Remembering Anthony Bourdain
Beyond the fact that it was about food, we loved Anthony Bourdain’s show because took his storytelling to an authentic level like no one else did. While the rest of the culinary world often treats culture superficially like a trend, Bourdain was the antidote to this as he showed the food that everyday people around the world eat and what those dishes mean to them. He didn’t call himself a journalist, but he was everything a food journalist, travel journalist or any storyteller should be.
He inspired us to try something new in the kitchen and to travel to new places—but not just to enjoy food as a tourist—rather, to create relationships and enjoy multicultural conversations as a human.
The episodes of “No Reservations” that have stood out to us over the years were when he went to Iceland, Hong Kong, Korea and Mississippi. To us, these ones represent what he did best: He went to corners of the world that are often overlooked, like in Iceland. He didn’t lump cultures together, like in Hong Kong, when he focused on how the autonomous region has its own unique identity, separate from China. He didn’t talk about food as if it exists in a vacuum apart from the people and their history, like when he dug deep into the significance of many Korean foods and ingredients, while talking about the struggles of people escaping North Korea. And, he showed that there is so much more to people and places than their stereotyped images, like he did when he visited Mississippi.
Bourdain’s loss leaves a hole of empathy in the universe, but it’s one of the best things we can learn from him. Milwaukee chef, former Vanguard and current Snack Boys owner Shay Linkus wrote a great op-ed in the Milwaukee Record about what Bourdain taught us all about empathy and what his death by suicide should add to that lesson. Though you can share the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (which is 1-800-273-8255, if you need it), Linkus writes that a little understanding goes a long way, and recognizing when people around you are going through a hard time and reaching out to them goes even further.
Upcoming food events in Milwaukee
YMCA culinary youth summer camps
Whether your kid is the next MasterChef Junior, needs to learn to eat more greens or just wants to try something new, Milwaukee’s local YMCAs are hosting culinary-themed camps this summer. They’re doing one called Y Chefs, where kids will learn how to cook, create recipes and participate in a cooking competition. There’s also a camp called Farm to Table, where kids will explore local farms, farmers markets, stores and gardens to learn where our food comes from and about eating fresh, healthy food.
Father’s Day events
Here are some ideas for taking your pops out to eat on Sunday for Father’s Day:
The Bavarian Bierhaus is having a Father’s Day picnic in Old Heidelberg Park featuring rotisserie chicken, burgers, brats, hot dogs and lots of beer. They’ll also have live music from noon to 4 p.m.
And, you can’t go wrong with treating your dad with a traditional steak dinner. Palmer’s Steakhouse is a great choice in downtown Heartland for their famous bone-in meats. They’re closed on actual Father’s Day, but it’s the perfect stop if you’re celebrating on Saturday or Monday.
“The Blues Brothers”
This ’80s classic is showing on June 15 in Milwaukee. WMSE 91.7 FM and the Times Cinema are teaming up to bring you “The Blues Brothers” on the big screen. Admission is five bucks. They’re opening the doors at 8 p.m. with a DJ spin before the film starts at 9 p.m.
There are only a handful of SNL movies worth a damn and chief on that list is John Landis’ musical masterpiece which includes a cameo by Milwaukee’s very own Hoan Bridge. A free-wheeling, drug-fueled smash-’em-up of music, comedy and action, “The Blues Brothers” is a movie that spits at boundaries and labels. It refuses to be caged and smashes through expectations with every scene change.
John Belushi and Dan Akroyd star as Jake and Elwood Blues, two brothers on a “mission from God” to save their old Catholic orphanage the only way they know how: by putting their old band back together performing a charity gig. Along the way, they dodge lawmen of every kind, neo-Nazis, and crazy ex-girlfriends. And, it features performances by James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Ray Charles at their funky, late ’70s best. If you’re a fan of toe-tapping, knee-slapping and tail-shaking, this is a big screen experience you can’t afford to miss.
Our ’80s comedies starter pack
The classic slobs vs. snobs underdog ’80s comedies should get old but they don’t. Here are our favorites:
First of all, some of the best comedies of this decade were technically made in the late ’70s, but gained fame in the ’80s. That was the case with “Blues Brothers” and one of Kpolly’s favorites made in 1979, “Meatballs.”
“Coming to America” and “Caddyshack” are some other classics, though it’s likely you’ve already seen those. Even if you have, watch them again for guaranteed laughs. But, if you’re looking for something new, “Real Genius” might be more your speed. It follows a very Ferris Bueller-type character, except he’s a 14-year-old genius and a new student at a science and engineering university. Hilarity ensues.
Listen to the full podcast above for our full conversation on what makes “The Blues Brothers” and the movies like it so great, an update on Milwaukee Film’s takeover of the Oriental Theatre and the best-kept secret in movie rewards cards.
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