The Latest Tony (Bourdain) Tidbits

By Karen

Although she probably takes a pass on some of Anthony Bourdain’s exotic travels, I’m guessing Ottavia won’t miss a long weekend at the Ritz-Carlton Grand Cayman January 16-19, 2009, when Tony participates in the Cayman Cookout.

On the agenda is A Cook’s Tour of Cayman at Pedro St. James, with Tony himself presiding over an assortment of homegrown delicacies, local music, and crafts. Read all about it.

Top Chef is suffering from nice contestants, no back-stabbing, and ho-hum judges. Padma going bulimic into her napkin is a poor substitute for Tony’s trenchant, often hilarious, assessments of the food.

The Top Chef Web site recently ran a poll on the hottest guest judge. At last check, Bourdain was pulling 71% of the vote, with Rocco DiSpirito at only 13%, and Johnny Iuzzini 2%. Tom Colicchio himself got only 14%.

Disposable Income bemoans Bourdain’s absence, and I hope the blogosphere’s collective wail carries to the powers-that-be and Tony returns next season. We need something to live for.

Good recent photos of Tony at Clark Lara Photography.

Tony wrote about his favorite travel music for WorldHum. As I read it, I heard his voice in my head. He seems to be on the road alone a lot – good for fans, but hard on him.

Unfortunately, I’m not hearing Tony’s voice as I plow through The Best American Travel Writing 2008, which he edited and wrote the foreword to. I think he’s ruined me for other travel writers.

Finally, Cats Working reader Nickole provided this link to a video of Tony discussing fatherhood with Mario Batali at Serious Eats. He’s recycling some lines (like, his world is now all rainbows and unicorns), but reveals that he’s even embraced diaper-changing. I think Daddy’s Little Girl has him right where she wants him.

The drought is almost over: new episodes of No Reservations begin airing on the Travel Channel January 5.


14 Responses to The Latest Tony (Bourdain) Tidbits

  1. Not about this story but thought you should read this from BBC…

  2. catsworking says:

    Thanks for that link, Piet. I hope the cats don’t notice it. They would be VERY upset, particularly at the line in the story that said, “Unfortunately, the mice [who caused the fire] probably perished in the blaze.”

    I’m sure the cats would view it as just desserts.

  3. st says:

    I’m surprised by the “ho-hum” judges. It is NY, after all. The other day Martha Stewart judged the quickfire challenge, and the actress Natasha Richardson with the Miami (!) chef Michelle Bernstein did the Elimination Challenge. I suspected to see Martha in the Elimination Challenge, but she disappeared. Other than the premiere, the season has been really boring, and almost stupid. I wonder if Bourdain has been banned b/c of Leah, who seems like a good chef that might be around for awhile, or he’s just been banned period. Who knows?

  4. catsworking says:

    ST, I thought Martha Stewart was pretty dull, keeping her butt-cheeks tightly clenched as usual, except when she gushed over Ariane being a fellow “Jersey girl.” And what does Natasha Richardson know about food? Although, I must say she did bring some much-needed warmth to the judges’ table.

    There’s some outrage in the blogosphere about improper cutting of that episode. Apparently, they cut it like some guy (name escapes me) who tasted Jamie’s scallops sounded like he thought they were slimy, but then they stupidly posted everything he said on the Top Chef Web site as an “extra,” revealing that he actually praised the scallops.

    There’s also speculation that the producers left the fridge door open to ruin some of the meat just to heighten the drama. Later, no fingers were pointed at anybody. I thought Tom, particularly, was very blase, like he probably did it himself.

    But all it did was give the cheftestants a chance to show how NICE and COOPERATIVE they all are. BORING!!!

    There did seem to be some sort of falling out between Bourdain and the show, or I don’t think he would be slamming Padma these days. But if Top Chef knows what’s good for it, they’ll mend fences and invite him back because he’s the only judge who injects some life into it.

    Bourdain may have bowed out himself when he found out Leah was a contestant (if she really was a former gal pal), which would be only fair.

    My guess on the reason they decided not to give anyone the boot last week was that they realized the “12 Days of Christmas” challenge was utterly ridiculous; hence, all the lousy food. It would be unfair to kick off someone for failing to produce a fabulous dish that personified something as idiotic as “10 Lords a Leaping,” “9 Pipers Piping,” or whatever the stupid lyrics are.

  5. Adele says:

    I didn’t show Alice Piet’s link, because she’s easily stressed, and she knows we have mice in our basement from time to time.

    Good Bourdain sleuthing once again, I must say that I find his choice of music odd, but chacun a son gout (wish I had italics), and maybe I’m just too old to appreciate Depeche Mode. I’ve always liked the Ramones, though and have seen the Rolling Stones more times than I can count.

    I’m with you on this season’s Top Chef. Last season, the fact that every other word uttered by some of the cheftestants was bleeped, was tiresome, but at least there were some interesting cooks and no lame challenges like The Twelve Days of Christmas. So far the only thing that could save this season would be Bourdain or someone like him, saying things like, “That brocolini looks like it came from the bottom of Bob Marley’s closet.” I’m even missing Ted Allen, who occasionally would get off a good comment and was a fairly amusing blogger

  6. catsworking says:

    We recently had a mouse die in my storage room. It just walked in through a hole that’s rotted in the bottom of the door, somehow fell into my big empty plastic recycle bin, probably couldn’t climb the slick sides, and starved to death. I didn’t mention it to the cats because they would have been disappointed at not getting a crack at it themselves, although they have no way to get into that storage room from the house.

    Adele, just wondering, did you by chance mean JACOB Marley’s closet (from “A Christmas Carol”) or really Bob? Either way, nice Bourdain-ish insult!

    I confessed on another post comment that I had NO IDEA who/what Bourdain was writing about with his music. I’ve always been addicted to show tunes and the standards, finding most of the modern stuff tuneless and meaningless, too often with lame or incomprehensible lyrics.

    I remember watching American Idol for the first time the night Kelly Clarkson won, and she sang some stupid song with about 3 lines that she repeated endlessly, trying to give them different inflection each time like they actually meant something. I was so turned off, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve watched that show since.

    It also drove me up the wall to watch contestants on Dancing with the Stars dance to music totally inappropriate for their routine (rock music for a paso doble, for example), to the point that I stopped watching, and I’m a former ballroom dancer.

    Call me weird.

  7. Adele says:

    Tony said “Bob Marley’s closet,” about the brocolini, and since Bob Marley has been dead since 1981 (I’m a big fan), I laughed heartily about the thought of piles of ganja that were over 25 years old. I can only imagine how dried out and brown that brocolini was — not that I’d know from personal experience, just in case the DEA reads Cats Working.

    I may be the one person in America, who has never seen American Idol. I did watch Dancing With the Stars for awhile, but tired of it pretty quickly. The choreography all began to look the same to me, and I find that the concept gets old. But that’s just me.

    My taste in music is pretty eclectic, and over the years, music has given me a great deal of joy. As I get older, I find that I have a new appreciation for the standards, but I listen to a lot of World Music, particularly from Brazil and Africa, and I’ll go on binges — for instance, after Katrina, I was so sad about the potential loss of New Orleans’ musical culture, that I downloaded all the New Orleans/Louisana music I could think of and made CD’s that were kind of chronological in nature, starting with Jelly Roll Morton and running through Cajun stuff, Louis Armstrong, Al Hirt and Pete Fountain, through the Meters, Irma Thomas, the great New Orleans stride piano players, and the Neville Brothers. I frequently put together CD’s for friends, with music that I think reflects their personalities. I’m really a frustrated DJ at heart, but my musical taste and Bourdain’s only occasionally overlap.

    Sorry about the mouse; there’s nothing like the smell of rotting mouse to start the day off right.

  8. catsworking says:

    Well, there you go. Bob Marley it is. I told you I know nothing about music.

    I find most of the “reality” shows to be one-trick ponies. I was watching “Clean This House” and “What Not to Wear” for a while, but once you’ve seen a couple of dumps and women looking dumpy, they all start to look alike.

    I liked to watch the smooth dances (foxtrot, waltz, quickstep) and tango and paso doble on Dancing With the Stars when they weren’t dancing to crap music. But I have to tape it first so I can fast forward through all the filler garbage. How they can drag 20-30 minutes of actual dancing into a 2-hour show is beyond me.

  9. MorganLF says:

    Elsewhere we have discussed who the supposed “affair” was on Top Chef the more I watch Arianne the more she seems to fit the bill. The coincidence with the names though is too weird so I think I’ll do a little sleuthing. Her restaurant is about a mile from where I am, in Montclair, NJ I think I’ll trot over there one night after work. There has to be a real reason he’s not on this season and I have to think it is his choice. Bourdain makes good TV and the suits at Bravo have to know that!
    I have never seen a complete episode of Idol.or “Dancing” with the stars…ugggh…

  10. catsworking says:

    Morgan, be sure and report back on whatever you observe at Ariane’s restaurant. She was originally named by someone here as the prime suspect in Bourdain’s alleged affair with a TC cheftestant. On the surface, I think she seems to be the tough-talking type he prefers, but she’s around 40, married, and I think has a few kids. So, by checking the bios on the Top Chef Web site and process of elimination, we narrowed the possibilities down to Leah because we know he was into really young chicks at the time, and Leah attended the CIA and lives in New York City.

    My theory is that Ottavia had something to do with Tony sitting out this season. She may have known he’d be around an old girlfriend and nixed it. And now he’s bad-mouthing Padma so he won’t feel so p-whipped.

    Or it could have been purely a scheduling thing, since he never seems to sit still for a minute.

  11. Adele says:

    If any Bourdain fans have Comcast digital cable, the drought is coming to an end. Last night, I was checking my On Demand menu, and to my surprise, there is a new NR episode set in DC. I started to watch it, and it seemed quite good, but I fell asleep, due not to the content, but the lateness of the hour. The Travel Channel is found in the News and World section of the Comcast On Demand menu.

    Morgan, I’m looking forward to hearing about your visit to cheftestant, Ariane’s, restaurant.

  12. catsworking says:

    I will have to check that out. I have looked for the Travel Channel in Comcast On Demand and didn’t find it. Can’t say I remember seeing a “News and World” category, but I will check it out. I believe you when you say you saw the DC episode, but I’m very surprised they would put anything on demand before it airs in the new season. Interesting…

  13. Adele says:

    I was shocked that they were running an advance episode as well. I just went and checked the TV. News & World is on the 2nd page of my Comcast On Demand menu. You select that, then you’ll see Travel Channel, select that, and there’s a whole Anthony Bourdain section. I have a friend, who has a house in Tucson, and her On Demand menu looks the same as mine, so I hope you can find it.

  14. catsworking says:

    Adele, you’re right! It’s there!! I’m going to watch it ASAP because it’s probably a mistake.

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