Anthony Bourdain Shares 6 Lovely Observations About President Obama


Smack dab in the middle of his trip to Vietnam, President Obama took some time out to hang with Anthony Bourdain. Lucky us, the pair filmed a two-parter for CNN’s Parts Unknown, and our favorite curmudgeonly host quickly shared a few thoughts and photos so we wouldn’t have to wait for the shows to air. For we who already mourn the the inevitable changing of the guard, every last moment is bittersweet; the world’s goodwill toward this glorious man is evident in a possibly starstruck author and chef’s firsthand observations.

The reaction among regular people in Hanoi to the fact that the US President chose to eat Bun Cha was beyond all imagining. The effect was unbelievable.People were actually crying the next day, describing to me their shock and their pride, the reactions of their neighbors, to this completely unexpected choice of meal—and the venue.”


Obama’s thoughtfulness impressed,

He was among the very few guests on my show who ever asked the camera crew if they got to eat too.And he made a point of taking a picture with all of them when we were done.”

and even Bourdain seemed surprised at the President’s down-to-earthedness…

He clearly enjoyed sitting on a low plastic stool eating bun Cha . It felt to me like his night off. Even with Secret Service lurking nearby”

his skill with chopsticks, and clear enjoyment of the $6.00 meal.

The President is very comfortable with chopsticks. He handled the sticky, hard to separate noodles that accompany the pork and the broth components of Bun Cha skillfully. He even went in for seconds.

I believe he enjoyed that beer.”


The Bún chả Hương Liên restaurant owner — who had no idea who was filming that day — was thrilled by President Obama’s visit, saying “His presence in our restaurant was a great surprise for my whole family, who could never have imagined it, even in our dreams.”

Lastly, Bourdain noted the President’s clear fondness for the places he’d traveled.

The President is an Asiaphile. He spoke wistfully of his time in Indonesia and his memories of the smells and flavors of street food there.”

The two-part Anthony Bourdain:  Parts Unknown episodes will air later this year.

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis

Cindy Davis has been writing about the entertainment industry for ​over eight years, and is the ​Editor-in-Chief at Oohlo, where she muses over television, movies, and pop culture. Previous Senior News Editor at Pajiba, and published at BUST.

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  • El Gordo

    Parts Unknown is a great show and I really look forward to seeing this.

  • that’s fucking awesome. Dear Bourdain, how about the three of us go get tacos. I promise i’ll pay. I’ll even get the beer. you two just talk and i’ll sit there soaking it all in. We’ll even go to a place that sells *shudder* fusion tacos, if Mr. President is so inclined.

    • JenVegas

      Can I come too??? We can sit quietly together, pinching each other under the table to make sure neither of us is dreaming.

  • Berry

    I hear about American people who supposedly choose their presidential and other candidates based on who would be a swell guy to grab a beer with — and end up with the likes of Bush the lesser and Trump. I don’t get it. First of all, obviously it’s a stupid criteria for the leader of the free world or whatever. But if you have to choose based on that, how the hell do you not pick Obama? I bet sitting down for a drink or two with him would be great fun.

    • emmalita

      I think Obama is the only president to actually use sharing a beer to solve a problem.

    • Frankiethrowup

      I wish he was able to achieve more out of his presidency; but I will miss the shit out of that man when he is gone.

  • JenVegas

    God, I’m gonna miss this Mr. President so damn much when he’s gone.

  • Freetheklingons

    I’m choking up reading this. My love for both these men is bigbigbig. My president is a class act, and Bourdain has long held a place in my heart. And on my list. *winknudge*

  • Frankiethrowup

    I am a unrepentant superfan of Anthony Bourdain. It is constantly surprising that a best-selling author and star of three long running hit TV shows still seemingly remains so approachable and humble.

  • Mr Bissonette
  • Halbs

    Never voted for the guy – love his last year. His speeches and actions have been great, especially his State of the Union.

  • BiblioGlow

    So, just out of curiosity, what happens if the majority of the nation writes in ‘Obama’ this November?