Gordon Ramsay might be willing to try out the whole vegan thing, but Anthony Bourdain still doesn't want any part of it. During a recent interview with Eater, Bourdain talked about the upcoming eleventh season of his CNN series Parts Unknown, which premieres this coming Sunday, but he was also asked about the hottest veggie burger of the moment, the Impossible Burger.
Like Chef Ramsay, Bourdain has long been outspoken about his issues with veganism. In a 2011 interview with Playboy, he really ruffled feathers when he said, "Being a vegan is a first-world phenomenon, completely self-indulgent." Unlike Gordon Ramsay, however, seven years later, Bourdain hasn't changed his tune. When asked about the Impossible Burger, the Parts Unknown host told Eater he had not tried it and then proceeded to explain his complicated views on the topic. "Look, there are a lot of hungry people in the world. I guess if [it] is a means of providing must-needed protein to people who need protein to live, I guess I’m all for it," Bourdain said. His use of the phrase "I guess" twice in the first part of his response makes it evident just how resistant he is to admitting the plant-based burger might be a good idea, if it's used in the right way.
After stating the positive side of his Impossible Burger opinion, Bourdain relayed his misgivings. The chef explained, "as somebody who spent 30 years as a chef, of course I’m going to be resistant to the notion that there’s any replacement for the texture and musculature and funk of real meat. So, I’m resistant to it. I hate the idea that people are selling this at a premium at hip restaurants. You know, it doesn’t fill me with joy. It makes me fearful of a Soylent Green future."
Here, Bourdain is referencing the 1973 dystopian film Soylent Green, which according to IMDB, involves the world's remaining population surviving on only processed rations produced by the Soylent Corporation. Soylent Green, the corporations newest and most innovative product, is a small green wafer which is supposedly made from high-energy plankton. Spoiler alert! It ends up that Soylent Green is actually made from humans. Bourdain's comparison is definitely dramatic, but it does drive home his point. It looks like if we want to read an opinionated chef's review of how the Impossible Burger actually tastes, we'll have to ask Gordon Ramsay.