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i love this show ! tonight Tony Bourdaine line cooking was so good i watched it twice!
good job!

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  1. definitely one of the best travel shows of all time. tony back at his old haunt "les halles" in nyc was an awesome look into life on the line. he didn't do too bad either, but it was a slow night (only 350 covers). if you're in nyc don't be fooled. there are 2 "les halles", tony's is is uptown near 45th, not downtown near wall st. tony bourdain rocks!

    1 Reply
    1. re: LocalFreshOrganic

      Local: You are correct in that there are 2 Les Halles in NYC, but the one AB was at is located on Park Ave in the mid 20s.

    2. I also think that it was a great show! I have seen how a high volume kitchen works (other than open kitchens like Jean George and Degustation where everyone was so calm) and it was eye opening. It is amazing how they create all these codes and methods to take care of each customer's request!

      1. Yeah, it was a good one. I loved the classical music playing in the background as they featured Ripert being his cool, calm and collected self at Le Bernardin.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Miss Needle

          I'm watching it for the second time too! Loved it and thought Anthony was pretty humble........one of my favorites ever

          1. re: Miss Needle

            I don't think Ripert even broke a sweat! I'm rarely disappointed by these shows, but this was a partiularly good one.

          2. I loved every bit of the show. Very true in my experinece- I hope lots of people watch it and have a small understanding of how hard we work and how we age out of our jobs with no real next option.....we can't all have travel shows.

            1. I loved the opening sequence where he addresses (mocks?) food bloggers who think he really can't cook. Fellow 'hounds, we just had a cameo appearance in this episode . . .

              1. Agreed. Although I have to say ... Les Halles food is not that great. I wonder if it was tasty that night though considering both he and Eric Ripert were in the kitchen.

                1. Add my voice to the din of approval. I hoipe this puts to rest any doubts about his chops back in the day.

                  I really liked how they show how cramped and uncomfortable the kitchen is and how quickly these guys can work. The irony of a mexican chef in charge of the kitchen at Les Halle is pretty funny, particularly given the call for deportation. Who do you think is going to cook your food?

                  Having Ripert there was the coup de grace. Very cool, very calm, but if you are to believe him - which I have no reason not to- was just a veneer on a very pushed chef.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Phaedrus

                    Yet another vote for a great show! Loved the camaraderie between Bourdain and Ripert, and even more, loved the apprehensive looks from the current Les Halles kitchen staff when Bourdain was going back onto the line (as well as Bourdain's own apprehension about being able to still cut it!). Not having ever worked in a restaurant, I appreciated the information about a kitchen set-up, watching how it worked, and knowing what a kitchen does to get out a lot of meals almost all on time (650 covers one night? Holy smokes!)

                    A very enjoyable episode. Will be interested to read Tony's blog and comments about it.

                  2. I agree! Loved this episode. Very real. Where would we be without all the hard working Latinos that this country depends on? Tony still rocks on, even if bending over in cramped spaces is not as easy as it used to be :)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: winedine

                      I particularly enjoyed that the show demonstrated how hard working and skilled the cooks were. Regardless of style of food, it is probably someone from Mexico or Ecuador cooking your food in a NYC restuarant. Before Bourdain and Ripert showed up, that kitchen was running 100% in Spanish. Want to be a chef in NYC--you better speak Spanish! Kool!

                    2. I really enjoyed this episode as well. Definatly the best of the season. Considering some of the erors he made that still got on film I really appreciated his honesty at the end. No doubt AB was once a very good working chef but I appreciate him much more for his ability as a writer. EXCELLENT!

                      1. Forgot to add and didn't see anyone comment on it yet....Hounds have often said they would kill to travel with AB and see what he sees, eats what he eats - so is anyone going to submit a video to win a chance to do so? :-) Deadline is this Saturday, 3/15.

                        http://yourtrip.travelchannel.com/spe...

                        1. There's another thread about this show. You can read those posts here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/497871

                          1. If Bourdain's last job in the kitchen was executive chef eight years ago, he hasn't been at the stove in a kitchen for at least double that time if his restaurant career spanned 28 years. That would have been in his 30s!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Minger

                              Great show! Tony forgot his glasses, I think.
                              I would like to eat at Les Halles - I have made the Les Halles Onion Soup at home - it is out of control fabulous (it's posted on Chowhound's recipe page). He says the frites are the best anywhere - thoughts?
                              How can you not love a fried potato is my question!

                              1. re: stellamystar

                                If you liked that recipe, Tony has a whole book of them in his Les Halles Cook book.

                                1. re: stellamystar

                                  Stella: I have had several wonderful meals at Les Halles, once while AB was there and once after. Both times the food was great, the service just fine, and it was crowded, noisy LOUD!, but I still recommend it and agree that the frites there are the best I've ever had...

                              2. Did anyone else catch how the very first scene (typing on the keyboard notes from the 'Internet Geek' was a riff on the show beginning of "Diary of a Foodie"? (With the typing keyboard and the voiceover). Sunday's "Diary of a Foodie" was on Beijing.
                                http://www.gourmet.com/diaryofafoodie

                                Cracked me up!

                                1. Frankly, having only ever worked as FOH, I've always had a lot of respect for the line staff. I will be the first to admit that I couldn't do their job; it takes a special kind of person to be able to keep that many disparate "balls" in the air.

                                  I've always said that everyone should work at a restaurant at one point in their life, because then people would learn to be more understanding when something actually does go wrong. This show was an excellent look into a previously underexposed area of the industry.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: jazzy77

                                    Amazing episode! Is Tony really given flack though? People don't think he's a "real" chef or has/had the chops to work in a real kitchen? I'm not sure how the editing went, but it looked to me like he was ripping on his station. He definitely looked like he was aging (what's up with that gray hair!?!), but still kicking ass the whole way.

                                    Honestly though, I had serious anxiety before he started his dinner shift. Being a line cook has to be one of the single hardest jobs ever.

                                    R. Jason Coulston

                                  2. Awesome show. Yes, thought Bourdain was quite humble here - worried about screwing up the whole kitchen. Many funny scenes including him not being able to read the tickets; and about "Skipping the Gordon Ramsay shot." Hilarious.

                                    I wasn't too interested in the short segment on the waiter.

                                    It is amazing how so few chefs cooking all the food for so many diners! I have new found respect for the restaurant staff.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: y2000k

                                      Ah yes . . . the Gordon Ramsay shot comment! I forgot about that. Hysterical, because I've ALWAYS noticed he takes every chance he gets to get shirtless as he's changing into his chef's coat, even though he often appears in the very next scene with an undershirt on. Classic.

                                      R. Jason Coulston

                                    2. I love at the end of the night when Chef Ripert said "That station needs 2 people!".

                                      For anyone who has worked in the service industry at an entry level position, one of the number 1 complaints is that management never has enough staff on, or doesn't realize how difficult and busy a shift can really get.

                                      Too bad noone ever listens though....

                                      1 Reply
                                        1. re: Docsknotinn

                                          Was it known to the general public that Tony and Eric were going to be cooking at the restaurant that night? If not, imagine the delightful surprise to the patrons that a 3 michelin starred chef is working the grill station and famous author and food writer Tony Bourdain is on saute? Tony was right when he said that night would be remembered as legendary.

                                          R. Jason Coulston

                                          1. re: Jason_Coulston

                                            Did you see all the people lined up next tot he kitchen window trying to get pictures of Ripert with the phones? Simply amazing.

                                        2. I couldn’t agree more with this title. The show was great. The focus was on the restaurant, staff, and operations. Wow, what a cool look, and nobody better to bring that than AB. For all my fantasies that I can drop my day job and become a cook, this dispels all my allusions. I’m way past the age. This is clearly a young persons game. I was both entertained and informed. Excellent.

                                          1. When will the show air again? Didn't see it on Travel website.

                                            1. I saw this show twice as well. I loved it, especially the interaction between AB and ER in the kitchen. They acted like two teenagers, trying to see what the other was doing, and then trying to do a one up. I laughed out loud so many times it was too funny.

                                              In addition to my crush on AB I now have one on ER. Who knew he had such a great sense of humor?!

                                              1. It was great..but have to say I never saw TONS of tickets while he was working, so don't think he was as slammed as he talked about.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: melly

                                                  He did say that they only did 350 covers, which is light for Les Halle. There is also the magic of television. Watching all 6 hours of the shift would be pretty much a snoozer, almost like watching most of the shows on FN.

                                                  1. re: Phaedrus

                                                    He was not as slammed as a regular line cook would be during peak times but certainly he was slammed as the long ago retired executive chef who now mostly travels and eats. I credit him for acknowledging the light conditions of his return to the line.