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ANTHONY BOURDAIN PARTS UNKNOWN
Season Finale, Parts Unknown, Last Bite
Aired November 16, 2013 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
ANTHONY BOURDAIN, CNN HOST (voice-over): To the overgrown lots and factories of Detroit, this season has been a wild ride. Big game in South Africa. Small rodents in New Mexico. A less than gentle thrusting into my nether region by a bull in Spain.
This is the story of my life.
How drunk can you get here?
Then I ate some more. It is really delicious. From Sicily, Israel, West Bank, Gaza, and Copenhagen.
I usually try to avoid clean were orderly countries.
Is that a rattler?
But tonight it's the end of the road for now. PARTS UNKNOWN: LAST BITE.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
BOURDAIN: Here we are. Here we are at Atomic Liquors where locals have assembled to watch the mushroom clouds over the desert. Hopefully we won't be doing that tonight.
Joining me to sit through the entrails of last season and discuss some of the issues raised I'm joined by the dangerously funny writer and film maker, comedian Bonnie McFarlane. Owner of the Red Rooster in Harlem Marcus Samuelsson, actor, activist. From the greatest television of all time, "the Wire" currently "the Michael J. FOX show," Wendell Pierce. And he's probably getting more angry mail at CNN than I do, Don Lemon. Good guys.
Party gets started already. Salud.
All right. In Detroit people are pointing to an influx of galleries, pop-up restaurants. There's no doubt -- I don't doubt that in the future sooner or later, hopefully sooner, Detroit will improve. Things will get better. It may contract, it may be different, but it will get better.
DON LEMON, CNN ANCHOR: It will. And it's going to look a lot different though.
BOURDAIN: Yes. Who will live in the Detroit of the future? That's the question I'm asking here.
LEMON: I kind of figured where you were going with that. I think Detroit will be even more diverse. It won't be as dark a city as it is now. Right? And so there's going to be a lot of justification and people with money, younger people like we saw in your story. People who like, you know, these unique kinds of foods are going to move into Detroit.
BOURDAIN: Well, look. Should thin crust pizza, (INAUDIBLE), whole foods, cup cakes, should they be the right of every American? Are they signs of life or are these destructive influences?
WENDELL PIERCE, ACTOR, THE MICHAEL J. FOX SHOW: No. It's a sign of life. Who would be against, you know, uplifting economic insurgence in a community or artists as an actor -- artist coming into a community? Because that's a lead on a lot in gentrifications, you know, and by water in New Orleans, and that was on display on your show.
But at the same time you have to remember for your good fortune, it's at the expense of a whole bunch of people's misfortune, you know. Like in New Orleans, there were a lot of people who did not get paid when it came to their insurance policies. So, that's why you were able buy that house for little to nothing in by water. I don't think that we just walk away from our homes. We literally paid insurance companies for 50 years who like my insurance company gave my parents gave my parents after 50 years $400 after Katrina. If it wasn't for me, being about to give them the financial, where would all to rebuild, they'd be like the neighbors who had to leave.
So this young, progressive, thin crust pizza loving young couple coming in, we appreciate it. But don't think we didn't have people who wanted to build that business, re-constitute that market.
BOURDAIN: I'm saying how many hipster baristas do you want in your neighbor?
LEMON: You are asking if Detroit should be become Brooklyn, right, basically is what you are saying?
MARCUS SAMUELSSON, CHEF: I live in Harlem. I work in Harlem. So, you know, for me it comes down to creating jobs, right? And can you do this urban evolution, inclusive and really not throughout there before but really create something new.
BOURDAIN: Yes. But, are you part of the problem, Marcus Samuelsson? You opened up a place in Harlem. You're bringing a whole lot of different businesses. No doubt there will be baristas and cupcake shops because of you in your neighborhood? You're charging higher prices than the neighborhood used to charge. Are you part of this insidious crew?
SAMUELSSON: I think about it all the time. I think about it all the time. And it is about inclusive versus exclusive. So, we employ 160 people. Seventy percent of them come from Harlem, right? And that matters in a town in a community where 90 percent, when we have 90 percent unemployment. And 39 percent unemployment among African- American men. So after Red Rooster, 15 new restaurants have opened in Harlem, right, and brings up about 2,000 people every night without complain.
LEMON: And I can testify to that. Because I moved to Harlem in large part because of the Red Rooster, because of Marcus Samuelsson. I walked in to his restaurant two years ago after doing a story at the Apollo I, Whitney Houston and said is this Harlem? And immediately, I went out and bought an apartment. I was sitting in the restaurant with the real estate agent. It wasn't your restaurant, it was a restaurant called Lito. And I look around and I said is this Harlem? She said yes. It was an African-American real estate agent. And I said where are the black people? I'm not kidding you. We were the only two black people in the restaurant in the middle of Harlem.
BOURDAIN: I want to ask you. You still have a pop-up restaurant on the show. Do you work pop-up restaurants in your neighborhood? You like that?
BONNIE MCFARLANE, COMEDIAN: First of all, let me say I don't know what those guys are talking about at all. I haven't been following. But, I will -- it was a lot to comprehend. I didn't know it was going to get that serious. I really didn't. But I feel like the episode you did on Detroit was so great because you really focused on the rich white people. When you think of Detroit now, you think of rich white people.
BOURDAIN: No he didn't.
LEMON: We had colors.
MCFARLANE: Nobody wants to look at poor people. I get it. It's good television.
LEMON: You were very passionate about Detroit. Why were you so passionate about Detroit? What was your -- what did you come away with it?
BOURDAIN: You know, Detroit has a sense of humor. It's a lot like the marine corps where their birthday today. You know, no matter how relentlessly screwed over, there's this unit pride to anybody who's come up in Detroit. A ferocious sense of humor, a toughness. I don't know. I just admire.
LEMON: It's the most beautiful city, you think in America. Chicago would take on that as well.
BOURDAIN: It's beautiful.
MCFARLANE: Ruin porn.
BOURDAIN: Ruin porn. Do you like ruin porn?
MCFARLANE: I like ruin porn. I think they could actually merge it with real porn and have something major.
LEMON: Real ruin porn.
MCFARLANE: Because, you know what?
LEMON: They're packing at the packer plant.
MCFARLANE: There's two things. Location, location, location. In both real estate and porn, I think. And so those two work together.
BOURDAIN: I think we could revitalize Detroit. All right, you guys can go grab a drink until later in the show.
Next up, we love them, we buy them by the millions. Let's talk guns. Without shrieking at each other, all right?
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BOURDAIN: The re-bounced per magazine of steel jack and a destruction as fast as your finger can pull the trigger. You might well ask yourself why the hell would anybody need a weapon like this.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
BOURDAIN: We're back with Wendell Pierce and Don Lemon. And now joining us is chef Roy Choi. He's the author of the book "L.A. son."
LEMON: You're not a bad son, actually. I was surprised.
BOURDAIN: No, I'm not. It seems nowadays somebody with a gun, a powerful gun is shooting somebody or a lot of bodies. But these people in the segment as many people in red state America, in gun country America, these are nice people. They like guns. And in fact, I have to admit. I like guns. I like holding guns. I like shooting guns. I'm not so sure though, I don't think I necessarily want my neighbor to have a gun (INAUDIBLE), but I'm ambivalent.
Can the two -- this is more than anything else, I felt as I've traveled and come to know my own country late in the game, can the two Americas be reconciled? This is a cultural thing more than really about the issues.
There are now 2.5 million ar-15s in America. We clearly love them. I have similar weapons, similar-type weapons. And you've got four million. Is that necessarily a bad thing? I'm going to ask you, Roy Choi, because I know of all the people I know you are the most good hearted, peaceful, socially conscious. I don't want to attribute leftism you, automatically. Buy I suspect you of leftism. I don't think you're a Buddhist, but you live a Buddhist-like life in which you wish people well.
And yet, I happen to know, that you were there for the '92 riots. Your dad, your family, your friends, your neighbors got up on the roofs of their businesses and defended Korea town against an all-out assault with semiautomatic weapons and shotguns. You had no support from city government, the police, or law enforcement. This was a clear example of the right to bear arms preventing utter devastation. How do you -- what's your opinion on guns? Should I be able to get an ar-15 easily and keep one. Are you OK with that?
ROY CHOI, CHEF, KAGI: I mean, like -- I'm from Los Angeles, so, like, the numbers and the semiautomatics are really like for us it's more about protection, you know, whether it's the Korean communities or down in the inner city, you know. It is really about the guns are part of the California culture in Los Angeles, you know, whether or not we agree with it or not. And they exist because a lot of times, in the Korean community, exist as stores and then they serve as protection.
But they exist in the inner cities because of there's no jobs. So, maybe we shouldn't be talking about guns. Maybe we should be talking about human rights. We should be talking about investing in healing our people instead of worrying about the results of it.
BOURDAIN: Wait. That's pretty much what the government -- obviously guns don't kill people. People kill people. Isn't there limited truth to that?
PIERCE: Well, the gun lobby is really about marketing, you know. Most of the people in this country realize the government is not coming for their guns. If anything, under this administration, Obama has opened up the opportunity to carry guns in national parks and actually lifted more gun control. So they're really about selling guns. You know? Because everyone knows you can walk into a gun show and then do a background check at one table and at another table and say it's a private sale and I don't have to do a background check.
BOURDAIN: Is it OK -- gun culture goes deep, deep, deep in this country.
LEMON: Guns are not going away.
BOURDAIN: They're not going away. Nobody's taking them away. They shouldn't.
LEMON: Listen. Similar to you, I did own an ar-15 after covering Aurora. I bought an ar-15 in Colorado because I wanted to go through the process. It took me 20 to 30 minutes to get an ar-15. I wasn't even a resident of Colorado. I since sold that gun. I don't want to own a gun, but I have evolved on my stance on guns over the last years. And I think many people can. I don't want to be a sitting duck if other people have guns and they're not going away. I'm wondering should I be armed myself if everyone else on the block is armed and I'm the only one that's not.
PIERCE: It can be reconciled. We actually share a lot more in common than we differ on.
LEMON: It's not just a lobby either. People like having their guns. It's not just the gun lobby.
PIERCE: You don't want to deny that opportunity to people.
BOURDAIN: You don't feel people should make the I need it for protection or need it for hunting. What if I want to hold it and blowholes in stuff in my back yard.
PIERCE: There's nothing wrong with that. But let's do background checks. We know that behavior is what we need to look at. Everyone knows that. That's the parameter about we should get any --
BOURDAIN: But there will be a lot of common ground here if the level of discourse became more civil. I don't think it does anybody any good to be comparing Great Britain or Europe to our situation. We're a country -- it doesn't help.
LEMON: It doesn't help.
BOURDAIN: We're not them.
LEMON: Right. But it doesn't do any good as well to compare people who go into shopping malls. You said it in the New Mexico episode. Those people who you were out shooting with, those were law-abiding citizens who were training for guns. They respect them. They're not the people going into malls shooting people. So, there are two different ways to look at this. Yes, it's mental health. But for the most part the people who have guns and carry ar-15s, most of them are not shooting up.
PIERCE: But the people that stir to pot to have that raised discourse, they make money if the discourse is raised.
BOURDAIN: Even if you was a left as well.
PIERCE: Yes. Across the board, yes.
BOURDAIN: People tend to get shriek-y when something awful happens.
PIERCE: Yes, listen. I don't own a gun, but the discourse got so crazy in California at one point after one of the shootings I wanted to go out and buy a gun. I was just like --
PIERCE: They had me believing they were going to take away guns so much. I thought I probably should go get one before it is out.
BOURDAIN: So, would you like to own a gun?
CHOI: I've owned guns my whole life. But this high level is hot doesn't affect what's going on in the streets, you know. You know, I represent the streets. They're not even worrying about gun control. It's just life. It's just a part of life. So, you know, I don't know, man. You've got to look at the American culture and be able to look at ourselves and truth.
LEMON: And we talk about --
BOURDAIN: Isn't the culture from the very beginning we admire the cowboy, the lone guy on the horse, the guy who solves problems simply and quickly with a blunt object or better yet a gun.
LEMON: Quickly. The people who have guns illegally on the streets, and you said as far they're not even thinking about, those people are not going for background checks. They are not going to do. They're going to get guns illegally and they are just going to --.
BOURDAIN: But I think if they will buy -- what I'm saying is and we all agree that if we could talk in a civil way, in a non-threatening way with really your hard core gun right person and say, look. There's got to be some common ground about straw buyers, for instance about, you know, some unlimited amounts of rounds to a straw buyer who is clearly, you know, up to no good. There's got to be some common ground.
BOURDAIN: If we could just stop talking about every gun owner like they're extremist or lunatic necessarily right wing. I don't think we're doing ourselves or anybody else any good. So, you would own a gun. If you lived in Montana, would you want a gun?
BOURDAIN: If you lived in Montana, would you want a gun?
CHOI: Yes. I probably wouldn't go through a background check.
PIERCE: I would definitely own a gun if I lived in Montana.
CHOI: (SPEAKING FOREIGN LANGUAGE)
LEMON: I wonder why you're saying that.
CHOI: That's protection.
LEMON: I don't know if I'd necessarily own a gun living in the city. But living in Montana, absolutely. I will have a gun. Why not?
PIERCE: That was an authentic laugh. Because people understood where I was coming from. And I think Roy brought up a great point which is if we look at it at all the contributing variables, that if we look at the underground economy that so many people are forced to live in, which if you were going to do that underground economy, you have to have a gun. We have to look at trying to eliminate that.
BOURDAIN: Will do. When we come back, we are big and getting bigger. It is getting to the point that the Pentagon has had to make allowances for a general healthiness when recruiting for our armed forces. What is going on here? Are we addicted or are we just fat bastards?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOURDAIN: Maria Jose is preparing recipes that go back through the family so far that nobody knows exactly where they even came from. Migas, another iconic dish of Ana Lucia. It formerly referred to as the shepherd's lunch as the story goes. Born as a way to use old hard bread and combine all the week's leftovers. I', told that every household in Spain has a variation. What change asks what you put on it.
Today it's sardines, cod, chorizo, melon, and peppers.
Man, that's a lot of good stuff in this bowl. So, how often do you eat this well?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every lunch.
BOURDAIN: Every lunch of your life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every day I'm here.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
BOURDAIN: Welcome back. With me are Wendell, Bonnie, Roy, and Marcus.
What the hell is happening to us between 1995 and 2008, the potential -- I mean, percentage of potential army recruits who failed physicals due to weight increased, 70 percent. Diabetes, morbid obesity are skyrocketing. At what point, Bonnie, at what point is it OK to make fun of fat people?
MCFARLANE: Well, I think there's a lot of thin people, you know, that are actually really unhealthy. So I don't like to just point the finger at fat people unless I'm with my friends and we're laughing behind their backs. You got to get the word out that it's -- that you've got to eat better. And I was thinking of a really great way to get the word out. There's a lot of space on the backs of fat people. We could put some really good messages there.
BOURDAIN: Signage. MCFARLANE: Yes. An apple a day. You know?
BOURDAIN: Look. I'm not suggesting that we raise our children to look like the freakishly thin people in magazines or fashion models, but, you know, we got a problem here. It's a security problem. You know, if you're in a plane, it goes down and you're blocking my exit chute --
MCFARLANE: Oh, my God.
BOURDAIN: This is not a lifestyle choice, OK? You're clogging a fire lane, burning building. Again, this is a national security problem. Who do we blame? Marcus Samuelsson, you are a celebrity chef. Should I blame you?
SAMUELSSON: Go ahead. You blame me on everything else, so it's OK.
BOURDAIN: For fetishizing food. For making it look lashes and desirable being part of the horrible monstrous conspiracy of foodies. Well, I guess that would include you and me as well.
SAMUELSSON: Well, you know, I think the problem is that we have to look at food and culture. In your programs whether it was south Africa or Spain, people ate a lot. But it was constantly around a culture around, right? And it wasn't around junk food and processed food. It was always -- in the Spain program, it was constantly around family values and eating well and getting not -- I never saw processed food. Even in the fast food. There's a difference between fast food, street food and junk food.
BOURDAIN: So, Food Network is a course for good? You had an epiphany early in your life. You were sitting at a low point in your life. You turn on the TV and you saw Emeril Lagasse and it changed your life. Right?
CHOI: It did. I felt like he was talking to me. but, that was before the whole bastardization of the whole network.
MCFARLANE: Before he was fat.
BOURDAIN: Have you seen the place down the street, the heart attack grill. If you're over 350 pounds you eat for free. I mean, is that right? Are they on the side of the terrorists, that's what I'm trying to get at here.
PIERCE: Yes. That is. That's offensive. And being the fat bastard at the table, a struggle I've had my entire life. I'm from New Orleans. We live to eat instead of eating to live. But there was a time culturally where that wasn't true. My mother grew up on a sugar cane farm in southern part of Louisiana and there was a difference between supper and dinner, you know? And supper was a late night, something small, but dinner was like that large meal. In the middle of the day you still had a lot of living to do. And it was similar to the meal you had in Spain. So we actually culturally, you know, we ate our meals in a regulated way that we burned the calories off also, you know, even though we were partaking in the great food of Louisiana cuisine and culinary world.
SAMUELSSON: Yes. You were talking about burning the calories off, right? There was spontaneous playing, there was people -- you know, kids were playing outside.
PIERCE: My mother left school to cut cane. You know? On thanksgiving day, they would go out and work the garden and work the farm animals and then came home and had the thanksgiving meal. This is what we're thankful for. That we were able to produce all this wonderful food.
SAMUELSSON: But it was not processed food. And processed food that is completely catered a lot towards being the cheapest food and it also catered towards --
BOURDAIN: It's convenient food too. We work harder as Americans. It is very compelling argument to drop the kids in the box full of balls out front, go in, see the colonel or the king or the clown and get a quick meal.
How do we undo this thing? How do you convince people to essentially pay more for food? Spend more time preparing food? That's a difficult argument to ask of people.
CHOI: You do it through culture. Our culture is too young. We're only a few hundred years old.
BOURDAIN: What about mockery and demonization?
MCFARLANE: Well, that's where I come in. I don't know. I feel like I, you know, can speak on this because back in high school you want to talk about fat, I was friends with somebody who was really fat. So I get it, you know? We had to walk slow in the halls and stuff. It's tough. But I feel like what people do is they try to fill that hole from childhood. They, you know, didn't get enough love and attention as kids and then they use food as a drug to sort of numb those feelings of abandonment. And I look back at the childhood, I feel so lucky because, I have access to real drugs, you know. I didn't have to eat a bag of sugar every night. I had cocaine. So maybe that's the answer.
Although I will say this because I know I'm talking a lot and I'll shut up after this. But the mayor of Toronto is very fat and a crack addict, which is so sad. If he can't lose weight on crack, what hope do the rest of us have? You know? It's impossible.
BOURDAIN: Pick one. You know?
PIERCE: It's also about choice. Listen. If you only have access to those fast food places in your community, that's all you're going to get. That's all you're going to pick. You know? And that is why, you know, I have studied a grocery store going into undeserved communities where they weren't grocery stores -- Sterling bars. And people say, well, how are you going to get people to change and make the right choice?
First of all, I'm going to give people a choice. They don't have a choice now. They only that have that fast food place to go to. Where they demonstrated loyalty to your store, to your brand by traveling outside the neighborhood to get a decent, you know, bag of groceries and all they've asked you to do is come into their neighborhoods and you stood on the sidelines. So, that is why we're stepping up the sidelines and up to the plate. And that's my plug for sterling farms.
BOURDAIN: Is it wrong to tell your child --
BOURDAIN: Would it be wrong as a responsible parent to tell your child, you know, look, if you eat at one of those restaurants you'll go like bald and be mocked in school. And you'll be demonized at school. Basically is it OK to lie to your kids to keep them away from that?
SAMUELSSON: It at first, it starts actually teaching the parents. You know, when I do cooking classes across the country, you know, only six percent of Americans eat enough vegetables to begin with. We want to touch on culture, you know. All your programs is essentially about food but it is also about culture. And we have to put a value proposition about food in this country beyond just calories and salt, sugar, fat. We have to bring up the culture fact. We have to bring up the fact that the other values of food. And until we deal with that, this will be something we'll talk about even more and more.
BOURDAIN: I'm OK with getting fat, but I want to do it on good food.
SAMUELSSON: Yes, exactly.
BOURDAIN: All right, So if there's a solution, we'll talk about it after the break.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOURDAIN: Growing your own food, finding your own food, that was life in Macedonia.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.
BOURDAIN: But for a lot of people right now it is an affectation.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The worst meals are when people are following a sort of a culinary trend. And they will see there's an edible but it tastes like --. But if it is edible, it is (INAUDIBLE), therefore, I put it on the menu. You know, it is going to be go on the fish no matter what.
BOURDAIN: But I think even at its own ludicrous manifestation, surely it is a positive thing that people are actually starting to look around and see where it grows.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's still good. People are being connected to the place they're in. What's edible and what's not. What is there to eat.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
(CHEERS AND APPLAUSE)
BOURDAIN: Welcome back to "parts unknown: last bite." with me is actor Wendell Pierce, Bonnie McFarlane, Chef Roy Choi, and chef Marcus Samuelsson.
Local, sustainable. Should we even be talking about this? Alice Waters, awhile back sent President Obama -- wrote an open letter to President Obama and said we should basically free up like $27 billion -- I forget the number, but it was a lot, to make sure that every student in America in public school gets a healthy organic meal.
You know, that sounds nice, but I personally would like to see that little Timmy can read first before he get an organic chicken. I'm OK with him eating frozen meat loaf until we can confidently figure out how to raise literacy rates, until we can get little Timmy to school. Is this something we should care about? Local, sustainable -- is it important at all in the full spectrum of things we should worry about? Wendell Pierce?
PIERCE: I think -- first of all, it shouldn't come down to economics. But it makes economic sense, you know. It creates an economic engine right there. First source hiring. It actually minds the wealth and talent that you have in your community and also minds the resources that you have in your community.
We were actually an agrarian community in Louisiana -- in New Orleans. You would go at any hour of the night, one of the greatest moments I had as a child is to wake up in the middle of the night and say can we go to the French market. That was just to buy some prio tomatoes or (INAUDIBLE) or watermelon or an apple.
MCFARLANE: I feel bad about your childhood.
BOURDAIN: Making me hungry.
PIERCE: But that was like Christmas to me. And the idea that produce got you that excited in the middle of the night, I'm glad I grew up. But it showed you that we actually had a sustainable system that was already there. And that has slowly gone away. And I think what she was attempting to say is let's tap back into that. Let's exercise our right in self-determination and best practices.
BOURDAIN: Well, I think more to the point when you're talking about local, what's interesting in keeping business local. It costs taxpayers over $7 billion a year because 52 percent of fast food workers have to put their families on public assistance. So essentially we're subsidizing these major corporations. For a minimum wage of $10.50 an hour, McDonald's would only have to increase the price of their big Mac five cents. In order to put every McDonald's employee on $15 an hour to be close to a living wage, $1 more for a big Mac. Now, is that an unreasonable thing?
SAMUELSSON: Again, we just don't value the food conversation enough. I mean, if you are on food stamps today and you spend about $3 for your dinner, you know. And that's clearly not going to be enough for a great meal. And I think like this. The key is and it's very difficult to say, but we need to eat with a spiritual compass. Right? We need to start thinking about our meals in a completely different way and value it in a completely different way. And again, going back to the show --
BOURDAIN: We should think like Italians.
SAMUELSSON: We should think like Italians or maybe even Japanese or even in South Africa. In your South Africa segment, people eat great. They don't eat fast food. They eat great in those inner cities.
BOURDAIN: Look, it's the history of cooking. The engine of great cooking has always been poverty, OK. It drives people to take the tough, the inedible, the not so good and through skill, repetition turn it into something good. This is an issue you think about a lot. You're very involved with school kids.
CHOI: But the difference in American poverty versus other country poverty is we have nothing in our inner city in poverty ridden neighborhoods. There are no tougher cuts of meat. There are no --
BOURDAIN: No, what we have is processed food.
CHOI: That's our toughest kind of meat.
BOURDAIN: I'll never forget in "the wire" when they're sending kids to school giving them bags of ho-hos and thing. Are you into foraging?
MCFARLANE: I forage at night in my left crisper in my fridge, a lot of weird things in there. Listen. We have fat homeless people which I think means this is the greatest country in the world. I don't know if we should be complaining.
BOURDAIN: Let me go back to that. What are people eating? It's true. Where people are impoverished, they're eating absolutely the worst, most abysmal fattening stuff on earth. And if you go to India or you go to Africa, Southeast Asia, South America, poor people tend to be rail thin. Though that is changing with the vast -- with the spread of sort of processed food.
SAMUELSSON: The poverty is different. If I were to look at poverty in Africa, comes down to getting clear water. In America you have clean water as much as you want but you also have junk food in your community.
BOURDAIN: It's about getting access to a vegetable, any vegetable.
SAMUELSSON: In any vegetables. So, it is something. But I also feel as the chef, we're not taking our responsibilities. We only thinking about local and organic. That's really thinking about 10 percent of the population. The other 10 percent living on the total opposite of that that don't even think about local or organic, they think about putting food, you know, for their families in front of them.
So I think as chefs, the next 21st century chefs have to think about how can we think about the poor people as well and bring them into the conversation. And creating farmers markets that are affordable, culturally relevant.
BOURDAIN: And desirable.
BOURDAIN: Who created (INAUDIBLE)? These are fighting words in Jerusalem. Who made the foods we love? Does authenticity matter and should we care? We'll sort that out when we come back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BOURDAIN: With the end of the part with the emergence of Mandela, South Africa became a beacon and refuge for billions of Africans from all over the continent.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That's when I took the food. That was the first way to engage.
BOURDAIN: Sanza has no formal culinary training. He is completely self-though picking up bits and pieces where he can. Often from the women in the neighborhood. So you're plucking the best of everybody's culinary culture?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Every day I learn. The smell, the color. What are you eating. Where are you from. I have been taught by some men. It's not how it's cooked at home, you know. The fact there's a small kitchen. She'll teach you something. Then that's me. Like I'm really looking how you make your particular sauce.
BOURDAIN: And they'll show you.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They'll show me stuff.
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BOURDAIN: We're back with Wendell, Don, Roy, and Marcus.
All right, authenticity. The New York observer article basically an op-ed piece awhile back accused you of being, perhaps, not authentic enough to cook soul food in a Harlem. That is an Ethiopian who grew up in Sweden. They may be worried isn't black enough. LEMON: They said he wasn't black enough.
BOURDAIN: The suggestion was clear. Does authenticity -- I mean, look, that piece couldn't have felt good. But in general, does ownership of food, does authenticity have any meaning anymore?
SAMUELSSON: I know, I mean, as a black person, we're constantly used to people telling us in our community what it's supposed to be and what it is. And I just don't live in that moment. For me, opening the restaurant was never about saying this is what soul food is. I looked at Harlem as my canvas. And it's completely, you know, Latin, diverse, black, Caribbean, Chinese, Jewish. And that's what I wanted to pay homage to in the restaurant. So if observer didn't understand it, I understand that's way above their comprehensive level.
BOURDAIN: I'll put the same question to you, Roy. You were born in Korea but grew up in L.A. you sort of broke out from Korean tacos. Does authentic have any meaning? I mean, should it? Do you feel any obligation? Of all of the cuisines, of all the cuisines that came to America from somewhere else, Koreans stayed true to the original model and didn't change (INAUDIBLE) over the years. Do you feel any responsibility to honor that stubborn tradition of quote, unquote "authenticity."
CHOI: No, man.
CHOI: I only have a responsibility to my city and that's Los Angeles, California, you know. I'm Korean by blood, but I was raised in America and I don't fit into either, you know. So like what becomes authentic when you live in purgatory, you know like? So, we created our own identity and our own food which expressed what we're going through right now.
LEMON: And we should celebrate this.
CHOI: We should celebrate. It's a new day.
SAMUELSSON: We bang up in American culture in terms of food a lot. This is something where America is leading, you know. The fact that we have, you know, Andy is doing like Thai food and he is doing it fantastically. Harold's doing like Thai food and he is doing it great. And what Rick Bayless thought when he started to do Mexican food in Chicago. So I just think America's always been this place where we've had other chefs doing different foods from their passion.
BOURDAIN: But we used to mock people for bringing Korean food to lunch. You know, I mean, anyone who wrote that piece talks about growing up, going to school and have kids pick on him for bringing, you know, stinky, smelly foreign food. Now, you know, why hipsters are lined up around the block to buy the same food. LEMON: That's a test to authenticity, right? And you should always remain authentic. Shouldn't worry whether someone calls you not American enough or not Korean enough or not black enough.
BOURDAIN: You raised, I believe, you raised a side issue of the Paula Deen thing. I don't want to get on Paula Deen.
BOURDAIN: Let me rephrase that. But, is ownership of food, you know, here's a case where ownership of food really add some -- are we getting closer to the bone here?
LEMON: I think it's important when you talked about (INAUDIBLE) and about diversity of neighborhoods. Yes. There is such a thing as ownership of food. You have to live it in order to be it sometimes. And I think what people got upset with as I said many times on CNN, people didn't upset on Paula Deen for saying the "n" word. It kind of got, OK, she said the n word. It was her not understanding how she sort of insulted people. Because the food she was talking about is authentically black southern food. It's not food that was handed down from generations in her family. It was black southern food that she is making millions and millions of dollars on. And that's what people were upset about.
PIERCE: People want to be respected. I mean, listen. I'm from New Orleans. We're from the south. For 300 years black women cooked for everybody. Now all of a sudden the chef is now in front of the cameras but there are no black women. You know?
BOURDAIN: And saying y'all.
PIERCE: Who talks like that? We just want to celebrate the authenticity. That's what people are mad of.
BOURDAIN: Can we agree that, OK, maybe we don't know how we feel about authentic, but do we feel we should at least know the classics, respect the classics, know where they came from before lack of a better word we mess with them.
SAMUELSSON: It is also made a chef in this country, right? We always had European narrative talks about our food, especially on the east coast. And guess what, this country is changing. So, I think about where food is today especially on the west coast, it's two places. It's Asian and Latin and it's not going to change.
BOURDAIN: I think most people, completely off topic, I think most people agree that our recent Tokyo show was some of the most difficult, looted, unsettling stuff. That's right. It's all about me. What does this mean? We'll be right back.
BOURDAIN: We are back with all my guests. Wendell, Bonnie, Don, Roy, and Marcus. LEMON: I got to ask you something. What is up with all the porn in the Tokyo episode? It was the kinkiest thing I've ever seen. You creep me out in the beginning. And then tentacle porn, what the hell?
BOURDAIN: This is CNN.
I'm Anthony Bourdain and this is CNN.
I was really, really proud of the show. It was some difficult material. I had serious worries about whether we were going to get this through. People really enjoyed it. It's a difficult subject, but it's there. It's exactly -- it's everything that we try to do.
LEMON: Who's kinkier Americans or people from Tokyo?
BOURDAIN: Look, you only need to look at how enormous our porn industry is.
MCFARLANE: I'm glad you said porn industry.
BOURDAIN: You know, I think, it's something like 52 percent of any people that check into the hotel in America within like seven minutes have bought in-room porn.
SAMUELSSON: There you go.
MCFARLANE: I don't like porn.
LEMON: Probably what was left out was just as important what was left in.
BOURDAIN: My camera crew were deeply traumatized.
LEMON: By what? When the woman is beating the man in the bar, there's a guy -- creepy guy behind her smoking a cigarette.
LEMON: What the heck is going on there?
BOURDAIN: PARTS UNKNOWN.
BOURDAIN: I think it was touch and go.
Look, it's -- I'm not saying that's what we wanted with the show was whatever worked last week. Whatever didn't work last week, we want to do something different next week. We just want to keep pushing it, keep pushing it. Get stranger, weirder. But we want to stay interested and we want people to say interested as well. If we're not having fun, there's no reason for anyone else to watch it.
LEMON: This is the Bourdaini. The Anthony Bourdaini.
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LEMON: So listen. There is a method to your madness. If you can reveal to us there's a reason why we're here in Las Vegas and the reason we're at Atomic Liquors. Why is that?
BOURDAIN: Because there's alcohol in this.
That's it for this evening. Thank you to all of you for being here. You can see Don on CNN every weekend. Wendell is on NBC's "the Michael J. FOX show" Thursdays at 9:30. Roy's buck is in stores now. And also pick up a copy of Marcus' autobiography.
Good night, guys. Thank you.
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