Another Buffet of Anthony Bourdain

By Karen

If Anthony Bourdain holds any grudge against his Russian friend, Zamir, for the widely-panned No Reservations episode in Romania, he’s found a way to show Zamir that revenge is a dish best served cold.

(Photo - Travel Channel)

(Photo - Travel Channel)

Tony and Zamir have been traipsing around the U.S. filming what Tony calls the Rust Belt episode to air this summer. Undoubtedly to lull Zamir into thinking the U.S. is temperate in January, they started out in Baltimore.

Then they hit Detroit.

Remember how Buffalo was a finalist when Bourdain chose a locale from viewer videos? (He ultimately went to Saudi Arabia.) Buffalonian Nelson Starr was so persuasive, In Da Buff reports that Tony planned to help Nelson launch Buffalo Rising, his own Web-based food show devoted to local cuisine à la No Res.

Tony did show up over the weekend and was caught on tape.

Zamir has so far remained silent about the whole experience. Still thawing out, perhaps.

(1/13 Update: Tony just posted a blog entry about Zamir, From Russia With Love. Hilarious!)

I know tonight’s new episode of No Reservations in Venice is destined to become one of my favorites because I love seeing Tony in romantic places with indoor plumbing. I wonder if he’ll shun gondolas like he avoided the pyramids in Egypt. Will we catch any glimpses of Ottavia? I didn’t see her in this preview.

Here’s a lovely homage to Bourdain — a man crush, really — at The Pep Rally. (Bonus: It includes the racy “Bourdain bone” photo.)

I just finished reading Typhoid Mary. Tony dedicated it to his ex, Nancy, and I suspect it benefited from meticulous background research she contributed. Biography isn’t Bourdain’s forté, but he succeeded in making Mary many-faceted, even though little is known about her. Identifying with her as a fellow cook, he comes across as hating the sin, but loving the sinner. It’s only about 150 pages long, out of print, and selling for exorbitant sums on Amazon, but if you can find a copy, I recommend it.

21 Responses to Another Buffet of Anthony Bourdain

  1. Bob says:

    Glad you liked Typhoid Mary Karen. Not his typical style perhaps but he does do a fair and honest job of telling her tail.

    I was all choked up about the gift he left at her grave. Touched my heart.

    Can’t wait to see the Venice episode.


  2. catsworking says:

    Bob, Bourdain didn’t mention that Typhoid Mary had a “tail,” but with her, who knows? 😉

    His behavior at the end of the book showed a real marshmallow center, but I was a little concerned about his gift falling into the wrong hands, since he gave instructions on where to find it.

    I taped Venice last night and am savoring the anticipation of watching it tonight.

  3. Adele says:


    I thought the Venice show was great. As Tony said in his blog, they tried to find empty streets to show the “real” Venice; they managed, and the non-tourist areas are still amazing. The food looked great, and Tony is quite tanned and looks fabulous. I had no idea that Venice had a garden island that grows a great deal of its produce, and I could just picture walking down the lanes of the city. No Ottavia sightings, though, and I know the family was with him in Venice, because he responded to the “hair” picture Michael Ruhlman ran in his blog — he said he came across it while holding Ariane on his knee.

    I need to start buying lottery tickets; I really want to go back to Europe, while I still have my wits about me and am reasonably mobile.

  4. MorganLF says:

    Tail…lol. I thought Venice was ok-and Mexico so-so, even after having met Carlos. Somehow he’s not as last year when he’s strolling down the beach singing to himself “Tall and hairy and muderous” to the tune of the the Girl from Ipanema. Killingly funny.

  5. Adele says:

    Morgan, I thought he got off a few good lines; he said something about trendiness spreading like chlamydia, when he was talking about the gentrification spreading to the Judecca. And I thought he looked great, and several of the Venetian men were quite handsome — and the food looked amazing. A real feast for the eyes.

  6. catsworking says:

    You guys are really whetting my appetite for this Venice episode, which I’ll watch this evening. I’ve been thawing out a pork chop for dinner, but now I may have to switch to pasta! Oops, sorry Morgan. Macaroni! 😉

    Bourdain does manage get get off a few zingers most episodes. I remember him walking down the beach singing. Classic.

    His blog post yesterday about Zamir was classic Bourdain, too. I was kind of surprised he wrote about that filming so quickly. I suspect he’s aware of all the bloggers nipping at his heels, recording every sighting, and wants to get in his 2 cents.

    Cats Working may have made him more careful about letting Ottavia or the baby wander into the frame while he’s filming. I think this is the only blog that has been tracking the family scenes.

    I think Tony should be in high spirits this week, with the ice and snow of the Rust Belt fading from memory as he packs his flip-flops to head to Grand Cayman this weekend to pal around with Eric Ripert at the Cayman Cookout.

  7. Bob says:

    Found a link to these on Rhulman’s site.
    Bourdain family photos from when he was growing up.


  8. catsworking says:

    Wow, Bob! Thanks. A picture of Tony and his father. Priceless.

  9. Bob says:

    Yea, that’s what I thought.
    I can’t believe that none of us had hit it before. It’s on Rhulman’s site.
    Well the link that is.

    I normally comb most of his foodie friends’ sites for tidbits.
    Just trying to do my part….


  10. Cindy says:

    Have you seen the very short videos of conversations between Tony & Mario on

  11. MorganLF says:

    I actually found those pics a while ago and saved them on my hard drive. I haunt all my friends with his high school pics emailing them with comments like “was this the guy you did outside the Mudd Club in ’79?” I do so amuse myself….

    I can’t wait for next week when he hooks up with that Jose guy (can’t remember his last name) he has a show on PBS and is from Asturias Spain used to work at Il Buli…he’s quite animated should be fun. Adele I agree he did look great.

  12. catsworking says:

    Hi, Cindy! Yes, we’ve seen that video. There’s a link to it somewhere here in the comments.

  13. catsworking says:

    Morgan, you are such a stitch!

    OK, I’ve watched the Venice episode and I agree he looked great physically, but did any of you notice those funky Ugly-American-tourist tennis shoes he was wearing? They looked like something he wouldn’t be caught dead admitting he owns. I’m wondering if our boy is developing some foot problems after all his trekking.

    Or might he be working on some little endorsement or product-placement side deal?

  14. Adele says:

    I did notice the shoes; since it had to be warm in Venice, I was surprised not to see sandals. But I finally thought that many of the streets are cobblestone, and Tony was getting on and off boats, so perhaps sandals wouldn’t have worked.

    I’m still craving some summer fruits and vegetables after seeing that garden island; we have over 15″ of snow on the ground, and it hasn’t even warmed up to 0.

  15. catsworking says:

    Good point, Adele. But it would have made great TV to see Bourdain slipping getting in or out of a gondola and falling into the Grand Canal, sort of like Katharine Hepburn did in “Summertime.” But I wouldn’t wish the lifelong eye infection on him that she caught from the pollution.

    Virginia went into the deep freeze this afternoon and they’re saying our nights will be in single digits for the next few days. I heat with a heat pump, and when it’s this cold, the damn thing doesn’t make a dent in it, although it runs constantly.

  16. Bob says:

    Cold … you want cold.. Winnipeg where I am from was colder than the Arctic this week.
    Its been in the -40s Bloody Cold.. Seeing the Venice show helped warm me up.

    Found this on Rhulmans site, pretty funny stuff
    Stay Warm All

  17. catsworking says:

    Thanks for that link, Nickole! I guess the lesson we learn here is that, if you ever find yourself in bed with Anthony Bourdain, don’t bring the Cool Whip.

  18. catsworking says:

    Bob, Lewis Black is one of my favorite people. His observations on milk and water (and everything else) are so common-sense, but hilarious!

  19. Bob says:

    There is a new posting on the NR site, Tracey Gudwin has a blurb on the Venice shoot.

    Just had to comment, I have been a big fan of the off camera antics of the crew ever since Tony had to pick leaches off her bum. 🙂 And getting dragged off a cliff in Argentina Priceless. Its no wonder why they always set such physically demanding events for him. As they say Paybacks a Bitch…


    Yea Lewis Black Rocks!!!!

  20. catsworking says:

    Thanks, Bob. You know, I’ve never been terribly interested in the crew, but in just reading some of their blog entries, they do offer a wonderful window into life with Bourdain.

    I saw the one where he picked a leech off some girl’s butt, but I’ve never put a face with it. Figures a guy would. 😉

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