Why Anthony Bourdain Had No Interest In Trying The Impossible Burger

Plant-based food options are only becoming more and more popular — between vegetarians looking for a quality burger or meat eaters looking to consume less meat, there are plenty of people out there seeking out options such as the Impossible burger. Ever since its release in 2016, the Impossible burger has been showing up both in restaurants and grocery stores. However, just like any food trend, there are its skeptics — a list that includes the late chef Anthony Bourdain.

In an April 2018 interview with Eater, Bourdain admitted that he had not tried the Impossible burger and didn't have any plans to. Bourdain explained, "But, you know, as somebody who spent 30 years as a chef, of course I'm going to be resistant to the notion that there's any replacement for the texture and musculature and funk of real meat. So, I'm resistant to it. I hate the idea that people are selling this at a premium at hip restaurants." The chef also noted that he likes the idea that the Impossible burger is providing protein for individuals who may not be it elsewhere.

Anthony Bourdain wasn't a fan of the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle

Bourdain was not shy about the fact that he didn't agree with the vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, having spoken out against it on several occasions. For example, in his 2000 book, "Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly," Bourdain declared that vegetarians and vegans are a burden to chefs. Further explaining his aversion to the lifestyle, he wrote, "To me, life without veal stock, pork fat, sausage, organ meat, demi-glace, or even stinky cheese is a life not worth living. Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, and an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food."

Then, over a decade later, during a 2011 interview with Playboy, Bourdain doubled down on his stance, stating, "[Vegetarians] make for bad travelers and bad guests." He went on to explain that he didn't like the idea that vegetarians weren't open to trying meat even when traveling to a country where meat is a significant aspect of the culture and cuisine. He then called veganism a first-world indulgence. Considering these comments, it's no surprise that Bourdain was against the Impossible burger.

Other chefs are in favor of the Impossible burger

While Bourdain wasn't pro-Impossible burger, there are plenty of chefs who are in favor of the innovation. David Chang, for one, made his stance very clear when he added the Impossible burger to his menu at Nishi in New York City — quite the statement considering Nishi was primarily an Italian restaurant.

Speaking on his love of the plant-based burger, Chang told Eater in 2016, "I was genuinely blown away when I tasted the burger ... The Impossible Foods team has discovered how to re-engineer what makes beef taste like beef. We're always looking to support people who are making the best products in the best ways possible and to me, the Impossible Burger is one more example. First and foremost, we think this makes a delicious burger."

Meanwhile, Traci Des Jardins, who acted as a consultant on Impossible meat, was also taken by the taste. Speaking to Eater, she declared, "I felt like it was the most revolutionary thing in all my years of cooking." Des Jardins then saw the way her diners were eager for the plant-based option after she put it on the menu of her restaurant, San Francisco's Jardiniere. Soon after it became available, it skyrocketed to one of the most popular items. Des Jardins said, "All of a sudden we had to create a ticket system and people would line up to get a ticket to have the Impossible Burger. We had to limit the number that we served."