Chef and author Anthony Bourdain has come under scrutiny since it came to light that a new episode of his show “Parts Unknown” centers around the preparation and consumption of a live forty-six year old Frenchman. The episode, titled “Brittany,” follows Bourdain around the northwest region of France as he samples local dishes including Breton butter cake, fresh shellfish, and ultimately, a live middle-aged pastry chef.
“Parts [Unknown] is really just about getting a sense of a local culture,” Bourdain explained. “Obviously I’m not going to get a complete picture, but while I’m there I’m going to do all that I can to get a well-rounded experience. And the locals really, really, felt that it was crucial that I eat a piece of live Frenchman.”
The dish in question, named Hogart Bernard by his family, is a living part of a culinary tradition dating back hundreds of years. After Bernard soaked in a tub of heated red wines for six hours, Bourdain was instructed to take a bite out of his left forearm.
“In the moment,” Bourdain said, “I wasn’t thinking about the controversy gnawing a chunk of this French guy would generate. I’m no stranger to getting a bit of flack. At that moment, all I could think about was the cascade of flavors whirling about my mouth. The wine had really seeped in to the meat, which had gained this almost buttery texture.”
A spokesperson for “Parts Unknown” stated that Bourdain still plans to air the episode, which ends with a shot of the townspeople all joining in partaking of the live Frenchman.