Anthony Bourdain No Reservations Pizza EaterTwo weeks ago Anthony Bourdain, author of ‘Kitchen Confidential’ and celebrity host of ‘No Reservations’, was in San Diego. The local paper announced his performance and asked if he planned to film in America’s finest city. Tony replied, “Perhaps,  San Diego’s known to have some of the best Uni in the world and I might meet a diver.” My partner, Dave Rudie, owner of Catalina Offshore Products, has long been an urchin diver and we decided to pay Mr. Bourdain a visit. An hour before show time, we slunk shyly up to the stage door with a box full of spiky, live red urchin and a tray of premium ‘tongues’ for the visiting foodie.

The door guard’s eyes went wide when we lifted the lid and asked to see Tony. Moments later, peering into the shadowy, backstage expanse, I spied three men strolling towards us. Tony was headed our way. We held tight as he stepped up and greeted us. His eyebrows lifted towards the rafters and he grinned boyishly as he spied the urchin. “Thanks!” he gushed. (I knew I liked him) Dave and Tony spoke for a few moments and, more points for Tony, he even turned to me, extending his hand with that goofy grin and said, ‘Hi’.

Later during the show as he took questions and was invited to all manners of repasts. He replied, ‘I’m leaving early and will be eating very well, thank you very much, as I’ve been given some fine sea urchin to dine on after the show.’ It was a swell evening.

So here’s the question: How do foodies stay so slim?
Celebrate the Craft Torrey Pines Lodge

Celebrate the Craft at Torrey Pines Lodge, La Jolla, California.

I didn’t have the courage to ask at the performance Q &A and it’s been hinted that he might be fasting during shoot days, while the rest of the crew eats, in prep for the on-camera feasts. If so, it’s a sybaritic gig with an evil twist. Certainly genes support him, especially if you notice his more portly professional cohorts, and it helps that he’s a towering 6 foot 3 inch plus. Only his personal trainer knows for sure.

Another day, another feast:

This is the third year I’ve been lucky enough to accompany my partner to Celebrate the Craft Culinary spectacular at the Torrey Pines Lodge in La Jolla. We had perfect early fall weather – dry, warm and sunny. The lawn behind the lodge was covered with concentric circles of umbrella-shaded tables, each arrayed with the most beautiful and tasty small plates one could imagine. There were boutique vintners, Slow Food advocates, organic eats, lots of meat, fish and fowl, dessert spreads and even a food truck. Grazing ensued and it was all good. When we stopped to visit with one chef,  I spoke with his lovely partner – willowy and elegant. How does she do it?! Genes again? Restraint? A cultured response to living with a great chef? I couldn’t manage it!

Which is to say: Balance is in question. Grace is the goal and I don’t beat myself up about often eating amazingly well. The rest of the week, its lean protein, small portions and home cooked simplicity. I live in gratitude for being given a glimpse into the world of foodie wonder. I’m not a teenager and refuse to starve myself. Someday I may regret that, but now, as long as my cholesterol levels behave, I’ll enjoy another bite.

Copyright 2011, Elaine J. Masters, Travel writer, Yoga Teacher, Trip Wellness Speaker and the award-winning author of Drivetime Yoga and Flytime Yoga.