Anthony Bourdain Flirts with a Cardigan

By Karen

This week’s new episode of No Reservations is another special where Anthony Bourdain answers fans’ “Burning Questions,” but they look pretty tepid from the promo and the results of a lame Travel Channel poll. (Note to TC: Softball questions tossed by your PR people  to your biggest star can never burn.)

I expect the best moments will be some footage of Zamir.

However, what is truly shocking is Tony’s blog post this week, For Parents Only. He wantonly slips of out of his leather jacket and sexy, single, world-weary wanderer persona and into his bunny slippers to review kiddie TV. I’m not a parent, but I loved it. He makes me want to catch some of these God-awful shows to see how low children’s television has sunk since Captain Kangaroo, Howdy Doody, and Romper Room.

I regularly see the last 5 minutes of PBS’ Word Girl because it’s on right before BBC World News. I swear one of the voices is Lisa Simpson, but I never manage to read the credits.

Anyway, with characteristically caustic wit, Tony hits so many shows, I’m wondering if he’s not developing a new addiction. The image of Bourdain on the floor with a two-year-old, lapping this stuff up, is enough to give hardcore fans nightmares. Maybe it’s his way of preparing us for Sardinia on September 14, where we meet the in-laws. Or perhaps he’s researching a new book: How to Raise a Really Snarky Kid.

The Web once again was quiet, but I found two blogs that seem to be trading on Tony’s fame. (Before you say it, no, I don’t. Cats Working is his accidental reviewer and biographer and he’s well aware of it.)

Team Camwell engaged in what I’d call bold-faced hijacking. After writing a gratuitous, gushy introductory paragraph revealing how little they know about Bourdain (He’s a “world-famous chef?” He’s featured on Top Chef?”) they pasted Bourdain’s entire blog post about kid TV and didn’t give Tony a clear byline.

And this was bound to happen after Julie & Julia – but not in my kitchen. It’s Sophia and Tony. Sophia made (and photographed) his boeuf bourguignon recipe from the Les Halles Cookbook. It turned out great, but she ate a disgusting-looking frozen NutriSystem meal for dinner anyway.

Somehow, I don’t see book and movie deals in her future.

10 Responses to Anthony Bourdain Flirts with a Cardigan

  1. Bob says:

    I for one think its sweet that he has such a close bond with his daughter. For a guy that is a borderline workaholic by all accounts its nice to see that he wants that closeness in his life. 🙂

    As for the Burning Questions Episode I hope they manage to steer clear of the often asked questions that he gets hammered with in seemingly every mass interview that he goes to..

    I am still working on my bring Tony to Winnipeg campaign a few minor touches and it will be on its way. Hmmm I wonder if the Chimneys still work for Santa in the middle of the Summer??? Well going to give it my best shot…

    If Not Tony I am sure I could get “Zimmer” up here here he is from Minnesota after all.

  2. catsworking says:

    Bob, if Andrew Zimmern is your Plan B, then we MUST succeed in getting Bourdain to Winnipeg. There’s no telling what garbage you’d have to eat to make Zimmern happy. And he doesn’t drink at all!

  3. Adele says:

    I’m sorry to say that I fell asleep watching the “Burning Questions” show. First time that’s ever happened while I was watching NR. I’m looking forward to the Outer Burroughs show next week, though. I did watch Andrew Zimmern’s new show, because Cuba fascinates me. It wasn’t terrible, but the whole time I was thinking that I’d love to see Tony in Cuba. Andrew wasn’t too bad, but I could have done without his having chicken blood poured on his bald pate during a Santaria ceremony.

  4. catsworking says:

    Adele, you’ve got a stronger stomach than me. I can’t stand to watch Zimmern, just worrying about what he might put in his mouth.

    I didn’t find the questions particularly burning, and missed a few while I was fixing dinner. I feel like I need to sit down and watch it again because I missed almost all of Zamir.

  5. Adele says:

    While Zimmern did eat a couple of disgusting things, this show is really more about the country and the people, and he seemed pretty in love with Cuba. The music, the warmth of the people, and of course, the classic cars were all on display.

  6. Bob says:

    Personally I found Burning Questions to be little more than Yet Another Clip Show… With all of the Domestic Episodes and 2 Clip Shows so far this season it looks like the network is trying to control spending on its most popular show.

    There were some good questions but nothing that really jumped out at me. Well at least he didn’t tape another dinner at WD40 YIKES….

  7. catsworking says:

    Adele, are you saying Zimmern has another show besides Bizarre Foods? If so, it sounds like he’s trying to be a Bourdain Mini-Me.

    Personally, I think the U.S. is shooting itself in the foot with the travel restrictions on Cuba. It’s only 90 miles from Miami, yet comparatively exotic. Americans could make tourism skyrocket and cultivate a new friend in the region, instead of dragging out this grudge that only makes us look silly and childish.

    Bob, I agree with you that Season 5 isn’t going down as Bourdain’s best yet. But I wonder if it’s the network trying to pinch pennies or Bourdain himself not wanting to miss Ariane’s childhood. I suspect it’s the latter because I think he’s doing a lot more foreign travel for Season 6.

  8. Adele says:

    Yes Karen, Zimmern has a new show called Bizarre World; I watched the first one, because Cuba interests me; it’s less food centered and more culture centered, but he’s no Bourdain. I think given a location that one wants to see, he’s just okay.

    I couldn’t agree more about Cuba. We’ve been completely shooting ourselves in the foot with the embargo. I have some hope that as the first generation of vehement anti-Castroites (mostly in Florida) dies off, there will be more likelihood that the embargo will be lifted. We certainly have no trouble in places where trade is concerned, like China, and I think there’s no doubt that the Cuban people are treated better with many fewer resources than the great mass of the Chinese. But the US can’t live with a combination of unbridled capitalism and national socialism.

  9. catsworking says:

    Adele, I wonder what brought that idea on? Did Zimmern get sick of eating balls every day? From the way viewers complained about how he dissed countries he visited for having “weird” or “yucky” customs, he hardly seems suited to be a cultural ambassador. This is a rather strange development in his career. I suspect he thinks he’s grooming himself to step in when Bourdain goes into decline. He must figure it’s only a matter of time.

  10. Adele says:

    I’m not sure, but I think Bizzare Foods and Bizzare World will both be shown on the Travel Channel. Maybe Zimmern works really cheap. I have to say that on the Cuba show, he seemed pretty entranced by the place and was respectful of the locals. He even danced. What he lacks, besides personal charisma, is the literary bent that Bourdain has. For instance, I can’t imagine Tony going to Havana and not visiting some Hemingway sites — minimally the Bar Florida (or a Hemingway called it, the “Floridita) where the Papa Doble daicquri was invented.

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