This week’s No Reservations is another special. The production team had a team track them as they filmed the recent episode in Kerala, India. I found this behind-the-scenes look much more interesting and entertaining than finished product. You’ll see Tony not just as “the talent,” but as senior gang member.
His crew has an endearing sense of humor and loyalty to the cause. Now I want to revisit Bourdain’s previous book, No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach, where he wrote about them extensively, because now I feel as if I might relate better.
UPDATE to UPDATE: I was right the first time. Bourdain is going to be a guest judge on Top Chef on September 1, not in Singapore on September 8. This season really could use an infusion of his wit. And I learned from judge Eric Ripert’s video recap of last week’s episode that they cut probably the best moment — him spitting out a cheftestant’s toxic gray tuna tartare.
I found a thought-provoking post on the Jawa Report about Bourdain’s visit to Saudi Arabia and what it accomplished — not. (Remember, the one where Danya won his fan contest?) Bourdain was faulted for not delving into that (or any other) culture’s ugly underbelly. But he’s no investigative reporter or diplomat, and I think for him to do so could have terrible consequences for the innocent people who host him.
Jessica Wong at CBCNews in Toronto is seeking reader questions before Bourdain appears on September 22 at Ryerson University. She gave her own list, and it’s so well-worn, if there’s any chance she’ll be talking to him, I suggest she do her homework. Like maybe watch an episode or two of NR and at least skim Medium Raw.
On the other hand, Katharine Shilcutt with the Houston Press blog, Eating Our Words, did an excellent phone interview with Bourdain before his appearance there on September 20. He seemed in good spirits and mentions that he hopes to go to Cuba with Zamir around New Year’s for No Reservations‘ next season, and he’s already picked the show’s theme.
Evan S. Benn of stltoday.com in St. Louis also interviewed Bourdain before his October 1 appearance there. Tony tells why he’ll never tweet, and mentions some other places NR might visit in Season 7, which he says they’re deliberately trying to make “very difficult” to challenge themselves and keep it fresh.
Here’s a video interview with Lauren Ezersky of Better about Medium Raw. I give Bourdain points for keeping a straight face.