Where Isn’t Bourdain These Days?

By Karen

No Reservations visits Istanbul, Turkey, tonight. No advance showing was offered, but Wendy at Room 214 tells us Anthony Bourdain begins his visit with a hangover after over-indulging on the plane. (Tony, no! Such a rookie mistake!).

He samples the local cuisine, including a “throbbing missile of love” — meat on a stick — and tools around town with a freakishly knowledgeable cabbie named Ishaan.

Fine, but then Room 214 jumped the shark, offering bloggers an autographed Anthony Bourdain calendar for writing about this episode and sending the link and their mailing address to Wendy.

Quantities are limited, so post now!

Gentle Cats Working readers, I’ve never made a penny off this blog, and I’m not about to start shilling for Travel Channel for freebies. I know this wasn’t Tony’s idea, but I’m just saying, in case he ever wonders if I took the bait. No, I didn’t. I reserve the right to say later that I hated the episode, if necessary.

Julie Van Rosendaal of Dinner with Julie was emcee for Bourdain’s January 12 Calgary appearance and wrote, bar none, the greatest, most personal and detailed account I’ve read yet of what Tony’s really like at these things. I’ve always imagined him highly pampered, surrounded by fawning toadies, but that’s not the case.

Here’s a great photo of Julie and Tony. He must have really liked her because he’s showing teeth, which he rarely does.

Kitchen Scraps got another photo of Bourdain’s at the Calgary book signing. Yup, the crewcut was a temporary aberration. Tony’s silver mane is back.

And the Calgary Herald interviewed the chef who cooked for Bourdain in Calgary. What’s this rumor that Tony won’t eat anywhere but in his hotel room?

Tony himself blogged last week about Panama and this and that, and asked for donations for one of Mario Batali’s employees who was horribly injured in a freak accident on a New York street.

I was thrilled to read that Bourdain intends to return to PARIS! That was my favorite NR episode ever.

Tony talked to Slashfood about NR’s new season and professed admiration for Ina Garten, with Giada de Laurentis coming in second.

Rebecca Langlais writes about Tony’s appearance in Lowell, Mass., on January 9.

Men’s Journal interviewed Bourdain for the Dec09/Jan10 issue, discussing a variety of things, including Tony’s attitude toward women.

Harvey Pekar, the offbeat comics writer who was featured in NR: Cleveland has nothing but fond memories of Tony at the end of this interview.

Uncouth Gormand attended the Tasty Awards in San Francisco on January 14 and reported that Bourdain was a no-show on his Person of the Year award, but filmed an acceptance speech and asked his producers to tell lots of dick and fart jokes. I’m thinking the Bourdains were already on their way to the (Grand) Cayman Cookout for the weekend. Can’t blame them.

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8 Responses to Where Isn’t Bourdain These Days?

  1. Zappa says:

    Karen
    I say Tony owes you two round trip tickets to someplace fabulous

    Zappa’s mom

  2. catsworking says:

    Hi, Zappa’s mom! I’ve found a couple of other blogs that seem to have taken Room 214’s bait, and I don’t blame them. But I have Bourdain’s autograph, I have several photos of me with him (and Ottavia), and I have my own published calendar (How to Work Like a Cat 2010), so it’s not like not jumping at the swag was any big sacrifice.

    This whole issue arose last year (I think it was) when Room 214 first started contacting bloggers and providing free “content” hyping No Reservations. They were written in first-person, and bloggers were posting them verbatim, as if the thoughts were THEIRS, which they weren’t.

    Cats Working never did that, either. Except for letting Winnipeg Bob guest-blog last year, we provide original content. As you know, cats always keep their options open.

  3. Adele says:

    Zappa’s mom, what a good idea. Tony/the Travel Channel could let Karen go on a shoot (hopefully to a country of Karen’s choosing). She could blog about it, just because she does such a good job, and since it sounds like you’re in the DC area, Yul, Adele and Cole could come and stay with Zappa. You could guest blog about pulling your hair out while they were pulling each others’ hair out.

  4. Bob says:

    Ok so if I write a review here do I get a shot at winning a Signed Catsworking Calender???

    Watched the Istanbul show last night, for the most part really liked it, but the one thing that I thought would never happen, happened. Tony began to shill.

    Sure I am used to the program having an agenda, Tony’s, but that blatant chase manhattan credit card crap. Man where did that come from?? “Let me pick up the tab”, followed by what seemed by an hour long lingering prouduct placement shot of his credit card. Next time do it a little slower so we can all write down the numbers. Yeeesh.

    I guess the bills have to be paid somehow, but I liked it better when he mockingly sold coffee from a plastic bag whilst begging for a Tag Heuer watch.

    any other reactions to this???

  5. catsworking says:

    Bob, I do have some reaction to the Istanbul episode, and not just the cheesy credit card placement. I’m working on it.

    I think we all know that Bourdain participated in the shilling under orders and has no say in the matter unless he’s prepared to find himself a new network. But if they start making him grab the check and whip out the plastic in some scene in every episode, there’s gonna be backlash.

    And to answer your question, no, we offer no rewards for anyone who writes here. We want to keep it on the level.

  6. Cindy says:

    I too was stunned by the blatant product placement.

    I enjoyed the show but who’s idea was it to go to a Muslim city during Ramadan? A time of fasting isn’t an ideal time to film a food show.

    Tony seems to be having a good time in the Cayman’s this week
    http://www.dailyblender.com/?p=2861

  7. catsworking says:

    Cindy, I’m with you. I thought the timing was very strange. Thanks for the link to the pics of the Cayman Cookout. I hope Tony didn’t get any grease on that $3K Hawaiian shirt!

  8. Adele says:

    I, too was taken aback by the blatant Chase product placement, and although I pretty much liked the show (it really made my mouth water). Cindy, you make a good point, why WOULD you do a food show in a predominantly Muslim country during Ramadan? I’m looking forward to Brittany next week, but now I’ll be on the lookout for Chase Sapphire. I guess if product placement is what it takes to keep NR on the air, it’s worth it, but I have to believe that the whole thing sticks in Tony’s craw. Got tickets for Tony’s Chicago show today. Not VIP, but at least main floor. One hopes for the best.

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