Anthony Bourdain in a tuxedo and bow tie
What Anthony Bourdain Relished Most About Lunch With President Obama
In 2016, chef Anthony Bourdain sat down with former President Barack Obama for lunch at Bun Cha Huong Lien in Hanoi on an episode of "Parts Unknown."
Bourdain had no formal instructions of what they were to discuss. He chose to keep it real, wanting to relate to the President on a personal level instead of talking politics.
On Reddit, Bourdain shared that the informal vibe was what he enjoyed the most, saying, "It was like really weirdly relaxed. He seemed very much at ease like he was having fun."
The pair discussed being fathers over traditional Vietnamese grilled pork belly patties and sticky cold rice noodles in a broth of vinegar, sugar, and fermented fish sauce.
Bourdain tweeted a photo of himself and Obama with the caption, "Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer." The dinner reportedly cost just $6.
Appreciating the experience, Obama raves to Bourdain, "There are certain spices that you can smell in certain countries — [ones] that you just don't smell back home."
In the Reddit thread, Bourdain added that Obama's chopsticks "chops" impressed him and that his vibe set the tone for the crew, stopping them from being nervous while shooting.
Bourdain told readers, "It was only afterward that we all kind of looked [at] each other and said, 'Did that just happen?' It was really fun!"