Bourdain Market, a project fronted by food celebrity Anthony Bourdain, will open in New York City in early 2016.
Bourdain’s business partner Stephen Werther said this week that the location, which has been kept secret, will be announced in just a few weeks.
Werther said the space of 100,000 square feet will feature 100 street vendors from around the world, delivering authentic cuisine. KF Seetoh, the founder of Singapore’s Makansutra who introduced Bourdain to the country’s hawker food, will help curate the stalls, some of which will rotate as others will stay permanently.
Werther revealed that the location has been selected but that the vendors still have to be chosen.
“It will be a big, friendly, in-your-face experience where nothing is diluted and people will be able to watch these artisans cooking just like they do at home,” Werther told Business Times. “The idea about authenticity means different things to different people. It means one thing to Bourdain – that someone from Singapore comes and has the chicken rice and says, ‘That’s the real thing–that’s what I would get at home’. This will be a tour of the world, a view of different cultures through the food that everybody eats. It’s not elitist, it’s a democratic egalitarian experience where it’s affordable, delicious, historical and real.”
“It is meant to be crowded and chaotic because that’s what hawker centres should be. It should activate all of your senses,” he added, reported Today Online, “and, yes, you should stand in line. Why not? It took them a long time to make it. You should be willing to wait in line to buy it.”
Besides vendors, there will be a butcher, a farmer’s market, an oyster bar, a tapas bar, and a rooftop beer garden. Included in the plans–a “Global Spotlight,” which will change focus four times a year and focus on a city or country that Bourdain has featured in one of his shows.
A design sketch of the market was actually shared by the designers, Stephen Alesch and Robin Standefer of Roman and Williams, several months ago, but people just noticed it this week. The design is partially inspired by the movie Blade Runner as well as the back alleys of Tokyo.