Anthony Bourdain Visits Zubal Books
Anthony Bourdain visited us on what was probably the coldest day in January 2007. Our good friend Harvey Pekar, creator of real-life comic American Splendor, felt it important that the Travel Channel personality spend a few hours with us. That meant an hour-long tour through what is mostly unheated warehouse, where large portions of our stock are shelved. Besides Harvey, Bourdain was accompanied by his producer, three cameramen, and writer Michael Ruhlman. Ultimately the three-hour taping was distilled into a five-minute segment of the Cleveland episode of No Reservations.
Bourdain was exceptionally friendly and showed sincere interest in his subject, always asking intelligent and poignant questions. We gave him a quick history of our company and explained our system of stock control. I offered to show Bourdain rarities but he wanted to focus on the vastness of our collection and the immensity of our facilities. Our main building is 60,000 square feet and it is joined by three smaller buildings of 30,000 square feet. Adjacent to this assemblage is the 300,000 square foot “bakery” building. Until 1989 this was home to the company that brings us Twinkies, Ho-hos, Fruit Pies and the like. That leg of Bourdain’s tour was the highlight of the day. Many of the pipes in the bakery still contain sugary sauce the color of motor oil, which, when whipped, becomes the famous Twinkie cream filling. Since Hostess abandoned the place, that sauce just sits in the pipes. Our endurance tested by the sub-zero temperature, we made it to one of the pipes, cracked the valve and Bourdain, with a slight reticence, swiped his finger through the vertical brown stream. He stuck the gooey sauce in his mouth and proclaimed “there’s that Twinkie freshness!”
Watch as Zubal Books gets paid a visit by Harvey Pekar and Anthony Bourdain on “No Reservations”