'Eating with abandon couldn't be more of a turn-on: it shows that you're comfortable with yourself,' he said.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on December 31, 2022. It has since been updated.
Anthony Bourdain, the late celebrity chef who passed away in 2018, had some important tips for dates that still resonate today. According to him, sharing a meal with someone can tell a lot about them. In an interview with Cosmopolitan in 2013, he said, "If your date makes the experience uptight and restrictive, well, the sex is going to be horrible too. Eating is best when there is spontaneity and variety. I'm very type-A, and many things in my life are about control and domination, but eating should be a submissive experience, where you let down your guard and enjoy the ride."
He then goes on to talk about how he doesn't have patience for "people who are self-conscious" about eating on dates. According to Bourdain, "Eating with abandon couldn't be more of a turn-on: it shows that you're comfortable with yourself." He feels irritated "when someone denies themselves the pleasure of a bloody hunk of steak or a pungent French cheese because of some outdated nonsense about what's appropriate or attractive." He added that one should not worry about how the breath would smell or if there's "buerre blanc on your face" or "whether the braise pork belly" will make one look fat. This is how he defined a perfect date: It "is with a person who eats without fear, prejudice, or concerns about his or her appearance."
Recalling his dates with his wife Ottavia Busia, Bourdain remembers being "enraptured, watching her suck every bit of meat" from her six-pound lobster, adding that "she got a standing ovation from the floor staff." He admires her for being "the kind of woman who will order filet mignon as an appetizer followed by a T-bone steak. Her fearless, open-minded approach to food is completely alluring." Moreover, he said that for dates he prefers places with "no wine list, no white tablecloths, no long tasting menu—no pretense at all." He said, "The night is about having a self-indulgent time without any of the intrusive notes that come with fine dining. You don't have to worry about how you look or try to impress the waiter with what you know." He added that one should be able to eat with anything they want—a fork, chopsticks, or even hands. "It's all about the enjoyment of the moment and the company and food. And if you can be yourself slurping spicy peanut noodles in front of another person, you may have a keeper."
Bourdain said that he prefers to "eat light" throughout the day and "then go all in" for dates. He said, "I choose this meal and this order, and I choose you, the person across from me, to share it with. There's a beautiful intimacy in a meal like that. It's about exploration and taste. And kissing after dinner. And maybe there's a little wine and curry on your breath...and that's nice."
Everything about Anthony Bourdain was intriguing to me. He had my dream job. Don’t tell me if he said anything problematic. I don’t want to know. That dating and eating quote is EXACTLY how I feel. Best way for me to know if I’ll like you is how much I eat on the date— Coach Lay $10000 seminar coming (@layla_job) December 18, 2022
The most important tip for the date night from him is to "open yourself to the adventure of the unknown." He said that "the strange, even the shocking, that you get to enjoy the sensual, passionate, joyful experience of sharing food and drink. And it sets the stage for whatever might follow."