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Anthony Bourdain Offers Update on His Food Hall: 'We've Got to Get It Right'

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The number of vendor visas is taking a while

Anthony Bourdain Market Bourdain photo via Facebook; Super Pie photo via Curbed NY

Anthony Bourdain is on the cover of Adweek as one of the most influential people in food, and in the interview, the food TV celeb/author/former cook says that he's still "a while out" from opening his sprawling international food hall at Pier 57. "I mean, it's a huge, huge, huge undertaking, and we've got to get it right," he says.

According to Bourdain, one reason it's such a lengthy process is the number of visas that must be obtained for vendors that he's bringing from abroad. Bourdain Market will feature more than 100 vendors, and he's already dropped a wish list of restaurants from his travels that he wants to bring to New York. Bourdain tells Adweek that some of these vendors "absolutely, positively need to be here" with enough time to either train people in New York or to bring people from their home countries:

I mean, if we're going to be doing Tian Tian Hainanese chicken rice in New York City, the expectations of Chinese who've grown up here or have lived here for the last 15 to 20 years waiting for just such an establishment are going to be pretty enormous. We cannot disappoint, OK? One grandmother comes in and says this Hainanese chicken is not at all like what I enjoyed back in Singapore or this budae jjigae is totally not anything like what I enjoyed in Seoul, and we're doomed.

Despite the paperwork, Bourdain still says they're hoping to open it by 2017.

In other Bourdain takes on NYC, he talked to Adweek about Mayor Bill de Blasio's call for New Yorkers to boycott Chick-fil-A given the CEO's notorious anti-LGBT views. If we're only looking for "nice people to run our companies," we'll be looking pretty hard, he says: "I come from a restaurant business where you're lucky if the guy working next to you isn't like an armed robber. I support your inalienable right to say really stupid, offensive shit and believe really stupid, offensive shit that I don't agree with. I support that, and I might even eat your chicken sandwich." Check out the full interview here.


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