World famous chef Anthony Bourdain refuses to eat restaurant fish on Mondays — and there's a very good reason why


After more than 30 years of experience in the cooking industry, world famous chef and bestselling author Anthony Bourdain has learned the ins and outs of how food gets from the kitchen to your plate.

And on certain days, some restaurant foods are better than others. For example, if Bourdain is eating out:

"I never order fish on Monday," he wrote in his book "Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly."

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He's talking about restaurants in New York City, where he spent most of his culinary career.

The reason has nothing to do with religion, superstition, or the like. Instead, he says, it has everything to do with quality.

"I know how old most seafood is on Monday — about four to five days old!" he wrote. "Chances are good that that tuna you're thinking of ordering on Monday night has been kicking around in the restaurant's reach-ins ... co-mingling with the chicken and the salmon and the lamb chops for four days."

Disturbingly, fresh fish lasts only about three days tops, and that's only if you refrigerate it properly, according to New York city expert fishmongers interviewed by the Huffington Post.

See Bourdain through his career:

To be fair, Bourdain retracted these notorious words in his more recent book Medium Raw, saying that this isn't necessarily the case for all NYC restaurants, anymore. But there are still certain places to be wary of like dive bars or chains where fish isn't the "main thrust of their business," Bourdain wrote in Medium Raw.

It all starts at the fish market

Bourdain spent most of his cooking career at different restaurants in New York City where most restaurant seafood is bought at the Fulton Street fish market in the Bronx — the second largest seafood market in the world.

During each weekday, buyers and sellers handle millions of pounds of seafood, which equates to over one billion dollars in daily sales.

But the market is closed on the weekend, and it's only open from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. on Friday mornings. Chefs usually order the bulk of their fish on Thursdays in preparation for the busy weekend.

By the time Monday comes around, if the fish doesn't smell too fishy, then it might end up on your plate — depending on whether your chef actually cares about what he's doing — an attitude that is increasingly common in the cooking business nowadays, Bourdain wrote in Medium Raw.

Come Tuesday, the fish is likely too spoiled to sell and as the old fish is thrown out a new order comes in.

Your best days for ordering fish in NYC at a restaurant, then? Tuesdays and Thursdays, wrote Bourdain.

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Originally published