WATCH: Anthony Bourdain talks street food at WSFC 2017

Vernise Tantuco
WATCH: Anthony Bourdain talks street food at WSFC 2017
Watch Anthony Bourdain's full talk at the World Street Food Congress 2017 here!

MANILA, Philippines – Anthony Bourdain is out to save street food.

The TV host, chef, and author is in Manila for the World Street Food Congress (WSFC) 2017, where he closed the second day of the World Street Food Dialogue on Thursday, June 1.

At the dialogue, Anthony gave a talk on the importance of culture and street food, and why he’s opening up his street food market, Bourdain Market, in New York.

Street food, he said, reflects culture, especially of those that have painful histories. It also connects people – tourists and local vendors – on a personal level.

“That’s how we got to these dishes,” he said, about our food reflecting our past. “I often say that wealthy cultures that have been lucky and fortunate and prosperous generally don’t cook very well, because they never had to. It’s the cultures that had to struggle and make the most of what little they have who have over time learned to make wonderful things out of, well, all the things that I love and most of my chef friends love.”

He added, later: “Someone’s always telling you a story when they cook for you. When you allow them to cook for you, when you sit down without judgement or preconception and say, ‘What do you do that’s good? What’s your best shot? I’ll have that.'”

“Street food is under threat,” he continued later, explaining that it’s typically viewed as unsanitary.

Anthony commended Singapore’s hawker markets as a solution to preserving the culture and to keeping with sanitary requirements. The same, he said, should be done in New York, where he’s setting up Bourdain Market, a space where hawkwers from all over the world will set up shop in 2019.

He later answered a few questions from the participants of the dialogue. Watch below!


The World Street Food Dialogue is a networking and conference event for street food industry members. The 2017 dialogue was a two-day event that was held at the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds on May 31 and June 1.

Meanwhile, the WSFC Jamboree, where 28 street food chefs and vendors are serving up their best dishes, is open from May 31 to June 4 at the Mall of Asia Concert Grounds.

What’s your favorite kind of street food? Sound off in the comments! –

Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Vernise Tantuco

Vernise Tantuco is on Rappler's Research Team, fact checking suspicious claims, wrangling data, and telling stories that need to be heard.