Anthony Bourdain is a very well-known culinary chef in the United States, who has won numerous Emmy awards for his very intelligent presentation skills. He made headlines when he swiftly moved to CNN, with his well-regarded food show, from the Travel Channel. His former food show had earned him an Emmy Award, but the “No Reservations” host decided to go forward with a new cooking concept in the cable news network on weekends, for an hour, that explored the world in terms of food. So, how has life been like, since he began working on “Parts Unknown”?
Anthony’s perspective on this show is that he gets to experience what life is really like for locals, and helps them open up to him about what makes their cultures tick. This, in his point of view, is different from those who approach these localities looking for an interesting story. I agree with him on this, because making people feel comfortable through food is a great way to understand how a culture works, and erase any longstanding prejudice that might stand in the way from really connecting. It does help people understand that you do not fear diversity, that you actually embrace it.
The chef, who is also a best-selling author, takes viewers on a unique trip to Morocco, Peru, Burma, and Colombia, through his show, to help you realise what kind of food drives the economy and the people, up every morning, despite their very challenging circumstances. My particular favourite episodes of his show are when he goes off to Provencetown, but not for some regular burgers and fries, in college dorm rooms. He takes us to the first kitchen he has ever served in, during the ‘70s. It almost clashes in favouritism, with the episode when he first goes to Shanghai: this city is crazy for status, and a place where money drives every decision.
So, how has travelling been like for Anthony? He adores good food, but he wants to get behind-the-scenes of who is cooking it, what motivates them to do it, the culture behind the great food, and the experiences he has while uncovering all of this. His favourite continent in the world is Southeast Asia, and his favourite place there is Malaysia. But further south of the sea, he cannot live, without Vietnam. He’s a die-hard fan of the place. The flavours of the food, the people, the scenic beauty of our home is what interests him the most, but apart from that, there is also the experiences.
His first time in Vietnam, altered his perspective in life, because it was nothing like anything he had ever seen before. He grew up in a completely different world, and he finds the country to be a place, where you cannot separate the smell of the food from the culture. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? That’s least of what Anthony thought: Vietnam apparently told him, it will never let go of him, ever!
His favourite chef is Paul Bocuse, but his favourite food is sushi, but the kind you get in Japan – not the tourist-friendly editions in NYC business folks like to indulge in because they read somewhere “Japanese culture is a-smoking!”. Asians do love that, making fun of people, but it’s nothing on how sensitive some people can get over a helping of hummus. And he’s been to countries in the Gulf, plenty of times, so he must know this?…I’ll take that as a yes, since like me, he is so prone to saying things like “on the ground Iran is a whole new picture from what we see up here….which is political hardship, strife and how to protect heritage sites, better!”.
Anthony hates airline food…that’s his domain entirely because airline food sometimes, can be the most delicious food you have ever tasted, prepared by some of the best chefs in the world. He sleeps on the plane instead and arrives on-location with his crew, hungry, and willing to explore food like never before! When he’s off the plane he likes to lodge in colonial hotels, of which there are plenty in Vietnam, but when in LA, he does admire the Chateau Marmont too much, to neglect it.
Paul is a great chef, I have to add because his food is so good for people on a health-kick but who cannot compromise on the taste. Others might call it nothing like French food, but I beg to differ because the food in France is never soaking in fat! Anthony’s favourite dishes, after travelling with food, for 14 years, is surprise! street food! He likes the Mexican and Vietnamese foods, but he never says no to chicken rice from Singapore or Asian street stall food. That even went to Latin America, didn’t it? Kind of like a hummus in reverse? On that note, I’ll say yes to a couple of his beloved tacos from Mexico! No clue as of yet, what a pho from Vietnam tastes like, but a yakitori is like staple good Chinese food!