Anthony Bourdain Sounds Off on New Book, Phony Food Feuds and … Pumpkin Spice?

09/02/2015 at 11:24 AM ET

Heidi Gutman/ABC
Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain is a big fan of what he calls “arterial sprays”  that thing where blood “shoots out of people like a fire hose, often with percussive sound effects.”

“I grew up reading comic books, and I love really lurid, violent films. There’s an entire genre of films in Japan where blood doesn’t just drip it shoots out of people,” Bourdain tells PEOPLE of his latest graphic novel, Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi, a prequel to his 2012 best-seller, Get Jiro! “I wanted very much to work within that tradition. I come out of 30 years in professional kitchens, and 14 more of eating and drinking around the world.”

RELATED: Anthony Bourdain: ‘Ina Garten Is One of the Few People on Food Network Who Can Actually Cook

The Parts Unknown host‘s latest book, stuffed with as much gory violence and imagery you expect from something with “blood and sushi” in its title, is set in Tokyo, and follows Jiro as he becomes a chef and navigates his life as the heir to a powerful Yakuza gangster.

“The book is a reflection of my appetites,” Bourdain says of Blood and Sushi, available on Oct. 27.

Get Jiro!
D.C. Comics

At home, living with his 8-year-old daughter, Ariane, and his wife, Ottavia, Bourdain is decidedly less fixated with knives and gore … though very fixated on making sure his budding chef-daughter doesn’t chop her fingers off, a fatherly worry that, predictably, makes cooking more exciting for her.

RELATED: Anthony Bourdain Whips Up a Dream Pancake Bar for His Daughter’s Sleepover

“Anything where there’s knife work and she can touch meat, she’s really into it,” he says of his daughter, who he often cooks with. “She takes the piss out of me a lot. I’ll say, ‘Honey, will you clean up that stuff on the floor?’ and she responds, ‘Why don’t you ask your fans!’ She is in no way impressed by my presence on TV. She thinks Alton Brown and Andrew Zimmern are much more entertaining.”

His daughter’s adoration for Brown is why Bourdain is quick to say that he doesn’t have beef with the Cutthroat Kitchen host, who recently lashed back at Bourdain’s comments that few people on Food Network actually cook.

“A major father-daughter activity around our house is watching Cutthroat Kitchen. I don’t want to get on his bad side. He’s a god to my daughter,” he says. (He even played version of the show at his daughter’s recent sleepover: “A friend and I competed against each other, and the kids were given little grade cards to ruin our lives as we tried to cook dishes under a time limit.”)

RELATED: Alton Brown Discusses the Evolution of Food Netowrk, Responds to Anthony Bourdain’s Criticism of TV Chefs

Note: This does not mean Bourdain will stop making fun of Food Network stars anytime soon.

“I tell jokes about Guy Fieri,” he says. “The day you can’t tell jokes about Guy Fieri, comedy as we know it is dead. I tell jokes about those guys; it’s what I do.”

And that’s part of Bourdain’s appeal: His ability and sheer willingness  to tear apart cultural phenomena with the precision, brutality and cool of a Yakuza anti-hero.

RELATED: Anthony Bourdain: How to Eat Great While Traveling

“I think pumpkin spice is disgusting. I certainly don’t want it in my coffee,” he says. “I like pumpkin just fine. I like pumpkin pie. Pumpkin tortellini. I make a decent pumpkin soup. But I can’t think of the last time I woke up in the middle of the night and thought, ‘You know what? I could really go for some pumpkin.'”

And then there’s pumpkin spice Peeps.

“I’m really happy for whoever sits around eating pumpkin spice marshmallow, but does it make the marshmallow better? That’s often a useful question with food.”

—Maria Yagoda, @mariayagoda

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Showing 14 comments

Wendy on

I just eat good food. Different people have different tastes. Some people line up for pumpkin spice stuff, perhaps it soothes them as they reminisce about things from their childhoods, who knows. But I wouldn’t fault them for it. This guy is a bit too much into himself, and honestly, he seems rather hostile all the time.

ella on

This guy is a fool

Karen on

I love Anthony Bourdain and Alton Brown but not a fan of food competition shows. Guy Fieri is a hoot and his on screen personality would be fun to joke about. I don’t think any of these gentlemen take real offense, after all, it is show biz.

nope on

psl is vile.
tastes of pure chemicals.

Lyle on

Every industry needs a villain, it just so happens that the villain for the food industry is incredibly intelligent, well-rounded, and has a great wry sense of humor. Imagine the NFL without the Patriots, or 80’s wrestling without Andre the Giant, or our own government without incompetent idiots! No one would ever pay attention because it would just be boring. Cooking is an art, and art isn’t reserved for just nice boys and girls.

Cilla on

Anthony is fun to watch and I love his appreciation and stand for his Mexican chef friend who died and was basically ignored by the TV food industry. Anthony reminds me of my father who also had strong opinions and was not afraid to voice them. I agree Fieri is a joke driving around to see who will feed him next.

kevin kling on

roll my eyes when he tries to be a tuff guy n reminises when he thought he was cool hes just old fart with stories

Anonymous on

Yall are just pissed because he has balls. I love this guy. His ruthless yet stunningly beautiful take on things. His passion for good food. His love for life. Its amazing and personally inspiring 🙂

Anonymous on

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