Since Bourdain’s visit to the Philippines got thoroughly documented once the No Reservations producers realized the foolishness and futility of trying to muzzle the blogosphere, I’m returning to my original post on it. The episode airs February 16.
Last week I was contacted by a woman from Room214 in Colorado, a company that helps the Travel Channel foster word-of-mouth buzz for some of its programs. She confessed to being a long-time Cats Working lurker and offered me, as an “influential blogger” (her words, not mine), some “inside scoop” on upcoming episodes.
My first dose of scoop was on the Philippines, and I’ll confess feeling underwhelmed. To repeat it would make me a PR flack for Bourdain and he’d lose all respect for me. However, if you want to read it, So Much More Than a Mom posted it verbatim.
Since Cats Working readers have come to expect original content, I resurrected my original October 24, 2008, observations on this episode, which were fresh at the time. It’s the post I pulled because Claude Tayag’s nephew asked me to when he told me that the NR producers were concerned about leaks. If you compare it to what Room214’s putting out there in advance buzz, it’s inconsequential. Here it is:
Bourdain’s Smoking in the Philippines
Anthony Bourdain checked in with fans on his blog and graciously endured a ritual flogging over the dismal results of his recent special, At the Table With Anthony Bourdain, while en route to shooting a long-awaited episode of No Reservations in the Philippines.
Filipino bloggers have been tracking him. Our Awesome Planet reported (in the post he was asked to delete, but I read it first) that Tony was in Pampanga at Claude Tayag’s Bale Dutung on October 23, with plans to do an “Ultimate Pampanga Tour” on the 25th, which includes eating “juicy kwentos from Tito Claude.”
This blog also reports that Tony drained the place of an apparently nasty beer called San Mig Light that earned a “D+ avoid” rating with the Beer Advocate. I assume Tony’s holding one in the photo.
Awesome Planet went on to say Tony was the first (and last) person allowed to smoke in Bale Dutung. Now I’m wondering if Tony isn’t holding a cigarette in the right hand he’s coyly concealing, in case the photo ever falls into Ottavia’s hands?
The blog post ended saying that a trip to Aling Lucing’s Sisig was canceled because “lasheng na si Bourdain. hahahahaha.”
I couldn’t find a translation for this phrase, so maybe someone who speaks the language can help me out. I suspect it has something to do with “raging hangover.”
(UPDATE: Before I yanked this post, several readers commented that the remark had to do with drunkenness, and I was unable to find a translation because the spelling was slurred for effect.)
Perhaps that nightmare of a posh meal “At the Table” was a wake-up call. The old Bourdain seems to be back.
Now, back to the present…
As a tie-in to his visit, Tony gave Filipino magazine, Rogue, an interview. A Whiff of Lemongrass captured one page of it. The interviewer seemed to be using the list of questions Bourdain has answered a million times, but Tony does get in a good dig at food bloggers.
Anthropologist reported a few more of Bourdain’s comments.
And if Tony needed any more evidence that he’s sorely missed on Top Chef — and new guest judge Toby Young is suffering mightily in comparison — Blogging Top Chef posted results of yet another poll. Their first names may differ by only one letter, but in style and wit, Tony and Toby are light years apart.
And I just came across this first-hand account (with photos) from Profumo Profondo, who dined at Les Halles that memorable night Bourdain returned to work a double shift and invited Eric Ripert to man the grill station.
Meanwhile, I’m beginning prep for my own live encounter with Bourdain in Durham, NC, on February 19.