The Touching Way Anderson Cooper Remembered Anthony Bourdain

"I have a theory that everybody in America, there's two types of people. People who come from New Jersey and admit it. And people who come from New Jersey and are lying." So Anthony Bourdain explains in the opening of the Anderson Cooper Full Circle episode that aired the day before Thanksgiving 2020. The point of the clip was — besides from his charm playing well with Anderson Cooper — to teach Cooper how to make Sunday gravy. Before sharing the scene, as Delish writes, Cooper reminisced about his friendship with the cosmopolitan cook: "[Besides trying to teach me how to cook,] he would also sort of torture me with dishes which I would normally never eat in a million years, and he loved to watch me squirm as I bit into like a pig's aorta. Which I'm not sure why that was necessary, but he certainly enjoyed it." It should probably be added that Anderson Cooper was smiling while he said this. 

The clip is fun to watch, as the two have a natural chemistry and seem to genuinely enjoy each other's company — else their minute-long conversation about Cap'n Crunch was an odd choice to include. It then turns to the matter at hand. Bourdain delivers a brief history of Sunday gravy, and then the clip becomes a Bourdain video recipe in which Cooper plays the blank slate student who moves wherever he's told but doesn't, by his own admission, know anything whatsoever.

Sunday gravy

Sunday gravy, Bourdain explains to Cooper, "comes from that great diaspora of mostly impoverished Italians from the Naples area and Sicily who came over and discovered this wonderland of prosperity relative to what they'd grown up in ... In Italy, the sauce is used as a condiment. Over here, it's, you know, you've got a lot more of it." Essentially, it's tougher cuts of meat, necks and ox-tails, cooked in tomato sauce until it becomes tender and in turn enriches the sauce's flavor. Doing so allows for the sauce and meat to be served separately, making one dish two.

As Cooper, who has been placed on meat cooking duty, gets sprayed with spits of sizzling olive oil, he startles, causing Bourdain to snap, "Toughen up, kid" while the camera cuts away from a smile. Later, Bourdain mutters that the sauce probably needs more wine, so he tips his bottle over the pot for a second without paying much attention. An amazed Cooper asks whether measurements really don't matter then, or if Bourdain was so good as to know them instinctively. Says Bourdain, "I'm just so good." Both descend into a chuckle. Moments like these capture the affection each held for the other.

After the clip, Cooper summarizes it by saying, "Anthony Bourdain, it is so great to hear his voice. He is so, so missed, by many." The clip is definitely worth watching and if you want to make Sunday gravy, here's Bourdain's recipe, provided by The Thrillist