When I was tasked with watching an episode of “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” for my foodways class I really had no idea what to expect. I knew Bourdain was a chef so I expected it to be centered around food but other than that I was clueless. The episode I watched was titled “Copenhagen.” The episode centered around one man ,a chef, and his restaurant. To be more specific, a chef that runs the Best Restaurant in the World. Bourdain was interested in him because of the way he saw and created his food dishes. The chef would go out to the beaches in Denmark or to a local farm and gather up fresh ingredients that one might not think to harvest. He would harvest moss and flowers and succulents for the dishes he would create back at his restaurant. The chef has a mind “without borders” if you will. Where some see right and wrong he saw endless possibilities. For example in one of the interviews the chef said he overcooked a part of a dish and burned it. Instead of throwing it out he burnt it even more, added a layer of something on top and created a whole new dish out of a mistake. The innovation and open minded ideas are what drew Bourdain in and I can see why.
As a culture I think a lot of times we see in black and white, especially when it comes to cooking. We have a recipe we follow and we don’t stray from it because we think that will produce the best results for our dish. The thing about cooking is that someone broke the rules once to make the food we have now. Food is fun and it’s a creative outlet for new ideas and innovations. It’s made to be changed and challenged. It’s a place to make something all your own that you can choose to share with others.
The culture that surrounded the danish chef was much different than he was. In Denmark the culture of the people is simple. You enjoy life and you share what you have but you don’t try to go above and beyond and you stay humble and simple. This chef is going against the current by going above and beyond with his way of thought when it comes to food. He doesn’t follow these cultural rules that others had set for him. People like him are changing the culture around him to be more open all through something as simple as food. The entire purpose of this blog was to show how food connects you to cultures, ideas, beliefs, and people you never thought you would have. This one episode shows how a new way of thinking can be pushed forward with a small idea: food.