An Anthony Bourdain Cornucopia

By Karen

Tonight on No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain visits Sri Lanka. Ingrid at Room241 tells me, “While in Colombo, Tony samples lampreis, a local delicacy, and eats a heaping pile of kotu roti.”

I have no idea what she’s talking about, but if Bourdain’s eating it, I’m watching.

Tony told his Durham audience on February 19 he felt jet-lagged and curiously not hungry his first 3 days in Sri Lanka. I think it shows in this preview. He only seems to perk up when cameraman Todd strikes again, destroying food.

Tony was in Palm Desert February 26 and reporter Maggie Downs of the Palm Springs Desert Sun got a good phone interview. She even had the nerve to mention Paula Froelich. (Thanks, Cats Working reader Cindy, for the link.)

Rachael Ray was apparently on Nightline last week and talked about Bourdain’s attacks on her Dunkin’ Donuts endorsement. (Warning: The Feedbag’s a Rachael fan.)

In Ingrid’s installment on the recent “Disappearing Manhattan” episode, she divulged that the No Reservations folks are hard at work on a new Facebook application that’s going to run a monthly contest for travel reviews, leading up to a year-end grand prize. It’s in beta testing and not live yet, but if you’re registered on Facebook, stay tuned. It’s coming.

On another front of social networking, Travel Channel hooked up with SnapMyLife to provide candid, behind-the-scenes mobile photos of upcoming No Reservations episodes. Unfortunately, it seems to have run into legal snags posting people’s photos without permission.

After my recent encounter with Bourdain in Durham, Cats Working readers have been hungry for more. (Where have I heard that before?) Their interesting tidbits are scattered throughout the comments, so I’m bringing them to the fore.

Bob found a 2002 interview from Tony’s Cook’s Tour days. He discusses his writing and shares a gross encounter with a pig in Portugal that ended up on the cutting room floor. He also pays homage to a former cat, saying…

My house is run, essentially, by an adopted, fully clawed cat with a mean nature.

Bob also found 2 podcasts at Off the Broiler. These are casual conversations with Bourdain at home. You can even hear the click of Tony’s cigarette lighter as he declares he’ll never give up smoking.

On Michael Ruhlman’s blog, Bob dug up an account of Tony’s 50th birthday party. Scroll through the comments and you’ll find one from Ottavia herself.

Cindy found an interview related to Bourdain’s recent Durham appearance by Sarah LeTrent at The News & Observer. It seems Ariane is taking ballet lessons.

And finally, I uncovered 3 podcasts from his 2006 Nasty Bits days. Among other things, he mentions that his favorite color is blue, in case you were wondering.


27 Responses to An Anthony Bourdain Cornucopia

  1. Bob says:

    Looking forward to the Sri Lanka episode…

    Dammm that Bob guy is good!!! He should give himself a pat on the back…:)

    Take Care Happy Monday 😦


  2. catsworking says:

    Bob, you have highly evolved Googling abilities, I’ll grant you that. 🙂

    Virginia looks a lot like Canada today. We got about 6 inches of snow and Richmond is virtually paralyzed. All the schools and most government offices are closed. We do have the equipment to remove it, but it takes days to get to the secondary roads, and they’re out of practice because we haven’t had this much snow in years. And they’re not calling for much thawing until maybe Wednesday.

    I may go out later, excavate the car, and shovel a path to the street. Or maybe not.

  3. Bob says:

    6 inches…. Thats hardly an amount of snow.. Thats what we call a “Dusting”.. But if your not used to it…

    Have fun in your winter wonder land


  4. catsworking says:

    I think they said the last “blizzard” we had was 4″ in 2005.

    It looks like there’s some thawing on my street, but that will only make for black ice when it refreezes tonight. Big pickup trucks have been spinning wheels around here all day, trying to be macho.

    The only thing worse about not being prepared for snow is being on the road with all the morons who don’t know how to drive in it. SUVs and pickups are the worst, thinking their size gives them super-human powers of navigation. It’s always so satisfying to crawl by at 20 mph and see them in ditches.

  5. Bob says:

    Well I have to agree with you Karen..

    Even here we get the A holes that think that a truck will get you anywhere.. Thing is 4 wheel drive is good for getting you GOING… But Does SFA for stopping..

    I must admit that I did buy a Jeep Compass, 2 years ago.
    Its a baby Jeep but it has traction control and all wheel drive… as long as I don’t get stupid with it, she keeps me safe..

    When ever I get in a car without traction control now in the winter I have to really “Drive”.. But its like cooking in that way too..

    So… looking like I may be sharing pots and pans…
    Things are going very well here. 🙂

    But before anything happens I must educate about washing my Cast Iron… DON’T

    Enjoy your Bourdain fix tomorrow.. I will be hunting for it on line..

    As always Humble Bob

  6. catsworking says:

    Bob, yesterday I shoveled a path to the mailbox and was shaking snow off the bushes, which all look crushed, when I slipped in some slush and turned my ankle pretty badly. I immediately thought of Morgan, but I don’t think it’s broken.

    It’s not supposed to get much above freezing today, but it’s sunny, so they say some of this stuff will melt. But I guess I’ll try to get the car cleaned off so I’ll be ready to roll. As I type this, I’m hearing some tires spinning out there. (Goes to window.) Yup, it’s a big Jeep.

    Are you saying you and your new squeeze are talking about combining your kitchen utensils soon?

    I have one little cast iron pan I use mostly for frying eggs. I never wash it and it sticks less than my Emeril fry pan. I also have a hand-hammered steel wok that never gets washed, but I use this bamboo broom thing to scrape the crud off. It’s the same principle.

  7. Bob says:

    Well yes.. doing some serious thinking on the subject.

    Funny thing those non stick pans… sometimes they are worse than frying an Egg on the sidewalk.
    A good seasoned cast iron is the way to go..

    BTW if you need to learn how to cook an egg.
    Check this out on Youtube.. Do a search for “Asshole Chef” he’s a knob but he knows his eggs!!

    Take care of the leg

  8. catsworking says:

    OMG, Bob, that guy Tom Miller really IS an asshole. If Bourdain ever did a cooking show, I imagine something similar, only more high-budget.

    Watching him work over that egg in the nonstick pan with a FORK was torture. And the stupid egg stuck all over the frying pan.

    On a culinary note, recently I discovered sea salt at Trader Joe’s. I’ve always thought, “Salt is salt. How much different can it taste?”

    There IS a difference. A big one. Now after abandoning Morton’s, I’m worried I’m not going to get my RDA of iodine.

    Now having my appetite for adventure whetted, the other day I bought some peppercorns in an el-cheapo grinder from Dollar Tree. Tried them last night on a salad.

    It was like I’ve never eaten pepper before. I went straight into the kitchen and dumped out the ashy powder in all my pepper shakers. (I’ve been sneezing ever since, but it had to be done.)

    I guess if you watch enough cooking and eating, eventually some of it seeps in and things start to change.

    My ankle now feels a little swollen on the twisted side. Oh great. I guess I should tape it or something.

  9. Bob says:

    Actually I was showing a friend the Tom Miller thing and she was just agast at what he was doing with that fork..

    But in all the swearing there are a few helpfull tips.

    I actually grow my own herbs in the summertime, its amazing what a few fresh greens can to for a meal and if I use salt I get sea salt or kosher. Fresh ground pepper is also a must.

    Be good to your foot

  10. catsworking says:

    I would love to grow my own herbs, but green things in this house have a tendency to get chewed down to the roots, and I can’t get a shovel into the clay outside. I once tried to grow catnip indoors and they kept digging up the seeds like they were planted in a litterbox. Right now I’ve got one houseplant on the only high surface inaccessible to cats, trying to recover from a vicious nocturnal mauling by Yul — which was followed by a puking binge.

  11. Bob says:

    Well this year being an apartment dweller, I grew them out in window boxes out on the balcony.

    I really do try to use fresh ingredients these days, its not silly but the food does look and taste so much better.

    I have been living cheap this week, Pasta and Sauce Avec Michael “Whats up with that Hair” Ruhlman..
    Nice and simple, 5 ingredients maybe, but it kept me fed in style.

    Also did up a pan of chicken hearts in butter and garlic.. just cause the meat is cheap DOES NOT mean that its crap..

    Funny how that works eh..

  12. Adele says:

    So sorry about your ankle, Karen. Are you icing? I find that a bag of frozen peas is a very effective ice pack.

    Got back to Chicago last night, and I’ve been out of touch because the last week in Tucson, we were pretty busy taking scenic drives and just enjoying the warm weather. I did manage to read the various posts, though, and I loved the Cindy’s link to the Palm Springs paper, with the Paula Froelich reference. And I’d forgotten that I’d read Ruhlman’s post about Tony’s 50th birthday. At the time, I remember thinking that Ottavia must be a pretty interesting person, if she’s going around quoting Noam Chomsky.

    I’m with Bob, fresh herbs are easy. I grow them in pots, outside, and they’re all pretty hardy. I think they make a huge difference in the flavor of foods, and I miss them in the winter.

    Keep your foot elevated as much as you can.

  13. Adele says:

    Oh yeah, I liked the Sri Lanka NR episode; mostly because I realized that except for seeing pictures after the 2005 tsunami, I had no idea what the country looked like. Tony was unable to muster up any enthusiasm at the beginning of the episode, but once he got out of Colombo, things seemed to pick up. Sri Lanka certainly looks beautiful, but the political situation and the oppressive heat and humidity put it at the bottom of my travel list.

  14. catsworking says:

    I don’t really like watching Bourdain in primitive places. I must be Euro-centric because my favorite episodes were in Paris, Dublin, Venice. I much prefer him strolling city streets than hacking through jungles, even if he’s still eating street food. I guess I don’t like to see the guy suffer.

    Sri Lanka is one place I’ll never visit. I’m kind of surprised he went there, given the dangers.

    I didn’t do much with ice on the ankle, but I did wrap it yesterday and and it seems a bit less swollen today. I can’t wrap it now and get a shoe on, and I have to go out, so it will have to cope.

    Got out this morning and spent about 45 minutes digging the car out from under 6-7 inches of snow and ice. I wish I had a garage. But it’s sunny and above freezing, so we’re getting some melting action.

    You guys are talking me into trying some herbs in pots outside this year. My deck gets no sun, but maybe I could have a few pots on the front steps, which get a lot. My grandmother used to grow oregano and basil in her front yard.

  15. Nancy (Not THAT Nancy) says:

    Hope your ankle is better, Karen! I have to watch Sri Lanka again because I fell asleep during the episode. Not an editorial comment there, just a fact of nature 😉 I think I’d like the food there because there was a Sri Lankan restaurant in CA near where I used to live and I loved the food. Can’t remember much about it other than we liked to eat there a lot, and it’s similar to Indian food.

    Karen, for the iodine/sea salt thing, get natural sea salt from a health food store and it should have iodine in it already from the sea. It’s only processed salt that has to have iodine put back in it. I use Redmond’s Real Salt Authentic Natural sea salt. There are many good kinds available though.

  16. Nancy (Not THAT Nancy) says:

    Here’s a pretty cool site with different salts and explanations about them:

  17. catsworking says:

    Interesting salt site, Nancy. I had no idea there were so many kinds of salt.

    I think the sea salts I’ve been seeing have said “not iodized” on the label, so I assumed they had no iodine. But it must mean they naturally have iodine in them.

  18. Bob says:

    I must chime in on the Sri Lanka episode.. Tony really did look like crap in the start of the episode.

    His nose and eyes looked truly horrible.. But he did seem to perk up as Nancy said outside of the city.

    As for Herbs.. Ya all they are super easy.. in fact my mom got me stated with a , of all things, Chia Herb Garden.

    From there I moved up to window boxes.. Basically the way I look at it is Herbs are weeds that are good to eat.. Hell they grow in nature,, so How could I screw them up.

    Its all good, try it


  19. Bob says:

    Sorry Adele.. My bad… You were all over the Episode.

  20. Nancy (Not THAT Nancy) says:

    Yeah, Bob, I didn’t remember talking in my sleep 😉
    Anyone know when they typically rerun the eps each week?

  21. catsworking says:

    Nancy, they publish a complete schedule of all the reruns on the Travel Channel site. Here’s the link:

    When I was trying to get all the episodes on DVD, that’s how I pinpointed the few I was missing.

    Looks like he’s heading back to Vietnam next week. That should be interesting. Maybe we’ll get to see him house-hunting.

  22. MorganLF says:

    Get the ankle looked at, my orthopedist said a sprain is worse than a nice clean break or messy fracture. It can create scar tissue that will lead to complications later.

    I’m miserable, can’t monitor the site from work and rarely bother to log on at home. I saw the post on Ruhlman’s blog from Ottavia and thought it bloody clever and funny, so much so that I though Bourdain wrote it. So now we know more than ever she is a match for our boy.

    Let me weigh in on sea salt and fresh ground pepper, can’t live without them. I had long ago abandoned salt. I hate overly salted food never had it in the house for years. I thing this whole “seasoning” craze that TV chefs tout by over salting food is unhealthy. But I do love my sea salt and black pepper grinders! Try tossing green beans with EVOO and sea salt then roast them in 400 oven for 5 minutes or’s the shit.

    Wish I could grow herbs but my terrace is covered – no sun. Does anyone know of any that grow in indirect light? We had basil ( or as we called it ba-se-lee-gol, southern Italian pronunciation of basilico)and mint in the garden as a kid.

    I really miss it and fresh is sooo expensive and does not last. I do pretty well with dry though and have a wide array of spices, made some killer Pasta e Fagioli and lentil soup this week, and will be doing pumpkin bread today…hey dig me the HOMEMALKER!!

    Miss you all.

  23. catsworking says:

    Morgan, that’s exactly what my grandmother used to call basil! “Go outside and pick me some ba-se-lee-gol.” Her family was from Sicily.

    Weeks ago I needed fresh parsley for my roasted chicken in the crockpot. Had to buy a shitload of the stuff to use just a few sprigs. It’s still in the fridge, sitting in a glass of water. I go in and trim the stems down and change the water every few days, and I must say the stuff is lasting, but I won’t live long enough to use it all.

    That’s my problem with fresh herbs from the supermarket. Overkill and over-expense.

    On the spice front, I just had a terrible time finding cayenne pepper, which I like to sprinkle liberally in ramen noodles. I tried 3 grocery stores before I finally found a bottle today. I didn’t realize it was an oddity.

    I swear I’m going to try growing some stuff this spring. Just hope the neighborhood roaming cats leave it alone. I don’t have a cat-proof spot in the house that gets enough light.

    Do you know what Ottavia said to Ruhlman in Italian? I should have pasted it into a translator to get the gist.

    My ankle is doing better. It’s still a little swollen, but it doesn’t hurt to move it. Feels more like a bruise now.

    The last time I went to an orthopedist was for a pain in the top of my foot that turned out to be a stress fracture in my TOE. I hobbled out of there in a hot-pink plaster cast on my leg that went up to my freaking THIGH and had to wear it for a month. I think the guy was a sadist.

    I had a similar accident with my wrist during the heat pump incident. When the guy told me it would be $1,800, I slammed my hand down on the kitchen table so hard while I was yelling at him, I had a knot for days, then a bruise, and it’s still a tad tender.

    Reason I’m not running to the doctor is that I just got new insurance AGAIN, this time down to truly bad coverage with a $2,250 deductible and no prescription coverage. But I’m keeping about $2,600 a year out of Anthem’s pocket.

    If Obama doesn’t deliver the self-employed from the clutches of private insurers, I don’t know what I’ll do.

  24. MorganLF says:

    I feel your pain insurance wise… at work they laid off 10 people on Friday so I am making sure I attend to all my medical needs while I am employed.

    The ass suck I work with is in hyper drive of pandering. Everyone is worried except the suck-up who takes extra long lunches and lounges all day in the supervisor’s office, laughing too loudly at his jokes.

    I’m working my culo off but can’t ass kiss. Guess who will makes the inevitable cut? Well see…

    I tried to translate the phrase but it came out nonsense, must be a colloquialism.

  25. catsworking says:

    Morgan, it is probably fortunate that they cut you off from Cats Working while at work. If anyone there read your comments here about that place, you’d be next out the door! 😉

    I have seen the type you describe so many times before. That’s one of the nice things about working alone with cats. Not one disgusting suck-up among them.

  26. MorganLF says:

    Ahhh, but this week the big-big boss wrote me an email commending me. So ass-kiss and his bromance with his supervisor may be in jeopardy.

    We shall see.

  27. catsworking says:

    Morgan, I hope you printed out that e-mail and took home a copy in case your desk is ransacked (that actually happened to me once — while I was in Palm Springs on vacation — I’ll never know what the douchebag owner thought he was looking for, but he found NOTHING incriminating — but had his lawyer fire me anyway the minute I came back).

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