A Seat at the Table with Anthony Bourdain (Part 1)

Post Date: 7 April 2013

Listen now:

Season 4, Episode 7

Photo Credit: Leslie Mullen

Photo Credit: Leslie Mullen

What’s on the StarTalk Radio menu? Part 1 of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s interview with celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain. The bestselling author describes some of the most disgusting things he’s ever eaten on his adventures, from African bush meat to rotten, fermented shark, and how a bowl of noodles changed his life. He and Neil discuss the business of food, including a vivid description of “pink slime.” Anthony also gets personal about his self-destructive early years and what saved him. Between courses, comic co-host Eugene Mirman and Marion Nestle, Professor of Nutrition at NYU, dish out a heaping helping of dietary science, evolution, cultural relativism and physiology. This Sunday’s podcast is just the appetizer and entree. You’ll have to wait until Part 2 for dessert.

Anthony Bourdain, World Traveler, Author and Chef
Marion Nestle, Paulette Goddard Professor, Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health and Professor of Sociology at New York University

Eugene Mirman, comedian


“No Reservations” – Theme Song
“32 Flavors” – Ani DiFranco
“Candyman” – Christina Aguilera
“The Fast Food Song” – The Fast Food Rockers
“Aha!” – Pentatonix (Imogen Heap cover)
“Red Beans & Rice” – Spearhead
“Fish in the Sea” – Frootful (featuring Angeline Morrison)
“Eat Your Heart Out” – Lydia
“Doin Dishes” – R. Kelly

  • Scott

    Thanks for your contributions to science. I think Star Talk is great as well as Tyson’s contributions to NASA. When Tyson took a stand for NASA, it reminded me of Mr. Rogers stand to the courts for public broadcasting. These ideas are amazing.

  • Jason in Colorado

    A little off the usual subject matter, but it was cool to dabble in science of a different kind.

    Combining Tony’s candid take on things with a little more of the biology and physiology behind some of his cultural observations was a great way to do the show.

    Thanks for connecting with one of my heroes! Can’t wait for next week’s!!!

  • http://redleafz.blogspot.ca Keenan Richard

    Two of my idols =P

  • Eric Majkut

    Love the podcast but I really dislike your method of having guests on the show. You claim Anthony Bourdain was a guest on this episode, but he wasn’t. He was a recording that the people in the studio commented on. Just like many of your “big name” guests. Is it not possible to get any of these people in for an actual conversation with the whole crew? Guests don’t count if they’re not in the studio with you live. Just sayin’. :(

  • http://maxseijo.blogspot.com Max Seijo

    Great episode Neil! I’m a huge fan! Keep it up my man!!

  • Jessica

    Isn’t this the same as a podcast from a few seasons ago? Are we just recycling them now?

    • Jeff

      Actually, Jessica, some of this content appeared in the video version of this episode that ran on The Nerdist Channel on January 10, 2013. And it is also possible that you heard this, along with Part 2 which will run this Sunday, when it ran on the radio in some cities. But as for having run “a few seasons ago”, that’s not possible as it wasn’t recorded that far back. One of the unavoidable consequences of having different versions appear in different channels and different markets is that for some people it’s a repeat, when it’s new for others.

  • Jessica

    Thanks, Jeff. I’ve listened to all of the podcasts and videos I could find in roughly the last month or two, so all of them blur together in a delicious science soup in my mind!

    • Jeff

      I think we’re doing Science Soup next season, Jessica, but don’t quote me on that!

  • Chuck

    Wow. Two of my mancrushes on one podcast. I’m SO conflicted.

    • Jeff

      Why choose? You can have them both, Chuck, and this Sunday, you get to hear part 2.

  • sexbucket

    Please remove Eugene “Unfunny” Merman from the cast, please.

  • Jeff

    Food=sex=love=children=continuation. Good stuff.

  • Ben

    Just a tiny little nitpick on this episode, but Neil makes a comment about how Buddha is shown as being fat, despite being a vegetarian. The “fat Buddha” that you commonly see is not actually Buddha, but a depiction of a Chinese monk named Budai or Hotai, who is sometimes conflated with Buddha. The true Gautama Buddha is the one you see depicted in a more Indian style, and thin.

  • Stacie

    Thank you Ben for saying what I was going to say. Come on Neil, would have expected you to know that.

  • Stacie

    Also when the nutritionist comments “If you grew up eating sweet bread all the time you would think it’s a great delicacy”, she completely contradicts Bourdain’s statement at the beginning that a delicacy is a food that is rare in your region and something you would only eat on special occasions.

  • dr.nekstad

    Eugene Mirman is the co-host! so fun listening to the podcast when he´s there

  • Katie

    This is awesome! Two of my favorite people talking nutrition and public health (my undergrad and grad degrees). Plus, I’m in the middle of Marion Nestle’s book What to Eat. Good stuff.

  • Ash

    The interview with Bourdain was really interesting, but it was rather distracting that Eugene Mirman and Neil kept interrupting the nutrition professor. :/ You guys were awfully rude!

    • Paul M. Lundgren

      Dr. Tyson is a much better interview SUBJECT than interviewer for that very reason. Ironically, he could learn a thing or two from Bourdain, who has become much more polished as an interviewer over the course of his own media career.

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