Tony Would Have Chosen Sushi in Tokyo.
Sadly, very sadly, I will never get a chance to meet Anthony Bourdain to ask him what his ‘DeathbedFood’ would be. I define that as something “so amazing that you could die happy at first bite”. Tony thought of it as his perfect last meal. It’s really the same – it’s about savoring every morsel, devouring a food experience and hedonistic pure pleasure.
Tony wanted to be at Tokyo’s Sukiyabashi Jiro, the sushi restaurant of ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi‘ fame because he said they have the finest sushi anywhere on the planet. Here he talks with Piers Morgan about it:
According to Tony, the chef literally crafts each piece of sushi to fit his customers’ mouths.
He looks at you and examines the shape of your mouth and your left hand and right hand as he forms his nigiri.
Tony would have “miraculously” learned how to speak Japanese so he could banter with Jiro. He would have eaten quickly, as Jiro instructed, so the rice would stay perfect, the seaweed wouldn’t become soggy and the fish would taste best because it would be at the ideal temperature.
And he would have gotten tipsy with the most rare and expensive sake possible. Here is an episode from No Reservations where he enjoyed such a meal:
(Eerily now) Tony said he’d be alone at the sushi bar …
… to die like an old lion – to crawl away into the bushes where no one can see me draw my last breath. But in this case, I’d crawl away to a seat in front of this beautiful hinoki wood sushi bar, where three-Michelin starred Jiro Ono would make me a 22- or 23-course omakase tasting menu.
After the final course, Jiro’s incredibly “precise tamago omelette”, while he’s still chewing, Tony said:
You could step up behind me and – KGB style – shoot me in the back of the neck. As I sagged to the floor, in my last conscious seconds, I would know that this night, no one on Earth had eaten better than me. Pure pleasure.
While I wish I had had the chance to share sushi with Tony, I’ll think of him when enjoying it in the future. Come to think of it, I’m gonna head out to the nearest sushi bar asap.
RIP Anthony Bourdain.