Never one to be shy about expressing his strong opinions, celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain let it all hang out during his interview with Pete Dominick on Sirius XM yesterday. When asked by Dominick, "What is your point of view of these undocumented immigrants?” Bourdain wasted no time in condemning both Trump's immigration policies and the work ethic of native-born culinary students. Bourdain, a graduate of both Vassar College and the Culinary Institute of America, said:
Like a lot of other white kids, I rolled out of a prestigious culinary institute and went to work in real restaurants… I walked into restaurants and the person always who’d been there the longest, who took the time to show me how it was done, was always Mexican or Central American.
He said immigrants were, “the backbone of the industry, meaning most of the people, in my experience, cooking" and that if Trump really were to carry out his plan to deport the 11 million undocumented immigrants that currently reside in the United States, "every restaurant in America would shut down."
Bourdain went on to praise the work ethic of immigrants and denigrate the lack thereof among native-born culinary students. He noted that after 20 years in the restaurant business in which he made hiring decisions by culling hundreds of resumes of those including many from native born applicants:
“Never in any of those years, not once, did anyone walk into my restaurant — any American-born kid walk into my restaurant — and say, ‘I’d like a job as a night porter or as a dishwasher....Not willing to start at the bottom like that.”
Given that undocumented immigrants are an integral part of the restaurant industry and thatthey are "people who’ve been living here, and who are so much part of our lives, and who have done nothing but do their best to achieve the American dream" Bourdain concluded that "there should be an easy path to legality."
When asked if others in the restaurant industry shared his point of view, Bourdain said, "Yeah, because they'd be up a creak." He pointed to the pipeline problem in New York, Washington, DC and other major cities and attributed this shortage to the unwillingness of native-born culinary students to take low level jobs and their sense of entitlement. In his words:
Because all the kids coming out of culinary school, they don’t want to do the prep job. They show up out of school with their little knife roll up and the white coffee filter on their head and say, ‘When do I get to be on Top Chef? When do I get my own show? What do mean I have to clean squid for a year?'
With his remarks, Bourdain joins other high profile chefs, namely Jose Andreas, and Geoffrey Zakarian, in condemning Trump and the GOP's ugly attacks on immigrants.