The Type Of Burger Anthony Bourdain Loathed With A Passion

Though there are likely a lot of things you didn't know about Anthony Bourdain, you probably know the late, great celebrity chef was never one to mince words. Though he spent much of his career promoting cuisines and cultures from around the globe on his TV shows with an infectious joy for new experiences and cultural connections (hence why Bourdain's guest guides were an integral part of his shows), he also was not at all shy about things he absolutely couldn't stand. Chief among these was pretentiousness, which made him stand out; his love for authenticity was a prime reason he was, during his life, one of the coolest people in food.

There were a lot of pretentious food trends he loathed, but of all of them, his least favorite was Kobe beef burgers, and sliders in particular. "There is no food crime worse ... [than] the Kobe slider. If you see Kobe slider on a menu in a restaurant you just walked into, turn on your heels and leave. No good will come of this," he declared in 2017 during a web exclusive on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." He continued, throwing further shade at what he perceived to be the type of people who would go into a restaurant that had Kobe sliders (and the similar Kobe meatball) on the menu. "It will be just a sea of high-fiving hedge funders and people you do not want anywhere near you."

Kobe beef on menus is usually a lie

Bourdain didn't stop there, either; his hatred of Kobe sliders was so profound he felt the need to keep talking about it. In April 2017, he told Town & Country that "The Kobe slider is a clear and present danger ... it's a societal ill. It's a clear example of nothing being added to the slider experience by using Kobe beef other than the price."

The chef had a point there, and not least because of the fact the term "Kobe beef" is regarded as a status symbol among many of the worst in society. Richly-marbled actual Kobe beef makes the world's most expensive steak, but the truth is that real Kobe beef is incredibly hard to find in the U.S. The vast majority of restaurants in America that claim to serve it aren't serving Kobe beef at all, but typically some variety of Wagyu (of which Kobe is a specific subtype) — and some, not even that. 

Restaurants like McCormick & Schmick's have had to settle class action lawsuits over misrepresenting their menu with what they claimed was Kobe beef. There's no way the majority restaurants would waste prime beef like that on tiny ground burgers, so if you see Kobe sliders on a menu, you're most likely being lied to, which is what rankled Bourdain so deeply.

Bourdain didn't mince words about the trends he hated

Bourdain wasn't shy about other food trends he hated, either. He said truffle oil was "horrible" and "not even food," declaring it "about as edible as Astroglide." He detested the Starbucks unicorn Frappuccino, explaining that it was "the perfect nexus of awfulness" for its combination of four things he hated: Starbucks, unicorns, and the colors pink and purple. 

He thought brunch was a "horrible, cynical way of unloading leftovers and charging three times as much as you'd ordinarily charge for breakfast." And he couldn't stand the pretense associated with "artisanal" drinks, stating "if it takes you longer to make my drink and talk about the drink you're about to make ... than it takes me to drink three of them, there's something wrong here." The common through line was that if a food trend was based more on image than on substance, Bourdain couldn't stand it.

Bourdain's willingness to say what he thought, and his love for authentic food is what made him such a legend. It's just a shame he's not around any more to comment on more recent food trends; one can only dream of what the noted whiskey lover would've thought of zero proof spirits.