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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

At Bloodhound, Nervous Chefs Watch Themselves in 'No Reservations'

Posted By on Tue, Aug 11, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Joseph Schell
Incanto's Chris Cosentino (left) and Sebo's Michael Black react to the broadcast.

A handful of chefs and others who appeared in the San Francisco episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations gathered at Bloodhound in SOMA last night to watch the broadcast. Incanto chef Chris Cosentino had organized the viewing party -- the show included a scene of Bourdain slurping an all-offal menu during one of Incanto's annual Head to Tail dinners, at a table with Boulevard chef de cuisine Ravi Kapur, author Harold McGee, editor Oscar Villalon and his wife, SFoodie blogger Mary Ladd, as well as Cosentino's wife, Tatiana Graf. 

Also at last night's Bloodhound party: Sebo chef-owners Michael Black and Daniel Dunham, and Shelly Garza, director of the Oakland taco-truck and pushcart-vendor organization La Placita. Oh, and the five winners of SFoodie's I Heart Tony essay contest.

There was palpable anxiety in the room before the broadcast. No one had seen the episode before it aired, and weren't quite sure what Bourdain would say about San Francisco, a city he's sneered at for its foodie political correctness and what he's blasted as its "crunchiness."

Turns out Bourdain really liked the food he slurped in S.F. and, briefly (at Tamales Mi Lupita taco truck on Foothill Boulevard in Fruitvale), in Oakland. "Despite the paradox about San Francisco," Bourdain's voiceover droned as he dined at Incanto, "I'm really beginning to appreciate how supportive this city is of some of the bloodiest cooking I've faced anywhere."

"I thought it was really well done," Cosentino told SFoodie this morning, acknowledging his anxiety before the broadcast. "You're always nervous going into a review, and this one was a review times a thousand," he said. Cosentino's favorite part of the show? " Seeing Sebo get its due," he said. "It was nice to see Tony validate what those guys are doing." After the show finished at 8 p.m., Cosentino stuck around Bloodhound to watch it a few more times, eventually joined by Incanto's entire kitchen crew.

"I'm glad they got to see it," he said. "Those guys work really hard, day in and day out."

Update: Click here for more photos from last night's viewing party.
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