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Anthony Bourdain's Cooking Show

I missed his cooking show on The Food Network--was it good??Can you tell me something about it-

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  1. If I remember correctly it wasn't a cooking show, but like his show on the Travel Channel "No Reservations".

    1 Reply
    1. re: monku

      Yeah, lots of eating, not much cooking, no recipes. I think Bourdain pitched in to make some bechamel or something in one episode.

    2. His Food TV show was "A Cook's Tour." Very similar to the Travel Channel show - and I kind of liked it better to be honest. LOVE Tony Bourdain!

      1. His "Cook's Tour" was a half-hour version of his current one-hour food/travelogue (which starts a new season New Year's night). The Food Network version emphasized more on the food and less on the other aspects of his destinations.


        1 Reply
        1. re: gido

          Does Cook's Tour still air on Food Network as repeats? I'd love to catch it sometimes.

        2. I do like watching him but how does he taste anything when he smokes so much? I'm fascinated.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sharonanne

            I'm sure that's how he can eat the most disgusting things... dead taste buds!!

            1. re: HoneybeeSF

              No, I think he's just trained his taste buds to ignore the tobacco flavor and zoom in on the other stuff. As for not tasting "disgusting stuff," I was watching when he tried the fermented shark. Oh, he tasted that all right!

          2. I'm a non-smoking waiter, over 15 years in the restaurant biz, and the best chef i've worked with was a chain smoking, self-taught guy. He seemed to instinctively know what flavors worked. Go figure.

            9 Replies
            1. re: exbarkeep

              My husband smokes three packs a day and can taste things better than I do; he catches the tiniest changes I make in my recipes. Although when he had plueresy, he stoppped smoking for a week and gave up drinking Pepsi, which he had been addicted to, because he said it tasted disgusting all of a sudden. I think he has "super" taste buds though.

              1. re: coll

                Exactly...most chefs I've worked with in this business have smoked or do smoke.

                While anti-smoking campaigning is very good in it's guidance, we need to realize that smokers don't cease to be valid at things.

                We'd be surprised to find that many chefs and sommeliers and whatnot smoke.

                1. re: therealbigtasty

                  I've never smoked so I wouldn't know. I just know that friends who have quit talk about how much better they can taste. It made me wonder if an already great chef would be even better.

                  1. re: sharonanne

                    Good thought... I don't smoke either, but know a ton o' smokers.

                    1. re: therealbigtasty

                      I used to smoke and noticed no difference in how food tasted.


                      1. re: Davwud

                        Cool, I was curious.

                        I do know that there's an illegal smoking product that makes food taste AMAZING...but that's all heresay.

                        1. re: therealbigtasty

                          I can attest that it does in fact make food taste much more tasty.


                        2. re: Davwud

                          Ditto. I smoked for 35 years and quit. There was no revelation of anything tasting better, different, nor did I gain more energy.

                          All I know is it possibly is better for my health and better for my budget not to smoke anymore. I never coughed, never had a problem chest x-ray, never had a problem with bone density.

                          1. re: Davwud

                            I noticed a HUGE difference after I quit smoking. Food tastes a lot better, and my sense of smell is much better as well.

                2. it was good for a little while, but then it got cheesy, like all the other Food Network shows. i saw him speak at Herbst Theater (he was great)and he said he hated it there. in the end, all they wanted him to do was visit BBQ cook-offs and do tailgate parties. I like his new show much better.

                  1. In his personal appearances here he has been bluntly unsparing of the "clowns" (the kindest epithet he uses) who took over the direction of Food Network in his last year there. And while he does not go out of his way to praise his current employer, he is frank about what a lucky b*****d he is, getting to travel around with a crew he likes, eating and drinking and staying up past his bedtime while getting paid 'way too much money. He is under no illusions that this is gonna last forever - he's just happy to be living it now. Good for him.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Will Owen

                      I've been a huge fan of Tony for quite a while, but if he's such a lucky guy, why did his new life (after Les Halles) cause him to divorce the woman he spoke of in such glowing terms in "Kitchen Confidential"?

                        1. re: kaitak98

                          Thanks for posting, what a great interview!

                    2. I enjoy the No Reservations series a lot, particularly if it's a country I'm interested in. In the new series, he comments on culture as well as food, drinking, and cooking. He's somewhat cynical and jaded, but you can see at times a huge respect and appreciation he has for great food, whether street food or fine dining. I think in the Cooks Tour series, he was looking more for unusual or extreme foods to entertain the viewers.

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: jkt

                        to me he comes across as real, as opposed to gushy and bland. 'Course that may be because I'm a cynic by nature, as well.

                        I'm happy to see someone achieving prominence in his field while not being a pasty cheerleader type.

                        an old phrase from the 60's: Tell it like it IS.

                        1. re: toodie jane

                          Funny thing is that everything he eats he says its good except once when I saw him eat an iguana in Mexico he didn't like that.

                          I've read almost everything he's written and enjoy it except his attempt at fiction is just so so.

                          1. re: monku

                            I'm sure he eats things that he doesn't like, but with as much film as they take, and as little time as they have to put it in the show, why would he put in the stuff he didn't like. Besides, he is one of those guys that pretty much likes all kinds of food and the stranger the better.

                            1. re: dinwiddie

                              He said the fermented shark in Iceland was the most disgusting thing he ever tasted.

                              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                Lutefisk--cod soaked in lye.
                                That was the only other thing besides the iguana he said he didn't.

                                1. re: monku

                                  USA Today: What's the most disgusting thing you've ever eaten?

                                  Anthony Bourdain:: That would have to be the fermented shark fin I had in Iceland.


                                  And to be polite or save face, he had to eat the stuff at least three times!

                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                    Your right...Now I remember the Iceland episode when Tony ate that shark fine.

                                    I was thinking of an episode of Taste of America with Mark DeCarlo in Minnesota when he had to eat lutefisk. Sounded just as vile as that fermented shark fin.

                                    Maybe its a Nordic thing.

                                    1. re: monku

                                      My husband once flew Iceland Air when he was in his early 20's and raved about the hot airline stewards and stewardesses. Ugh! After watching that Iceland episode, his perception of Nordic beauty went out the window. I always thought the silly disclaimer after commercial break was superfluous, but those gym rats were gross.

                                      Usually when we watch "No Reservations" we say, "Oh, let's go there!" but after that episode, we have no desire to go to Iceland.

                                      1. re: vsoy

                                        But Icelanders are so cool.

                                        Supposedly by law kids at the age of thirteen are required to have summer jobs, how cool is that?

                                        1. re: therealbigtasty

                                          That's probably because almost everyone in Iceland works for the government fishing co-op.

                                          1. re: coll

                                            That's good, let's get those darn kids workin'!

                                        2. re: vsoy

                                          What does the first ugh refer to, that he thought the airline staff was hot?

                                          There's lots of stuff in Iceland besides fermented shark. Helps if you like to drink/party a lot tho. And have the $$ for it.

                                          1. re: Joanie

                                            Heheh, I didn't realize it could be interpreted either way. I meant "ugh" as in the people in that show were not particularly attractive in terms of looks or personality.

                              2. re: monku

                                Almost died laughing at his post-iguana comments. Something like (although better), "Makes you want to pull your eyeballs out by the stalks, light your head on fire, and jump off a cliff."

                          2. I heart that show. It's also strangly political and inspiration, which is interesting, given what a cynical pain in the a** he can be. Did you see the Lebanon special?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: vb_lady

                              Good episode--interesting to see his serious and dramatic side.

                              Was that the last episode of the year?

                              I'm upset because my cable provider Time Warner took the Travel Channel away (basic package) and replaced it with The Golf Channel (and I'm a golf fanatic).

                            2. Did anyone see the Joan Cusack travel and food show on the Travel Channel. Can't say that I really dig it.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: vb_lady

                                There's a big long thread on the Joan Cusack show.

                              2. The best one of his shows was when he and his brother went to the village in France where they spent their early years. Please correct me if I am missing the details. I just remember he was a little softer than usual when they were talking about memories. Oh, the other one was when he went back to the CIA and talked to one of his instructors. Again, correct me if I have the wrong school but I think he was a little bit of a problem child for them.

                                I'm thinking these might have been specials? There was also one where he and some other chefs had dinner at the French Laundry. How Martha Stewart of him to get the TV show to foot the tab.

                                1. I was in SF over the Thanksgivings Day weekend and happened to see Anthony Bourdain and another guy with a camera man. They were in the park across the street from City Hall. We were going to the Asian Museum which looks across the park to city hall. Does he have more shows in the works?

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: TryThis

                                    He was probably taping season 3 of No Reservations. I think the new episodes start airing in January.

                                  2. There is also a book of the same name. Much more in depth and a great read. Anyone who's read AB will know what I'm talking about.


                                      1. The thing that sets Bourdain apart is he truly doesn't give a s**t what anyone thinks. He's brutally honest about his pay offs, having to play the game, the pretentious expectations networks have and what they falsely try to portray. I admire anyone who doesn't want to play the game. Better yet, make up your own rules. Everyone else will follow, or you will happily be singing your own tune.

                                        1. YAY! Anthony Bourdain is on tonight and in Ghana. The only thing that I think is really weird about his show is doesn't he get sick eating all that street food. Has this been mentioned ever?

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: vb_lady

                                            Street food in developing countries is usually fresh and clean. Restaurant kitchens, on the other hand, are often rat infested hell holes--and this goes for ones that have the look and sheen of fancy on the front floor. I think he stays healthy because he eats street food.