Bourdain & Vietnam: Together Again

By Karen

Anthony Bourdain travels to Vietnam — is this the 3rd or 4th time? — in a new episode of No Reservations tonight. Wendy at Room 214 didn’t mention any house-hunting in her preview e-mail, but did say that Tony noted 70% of Hanoi’s population is under age 30.

I have a sneaking suspicion he’s quietly abandoned his dream of living there, especially now that Ariane is getting older and undoubtedly growing some roots in New York.

This episode seems heavy on bugs, and Tony channels Andrew Zimmern in the promo. He’s also apparently tricked into eating Java-Mouse deer.

Hey, I just realized we haven’t seen Tony whip out his Chase Sapphire card in quite a while. Could widespread fan derision have delivered him from that silliness?

Tony and Eric Ripert have wrapped up their Sirius radio program, Turn & Burn, but bits of it are hitting YouTube. Hear what happens after Tony reads Ruth Reichl’s tweets in what was apparently a regular feature called “The Tao of Ruth.” Eric reads a few tweets by the mysterious “Ruth Bourdain.”

Here’s a video clip of Bourdain and Ripert talking about Ruth Reichl’s tweets with Mario Batali.

Bourdain’s getting closer to Richmond with an appearance at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA, on September 23. That’s only about 90 minutes north of here.

Entertainment Daily found out a bit about what Tony’s been up to in India. He’s got to be back in the States sometime this week because he has a speaking gig in Austin, Texas, on April 1.


28 Responses to Bourdain & Vietnam: Together Again

  1. Adele says:

    Damn! Every time I hear (and see) Bourdain and Ripert together, I want to get satellite radio. And I’ve become addicted to the Ruth tweets, both Reichl and Bourdain. I love seeing how relaxed Tony is with his cooking pals — there’s no deliberate snark, but a bunch of people you’d love to hang with.

    My memory may not be correct, but I thought there was a passing reference to the Chase Sapphire card in the NR Provence episode.

    Tell Adele, btw, that I’m very disappointed in PETA — that they would pay the Octomom, that they would portray cats as having no more sense than she, that they wouldn’t spend $5k a month helping shelter animals or endangered animals, and that they would steal Adele’s idea.

  2. catsworking says:

    Adele, I thought I watched the Provence episode every carefully (LOVED it, by the way), so if they worked Chase in, I somehow missed it. I’ll have to watch it again.

    Tony and Eric seem to be joined at the hip these days. They make a good comedy team. I think Zamir is out of a job.

    I just read some of Ruth Reichl’s tweets today for this post, and suddenly Ruth Bourdain makes sense to me in an hilarious way.

    My Adele was actually flabbergasted and flattered that PETA took her suggestion, but like you, thinks the money would have been better spent actually helping animals.

  3. Zappa says:

    I must point out that when cats DO have a litter of 8,they are much more dignified and graceful about it!It’s been 4 years since I left my litter,but I don’t ever recall my mom making an idiot of herself on tv.


  4. Zappa says:

    Vietnam again? I pass….

    Zappa’s (Human) mom

  5. catsworking says:

    Zappa’s mom, I do agree that he’s probably wearing out his welcome in Vietnam with viewers, which may be why he resorted to eating an assortment of bugs to liven things up. I’m just glad he didn’t make it cats!

  6. Adele says:

    Karen, I just know you meant to reply to Zappa’s Mom, “I’m just glad he DIDN’T make it cats.” Your feline trio will go crazy if they see what you did write.

  7. Lori says:

    The Chase Card made an appearence in Vietnam Monday night.
    I agree I don’t think Tony will be moving to Vietnam anytime soon.
    The water bug was huge and Tony did not like it at all.
    What can I say about Eric Ripert, other than that he’s a cutie pie.
    Karen, are you going to see Tony when he’s near your neck of the woods in September. Tony will be in Minnesota on April 23rd.
    What’s up with that octomom, she will do anything to get attention. That money should have went to an animal shelter where it would have been put to good use.

  8. Adele says:

    Expected to be bored by NR, but we saw yet another part of Vietnam, which was almost alpine. I don’t see the Bourdains moving to Vietnam any time soon, but Tony’s love of the place shone through on this episode. While I didn’t love every scene, (esp. those with eating bugs and little birds)I was pretty transported. I particularly liked the scenes at Bao Dai’s hunting retreat in the Central Highlands. Surprisingly Art Deco and great photography evoking the end of the French occupation. If I were younger and richer, Vietnam would be on my travel list. When I was young enough, it was still too close to the war, and I couldn’t imagine going.

  9. catsworking says:

    Lori, since he’s appearing at a college in September, I don’t know how open to the public it will be. But it does happen to be right around the corner from my largest writing client, so maybe I’ll be able to mix business with pleasure and take a drive up there.

    I haven’t seen Vietnam yet, but it looks like my DVD recorder taped it. Tonight I’ll find out if it will actually let me SEE it. I’ll be watching for the Chase plug.

    Adele, I guess I must have holdover misgivings from the war, because Vietnam still isn’t even on my long list of places I’d like to visit someday. But that just goes to show how shallow I am.

  10. catsworking says:

    Adele, I just noticed my typo and quickly fixed it. You’re right. I’d be sitting here in bloody shreds if the cats had seen that first. And they’d be hissing, “We’ve been letting you hog the blog with this Bourdain guy for HOW LONG now, and he EATS CATS? Are you F**KING CRAZY??!!!”

  11. Cindy says:

    I WILL go to Vietnam someday. I watch “Top Gear” on BBCAmerica and they had a special on Vietnam where they rode motorbikes from Saigon to Hanoi. I absolutely fell in love. It is an incredibly beautiful country.

    In Provence didn’t Tony pay for the striped shirts for the crew with his Sapphire card?

  12. Bob says:

    Just a side note on our man in perpetual motion.

    Watched the obsessed episode last night and was just wondering how long the bits and pieces that made up that episode have been on the shelf?

    Of course when he was drooling over his pork addiction we got a look at the young curly-haired Tony. But more telling was the fact that he was wearing his thumb ring in every scene AND during his between content exposition.

    Now correct me if I am wrong but I do believe that he chucked that ring into the Med ages ago?

    I know that it takes time to film and edit his program but to broadcast an episode in which he is absent from most of the interviews (excluding New York) and one that has been sitting on the shelf for an extended period of time makes me think that they mixed this one together from the “Nasty Bits” of shows already aired??

    Not ZPZ’s best work although I still enjoyed it.

  13. Bob says:

    Way off topic to Cindy. If you are as big a fan of Top Gear as I am. You should know that on BBC America they take roughly 20 minutes out of each program so that it fits an American television time slot.

    If you have the capability or interest the full BBC episodes are available on line for download at many of the Bit Torrent sites across the web.

  14. catsworking says:

    Bob, I want to say Tony dropped the thumb ring into the Bosporus while he was in Turkey, which I think would have put it within the past year or so, but I could be off.

    I do think “Obsessed” was cobbled together from a lot of scraps they thought were too good to throw away, which is OK.

    Hate to say it, but Bourdain seems to be aging so fast these days, he looks a lot younger in stuff he shot 6 months ago. I’m worried about him and his frantic pace.

    Cindy, good eye on the Chase placement! I must have been in the kitchen or something, because I don’t remember him buying shirts for the crew either.

  15. Bob says:

    Yes Karen I just did my research and you are correct once again, he did throw it into the Bosporus, when he was filming the Turkey episode I would assume.

    But as for producing his dreaded Chase Manhattan Card when in Brittany, upon further review, there was no card.

    I have the episode on my PVR and just looked at it, although Tony respectfully endorses Zack’s “Lifestyle Choice” in wanting a striped shirt and goes along with the purchase. He did not whip out the Chase Card.

    In fact, upon even deeper review, it appears that Zack has cash in hand to make the purchase.

  16. catsworking says:

    Bob, I remember being so shocked while reading the blog post where Tony said he’d outgrown the need for the ring, I guess it stuck with me. I thought he’d always have it.

    And thanks for resolving the “Chase in Provence” matter. I must not have been in the kitchen after all.

  17. Adele says:

    Actually, the shirt buying scene was in Brittany, not Provence. I’ll have to re-watch Provence because I really thought there was some slight reference to Chase. In last night’s show, there was no mistaking it. AB whipped out his Sapphire Card, with a smirk, in a restaurant that I can’t imagine takes plastic. Linh, his Vietnamese fixer/friend, even played along.

    I do kind of miss the thumb ring. He wore it well.

  18. Cindy says:

    Yeah, it was Brittany. Don’t ever rely on an old ladies memory.

  19. Lori says:

    In the begining of the Provence episode when they showed Tony walking through the field he had his thumb ring on.
    Karen, good luck I hope you do get to mix business with pleasure and get to drive up and see Tony at the college he will be at in September.
    As for his appearence here in MN next month, it was sold out so fast I could not obtain any tickets. He will be in a theatre that holds about 500 people too.

  20. catsworking says:

    Lori, good eyeballs! I don’t recall seeing that. Travel Channel probably airs episodes out of the order they were created if Tony and his crew had a harder time putting the finishing touches on. That may have been the case with Provence, so shows he filmed later and finished first bumped it back.

    If he or Ottavia are reading all these minute observations, they realize that people are watching NR under a microscope!

  21. Bob says:

    Oh Lordy!!! Like Tony and Ottavia think his fans are sane to begin with. Now they will know that we, I ment they…Yea they are total nutbars!

  22. Imabear says:

    I saw the thumb ring in the Provence episode too! I also noticed that his hair is shorter in the Vietnam ep than in Provence (or so it looked) which makes me think they don’t televise in the same order they film.

  23. Bob says:

    That would be cool if it’s true.

  24. catsworking says:

    Bob, you’ve been April Fooled. Bourdain never “had” Les Halles, and he has said many times he would NEVER dream of owning a restaurant. Why give up what he’s got now to be chained to a building 24/7?

    And live on the West Coast? Not in a million years.

    Good sleuthing, Cindy, as usual!

  25. Bob says:

    Yes, that’s why I said it would be cool if true.

    So I guess I half fell for it. Good One Cindy!!

  26. Imabear says:

    This is a bit off topic but I wanted to mention it since it’s sort or Tony related. There is a story in today’s Los Angeles Times on Alice Waters. They quote several critics and include Tony’s Kmer-Rouge comment. Here is a link to the story.,0,3120516.story

    A couple of her comments do seem to scream elitism. She says that people need to get over the idea of food being cheap. She overlooks the fact that for some people cheap food is the only alternative. And for the vast majority of us, food needs/has to be affordable. She also mentions In&Out, a Southern California icon in hamburgers which I know Tony likes. she said she’d rather eat at a street cart in Sicily. Well, who wouldn’t?!?!?

  27. catsworking says:

    Thanks for that link, Imabear. I think the term “space cadet” was coined to describe Alice Waters. Sure, when the Amish take over the world, we’ll all grow our own and eat local.

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