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Anthony Bourdain Enlists Singaporean Street Food Expert KF Seetoh to Help Plan Bourdain Market

Could Bourdain market look like the modern hawker center Seetoh opened in Singapore?

Seetoh's Singapore hawker center, Glutton's Bay
Seetoh's Singapore hawker center, Glutton's Bay

Anthony Bourdain has enlisted the help of KF Seetoh, Singapore's most prominent expert on local street food, to help him plan Bourdain Market, his mega food hall in New York. As the TV personality/author/former line cook has said before, he's actively trying to convince the best street food vendors from Singapore and many other countries to take up residence in some of the 50 or so stalls in his food hall, which he envisions as a version of a Singaporean hawker center. And Bourdain and Seetoh go way back. Seetoh has appeared on an episode of No Reservations, and Bourdain credits him with guiding him to "some of the best meals of my life."

Bourdain tells the Straits Times that he's working with Seetoh's company, Makansutra, "to realize this project." What exactly does that mean? Makansutra is a company with a broad scope – it's focus is on promoting Asian street food culture, but it does everything from publishing guidebooks to organizing tours. More relevant to our interests, Makansutra also runs a few food courts, including a big modern version of a hawker center called Gluttons Bay. Could Bourdain be looking to Makansutra for design help? The website does note that Makansutra is "open for talks with interested partners on new eatery locations."

All should become clear soon enough. Bourdain will be making an appearance (as he has before) at Makansutra's big annual conference, the World Street Food Congress, in April, where he promises to announce more details about Bourdain Market. And even before then, perhaps he'll reveal where the market will actually be. Update: A Bourdain representative says he will not, in fact be making any appearances at this year's World Street Food Congress. Which is to say, any big announcements about the market could in fact happen at any time.