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Tony Bourdain goes to Haiti

After that I assume Tunisia, Libya and Egypt?

Has anybody else seen "Cooking in the Danger Zone"?

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  1. Saw an ad for it but haven't seen the show yet.

    I keep misreading the subject line in the board listing though as "Tony Bourdain Goes to Hell" :)

    6 Replies
    1. re: Cherveny

      soon enough. soon enough. although I hope he writes a lot more before he does, of course I'll be able to catch up once I'm there as well.

      1. re: hill food

        I've still got a lot of catching up to do with his writing. Just started Kitchen Confidential, buying it after loving both his show, and his times on top chef. KC actually led me to finding this board too, did a google search to find out who "Bigfoot" was and chowhound was at top of the list :)

        1. re: Cherveny

          that is a cool book

          "feed the bitch!"

          1. re: hill food

            My favorite line so far is "Your body is NOT a temple. It's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride."

      2. re: Cherveny

        I keep reading it as "Hell" too!

      3. Thought "Cook's Tour" was his best book. Everything else seems just a riff on "Kitchen Confidential." "Medium Raw" didn't impress me much. Bourdain Burnout? Maybe.

        1. I don't know about Tunisia & Libya, but he's already done a show on Egypt (I have it on dvd), so doubt he'll be returning anytime soon. It's not like China.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Breezychow

            They actually repeated the Egypt show about a week after things were in full swing there. I still want to try to make Kushari one of these days.

            1. re: Breezychow

              Breezychow, you should read this on the Egyptian Revolution: http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/02/eg...

              1. re: funniduck

                You're missing the point (& I DO know about the Egyptian revolution, et al).

                Bourdain didn't do his Egypt show during a period of civil unrest, & he didn't visit Beirut expecting war to break out. In fact, none of his shows have ever been scheduled or geared specifically towards current political climates or natural disasters. What happens while he's there happens - he doesn't plan it.

                In fact, Haiti is the first episode where he most likely pretty much knew going in what he was going to be up against.

                1. re: Breezychow

                  Oh I understood what you meant, I just thought this was a interesting read, that's all.

            2. Disturbing episode.

              "This is a bad time to live in a tent."

              That line is going to stick with me for quite some time.

              1. I guess that those of us who read "Tony Bourdain goes to Hell" instead of Haiti as the title of this post weren't far off the mark. If there was ever a place that Dante dreamed about while writing The Inferno, this would have to be it. It was, as chileheadmike says, disturbing. It was also sad and the least food-centric episode of No Reservations I can remember seeing. All kudos to everyone who is trying to help, and I definitely re-calibrated my feelings toward Sean Penn.

                3 Replies
                1. re: roxlet

                  Definitely an eye opening episode, I think AB deserves a lot of credit for going well outside his comfort zone.

                  1. re: roxlet

                    It was a hard episode to watch. It was heartening to see how hard the Haitians work with the little they have. The effort that went into their art. And it was sad. It was a hard episode to watch. Especially when bright and cheery commercials created a painful contrast to what you had just seen.


                    1. re: JuniorBalloon

                      That scene at the market when they decide to buy out the food vendor and give it away was intense. Nobody thought that one through.

                  2. I've seen 'Cooking in the Danger Zone' (loved the Chernobyl episode) and I think the Bourdain in Beruit special where he ends up getting evacuated by the Marines is right up there with anything that show did.

                    The thing I remember about Tony in Egypt was how much they had to sneak around the Egyptian government in order to show that there was real food scarcity in the country.

                    1. It was a difficult to watch episode, but real. He acknowledged his own gaffe in buying out the food vendor with no plan for distribution--same as the big-bucks UN food donation programs did, with chaos when they didn't have a plan for orderly distribution. It was an unvarnished look at Haiti now, its past debacles, and a very uncertain future. Well done, and even TB looked humble.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: pine time

                        My brother in law and his wife just came back from Haiti, they were there with their church for a week to help build schools or some such feel good mission. The reality was that there was very little they could do, if they didn't bring materials with them there were none to be had. They were bussed out from their secure hotel in the morning and back before dark. All in All he didn't feel like they had accomplished that much.

                        Watching the show did anyone else get the feeling that we should be sending them a boatload of wheelbarrows, shovels and portland cement?

                      2. I watch the Hati show last night and the show blow me away. It showed the good and bad of Hati. Food wasn't even secondary in focus. It showed that the Hatian people are helping themselves in whatever way they can. I loved seeing people cleaning the street and removing the debris. The kids playing in the streets and people trying to make the best of a bad situation.
                        Also my hat, shirt and pants go off to Sean Penn. He's still there even though the carmera left months ago.

                        1. I watched it last night.

                          I knew about Sean Penn being there and am glad that's getting more press now, he really is someone doing everything he can to help. He has pulled in a lot of favors and compelled a lot of aid and yet you see how little it has really done.

                          In some respects, I feel like the only way to get the whole place cleaned up properly would be to move everyone to somewhere ELSE for awhile but I'm sure that's not possible. But without moving everyone, I don't see the massive and complete work that needs done being able to be accomplished with everyone so crammed in together and so set in where they are that they will likely refuse to be moved. But it just seems like trying to work while everyone is right there is going to take hundreds of years, where if they were moved off the land for awhile, it could take much less time because things could be done on a bigger scale. OTOH, I don't think anyone who has the means and money is interested in anything bigger scale anyway, which is sad. I feel like the whole place is just slowly dying, and with the Cholera being everywhere, I think probably many, many more will die as a result of the quake because they aren't being moved out and the place isn't being cleaned up and re-done, which is an even bigger tragedy than the quake.

                          The part that really got me was when the hotel owner talked about hearing everyone screaming. I cannot imagine what that must have been like.

                          1. Some great quotes from Bourdain's tweets:
                            " Sean Penn. Don't know what he's like in LA. In Haiti? NOT a dick. For real."
                            "FYI- Sean makes an excellent rum punch"
                            "We were ready to fold after a week of shooting in Haiti. He lives there the majority of the time."
                            " I would not be shocked to see him emptying porto sans at the camp. It's like that. No s**t."
                            "I will hear no I'll will spoken of Sean Penn. Six months LIVING on site in a tent. Two weeks out of month since".

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: saeyedoc

                              we hear so often of various celebs pet projects and wonder "ok what PR stunt is this now?"

                              but as cynical as I am it really doesn't seem that way with him. and if he (or anyone) can manipulate fame to attract attention to a worthy cause...well, godspeed.

                              1. re: hill food

                                I don't even see him (Penn) as manipulating fame, I knew he was involved with Haiti, but had no idea how much. Of course his fame (money) allows him to be able to help without having to worry about how he's going to pay his bills. Kudos to him and NR for addressing this in a classy, respectful manner.

                                1. re: saeyedoc

                                  Just caught most of the show this morning. It's a show you have to watch more than once to absorb it all.

                                  1. re: saeyedoc

                                    I guess I worded that badly, he hasn't seemed to be pumping his efforts solely for personal gain in NOLA or Haiti. if his fans say "wow Sean is into this, maybe..." well so much the better, but that certainly doesn't seem to be his purpose, cheers to him.