Rick Bayless Muses on Jimmy Buffet, Bossa Nova, and The Critics He Shares With Paul Simon

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Rick "Rock" Bayless Photo: Jay Barrmann

Rick Bayless sits down with Food is the New Rock this week in L.A. to discuss such subjects as the disappointing day Jimmy Buffet visited one of his Chicago restaurants and failed to order a margarita and how the chef learned Portuguese as a teen just to better understand what the singers were saying on his Bossa Nova records. And as it often does, the subject of authenticity comes up as it relates to the chef's obsession with Mexican food. High on musical metaphors, Bayless relates his critics to the same type who slam Ry Cooder's work with Buena Vista Social Club and Paul Simon's Graceland (we recently compared him to Simon's Rhythm of the Saints period ourselves). So, what does Bayless have to say?

The chef tells hosts Zach Brooks and Chuck P., "There are certain cuisines, mostly Third World cuisines...and suddenly if people like me decide to devote their entire life to learning that culture and cuisine and come back and try to represent that in a great way and be part of the evolution of that cuisine...suddenly we don't belong. And there's a few of us who have been criticized for doing what we do, which is an incredibly pure love of the culture and cuisine that we're representing."

Bayless's full 45 minute episode is now free to download through iTunes.

Earlier: Rick Bayless Plays DJ at KCRW [GS]