No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain

I have a cold and haven’t worked for a couple of days.  Instead I’m reading for the RITAs and my column and watching lots of television.

Oh, and I made tamales on Sunday.

For the foodie and travel addicts out there, you should be catching No Reservations.  Anthony Bourdain is the author of KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL, which I’ve praised here before as an earthy, intelligent, well-written look into the world of professional kitchens.  (He’s also written food-related mysteries, which I’ve not read). 

No Reservations is as much about travel and people as it is about food, and the free-form flow of the program gives it an intimate feel–I always feel like I’m hanging out with Tony, checking out the locals.  I particularly enjoy it when he is disarmed by a local, and the true spirit of a place or culture comes shining through.  He’s an ironic and irreverent host, but the bad boy angle is ripened by his genine curiosity and intellligence. The episode when the cast gets caught in Beirut is especially harrowing and insightful.

Part of the appeal is the Mick Jagger bad boy angle, of course.  He’s good looking and wry. In real life: way too much trouble.  On TV: a lot of fun. 

My notes: I’m not a particularly adventurous meat eater.  It’s always the meat dishes that give me pause.  Goat? No.  Sashimi, octopus, even chicken livers….no.  I’d like to do the vegetarian food tour–only vegetarian cultures.  It’s hard to think of too many vegetables that would be inedible.  I might not like them, but I doubt I’d choke on them, either.

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