old-school French brigade system, while admitting it is nevertheless “pretty brutal and oppressive.” Speaking about Kitchen Confidential, which details his time in the restaurant world and concurrent struggles with drugs, Bourdain says he “stands by” it as “an honest representation of what I saw, what I went through, the voices I heard, and my own voice at the time.”
But he admits that he “provided validation for … a meathead bro culture that has not been good, particularly for women.” Bourdain — whose girlfriend Asia Argento accused Harvey Weinstein of rape — made the comments after a damning report about sexual harassment at John Besh’s restaurants. That he’s done this means he’s said more than any other man of note from the food world, but he’s also been criticized for not publicly calling out his powerful industry friends by name for their silence.