After spending years introducing television viewers to unusual eats from around the globe, culinary bad boy Anthony Bourdain is focused on a smaller — perhaps tougher — audience.
His 19-month-old daughter, Ariane.
“I very much don't want her to fall into a groove where she wants a grilled cheese sandwich with the crusts cut off and nothing else,” said Bourdain, host of Travel Channel series “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.”
Bourdain, who built his stardom as a hard-charging, hard-living spokesman for the darker side of the food world, said it's important to him that his daughter be curious about food and be willing to try new things.
And he disdains efforts to "dumb down" food for children.
“The sooner my child eats like an adult and the more often that she does, the happier I am,” he said.
He also said his outlook on life and food has changed since he became a father with his second wife, Ottavia Busia Bourdain, whom he wed in April 2007, the same month Ariane was born. “I feel obliged to at least do the best I can and not do anything really stupidly self-destructive if I can avoid it,” he said.
Like smoking. He's quit entirely, down from four dozen cigarettes a day just a few years ago. And though he has been critical of the organic foods movement in the past, he now buys organic food for his daughter.
But he doesn't see himself writing a cookbook for children, or hosting a television show for them.
“Um, no” he said with a quick laugh. “I'm hardly in the position to speak authoritatively about something I really am just learning myself. I am not Bill Cosby yet. I don't have the sweaters.”