Why Anthony Bourdain Regretted His Fish On Monday Advice

When Anthony Bourdain burst onto the scene in 2000 with the publication of his book "Kitchen Confidential," he exposed the underbelly of the culinary world and some of the advice he gave, such as not eating fish on Mondays, became well-heeded. But he later came to say he regretted that advice, which contended that because fish should only be eaten when it is at its freshest, it's best to avoid it on Mondays as it may have been caught four or five days prior. 

At the time, Bourdain wrote, via Gothamist, that because fish markets are closed on Friday nights in New York City, the fish eaten on Monday is likely the same fish the restaurant had on hand on Friday and would have been caught the day, or even days, before. His words were so powerful and well-followed that many people wouldn't eat sushi or other seafood on Mondays. He even joked to Insider Tech that his advice not to eat fish on Mondays would be on his tombstone. 

Retracting his words

Only a decade after writing "Kitchen Confidential," Bourdain changed his stance on eating fish on Mondays, citing changes in the industry. Bourdain cautioned that the fish special at the local pub still might not be the best item to order on Mondays while chatting with Insider Tech, but said that overall food standards had improved since he published his first book. 

Those improvements were partly in response to people's better understanding of seafood. For example, Bourdain said people developed a better appreciation for different kinds of seafood and what constituted good fish in terms of taste, appearance, and cooking methods. Eating raw sushi was no longer taboo and eating fish with its head still on was becoming much more commonplace in America. If you follow Bourdain's revised advised that it's acceptable to eat fish on Mondays, still make sure the fish smells fresh and coming from a busy and reputable restaurant. 

Eating seafood served on Mondays at restaurants located nowhere near water might also be a heads up that eating a hamburger versus halibut might be the better choice.