FORT WORTH There's something a little surreal about hearing two chefs -- even one as provocative as Anthony Bourdain and one as respected as Eric Ripert -- talk about food for more than an hour and a half without cooking anything.
But few people seemed to mind when Bourdain and Ripert brought their "Good vs. Evil" tour to Bass Hall on Friday night.
The show was entertaining, often funny (many of the best lines, including a joke attributed to the seemingly squeaky-clean TV personality Rachael Ray, were unprintable) and a little self-indulgent, such as when the pair went on too long about their experiences or about food issues.
The show began with Bourdain essentially cross-examining Ripert, who sat in an uncomfortable chair under a stark light while answering questions such as why he doesn't like hotheaded TV chef Gordon Ramsay (because his shows promote verbal abuse, which Ripert conceded he has been guilty of) and why John McEnroe isn't allowed into his four-star restaurant, Le Bernardin, but Jersey Shore stars Snooki and The Situation are.
Then it was Ripert's turn to interrogate Bourdain about such subjects as his drug-filled past, his abilities as a chef (Bourdain acknowledges that he'll never be a great chef, partly because he took a road that made him a bestselling author and TV personality) and his opinion of vegetarians, which basically boils down to "they're rude because they should eat what they're offered."
The best anecdotes (besides that Rachael Ray joke) had to do with an appearance on The Martha Stewart Show in which Stewart physically reprimanded Bourdain because of his poor pasta-making skills, and with a photo shoot that wound up with Bourdain posing nearly naked while Ripert wore his chef whites (yes, there were visual aids).
Robert Philpot, 817-390-7872