Anthony Bourdain’s Secret Fetish for Kitsch
Ham and Bananas Hollandaise
Avon collectible cologne bottles
- Barbie cake
How did all of this cake get in my hair?
I sit up in an unfamiliar bed. I have vague memories of the night before: being hit on by the TV chef Anthony Bourdain at the Antiques Roadshow taping and drinking too much gin and tonic afterwards. I stare at my sticky, icing-coated fingers. Blobs of glittery green and blue gel icing cover my nails like nail polish. Streaks of pink and yellow buttercream are smeared across my bare breasts. Clumps of yellow cake fall from my hair, onto my shoulders, the blankets, the floor. A white fondant rose rests in my belly button. A half-dressed Barbie doll is flung in the corner. Both of her legs are coated with icing.
There is clattering and clanging coming from downstairs. The kitchen. The smell of bacon and other breakfast smells are curling their way up to the bedroom. Then I remember. I’ve spent the night at Anthony Bourdain’s house. Surreal images from the night before bump around like pinballs in my brain: Anthony’s proud creation of a Barbie cake, fantasies shared, role play. I clean myself up the best I can, dress, then head downstairs.
- Ham and Bananas Hollandaise
After breakfast, Anthony Bourdain shares his most recent antiques shop find: a complete set of the McCall’s Great American Recipe Card Collection from 1973. He plans to try out every recipe. Today’s experiment will be Ham and Bananas Hollandaise. He digs out his harvest gold, avocado green, and tangerine Tupperware set and starts mixing ingredients. He is using organic bananas and advises they can’t be too ripe. Anthony lapses into his TV persona, describing each step of the meal preparation: Whole organic bananas. Freshly squeezed lemon juice. Mustard – hot and tangy. (He winks at me.) Light cream. Sliced honey ham. He enlists my help in spreading the mustard on the ham slices and wrapping them around each banana. I watch him pour the hollandaise sauce. The whole experience is strangely erotic.
- Avon collectible cologne bottles
In addition to the cake in my hair and the icing smeared on my breasts, I now have mashed banana and hollandaise sauce streaked across my back and ass. Anthony suggests we shower. He hands me soap on a rope. We lather each other in a festival of suds. His bathroom walls are lined with shelves of Avon collectible cologne bottles. They consist mostly of green, brown, and white molded glass. There is a Volkswagen beetle, an Edsel, a roadster, a pipe shaped like a dog face, a motorcycle, a train engine, and numerous antique cars. Some of them hold remnants of the cologne Wild Country. Anthony lets me open one. I dab a little on his Adam’s apple and sniff. It has an aphrodisiac effect.
- Velvet posters
There’s a dark, windowless room in Anthony Bourdain’s basement where the walls are filled with vintage velvet posters. He says he calls it The Velvetarium. Velvet Elvis is in his white rhinestone-studded jumpsuit singing “You Don’t Know Me.” Velvet Jesus is staring at me in passive judgment. Velvet Bruce Lee is ready to kung fu fight. Velvet Zodiac Sex Positions is on the wall behind us. Anthony flicks on the blacklight. His face is a ghostly bluish hue. I find my zodiac sign, Gemini. He taps the poster with his knuckle and tells me, I’m a Cancer. He smiles. His glowing white teeth look like Chiclets and he still smells like Wild Country.