When Anthony Bourdain first announced he was opening an international food market selling real-deal street food from across the globe in 2015, the whole food world went into a frenzy. Since then, the market's opening date has been pushed back numerous times, with a current projected date of 2019.
We've been waiting with bated breath for the grand opening. And…we're still waiting.
But now, at least, we have an update on its progress. The Parts Unknown host recently stopped by the World Street Food Congress 2017 in Manila, and while he was there, he shared some details about his upcoming New York City market, as reported by Eater. Here's what you need to know:
1. The Market Will Be the 'Real Deal'
Even though it's cloyingly named "Bourdain Market," it won't be some sanitized, watered-down version of a hawker market, says Bourdain in the Eater article. "The determining factor to me is that if a Singaporean grandmother and her hipster grandson come to this market, that both of them will immediately recognize this to not be bullshit. This will not be some Disneyland version of McHawker or HawkerWorld. We’re talking about the widest selection of the real deal.” Expect open flames, delicious aromas, and lots of hustle and bustle.
2. It's Still a Work in Progress
The market was first announced in 2015, and it's run into a lot problems since then (including losing the company's CEO). They're currently still signing on vendors, and they haven't figured out where to source all the ingredients. Bourdain says he wants to keep the price point low so that a NYC janitor could spend the same amount on lunch at the market that he would anywhere else, Eater reports. As a result, he's looking into ways to subsidize the vendors in order to keep prices down.
3. Vegetarians Are Welcome
While Bourdain is a notorious carnivore who's been known to mock vegetarians, meat-free options will have a place at the market. Hawkers who have signature vegetarian dishes, such as those from India, will be welcome, says Bourdain. Vegans, however, might have a tougher time finding options. “I don’t know if the Bourdain Market will be the first place a committed vegan will come to enjoy their food of choice," he acknowledged.
4. Sisig Is Going to Be the Next Big Food Thing
Filipino food is destined to become more mainstream, according to Bourdain, who called it "definitely underrated worldwide." He's particularly fond of sisig, a traditional Filipino dish of chopped pig's head and liver presented on a sizzling hot plate. "I think sisig is perfectly positioned to win the hearts and minds of the world as a whole," he was quoted as saying by CNN Philippines, adding that it's "casual, accessible, [and] exactly what you need after a few beers." And it's a "necessity" at the market when it finally opens.
Whenever that is.
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