BOURDAIN: A very nice guy. We all admire the type of foods he's willing to serve - kidney, pig's feet, tripe, sweetbreads, headcheese. He's taken the lead in a trend like tapas that hasn't taken root yet. Few of us have the bully pulpit to coerce and seduce people into eating overlooked foods the way Mario does.

AMERICAN WAY: So what is the trend in food these days? And what city's setting the tone? For a long time, people said Paris was the epicenter of the food universe. Then it was London or New York.
BOURDAIN: I don't know any chefs right now who say Paris is where it's happening. The future is Asia, Asia, Asia. And I don't mean fusion, but pure ingredients and pure Asian cooking. Sydney and England are also good. But right now the trend is Spanish food. The kind you eat 24 hours a day in small amounts. Little two-bite portions. Ingredients like little squids, anchovies, blood sausages. Spain is the number-one place for chefs to go on sabbatical. Every chef I know has either been there or wants to go. We all travel to El Bulli, a little restaurant in a coastal village a hundred miles north of Barcelona on the Costa Brava. The chef there is Ferran Adria.

AMERICAN WAY: Is that the foam guy?
BOURDAIN: That's the foam guy. He doesn't serve foam anymore. [Adria revolutionized the food world in the late '90s by injecting foods such as carrots and mayonnaise with nitrous oxide, à la canned whipped cream, and serving them as foam instead of in their traditional guise.] Now it's more traditional food and ingredients.

AMERICAN WAY: Do you have a particular favorite dish?
BOURDAIN: Actually, I love dirty-water hot dogs, the kind you buy from New York City street vendors. But my death row meal would be roasted bone marrow. It's veal marrow, taken out of the bone and spread on toast. It is an unctuous, greasy, meaty ethereal delight.