Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain declared Monday that he is boycotting Alessandro Borgognone’s upcoming sushi restaurant at Donald Trump’s D.C. hotel.
“I will never eat in his restaurant. I have utter contempt for him, utter and complete contempt,” Mr. Bourdain, who has won multiple Emmy awards for CNN’s “Parts Unknown,” told Eater in an interview published Wednesday.
He also slammed chef David Burke, who opened BLT Prime at the newly opened Trump International Hotel after chef Jose Andres backed out of the plan to protest Mr. Trump’s infamous comments about illegal immigration, The Hill reported.
“I mean, I never had the highest opinion of him in the first place, but I guess he’s the last person in this life I should look to for principles,” Mr. Bourdain said of Mr. Burke. “It’s not helpful, that sort of thing [opening in a contentious hotel]. I’m not asking you to start putting up barricades now, but when they come and ask you, ‘Are you with us?’ You do have an option. You can say ‘No thanks, guys. I don’t look good in a brown shirt. Makes me look a little, I don’t know, not great. It’s not slimming.’”
Mr. Bourdain said he feels like he knows Mr. Trump personally after decades living in New York City where the president-elect built his business empire.
“I don’t think he’s a good person,” Mr. Bourdain said. “I’ve seen Donald Trump say things one day, and then I saw what he did the next. I’ve seen up close how he does business.
“I’m not saying I know the guy personally, not like I’d hug him, but I’m saying that as a New Yorker, we pretty much are neighbors,” he said. And my many years of living in his orbit have not left me with a favorable impression, let’s put it that way. There’s so many reasons to find the guy troubling. When Scott Baio’s the only guy you can find to show up at your convention, you’re in trouble”
Mr. Bourdain said he’s pessimistic about the future of the country under Mr. Trump and worries about his 9-year-old daughter, who is an Italian citizen.
“She has an exit strategy. She speaks Italian. She has an out, if she chooses,” he said. “I’m sticking it out, I’m not gonna run away to Canada. I’m gonna pay my f—ing taxes, I’m gonna vote, I’m gonna do all of that. But I’m not going to be taking it to the streets any time soon — well, we’ll see. I think we’re going to be feeling the effects of this for a long time. I’m just not optimistic. I worry about my daughter, of course.”
Mr. Bourdain has been outspoken about his disdain for Mr. Trump. In October, he told The Wrap that he would “absolutely f—ing not” have a private dining session with the then-GOP nominee.