“You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.” This was one of countless tidbits of wisdom from the late chef, author, host, and above all, traveler, Anthony Bourdain, who has been a seminal inspiration for my travels, culinary adventures, and my Mr. Milwaukee endeavors.
Bourdain’s fellow chefs Eric Ripert and Jose Andres recently declared his birthday (June 25th) to be Bourdain Day, a global celebration to honor the life, spirit, and legacy of their late friend. While it was celebrated around the world by friends and fans alike in a myriad of ways, here in Milwaukee Bourdain Day was celebrated at Hotel Madrid. The Milwaukee event featured a specially curated menu of dishes he enjoyed on his travels, complete with quotes from him regarding the item. Hotel Madrid pulled out all the Bourdain-related stops, with a music selection leaning heavily on The Ramones and other 70s-era punk, and episodes of No Reservations playing on the bar’s TV screens. Proceeds from the food sales went to a good cause, the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee. In the words of Bourdain, “Awesome.”
On this inaugural outing I sampled the charcuterie and roquefort, sisig, froie gras hot dog, and pastrami on rye. Although all were delicious, the standouts were the sisig and the froie gras hot dog.
Judging by the steady turnout I witnessed between gorging on the amazing food, it appears the event was a success. I hope they continue this annual celebration of Tony’s legacy. I know I will.
Accessibility note: the main entrance to Hotel Madrid is not accessible, however, they will gladly open the patio gate and let you in through the back door.