Meet the Guy Who Went Skydiving with Anthony Bourdain
Back in November, Gilt City was selling a chance to skydive with food personality Anthony Bourdain, and while many may have scoffed at the $10,000 price tag (though proceeds went to the Food Bank of New York City), one person didn't.
Duncan Dee, chief operating officer of Air Canada, decided to splurge on the deal, and last Saturday Dee and Bourdain jumped off a plane 10,000 feet in the air.
"I’m completely afraid of heights so this was something I never thought I would do," Dee told us over the phone. "But my biggest fear beyond the height was being called a wuss by Anthony Bourdain."
For Dee's first time, he was strapped onto a skydiving instructor ("I like Bourdain a lot but I’m not sure I’d want to be strapped onto him jumping off a plane," he told us), and did a free fall the first 30 seconds before pulling the parachute.
And while Dee was completely terrified on the ride up, Bourdain was more excited, Dee told us. Granted, this was apparently Bourdain's third tandem jump. "He told me beforehand that the biggest let down was when they pulled the shoot because that would slow down the descent," Dee said. "This is the guy who jumps out of a building in Macau for one of his shows. He was trying to tell me that that was more freaky than jumping out of a plane at 10,000 feet."
The second half of the adventure involved burgers, hot dogs, and beer at Bourdain's standby Hiram's Roadstand for a late lunch. The Bourdain you may not know? "He spent a lot of time talking about his wife and daughter," Dee told us. "It’s really a side you don’t hear about that often, but he’s incredibly easy to talk to, and not as sarcastic as his on-air persona. I’m probably destroying his on-air reputation."
$10,000 is still kind of pricey in our book, but hey, it does go toward the Food Bank of New York City (a win-win). "If an opportunity like this came up again I’d do in a heartbeat," Dee said. So much for being afraid of heights.
Jessica Chou is an associate editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @jesschou.