Anthony Bourdain and Jason Kurtz on the “cool” factor that comes with being a chef

Following his debut as a fill-in host for Piers Morgan (airing Thursday, 9 p.m.), food and travel guru Anthony Bourdain took a seat on the host’s couch, opening up about everything from the life of a chef, to the success of his new CNN program.

Digital Producer Jason Kurtz noted that with “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” he’d intended for nit and grit to be a core element – where toothbrushes were forgotten and pipes were shared:

“I’ve been doing a lot of that,” confirmed the “Piers Morgan Live” guest host. “But you know, every once in a while, I do like a high thread count and some good hotel plumbing.”

Kurtz then asked about the Emmy nominations, or the “sixteen to seventeen” that he had exaggerated to have existed.

In truth, “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” has garnered four award nominations, which come on the heels of his wildly successful run with “No Reservations.”

“I’m pretty happy with the way things have gone,” said Bourdain, who’s wrapping up filming of the show’s second season, with plans for a third already in the works.

Remembering that there was, in fact, a time when epicurean ventures were less celebrated, Kurtz asked: “How did you guys [Bourdain, and fellow chefs and program guests Eric Ripert and Mario Batali] make being a chef cool?”

Harkening back to the days of the food industry past, Bourdain paused, and reflected:

“I think it came out of that sense that back then we were outsiders, we were in a rather debauched profession,” remarked Bourdain. “It was like living like a rock-and-roll star without having any talent for music, or any stardom to speak of. But, it was definitely a subculture and an outsider lifestyle that I think maybe added some luster to what had once been considered a pretty uninteresting, low-class profession.”

Watch the clip to hear Bourdain’s colorful story from his days as a dishwasher, then tune in this evening at 9 for “Piers Morgan Live” as served up by the master chef.

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