Bourdain Gets Another Tasty Nomination

December 13, 2010

By Karen

The Tasty Awards released their last dribble of award nominees, and Anthony Bourdain’s up for “Best Male Host of a Series” category, so be sure to vote. (No Reservations also got 2 nominations). His competitors are Tom Colicchio, Eric Ripert, Andrew Zimmern (whose Bizarre Foods is nominated for “Best Comedy Series” — go figure), and just about every other guy who shares a show with food.

Top Chef’s Padma Laksmi is among the gazillion nominees for Best Female Host, so that should give you some clue as to what a distinguished honor this is.

Speaking of Top Chef, Bourdain didn’t judge week 2, when Eric Ripert’s employee, Jennifer Carroll, got sent home. I think I skipped Season 6, so I have no idea if Jen has always been so smug and arrogant, but my reaction to her elimination was, “Don’t let the door hit you in the ass,” thanks to the attitude she’s shown this season.

But in fairness, here’s her exit interview with the Chicago Tribune. I have no doubt the episode was cut to make her come off looking super-bitchy, but she did provide the footage.

With that elimination challenge, the show crossed the line into gratuitous torture. There was absolutely ZERO need to allow the cheftestants almost no sleep before they had to mass-produce breakfast at 7 a.m. for a mob of kids. It ain’t Survivor.

What’s still unclear to me is if Team T-Rex had access to any seasonings beyond salt and pepper. It was mentioned they couldn’t use herbs. So sending Jen home for under-seasoned eggs could have been bullsh*t.

Bourdain blogged his opinion. According to the promo, he should be back at the Judges’ Table this week.

Sifu Renka snapped a nice photo of Tony when he was in Toronto. (Scroll down to the bottom.)

In case you missed last week’s No Reservations holiday special with Michael Ruhlman, Eater captured the best lines. And Gawker provides this clip of what’s become the standard gratuitous raw meat scene that sent me into another room until it was over.

December 7, Tony and Ottavia attended a party in the Empire State Building to help Mario Batali launch the Culinary Council, which will help the Food Bank of New York City fight hunger there.

Eater also reports that Helen Cho is the new resident social networking guru for Zero Point Zero Production, and she actually works with the crew, which means the No Res tweets and Facebook page may actually have something other than impersonal 3rd-party hype like we bloggers are supplied from Room 214.

Huffington Post just got around to putting up some video of Bourdain and Ripert spouting opinions while they were taping their Turn and Burn Sirius radio show.

American Thinker bemoans the “Ramsayization of Society” and uses Bourdain’s regular use of the word suck to appeal to a more youth demographic to make the tongue-in-cheek point that Jonathan Swift could have penned bestsellers  if he’d done likewise, and illustrates with a ludicrously “Bourdainized” passage from A Modest Proposal.


Bourdain’s Becoming King of the Foreword

November 22, 2010

By Karen

The remaining new episode of No Reservations Season 6, a holiday special, debuts on December 6 at 10 p.m. EST. Travel Channel’s site says…

Tony and Michael Ruhlman prepare a holiday dinner that goes awry. Celebrity chefs Mario Batali, David Chang and Duff Goldman are just a few of the special guests to also make an appearance.

Tony did a phone interview on Wednesday, November 10 with Besha Rodell, the Omnivore blogger at Creative Loafing Atlanta, before his November 20 appearance there. Nothing much new except that he suggests term limits for food writers.

Momnesia provides a succinct rundown of the highlights that night.

Bourdain contributed the foreword to Eric Ripert’s new book, Avec Eric, a companion travel/cookbook to Ripert’s PBS series that looks truly beautiful. And I found this Ripert video at Vanity Fair, which was shot partially at last year’s Cayman Cookout. Tony was nervous about helping to prepare the Gala Dinner. (Tony’s bit begins 6:30 in.) It may explain why he seems to be taking a pass on the kitchen work for the next one.

Tony blogged about his recent trip to Haiti as Hurricane Tomas approached. For me, this post felt like an amuse bouche of things to come with his writing.

Amazingly, some idiot commented that Tony’s blog posts scream “ghost writer.” I can’t think of many writers today whose voice is as distinctive and unmistakable in their work as Anthony Bourdain’s.

I’m hoping one day Bourdain will invent a fictional alter-ego, along the lines of Somerset Maugham’s Ashenden, to make use of as-yet-undocumented material from his many journeys.

Here’s a bit more on the DC Food Fight November 11. Bon Appetit Foodie is a much better photographer than I am, and she managed to meet just about everybody there.

It turns out Bourdain was in Nicaragua filming No Reservations recently, he revealed in an e-mail interview with the St. Petersburg Times before his November 19 appearance there. He also said that his appearance on Yo Gabba Gabba cured Ariane of her fear of doctors. (In case you missed it, he played a doctor.) This interview covers some new ground. For example, I had no idea Tony’s worried he may have pissed off Thomas Keller with Medium Raw.

The windows at Barney’s New York inspire shoppers to “Have a Foodie Holiday” with dolls of many culinary stars, including Bourdain. They coincided with the release of the South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook, for which Tony — you guessed it — wrote the foreword. WorldRedEye has a bunch of photos from the launch party.


“No Reservations” Season 6 Not Quite Over

September 27, 2010

By Karen

One new episode does remain of No Reservations this season. It’s a holiday special and Anthony Bourdain’s pal, Michael Ruhlman, is a guest. That’s all I know. I assume Travel Channel will air it sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Wife Ottavia recently tweeted that Tony declined an invitation to appear on Dancing with the Stars a few years ago, so Eater.com ran with it and did some hilarious PhotoShopping of what “might have been” with Tony burning the floor.

“Frienemy” Ruhlman reviewed Medium Raw and provides some of his history with Bourdain, including a link to Tony’s New York Times rave review of Ruhlman’s book, The Soul of a Chef. Ruhlman managed to get off a few great lines of his own, such as describing Tony’s reverence for Fergus Henderson as a “little too close to fellatio for my own comfort.”

Cats Working reader Cindy first told us that Bourdain is returning to Top Chef as a judge next season, alternating with Gail Simmons — just when I’d vowed to swear off it forever. Guess I’ll have to eat those words. The cheftestants are all runners-up from previous seasons. I’m happy to see Fabio and Carla get another shot.

Bourdain talked to Jennifer Bain of The Star in Toronto before his appearance there on September 22 and confessed to feeling like he bombed in Houston 2 days earlier. It was sold out, but the audience knew too much, he said…

“Three minutes into it, I realized they’d heard it all, between interviews, articles, blogs and the books. It was an awful moment for me. This audience was very wired in and this is the world we live in now. If you write about food too long, you run out of adjectives and, more importantly, you lose the sense of wonder. It’s a terrible thing.”

Houston Press confirmed it, accusing Tony of regurgitating his books. But he’s apparently already booked there again next year for a joint appearance with Eric Ripert.

The Toronto Sun offers a poignant description by Rita Demontis of Bourdain as a person that’s worth reading.

While in Toronto, Tony announced that he plans to film an episode of No Res there in Season 8 (2 seasons from now).

Sorry, Winnipeg.

Bourdain came within spittin’ distance on September 23, appearing at Mary Washington University in Fredericksburg, VA. Local blogger RVA Foodie attended and provided the low-down.

On September 24, Bourdain was in Springfield, Massachusetts, and A La Carte quoted some of his best lines. I got a chuckle from his remarks about Japanese porn and Dick Cheney.

And I just discovered that Bourdain is returning to Virginia on February 13, 2011 — in Norfolk. I just might show up for that appearance.


Bourdain Gets Emmy Nomination – Finally

July 12, 2010

By Karen

In an off-week for personal appearances and book signings, Anthony Bourdain relaxes by picking up an Emmy nomination and giving away $10,000.

Tony’s writing on No Reservations: Prague earned him a personal Emmy nomination, and he’s not up against Ted Koppel this time. The only other nominee I think may give him trouble is The Buddha on PBS because, well — he’s a deity. The rest sound beatable: America: The Story of Us (History Channel), Challenges of Life (Discovery), and The National Parks: America’s Best Idea (PBS).

Good luck, Tony!

The Travel Channel’s owner, Scripps, issued a tweet congratulating “Andrew Bourdain” on his nomination. Food Network Humor theorized that Scripps mixed up Tony with Andrew Zimmern and showed what the result would look like.

Speaking of competition, there’s a rolling boil in the Medium Raw essays. Several Cats Working readers have entries, although not yours truly. The original prize was publication in the MR paperback edition — until Eater complained that Tony is exploiting writers without compensation and Gawker joined in.

Bourdain swiftly informed Eater that he is personally adding $10K to the pot and wants Eater’s editor to present it to the winner. Tony confirms this in his own blog post.

I vaguely remember Bourdain once saying either he’s never written anything he didn’t get paid for, or he doesn’t write unless it pays. I think it was the first one. Anyway, if somebody’s writing publishable work, it’s only fair to pay them something for it, although I doubt Bourdain himself has ever gotten $20 a word.

Denver Westword weighed in on the controversy and called Tony a “book pimp.”

But that was nothing compared SF Gate restaurant consultant Clark Wolf, who recently wrote, “I’ve had it with Tony Bourdain…. Frankly, I consider him the Rush Limbaugh of food. He makes cash spewing vitriol and lunacy designed to appeal to the struggling classes — workers and diners alike — he actually exploits.” Commenters on that post mostly defended Bourdain.

On July 6, Tony took on 4 interrogators at MSNBC’s Morning Joe and shot down the female host’s insistence that famous chefs should promote healthy eating.

This week, No Reservations visits America’s “Heartland,” and we see Tony eat in Michigan, Ohio (with his buddy Ruhlman), Texas, Colorado, Wisconsin, and Minnesota in scenes filmed between his personal appearances. Brandon at Room 214 again provided a link to the whole episode. Food looks good. Unknown chefs are as dedicated as anyone, and Tony realizes that even people in the ‘burbs and rural communities occasionally pass up McDonald’s to eat unusual dishes prepared well.

Bourdain also just blogged about how he’s coping with aging — and how Sylvester Stallone’s inability to cope has turned him into Mr. Potato Head.


Bourdain & Ripert Pioneer Oral Food Porn

February 15, 2010

By Karen

We have to wait until March 1 for the next new installment of No Reservations, when Anthony Bourdain visits Ecuador, but there’s something new in the meantime: On February 18, he and Eric Ripert are launching 5 live weekly radio shows called Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert: Turn & Burn on Martha Stewart Living Radio, 7:00-8:00 p.m. ET, Sirius channel 112 and XM channel 157. They’ll discuss food (sometimes lasciviously) and take listeners’ call-in questions. Market Watch has more on their topics and guests.

Tony’s trip to the Hudson Valley on NR last week was his best in a long time. He had me hooked from the opening, with the unfamiliar voice describing discovery of the Hudson River. I was checking to see if I’d taped the right program when the first joke hit me. Then it kept getting better. Tony and Michael Ruhlman wokking at Tony’s alma mater, the CIA (Culinary Institute of America). CIA Chef Pardus’ precocious 10-year-old daughter at a cookout taking Bourdain down a peg, then giggling with delight to see him riding her rope swing.

And then Bill Murray. Though Bourdain said Murray was a last-minute addition, he seemed totally plugged in to No Reservations and clearly wowed Tony (i.e., showed teeth a LOT).

Bourdain was relaxed and funny and a delight to watch. Cats Working gives Hudson Valley three tails up! (Our highest honor, since there are only 3 cats, and one has only an imaginary tail.)

Ruhlman blogged about it back in September 2009 when it was shot, but Bourdain didn’t come across in the final cut as the creepy, haunted soul Ruhlman described.

Tony gave a good interview to Inside TV for AOL, and it sounds like he won’t be visiting Cuba after all. BONUS: YouTube video of Sandra Lee’s Kwanzaa cake train wreck.

Also on AOL, Maggie Furlong got audio of Bourdain discussing his favorite reality TV show, Jersey Shore. The Bourdain segment begins at 1:10.

Tarot and Incense posted a strange account of dining with Bourdain at some undisclosed location sometime in January, and then said he was heading from there to Hong Kong and Melbourne. Among other things, she (I think) said he comandeered the ordering, really focused on the food, and tipped “vigorously.” The blog seems to be written by someone called Liquifier who lives in India. Was it all real or a dream?

Tony contributed to a book available March 2 called A Visual History of Cookery edited by Duncan McCorquodale. It appears to be a stunning collection if you’re into culinary lore. It retails for $55, but is discounted on Amazon.


Bourdain Sightings Here and There

September 28, 2009

By Karen

On September 25, Anthony Bourdain was at the Louisville, Kentucky, IdeaFestival and sold out the house, according to the Courier-Journal. He also seemed to have some fresh material. At least, I’ve never heard him deliver this line:

“The filet mignon is the Paris Hilton of meat — lean and completely without personality. This is not the way to a chef’s heart.”

And here’s a photo.

An anecdote about Bourdain visiting Vancouver called “Light My Fire” that’s a few years old has surfaced, but it’s still worth reading.

It appears we’re in for another New York episode of No Reservations. Bourdain recently spent 5 days in the Hudson Valley. Fortunately, he brought along his pal, Michael Ruhlman, who always livens things up.

For the Love of Food met Bourdain and Ruhlman when they dropped in on Bourdain’s alma mater, the CIA, during their road trip. (That’s the Culinary Institute of America, not the spy agency, if you’re a new Bourdainiac.).

Ruhlman blogged about the trip, which sounded strange, to put it mildly. And he says Bourdain talked a lot about his cat, which his readers seemed to fixate on. Bourdain even weighed in with a comment in defense of the cat.

What I found most jarring was the report of Bourdain selling No Res T-shirts to CIA students from the trunk of his 1965-vintage rental convertible, as noted by the local Times Herald-Record.

Signing books is one thing, but…


Anthony Bourdain in Hairier Days

September 9, 2008

By Karen

The cats are hissing that I’m hogging the blog, but I just found these high school photos of Anthony Bourdain and had to share them:

Bourdain's homage to Tiny Tim

Bourdain's homage to Tiny Tim

Someone apparently found them on the yearbook site of Tony’s high school, Dwight Englewood in New Jersey, and his pal, Michael Ruhlman, thoughtfully published them on his blog.

They elicited this hilarious response from Tony that proves his snarky side is alive and well, after all.


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