Ruth Bourdain: The CHOW.com Interview

Ruth Bourdain: the Twitter phenomenon, the CHOW 13 honoree, the mystery. A mash-up of the voices of Ruth Reichl and Anthony Bourdain, RuBo, as she/he/it has come to be known, responded surprisingly affably to our request for an interview, over email. We're hoping this is the start of something bigger between RuBo and CHOW.com. To us, camel marrow bones + weed + crank calls to Alice Waters sounds like a dream date.

Do you cook? What do you like to cook?

I do cook. You know, the basics. Like braised camel shoulder.

What's your favorite food?

Marrowducken. Camel, beef, pig, and duck marrow removed from the bones, blended, sous-vided, rubbed down, flipped, and stuffed back inside a camel marrow bone.

What's your favorite movie/restaurant/magazine/book?

Soylent Green. Hands down (or is it two thumbs up?). Not only a gripping futuristic techno-thriller that was ahead of its time, but also a great cinematic exploration of cannibalism. Still has me thinking to this day: What does soylent green taste like? Brilliant!

Would you rather make out with Anthony or Ruth?

You're funny. You do know that they are not actually real people, right? They're just made-up characters. Though, I do think that whoever is behind them is fucking brilliant! For an imaginary make-out session, do I have to choose? How about a three-way? That would be a very hirsute three-way. Though it would be awkward the next morning. Who makes the matzo brei?

What's Ruth Bourdain's end game? Acquisition? Reality TV? Owning a restaurant?

I am not above selling out. Sponsorships, TV, a restaurant. Let's do it all! Tyler Florence is kind of my idol in this arena. I'm still pitching my variation on KFC's Double Down, the "Three-of-a-Kind" cheek-lovers sandwich (veal and beef cheek "bread" with guanciale in the middle), but alas, no takers so far. Might have to just go it alone with a food truck.

Who are your mentors? Did you have a mentor?

I wouldn't be where I am today without two critical influences: M. F. K. Fisher and Joey Ramone. Not so much mentors as muses.

I need to also thank Tom Colicchio. He is not only an amazing chef and a great TV personality, he also knows how to make jokes on Twitter about vaginas. He's very special to me that way.

What's your typical day like?

Around 2 or 3 p.m. Cat scratches me in the face. Get up, smoke some tangerine zest with the cat. Lots of purring. Log on to Twitter. Search the refrigerator for leftover bones. Go out for some fresh air. Usually stage a holdup at a local purveyor of great foodstuffs, like Murray's Cheese for example. Go back to the apartment to feast on my loot. Drink. Pass out. Wake up. Burn effigies of the axis of evil: Sandra Lee, Guy Fieri, and Rachael Ray. Crank calls to Alice Waters. Check Twitter again. Call my camel guy/drug dealer for camel marrow bones and weed. Dinner. Smoke. Back to sleep. And the life cycle begins again.