Pull quotes: Anthony Bourdain and David Chang at the 92nd Street Y

Photo: Sarah Bruning
Photo: Sarah Bruning

Last night, culinary bad boys Anthony Bourdain and David Chang graced the 92nd Street Y stage to discuss their adventures in New York kitchens and around the world. Moderated by NY1 reporter Budd Mishkin—who described the acerbic pair as the "Mick and Keith of the food world"—the conversation stayed relatively tame (f-bombs aside). Still, the always loquacious and often hilarious chefs had their share of quotable moments. Find a few gems after the jump.


On dining with legendary French chef Jol Robuchon:
"If I find myself across the table from Jol Robuchon, bladder control is an issue."

On the level of autonomy he has when filming No Reservations:
"I have as much freedom to go anywhere I want, make television anywhere I want, shoot it the way I want, score it the way I want... Okay, they don't want me to use the word felching again on TV, but other than that..."

On whether he's frightened when filming No Reservations in unstable environs:
"In Beirut [in 2006], I don't think I was ever frightened.... But I always had this arrogant, American little secret voice saying, 'Well, they're not going to drop bombs on me. It'll be an international incident if I get killed!' It's like when a little white girl gets kidnapped and it's a disproportionately big news story."

Best quote taken out of context:
"Young lady, you're going to take that dress off or Daddy's going to dance in front of your friends."


On his early kitchen persona:
"The ninjas in the kitchen are the guys you never see, who are silent. They never do anything wrong. You don't even know they're there 'cause they're just a shadow. They're effortless. The chef never has to yell at them, never has to worry about their integrity or the mise en place that they're creating. I was never one of those guys."

On why cooks stay in the business:
"I was recently with a bunch of top, top chefs in Finland. And everyone agreed on this: Everyone loves to cook—that's why they got into the profession—but arguably the number one reason that kept them in it was their ability to make fun of each other and talk shit."

On not comping his parents at Momofuku Ko:
"If you're a restaurant and you're filled with just friends and family, you're going to go out of business. I dunno, I just thought, You know what? No special treatment; you're just like everyone else. As much as I love you, Mom and Dad..."

Best quote taken out of context:
"I know how to navigate the doors [at Beth Israel] well."

—Sarah Bruning