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The Daily Dish

Anthony Bourdain Regrets His Role in Keeping Sexist Kitchen Culture Alive: "I Am Ashamed"

The chef has revealed that it's something he thinks about "daily, with real remorse."

By Tamara Palmer

Anthony Bourdain is sharing his thoughts on the latest allegations of sexual misconduct to rock the restaurant world this week.

He knows both Mario Batali and Ken Friedman, who have both taken leaves of absence from the restaurants and businesses they own in the wake of multiple allegations of sexual harassment.

"Any admiration I have expressed in the past for Mario Batali and Ken Friedman, whatever I might feel about them, however much I admired and respected them, is, in light of these charges, irrelevant," he wrote in an essay posted to Medium. "I will not waste anybody’s time with expressions of shock, surprise, or personal upset, beyond saying that I am ashamed that I was clearly not the kind of person that women friends who knew — and had stories to tell — felt comfortable confiding in."

He once again attributes his relationship with girlfriend Asia Argento for being increasingly aware of what a shocking number of women go through with sexual harassment.

"In these current circumstances, one must pick a side," he declared. "I stand unhesitatingly and unwaveringly with the women. Not out of virtue, or integrity, or high moral outrage — as much as I’d like to say so — but because late in life, I met one extraordinary woman with a particularly awful story to tell, who introduced me to other extraordinary women with equally awful stories."

Bourdain's also aware that many point to his 2000 book Kitchen Confidential as a glorification of macho kitchen culture at its height — and he doesn't feel good about it.

"To the extent which my work in Kitchen Confidential celebrated or prolonged a culture that allowed the kind of grotesque behaviors we’re hearing about all too frequently is something I think about daily, with real remorse."

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