The latest issue of Adweek is all about food. And whose handsome, well-coiffed mug graces the cover? Why, it’s none other than Anthony Bourdain, the ever-quotable host of CNN’s Parts Unknown, who sounds off on a number of topics during a lengthy interview with the glossy trade mag.
These include some obvious hot-button targets, like controversial fast-food chain Chick-fil-A (“I support your inalienable right to say really stupid, offensive shit and believe really stupid, offensive shit that I don’t agree with”), the gluten-free frenzy (“I don’t think half of these people even understand what they’re talking about”) and of course, Bourdain’s spiky-haired TV-chef nemesis Guy Fieri (“a rich and deep vein of comedy…worthy of a solid and maybe relentless mocking as anyone who has made his sartorial choices deserves”).
But perhaps the most enlightening part of the interview involves the most relevant subject for Adweek’s readership: branding. The magazine specifically asks Bourdain whether he’s open to doing “content partnerships” on the show. (Parts Unknown is produced by Food Republic parent company Zero Point Zero.) Not one to consider himself a “lifestyle brand,” Bourdain tells the magazine that he’s turned down all sorts of endorsement deals and is under no pressure from the network to be, say, “drinking a Tsingtao in every scene.”
Nonetheless, it turns out, his on-screen beer choices tend to be a sore spot for certain viewers. Says Bourdain, “The angriest mail I get is from beer nerds — people who are craft beer enthusiasts and see me drinking a cold, available beer from a mass production and they get really cranky with me, and they assume that I’m plugging it or something. In fact, I just like cold beer, and my standards rise and fall depending on access to cold beer.”