Bourdain to Curtail Road Trips

By Karen

Anthony Bourdain’s hard heart melts at his daughter Ariane’s tears whenever he leaves on yet another personal appearance marathon, so he’s severely curtailing his gigs in the future. I’ve only found 3 more through 2011, and 2 of those are with Eric Ripert.

It’s not that interest in Tony as a speaker is waning (although he plans to develop a lot of new material). Last night he sold out the 1,250-seat Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto, Calif. In fact, he broke the record for selling out faster and sooner than anybody, so Gallo held a video simulcast to the overflow crowd for the first time ever.

The rest of us have one more week until Season 7 of No Reservations begins in Haiti. Here’s Travel Channel’s promo clip.

To verify last week’s contention that Travel Channel is dissing Tony, last Friday night watching Ghost Adventures, I timed Bourdain and Zimmern’s commercials from 7:30 – 10 p.m. with a stopwatch. Here are the results:

Bourdain 4 spots 1:30
Zimmern 6 spots 3:00

Zimmern got one full-minute ad, Bourdain didn’t, and all but one of Zimmern’s ads were at least 30 seconds long. Overall, it felt like Zimmern was in my face all night.

Palm Springs Metromix got an interview with Tony before his February 19 Palm Desert appearance, and he mentioned the possibility of Zamir getting a spinoff series.

And last week Tony returned to judge Top Chef All-Stars

We need a new word for “ridiculous” after last week’s elimination challenge. The cheftestants were forced to raid a closed Target to assemble complete cooking workstations from store merchandise and prepare meals for 100 employees by 3 a.m.

Bourdain paid tribute to the utter absurdity of the situation by showing up in a sweater he picked up at Mr. Rogers’ estate sale.

In the end, Angelo went home for over-salting potato soup, after Dale skated by on the same offense the week before.

The rationale was that Dale’s saltiness was merely annoying, where Angelo’s was lethal. I think tastebuds were destroyed.

I’m not sticking up for Angelo. I never liked him and I was glad he went. But the judges took us one step closer to the no-time, no-food challenge so they can pick the winner based on what he/she might have cooked.

And then Padma got uncharacteristically feisty when Mike mistakenly asserted his soup contained “fresh coconut milk.” She repeated, “Fresh?” as if everybody knows you can’t get fresh tropical produce at Target.

Gee, Padma, maybe Mike was a tad confused after running a marathon all night on no sleep, feeding an army with crappy portable appliances on a folding table. He’d have spent all his time draining coconuts if he could have.

Padma’s misplaced aggression probably arose from the sting of Sesame Street Muppet Elmo’s “TMI!” when she tried to tell him where cinnamon and cardamom come from.

But the night’s true douche moment was Colicchio and Bourdain’s reaction to learning Tiffany used creole seasoning in her jambalaya.

“You used a PREPARED seasoning?” A spice BLEND? From a JAR?”

Oh, Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! The unspeakable horror… dried herbs. Mixed TOGETHER!

McCormick, Mrs. Dash, and Emeril, there’s a special corner in hell waiting just for you.

Tony, back from his “overseas hiatus” in Pennsylvania, blogged for Bravo about Angelo’s downfall.

Later, defending the judges’ decisions in a post-show interview with Entertainment Weekly’s PopWatch, Bourdain heaped praise on Colicchio, lest anyone forget he’s an American treasure…

“Tom Colicchio is a giant of the industry. He changed the world of cooking…. He’s a one man Rushmore.”

Now, readers, raise your hand if you’d ever heard of Tom Colicchio before Top Chef, and name one thing he’s said or done that has changed the way you cook.

Just one…

Coming up empty? Me, too. This is the sort of cliquish foodie-with-head-up-ass statement that makes people like B.R. Myers write nasty things about foodies.

To top it off, Eric Ripert tweeted that he’s never been in Target, and wonders how someone could even prepare Top Chef-worthy cuisine from ingredients purchased there. Take that, Middle America. I wonder if Ripert has Target confused with 7-Eleven?

In Top Chef recaps…

BestWeekEverTV did it with great illustrations.

And Max Silvestri at Eater was hilarious, as always.

We end on some disappointing news…

Tony blogged that his new graphic novel, Get Jiro, is looking great, but publication has been pushed off to some time in 2012. No reason given.

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11 Responses to Bourdain to Curtail Road Trips

  1. zappa says:

    I think AB would be great on PBS with the current formula.30 minutes,travel,back home to your own kitchen to cook.Have your cool chefbuds(all of whom have shows on PBS already) drop by to help cook.Tony is good looking,sophisticated and engaging and is perhaps out growing the Travel Channel audience.

    Zappa’s mom

  2. catsworking says:

    ZM, I think you’re on to something. If Bourdain wants to retain his cred with the chef-loving crowd, he’s got to start cooking — at least a little.

    Except for that knucklehead Adam Richman, who probably attracts the same audience as NASCAR — yahoos slathering to see his heart hit the wall — TV longevity lies in cooking, not in eating.

    My sense is that Bourdain has gotten too old for Travel Channel. The new shows feature brash young men looking for thrills and extreme anything. Bourdain taking a cool stroll, sans leather jacket and cigarette, through some foreign open-air market is too tame.

    I could see him on a food-themed talk show, where he discusses trends with his chef buds and introduces up-and-coming talents. There could also be some cooking and eating. It would give him a perfect forum in which to spout off, which is what his fans want to see him do.

  3. adele says:

    ZM, I’m with you as well, when the time comes — as long as there’s some travel involved. Of course AB couldn’t swear as much, albeit that the Travel Channel bleeps him, but he’s such a wordsmith that he could get by without using George Carlin’s 7 (or was it 9?) forbidden words. On PBS, he could raise his level of discourse, and think of the viewers it would draw.

    I think I’ve mentioned that the first time I saw AB was on a PBS documentary about Typhoid Mary. A really good show, although all I could think was “Who is that man?”

  4. MorganLF says:

    ZM a long time ago when I first discovered Bourdain, I posted a mash note on his Travel Chanel blog and begged him to get a PBS gig, since the commercials on Travel Chanel were distracting.

    I also mentioned he appeared to be skilled in the manly arts (“hot in the rack”, I think was the direct quote). That was before we met Ottavia. Face it if Tony looked like Tom Collicchio we would not be as fascinated, although for a short bald man Colicchio does have some appeal. His restaurants are amazing.

  5. catsworking says:

    OK, but none of you guys are taking the bait. I want SOMEONE to tell me how Colicchio has changed the face of cooking and what justifies this “Mt. Rushmore” hyperbole. Amazing restaurants that .000001% of the population frequent don’t count.

    Granted, I’ll give Colicchio points for being a lot less repugnant than Zimmern, as short bald guys go. On the other hand, Zimmern doesn’t saddle himself in every episode with a bimbo.

    If Bourdain gets another show and it has a chat format, I don’t see travel being part of it. He’s been there, done that–TWICE where he reprised places he visited on A Cook’s Tour. Why would another network pay for him to make a third pass at the world?

  6. adele says:

    I still think that there could be some travel involved in a Bourdain PBS show. Maybe more US stuff, as he visited chefs from around the country, who did regional cooking, but I think the occasional far flung junket could be arranged. Avec Eric clearly has a much lower travel budget than NR, but he’s managed to visit Tuscany and Napa at least. And PBS did shell out a lot for the Batali/Bittman/Paltrow Spanish Road Trip; I loved seeing the scenes of Spain, but kept wishing that it was Batali and Bourdain — now that would have been a great series.

    I think Colicchio was very well known in NYC for years, having started at the Grammercy Tavern, then to a place called Mondrian and finally the Craft Franchise. Now he’s in L.A. and maybe Vegas. I’m sure he’s an excellent chef, and he is completely self-taught, using Jacques Pepin’s Technique as his primer. I don’t know how much national exposure he had before Top Chef, but I think he was known as a chefs’ chef. I realize that none of this explains why he was picked to host Top Chef, though I think he’s well-liked in the food community. Does anyone know if he has a cookbook out?

  7. zappa says:

    Colicchio is the only one with a Diet Coke commercial!

  8. catsworking says:

    Adele, Colicchio has written or helped to write several books other than Top Chef, as it turns out. Check this…

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=tom+colicchio

    And I’ll concede that perhaps he is considered a God by other chefs, but as for us “civilians,” my reaction to his influence is still “Meh.”

    Zappa, with Padma’s Hardee’s burgers and Tom’s Diet Coke, all they need is someone hawking fries to have a Value Meal! I nominate Bourdain, since the fries at Les Halles are supposed to be spectacular.

  9. melissa saner says:

    In miami now…i cant wait…too bad you could not be here, so nice and warm! I am never gonna want to go back to Albany haha

  10. catsworking says:

    Melissa, why don’t you just RUB IT IN???!!! 😉

    I saw Paula Deen in South Beach on the Today Show this morning. She said it was 80 degrees.

    In Virginia, it’s cool and rainy and so windy, they’re predicting we’ll lose power.

    Have a great time down there and tell us all about it when you get back!

  11. adele says:

    Yeah, Melissa, here in Chicago, it’s about 32 and cloudy with occasional snow — and I keep looking out on my street,but I don’t see any celebrity chefs, any burger bash tents . . .

    I look forward to hearing your report.

    Karen, I hope you don’t lose your power. Last night, I watched the weather channel for a minute, and they were showing a line of really terrible storms, along with tornadoes in the south. I’d hate to think of you and the crew sitting around playing scrabble by candlelight.

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