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Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations New Orleans Episode [Moved from New Orleans board]

I'm sure most of you know this already, but in case you don't, next monday will be a new episode of Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations whereby he visits New Orleans. It will air Monday February 4th, at 9 pm on Travel Channel which on Cox is Channel 66. I'm sure it will re-air throughout the week in case you don't have DVR, and can't miss out on Lundi Gras festivities.

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  1. I'll be interested to see this...I was not a huge fan of his first book which seemed to say the obvious. On the rare occasions when his globe-trotting has taken him to an area I know, I've thought he missed the boat but, then again, there is that personal taste intruding again.

    2 Replies
    1. re: hazelhurst

      I'm a big Bourdain fan, but realistically this show is bound to disappoint everyone who has ever been there and has their favourite spots that are bound to be overlooked.

      But it IS only a one hour show. He could do a dozen episodes from New Orleans and still not hit every place that all of us would hope he'd get to.

      1. re: Fydeaux

        Once while dining in New Orleans I happened to overhear a wife talking to her husband at the next table. What she said was SO appropriate for The Big Easy. "So many places to eat, so little time" :)

    2. I thought it was interesting that, in the previews, he speaks with Emeril. In his writings he is pretty snarky toward the big E.

      4 Replies
      1. re: cor

        Not just his writings. He's pretty open about it period. I have seen on the show others tell him that E is "One of them" and that he should back off. Perhaps he decided to meet him face to face and make an honest judgement on him and not just call him a "Sell out."


        1. re: Davwud

          I think Tony has done a 180 on his Emeril opinion. Probably helped by the fact that the Food Network has been giving Emeril the high hat.

          1. re: kevinlimbo

            The two times we've seen him here in Pasadena, Tony has gone out of his way to point out that Emeril is in fact an excellent cook and chef, unlike your typical Trendy New Food Channel Media Darling. Bourdain recognizes an honest self-promoter when he sees one, and while he can't conceal the smirk he can't conceal the respect either.

          2. re: Davwud

            In The Nasty Bits, Bourdain pretty much apologizes to Emeril and admits that he’s been a snarky ass who mis-judged him.

        2. I am not familiar with Anthony Bourdain, or with his program. However, I have found, over the years, that the Travel Channel, plays it close to the tourist mags, and their recs. I greatly apprecitate the H/U and will look forward to his program, since we do not have much, in the way of Mardi Gras in AZ. I will hold off comments, until I have seen his choices in dining, and how he covers these.

          Based on other comments, in this thread, I have to say that I am a fan of Emeril as a chef, and as a cook, though less as a TV personality. For me, it's about the food, and not the showmanship (no gender specific reference intended, but "showpersonship" sounded too hokey). I've had the pleasure of dining with him at Commander's and in later iterations, and all have been good to great. Also, I appreciate the things that he, as a personality, has done for NOLA and the Gulf Coast. That does not embellish, nor does it detract, from the food, that I have experienced.

          Still, if this "reads," like a travelogue of NOLA, then I think that they are missing the boat, and cowtowing to the Chambers of Commerce and Tourism Boards, and there is so very much beyond that. It will be interesting, and as I sit with my Mardi Gras tie & cumberbund, watching, throwing beads at my wife, I will make note and grade harshly, if warrented. I find that the TC's take is like the "Three Perfect Days," in _____, in "Hemisphere's Magazine," (United Airlines' inflight mag) something that could easily have been written by the Tourism Board, and not someone, who actually visited the city - any city, you choose.

          Again, thank you for the H/U, and I will watch AND DVR the program for reference. I hope that he, Anthony, does it well, and actually dines at the spots in the piece, and does not just rely on the script provided.


          3 Replies
          1. re: Bill Hunt

            Tony has done a show before in New Orleans..and he didn't hit any of the touristy spots.

            1. re: Bill Hunt

              too bad I don't get the travel channel I would love to see the show. but not to pay $30 more per month to get it.

              1. re: Bill Hunt

                In his previous show (A Cooks Tour) on FTV he visited NOLA and I didn't recognize many of the names. He went to a place called Jacque Imo's and a place called Dooky Chase.
                It was really great when the show started up with some guy who lives on the bayou and he cooked him alligator in his little shack. Very entertaining.
                I also remember him ordering a muffaletta and taking it to his hotel room and eating on a tour bus or something like that.
                Forgive my vague memories. I haven't seen the show in a few years.

                My guess is he'll touch on the places he went to before plus give you an idea of how the big guns are doing in the reconstruction.


              2. I hope only that Tony makes stops at Snake & Jakes Christmas Lounge (which I think he has written about before, but deserves video documentation) and Ms. Mae's. He can get an oyster loaf at Casamento's before heading into Mae's.

                1. Why are people wasting their breath commenting on a show that hasn't even aired yet? At least watch the damn thing before you take your gloves off . . .

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Roo

                    I'm so glad that I stumbled on this topic. I'm fixing to find out what channel the Travel Channel is on our cable and watch it!

                    1. re: firstclass1

                      The program was excellent. I lived in the French Quarter and got stuck there for five days after Katrina so it was very poignant for me. I thought he had a good amount of diverse restaurants, as a previous poster said there are so many you just have to pick very carefully. By the way, it will air again this weekend, I think - check the Travel Channel.

                    2. I thought this was a slap in the face to the MS coast victims.
                      At least New Orleans is still standing...acting like they are "rebuilding." More like just suffered from flood damage, at least their houses were still standing after Katrina.
                      It just perturbs me how much focus New Orleans received and MS received nothing along those lines.

                      8 Replies
                      1. re: TheNightDances

                        Interesting perspective. I'd comment further, but it is probably best in another forum.

                        On the first trip to NOLA & the Gulf Coast, I was on one hand gladdened at the way that NOLA, and its restaurants had come back. OTOH, I was devastated at the total destruction of the eateries on the Gulf Coast. Still, there were a few, that had sprung back to life and the food was good, as per a previous report.

                        Again, I will not comment on the differences, as I cannot tie them into the food-scene, but will state that I understand your comments and concerns.

                        I am so happy that both areas have managed to get some of their restaurants back on track, and look forward to seeing the mentioned episode, as it was put on DVR, because of the timing on the Travel Channel here in PHX.

                        BTW, wife is a native of NOLA, and I am from the Gulf Coast, so both areas are ones of great concern. Let's hope that the TC did a nice job. Can't wait to see it, and will comment, when I do.


                        1. re: TheNightDances

                          The Mississippi coast has been mostly ignored. as if entire towns didn't get wiped away in one day. I completely simpathize with you on this matter. However, saying that the houses here mearly sustained "flood damage" is absolutely insane. Living here is a constant reminder of what I believe our city will face for the entire current and next generation of residents - maybe three or four generations. Here is what I tell people from out of town when I take them to see the real damage and the ghost town of the 9th Ward, "I know we are driving by and you see what looks like houses standing one after the other. However, they are also two and a half years more damaged then they were immediately following the storm when the houses were under 20 feet of water. You think they may look like houses, but they are really just large piles of rubbish 'shaped' like a house. The people who own these piles of rubbish most likely will never return because there is really no house at all to return to. People may eventually rebuild and re-populate these areas, but I doubt I will see it in my lifetime." That gets their attention and helps them to understand what we are facing here. Again, I truly believe the Gulf Coast areas have been ignored, forgetten and neglected when it comes to Hurricane reporting and help to rebuild. But over 100,000 homes were lost here in such a relatively small area. Don't think that what you see on T.V., as the news trucks roll by with their video cameras trying to capture what is impossible to capture, are actual "houses" that can be "cleaned up a bit" and the residents get to come home. I would guess that 80% or more of the damaged houses really need a new house built from the ground up, and the entire old house moved to the landfills where they really belong. I hope people start paying attention to the Gulf Coast as well, you deserve all the help you can get.

                          1. re: TheNightDances

                            I live in Alabama and the joke around here about Katrina is in additional to the devastating damage it did to New Orleans, it also blew a tree down in MS and a tree limb down in AL :) Off topic I know.

                            1. re: Missi

                              Unfortunately, it blew more than a limb down in MS. It eliminated 3-4 blocks, inland from the Gulf, completely. There is almost nothing left. Had I not seen it, I would never have believed it. I lived there through Camille, and thought that I had seen the ultimate, but I was so very wrong. The entire Gulf Coast will never be the same. It will rebuild, but it will look more like the FL panhandle, than the MS Gulf Coast. That is completely gone and gone forever. Imagine if any city in the US lost a parcel of population that was 4 blocks x 30 miles that was suddenly eliminated. That probably translates to over 30 sq. miles. Think about Manhatten suddenly going away. I do not mean damaged. I mean that it is gone, down to below the foundation - gone!

                              Still, there are restaurants opening and running in the midst of this devastation and the food is good. People, like Chef Lagasse, have stepped forward to help with this recovery. Unfortunately, it will not be a real "recovery," but a total rebuilding in another direction.

                              I realize that you were citing a bit of humor, but considering the total distruction of the Coast, I think that the analogy is missing its mark - big time!


                              1. re: Bill Hunt

                                As I understand it, Dauphin Island is now about a hundred yards closer to the mainland.
                                Any idea how it fared for the people who live and work there??


                                1. re: Davwud

                                  Did not get past Ocean Springs, MS, so I cannot comment. Maybe others will have some good data for you.


                                  1. re: Bill Hunt

                                    Isn't Ocean Springs the town that no longer exists??


                                    1. re: Davwud

                                      It is one of them. I did see a news release that the OS bridge from Biloxi, had re-opened fairly recently. We had to reach what was left via I-10 and then try and find out way to the south.

                                      There used to be some fine restaurants there, but Camille knocked out some, and then Katrina took out many, if not most, of the remaining. Looking at the Coast dining Web sites, I do not even see any now.


                          2. This episode was an absolute home run. The newspaper writer gave tremendous perspective. The place that mentors young people and allows them to develop skills and ready them for the workplace was great. I thought this was a really, really good show. The segment on Antoine's was bone-chilling. The sit down with Emeril, "bam-free", allowed Emeril the opportunity to speak about the great responsibility he felt in getting his employees back on their feet.
                            Great stuff- the reason why Bourdain is my favorite person on television.

                            1. Terrific episode! Poignant and optimistic at the same time. A different take on what is happening in the the city. I really liked the part where he paid his respect to Emeril and made a point of acknowledging the work and the effort he has made in helping his staff and the city. Certainly enjoyed the RR comment at the end.

                              1. The show was great. Perhaps one of my favorite Bourdain shows just because I enjoyed watching him squirm a bit as he apologized to the ewok.....errr I mean Emeril. Honestly I never understood why he was so Snarky towards Emeril. He's a chef not just another Food personality like RR.
                                Emeril seemed sincere but IMO he looked a little annoyed with Bourdain. I'd like to know how the conversation went before/after filming.
                                The show did an excellent job of showing just how devastated the area is. Looking forward to returning to the Big Easy next year.
                                When the show was over I just wanted a big hunk of that pig and a fried shrimp po boy!

                                1. Like most people now that the episode has aired I thought it was great. They did a great job of showing just how devastated it was and yet balanced it with the "Can do" attitude that seems to be pervasive in NOLA.

                                  Emeril seemed a little uneasy. I'm not sure he was perturbed or not but he didn't look like he was having all that good a time. That said, it's probably the first time he's met the guy who's bashed him for no real good reason. Perhaps this was a mirror of AB's attitude when he went to Greece.


                                  14 Replies
                                  1. re: Davwud

                                    Tony was obviously uncomfortable, and it didn't look like Emeril was letting him off the hook. Of course that could've just been creative editing.

                                    1. re: kevinlimbo

                                      E probably let him off the hook. Just let him squirm on the end of the line for a bit.


                                      1. re: kevinlimbo

                                        Having been interested in Tonys work for years it was sort of unnecessary for him to include emeril in this episode. It went against the anti establishment approach that tony has taken since the very beginning of his career in the lime light. It was confusing and bothersome for me that he too seems to be selling out, as his show in the last two years has been focusing less and less on food and more and more on travel. I was happy to see the new "concept" of the show this year, though. It seems edgier and more food centric. The whole emeril thing disappointed me.

                                        1. re: culinaryculture

                                          Which part? The part where he talks with a chef who is a pillar of the New Orleans restaurant world and busted his butt to help his employees and the employees of other restaurants as soon after Katrina as he could find people? Or the part where he found that the guy he'd been slamming for the dog and pony show on the Food Network is actually a heck of a cook and runs a really good restaurant, too?

                                          Including Emeril served as an example of the kinds of relief work/recovery and community the restaurant community has and has been involved in.

                                          I get that it disappointed you; I just don't understand at all why.

                                          1. re: ccbweb

                                            I have to agree I don't see what the problem was with talking to Emeril. If anything it took some guts for AB to do it. He has, rightly or wrongly, targeted the guy for years. He has since come to the conclusion that he was wrong and had admitted it. How many people do that these days? He told the story of what Emeril had done to help his and other employees and heard his views, as an established chef and businessman about rebuilding the city.

                                            It would be more of a sell out for him to keep targeting the guy simply for the sake of picking on him simply and keeping his bad bay image current.

                                            1. re: Withnail42

                                              I don't get what the issue is either. I agree that it takes a big man to admit he was wrong. Especially in front of thousands if not millions of people. It also takes a big man to sit down with the person you were wrong about and tell him so. It was an uncomfortable segment but thought it was a big part of the show.

                                              As for the shows being less about food and more about the travel. Well that's the point now isn't it?? The show is about more than the food but about the culture and how the food is only one part of it.


                                              1. re: Davwud

                                                I am disappointed that he sat down with E in this episode... not for E's amazing efforts as a leader in the culinary community of Louisiana, and certainly not because of E's profound leadership as the head of a large group of restaurants where hundreds if not thousands of people look to him as a stable leader figure. I commend Emeril for his work in New Orleans. What I was talking about is the image that Anthony Bourdain has worked to establish throughout his career. There was commonness; a sort of personal equilibrium that Anthony had reached with many of us in the biz who have been following is career. He is "one of us", he is anti establishment, he was able to relate to the common restaurant worker on a level that no other TV personality (in my opinion) has been able to achieve. His show on the travel network has always been somewhat of a sellout, however as he discussed this openly from the very beginning. The show was an opportunity to make some dough (which I am not disagreeing with) and to do things on his own terms, without forsaking his roots and where he came from. A part of that persona has always been focused on the anti-Emeril self promoting that Anthony has done. Too much success I might add... as there is a good possibility that he wouldn’t have made it this far without that Emeril hating stereotype to fall back on. Anthony lives on the edge... he hates people who say things like BAM when they are cooking, and produce shows that are mediocre and game show like, he eats things that are crazy, he writes cool books (some of his less popular books are quite good- yes I have read them all), he is a chef, a chefs chef who has lived hard and seen a lot. For me that episode negated much of his persona. I DO understand what the producers were trying to do, but as a longtime fan of bourdain I didn’t see it as necessary... for them to sit down and be all awkward like that together. It could have been done differently, so as to not undermine the continuity of the Anthony Bourdain persona that has been established.

                                                As far as the show being more about travel and less about food... it used to focus more on food. I liked the show better then. I understand that it is produced on the travel channel and therefore must incorporate more information about travel. However I enjoyed the show more in the earlier years when they focused less on things like Chinese medicinal practices (which I did find very interesting by the way) and more on food. Clearly Anthony is more comfortable discussing food and reporting on food and I wish that the travel network would allow him to focus more on that.

                                                1. re: culinaryculture

                                                  You know, people do change and evolve (or in some eyes -- "sell out"). He's not the same person he was years ago. I think it takes a greater man to admit that he was wrong than to stubbornly adhere to something because it fits his anti-establishment image. I mean, he stopped smoking, for goodness sake!

                                                  1. re: culinaryculture

                                                    Wasn't AB the executive chef of Les Halles, which happens to be a chain restaurant?
                                                    Sounds pretty establishment to me.

                                                    1. re: culinaryculture

                                                      I never thought he was cultivating a persona, I thought he was trying to do what he wanted and what he felt and thought was right; whether for himself or for the story he was trying to tell. As he grew and learned more, his views changed over time. Made sense to me and I appreciate seeing how it works for him.

                                                      1. re: culinaryculture

                                                        First of all, let me see if I can clear up what I think is a misconception. I think you're confusing NR with "A Cooks Tour" which was definitely more about food. It was a half hour show on FTV and concentrated on food. NR is and has always been a travel show.

                                                        I think TB has fallen into the trap that a lot of anti establishment, off the beaten track type of personalities fall into. You have you're little niche carved out on TV talking about this or that and before you know it, you have a hit show on your hands. Without any of your own doing, you've become part of the establishment. You've become mainstream. Much to your chagrin. TB does a good job of highlighting those who have tried to buck the trend. To those who you'd otherwise not know existed because they stay out of the lime light.

                                                        The bottom line for TB is without changing his personality (He has grown up a lot with the changes he been through the last decade or so) he's been able to make a life for himself where he's doing what he loves and getting rewarded handsomely for it. In the end, all of us would love that kinda life.


                                                        1. re: culinaryculture

                                                          No offense, but I think, first off that the whole issue of AB sitting down with (and not for the first time, I'd bet) Emeril smacks soooooo much of the "that's not punk!" "that's not rock!" stuff you hear with music fans when their hardcore heroes are photographed with Madonna or someone. As for the awkwardness, I think they were both winking to the camera a bit on that. I bet there was little awkward about the actual meeting. These men have, if not having met before, many mutual friends. They know where each other really stands.

                                                          As for AB being a "chef's chef" as opposed to Emeril. You show me someone who works as hard, really hard, as Legasse, who has done the stuff he has with his restaurants, and shown the support for the restaurant/chef community at large that he has and try to tell me that that ain't the mark of a chef's chef. You may not like his TV persona (I don't), but by all accounts, his food is good (I haven't had it so I speak second hand- if you have eat it feel free to chime in differently) and his dedication to the food world is unimpeachable.

                                                          1. re: Scortch

                                                            I have had his food at several of his restaurants and have enjoyed each meal very much. I, too, am not a fan of the Emeril Live persona, but do enjoy his earlier shows, and have had the pleasure of dining at his table from Commander's to Las Vegas. Just because I do not enjoy the showmanship, does not discount him as a chef. I also support his endeavors in NOLA and on the Coast. I hope to dine at his new venue on the Coast soon, if for no other reason, than to support his efforts.

                                                            Some, on the NO board do pan his spots, but we've done all but his NOLA (the restaurant), and multiple times. All have been very good to great. Have done his LV spot and it was very good, as well. Have not done Orlando, so no comment.


                                                  2. re: culinaryculture

                                                    I don't see AB as a sell out for talking to E and admidting he was wrong. For me the whole anti-establishment thing is just a nice gimmick. It sold books. It's funny. But it gets old. On a recent episide he was discussing with other chefs if they would open a place in a Vegas casino. ????
                                                    OTOH AB has put himself in a bit of a corner. If he ever does a show with RR etc he will just be viewed as a complete sell out by his most ardent fans. I'm starting to wonder what happened to the show. Its not really focused on food any more but more like the bizzaro travel channel. The episode in Greece shooting guns in the air just made me cringe. As a sportsman and a chef I couldn't help but wondering what in the world they were thinking. They should have scraped that crud and re-shot something that might have been remotly interesting. I for one just no longer care if AB smokes and drinks himself into oblivion. I just wish he we would put the focus back on the food.....sans RR.

                                              2. I can't figure how to actually write Tony and tell him, but he is a HERO in my book. After two years and some months most people have forgotten us. I watched his show instead of going to Lundi Gras parades and I'm glad I did. Two things happened that Tuesday. My 72 year old friend finally got a simple telephone in his home in Gentilly Woods after so long and TV (Bourdain) finally showed New Orleans to the world in a balanced and truthful portrayal.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: fgowners

                                                  His show also inspired some of us who have not been to NOLA since Katrina to come back and visit. I had tears through a large portion of the show and really can't think of a better place to spend my money on my next vacation.

                                                    1. re: rhnault

                                                      Do it! We just spent 8 days there and LOVED it. I used to live there and was so glad to be there again. There's nothing they need more now than tourists and vacationers spending their money there! And...if you can't have a good time in NOLA, you can't have a good time!

                                                      1. re: lashway

                                                        I know the AOA is having the national convention in naaaawlens in '09. I'm already looking forward to it!

                                                      2. re: rhnault

                                                        Exactly! The show inspired me as a food lover and even more so as a human being. The best thing we, the rest of the country can do is patronize NOLA and the Gulf Coast. Strangely, the day before I watched the show I overheard two architects at lunch discussing their upcoming trip (next week) to the Gulf Coast to help build home and eat. I was already inspired by my eavesdropping and it was reinforced by this show. My next vacation will be to NOLA and surrounding areas to eat and to give a little sweat equity. Bravo to AB.

                                                    2. My favorite part was actually when Bourdain went to St. Bernard parish and caught oysters with that guy. I realize that St. Bernard and all those Chalmatians are the butt of every joke, but that place really did get hit hard.

                                                      Also, I'm really glad that Bourdain talked to Chef Link. That guy has my respect, just as much as Bourdain does.

                                                      1. I enjoyed this NR episode. I had always wanted to visit NO and finally did the spring before the hurricane. I was entranced by the plantation houses, the garden district, the music, but most of all the food.

                                                        I think AB did a good job of capturing the difficulties that people are still having down there and the failure of the local, state and federal governments to address their needs. I do have to admit there was a tear in my eye at the writers wrap-up at the end. It was the perfect decision to have him do it instead of AB.

                                                        I was glad to see AB sitting down with EL and glad that EL was gracious enough to not only sit with him, but serve him a fine meal as well. If you think about it, without EL paving the way, there would probably never have been a AB television show.

                                                        Now, I think I will have to try to figure out when to schedule a little trip back to NOLA.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: NE_Elaine

                                                          bourdain has his moments. i was happy to hear him give props to EL. still, i'm not too happy with his signoff. something like, "...at least rachel ray still sucks." not sure she does. i sure don't look to her for food or cooking advice but i can't deny her work ethic. maybe a little rr envy is creeping into ab's spiel.

                                                          1. re: steve h.

                                                            thanks for the heads up that I used the wrong initials for Emeril - just went back and editted myself!
                                                            I think AB can admire EL because he is a chef first - RR is not - it was the only bit of snark in the episode, so I guess I just let it slide

                                                            1. re: NE_Elaine

                                                              I thought the RR remark was more tongue-in-cheek sort of: "Well since I can't hate Emeril anymore I still have Rachel Ray to feud with..."

                                                              1. re: Withnail42

                                                                RR is just a TV boblehead and EL is actually a working chef. IMO they are worlds apart and I have never understood all of the busting on EL. IF AB ever sets down like this or makes up with RR then he is a total sell out fraud. <Humor>

                                                        2. Big Bummer! I did a DVR of Athony Bourdain's "No Reservations," and recorded his episode on Uzbekistan!!!!! If I wanted this, I would have rented "Borat," and been done with it. When one has the cuisne of New Orleans, at their fingertips, or the DVR remote, who wants Uzbekistan?

                                                          I have found a repeat on 02/09 and have set that to record. After all the chatter on this board, I was looking forward to a glass of Picchetti Super Tuscan and an hour of New Orleans dining. Instead, it was eating bugs in Uzbekistan. On Saturday, I should have my TC episode and get to see what all of you are talking about. Uzbekistan?!?!?! Who wants to eat in Uzbekistan? Come on TC, if you have an episode on NOLA, show it all of the time, round the clock, so folk, who know food can watch it.

                                                          OK, I think I'm over it now, and look forward to Saturday night and the NOLA episode. Thanks for all of the info, and the comments. Maybe by Sunday AM, I, too, can comment on this series, and how it portrays one of my favorite food cities.

                                                          Sorry for the rant, but FGS, Uzbekistan?!?!?


                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                            howdy bill.
                                                            the nola show is not that great. pity. it could have been.

                                                              1. re: Withnail42

                                                                howdy withnail42,

                                                                i'd start at the top with time. katrina is a big enough food/disaster/failure/redemption story to justify the expense.

                                                                i'd then backfill the narrative with documentary shots of restaurant folk and volunteers trying to clean up the unimaginable mess left behind on streets, in freezers and so on. i'd probably throw in lots of feel-good footage of chefs feeding the feds. i would also splice in interviews with mom and pops who had to throw in the towel. the image of small-time owners with shotguns fending off looters haunts me.

                                                                lastly, i'm not sure i would end on a high note. nola, at best, remains a work in progress. i would conclude with a promise to return.

                                                                just my $0.02.

                                                            1. re: Bill Hunt

                                                              Not to get off subject, but Uzbekistan was a good episode. The wedding at the end was a terrific insight to a culture, customs and food that I was not really aware of. Since when did Borat have anything to do with the food and culture of modern Uzbekistan?

                                                              1. re: charlottecooks

                                                                Dang! Guess that I missed a good one. It was just that I had planned on seeing the NOLA episode and was flying out the next morning. Maybe I'll go back to Uzbekistan, if I did not erase it in disgust.

                                                                The "Borat" inference was an attempt at humor. Sorry that I missed my mark.


                                                            2. I found it a bit disappointing. The two places Davwud mentioned, Dooky Chase and Jaques-Imo's, are by far two of the best NOLA restaurants. DH pointed out that the point wasn't to show the best place to go but rather give a feel for the post-Katrina NOLA scene. And I had a great laugh at Vic's Kangaroo Cafe--it's tiny, it's local and where I spent my senior year of college.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: meremere

                                                                Hah-- I spent my last year of college at Vic's too! (Well, when I wasn't at Ms. Mae's sucking down $1.25 whiskey sours). I was thrilled to see AB there.

                                                              2. You know, I was disappointed with this episode. Though I appreciate what he was doing...talking about the recovery and the workers and chef's who have really stuck it out, I wanted more food! I do hope everyone who loads great food and music will make the effort to go to New Orleans and supportt the locals. We went at the end of October and had a fantastic time! What a great town!

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: MellieMac

                                                                  I loved this episode, while I agree there could have been more food I thought overall it was so touching! The part where the guy was mowing his neighbor's yard even though no one had been in the house since Katrina seriously brought tears to my eyes and really showed how wonderful and warm the people are there....planning a trip soon!

                                                                  1. re: bubbles4me

                                                                    Dont get me wrong, I applaud what he was doing but he needed another hour just to talk about the food!!!

                                                                  2. re: MellieMac

                                                                    Yes every one knows NOLA has great food. Certainly not the most original idea for a show. Having it about the food is too simplistic It is been done, and will be again. Save that for some in depth reporting from some FN dullard. There are plenty of fluff pieces around that that will turn a blind eye to the serious issues. They will talk about the food and won’t rock your gumbo bowl or put you of your begniets.This was something else.

                                                                    It wasn't supposed to be about the food it was about the damage and loss of culture and area that goes hand in hand with the food. Will it ever come back or have we lost something truly unique? Will these cooks and restaurateurs that made the food so great be able to reopen? Will NOLA in the end wind up like a theme park and parody of it's former self?

                                                                  3. I thought the opening segment with just pictures of the disaster and no narative was outstanding.

                                                                    I thought the disclaimer half submerged was a little tasteless.


                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                                      Glad you brought that up I also thought the submerged disclaimer was a very odd choice.

                                                                      1. re: Withnail42

                                                                        I've noticed that same disclaimer on other episodes this season, so it appears it wasn't created specifically for the NOLA show.

                                                                        1. re: Jocelyn P

                                                                          I haven't seen the one underwater. One of the others had letters falling off.
                                                                          I'll have to watch closer next week.


                                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                                            The one for vancover where it was raining the whole time had droplets of water. It appears to tie into each episode.

                                                                    2. It also motivated me to try and travel there soon, even as a low budget guy. Every dollar helps. Are there any good "current" dining guides to NO/MS should one want to grab some friends and take a road trip or long weekend to the region?

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: tastyjon

                                                                        It's just aboujt im possible to get bad food in NOLA. Forget the guide...go and explore! You won't be disappointed.

                                                                      2. I thougth AB's NOLA show was one of his best. the right balance of food, anger and poignance. He also pointed out very clearly the danger of NO becoming a cajun-creole-foodie theme park. All hounds need to do whatever we can to prevent this, and support the recovery of the real NO, where the people that made the city what it was can live and work. To me, this was the primary message of the show, and one that doesn't get much if any coverage from the mainstream media. I especially enjoyed the coverage of the places that made arrangements for their employees to recover and helped them financially until reopening. I will have to go back to Antoine's now, just to support their efforts. I also enjoyed the visit to DomElise's, that I think has some of the best "real" NO food(what the locals eat). I also found the underwater disclaimer annoying and a little flip.

                                                                        1. I'm writing this in the early a.m. of 9 Feb, and have yet to see the New Orelans show. At some point I probably will, but Mr. Bourdain seriously attacked my sensibilities with his show on the "Greek Islands." That show convinced me that should he ever do a show from Agra, India, there will not even be an on-camera glimmer of the Taj Mahal, but we'll get to know the cockroaches of some backwater lentil shop intimately.

                                                                          As for Bourdain's "sniping" at Emeril in the past, I can justify that. Lagasse must be an accomplished chef in order to have held all of the executive chef positions he has held, but polished food and polished speech do not always go hand in hand. "Bam!" and "Oh yeah, Babe!" are far better suited to Emeril's tongue than many of the terms of haute cuisine. I've heard him slaughter plenty of those. Not to mention the infamous whip-meringue-with-dirty-beaters episode, but at least the man had the class not to edit the fiasco. And I am a huge fan of his "help others" projects. Maybe Bourdain has a NOLA band playing "When the Saints Go Marching In" in the background while he chats with Emeril?

                                                                          But back to Bourdain. I suspect that America, and possibly the world, is at the crest of the small-plates-big-price wave of fine dining, and it often happens that any extreme is eventually countered by an opposite extreme. And what is more opposite to small plates than Asian greasy spoons, rotgut raki with a band of drunken shepherds on Crete, or... I'm waiting to see the NOLA episode to see if Bourdain is indeed working hard to be the leading food contrarist of our time.

                                                                          Maybe I should check my DVR to see if I have it set for series record...

                                                                          1. Finally got back home and the DVR had done its duty. Watched the episode and enjoyed it. I do not know who Anthony Bourdain is, but that does not matter. The various other episodes, that I TiVo'ed to get the right one did nothing for me. They were more "reality show," and seemed like "I double-dog-dare you to eat this... " Still, the NOLA episode was a good one.

                                                                            I cannot say that I will ever be a fan of Mr. Bourdain, based on other episodes, but will say that I think he did a good job with this one. Also, I am a fan of Emeril Lagasse, as a chef, and less so a fan of his TV personae. I also commend him on the extra work that he has done for NOLA and the MS Gulf Coast and not just in the restaurant industry.

                                                                            I'm not sure of the date of production (exactly), but think that it might have been coincidental with my last visit, give or take a month. I found the restaurant scene to be quite good and heartening. We dined with two local couples (one couple family in NOLA) and the other residents. They each had stories, but from our dining, one would think that it was "business as usual." Now, we did tour the City, and saw the devastation and can only imagine what the last few years must have been like. Still, in our dining, the only thing that we saw, to indicate the problems, were the abbreviated hours - still, we only saw a tiny portion of the problems that the restauranteurs have faced from day-one.

                                                                            I did not find fault with the "water" aspect of the re-joiner, and can understand its place in the piece.

                                                                            I thought that the episode was complimentary to the verve of the people of New Orleans and especially the folk in the restaurant business.

                                                                            It has been interesting to see some of the perspectives shared on this thread, especially since Hurricane Katrina has made such an impact on my family.