Anthony Bourdain World Market: Authentic or Epcot?
Oh, yes, kiddies. Page Six of the New York Post has shared the exclusive scoop that Bourdain is planning on opening a food court spotlighting all the street food he's been raving about for years on his television travelogues.
Working title? Anthony Bourdain World Market. No, seriously. That's a possible name for the collaboration between the chef and New York entrepreneur/ CEO of WiNK Retail Group, Stephen Werther.
According to the Post, the market will allow "young chefs a showcase to strut their stuff", by serving "cuisines from all around the world," and will "introduce Americans to Singapore-style street food." We're not sure if that quote comes directly from Tony's mouth, but it sure sounds like the bombastic chef to let us know that we haven't eaten Singapore-style street food until he brings it to us. Oh, and by the way? Singapore's cuisine is really a mix of Chinese, Indian, Malaysian, and other influences. Unless he's talking about "Singapore-style street-food markets," which sort of resemble the Redland Market Village without the Dora the Explorer pinatas.
Of course, we'll assume that the grittiness of the market will be gentrified. We're envisioning Eataly without the cannoli. Eataly, by the way, is the mega-market/restaurant/food court by Oscar Farinetti, Joe Bastianich, Lidia Bastianich, Mario Batali, and Adam and Alex Saper. The concept of everything-Italian-under-one-roof actually started in (of all places) -- Italy! Located in New York's toy district, it can take an hour wait just to get into this Ikea of cuisine on a weekend afternoon. (Although a weekday's visit without the insane lines to drink prosecco and stock up on imported olive oil is totally worth it.)
But, back to the Anthony Bourdain World Market. At this time, a location hasn't been verified, but Werther, clearly the money behind the project, has alluded to it being part of a "big development project." The Post is speculating a spot at 3 World Trade Center.
In any event, Werther is clearly excited the market, saying "We are ready to go with the concept, so we are going to be doing some very cool and unexpected pop-ups between now and the opening . . . showcasing different parts of what will be incorporated into the final big market. I am a huge foodie, so you can only imagine how much fun this project is to work on."
And that's not all. The Anthony Bourdain World Market could be coming to Miami... and Fort Lauderdale... and Boise... and San Francisco... and Buffalo in the future, because a multiple market expansion is also being bandied about. We're not sure if this is the start of a bold, new future for Boudain or a sign he's jumped the shark fin soup. If not completely authentic, it could turn into a Disneyfied representation of global culinary talents.
Whether this market will be an innovative and tasteful representation of a street market or a celebrity chef-endorsed Epcot Center remains to be seen. We'll just have to wait and see.