“No Reservations” Season 7: Bourdain is Back

By Karen

The long drought is over. Anthony Bourdain travels to Haiti, where he meets Sean Penn trying to help the people recover from the earthquake. Travel Channel’s Room214 is MIA, so I didn’t get a sneak peak, but here’s the promo…

BONUS: Tony will be tweeting live @NoReservations during the episode. And remember, the new time slot is 9 p.m. ET.

The Bourdains just attended the South Beach Wine & Food Festival and returned to Miami Ink (where Tony got his skull tattoo and we got our first glimpse of Ottavia). This time, they got matching body art — a hissing snake. The Daily Mail published a great series of photos. And here’s a brief video of Tony under the needle.

All I can say is, when you can’t check out your wife’s new tat without your reading specs, you’re probably too old to be doing that stuff.

Rolf Potts at Gadling did a masochistic experiment to go “Around the World in 80 Hours (of Travel TV)” by watching Travel Channel. I only mention it because he ends his 5-part blog series discussing the NR Tex/Mex episode and how Bourdain personifies how good the Travel Channel could be (if it weren’t such a commercial-riddled crap-fest).

According to this Delaware Online recap, Tony outed himself himself as a cat person in Wilmington on the 22nd. Good work, Lupetto (Bourdain’s cat) and thank you! That should get certain felines around here who think my Bourdain posts make me a blog hog off my back.

During the Boston Phoenix interview about the NR episode Tony recently filmed there and his upcoming March 4 appearance with Eric Ripert, Tony called B.R. Myers “the asshole in the Atlantic,” while conceding that his anti-foodie article was well-written. Well, DUH! Myers quoted Tony.

The Dallas Observer thinks Jamie’s Food Escapes with Jamie Oliver on Cooking Channel may give Bourdain some stiff competition. The travel/food format is similar, but Jamie also cooks. If you want to check it out, it’s on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET.

And now, Top Chef All-Stars

Paula Deen took Tony’s place for last week’s Southern cooking challenges, which was probably a blessing. Tony declared North Carolina BBQ his favorite in the March issue of Budget Travel for its “purity” of being seasoned only with vinegar, salt, and pepper.

I’ve eaten a lot of NC BBQ living here in the South, and more often than not, its only saving grace is that big bottle of red BBQ sauce on the table because it’s so dry, you need lots of lubrication to choke it down.

Anyway, mustard was the undoing of one of my favorites, Dale. Now only Carla and Tiffany are left, although Tiffany has started to annoy me and I’ve developed soft spots for Antonia and Richard.

Mike is another story. Talk about your stereotypical Jersey scumbag (apologies to Morgan!). A few weeks ago, he shared his aversion to helping his competition, but he topped that in the latest Quickfire by hijacking a chicken oyster idea Richard had shared with him. Even worse, he WON $5K and, with a big smirk, gave Richard credit for “inspiring” him.

With that, Mike joined the ranks of every unscrupulous creep who has ever not deserved to win a reality show, beginning with Richard Hatch on Survivor: Season 1.

Thank God Richard prevailed by winning the Elimination Challenge and a trip to Barbados.

Tony didn’t blog for Bravo last week because he was at the SoBe Festival, but Bravo claimed a few days later that he was in Connecticut. Now I’m wondering if Tony’s messing with them by lying about his whereabouts. (He was speaking in Connecticut the night Top Chef aired on the 23rd, but probably didn’t get back to his hotel in time to see it.)

Max Silvestri wrote another great recap on Eater.

A new satiric series called Foodies is coming to the Web March 9 at www.freefoodies.com. It looks interesting, and I’ve marked my calendar to check it out.

16 Responses to “No Reservations” Season 7: Bourdain is Back

  1. melissa saner says:

    So just got back from miami today…tony was in fine form as usual…on stage with a PBR, ick haha…he showed off he and ottavia’s matching tattoos and had a few people go up on stage to ask him questions from the wheel…one chick called him andrew was pretty funny. good times.

  2. adele says:

    It’s hard to say I loved the NR Haiti show, since it showed such devastation, but AB should be very proud of that episode. Aside from taking us to beautiful locales, NR exposes us to world situations we’d never see — at least not exactly the same way. I hope the Travel Channel continues to appreciate this for as long as Tony wants to do it.

    And to speak of happier tropical climes, glad you had a good time in SoBE, Melissa. Any other gossip or food experiences you’d like to report?

  3. cheray smith says:

    Adele, I absolutely agree with you. The NR Haiti show was very impressive. Usually when I watch any TV program, I forget about it the second it’s over. This has stayed with me – can’t stop thinking about those hungry children.

    I watched it this morning, downloaded from Torrent since the Canadian Bravo channel has stopped showing NR – not even the year old reruns. Instead of something worthwhile like this, they would rather show their usual CRAP.

    Tony and the Travel Channel should be very proud of this one!

  4. catsworking says:

    I agree with everybody that Bourdain’s visit to Haiti was one of his better efforts. During the commercial break after he showed the crafts, I rummaged through my collection of wooden cats because I knew I’d bought one in Haiti when I visited Labadee for a day, a remote, beautiful strip of land there that I believe Royal Caribbean International leases from Haiti.

    (Aside: Royal Caribbean caught a lot of grief right after the earthquake for its ships continuing to make calls there, like, “How can you dump those ugly Americans on the beaches for vacation while the people are suffering?” But the Haitians wanted the port calls to continue because it was one of the only chances they had to sell their crafts, and the RCI megaships also brought quantities of supplies for the people, and continue to do so now.)

    Anyway, my Haitian cat turned out to be the largest and heaviest one of all. I bought it in 2002, and I remember my traveling companion haggled with the Haitian over his $6 asking price (because that’s what this guy did). My friend got the man down to $4, but had him almost in tears. So when I paid him, I gave him $6. This was long before the earthquake, but the people were in dire straits then and needed every penny.

    The people are almost too nice for their own good. Someone who tweeted Bourdain last night asked why we pour money down rat holes that harbor terrorists like Iraq and Afghanistan, when Haiti just needs somebody to give it a chance.

  5. adele says:

    I was having router problems, so I couldn’t bring my laptop into the living room to watch the live tweets, but I really want to read The Comedians now. I seem to vaguely recall that there was a movie of The Comedians, maybe starring Richard Burton, but the locale was changed to a country in Africa — I’ll have to check.

    The artwork really blew me away as did the Haitians compulsion to make art no matter what. I’m very drawn to some of it, and I’ve been to a couple of gallery shows of Haitian paintings. Some humanitarian big-time art dealer should go there, get a bunch of stuff, and do sales here, turning the proceeds back to the Haitian artists. Basquiat’s graffiti art sells for thousands, so there’s a market. A drop in the bucket, I know, but still. . .

  6. zappa says:

    You’ve triggered an Ugly American memory.I was in a desperately poor village in Oaxaca,Mexico looking at some very pretty,simply made silver jewelry.The young woman selling it had an infant wearing a newspaper for a diaper.As I reached for a pair of earrings,a braying,puffy midwesterner slobbered,”two bucks??? I’ll give you ONE dollar for this!” I looked over my shoulder and he was waving around a bracelet with one hand while no shit scratching his crotch with the other.Come to think of it,he might have been from Winnepeg.

  7. catsworking says:

    ZM, the only thing worse than an ugly American is an ugly Canadian. 😉

    PS to my story on buying the Haitian cat: I was mortified by the whole incident, and embarrassed to even be there, a fat American from a gleaming cruise ship. As we were walking away, my friend (who was from Europe) told me I was a sucker to give the man what he asked, saying something like, “That’s their game. They all act destitute.”

    Haiti is only place I know of in the Caribbean where cruise ships call but don’t offer shore excursions inland because they don’t want passengers to see how miserable the living conditions are. Not to mention the liability issues that could arise from unloading busloads of crotch-scratching rubes in their designer polo shirts with expensive cameras around their necks and their wives festooned with gold chains and garish rings on every finger. It would be like throwing bloody chum to sharks, as Tony discovered when he tried to buy some people a meal. Not that they’re evil. They’re desperate.

    Jamaica was another place I was ashamed to visit for quite a few years because of the poverty. But that’s another story.

  8. cheray smith says:

    Speaking as a proud Canadian (most of the time), I have to admit that we have more than our share of ignorant, pompous, fat-cats too. I’ve cringed more than once when vacationing overseas or in the Caribbean. I’ve even been deeply ashamed while skiing in the province of Quebec to listen to the way my fellow countrymen (french) were treating American tourists (mostly families on holiday with their children) who were spending their hard earned dollars and enhancing our economy.

    Bad manners are bad manners no matter who or where you are.

    And you guys have CHARLIE SHEEN!!! That pillar of good taste!!!

    Sorry folks….I just could not resist….

  9. catsworking says:

    cheray, Zappa’s Mom and I were not-so-fondly remembering a certain Canadian who got his introduction to blogging on Cats Working, moved on, and has slowed devolved into spewing cyber-porn.

    But you’re right. Every nationality has its “Uglies.” I remember once having dinner with a Norwegian who said he could pick out every other Norwegian in the room. I asked how. He said, “Because they look the dumbest.”

    This wasn’t true, by the way.

    Charlie Sheen has left sanity in the dust. Thank God his wife was able to get the kids away from him and his brainless harem.

  10. cheray smith says:

    That last comment was purely tongue-in-cheek. Living on the US/Canadian border, some of my favourite people are Americans – some of my least favourite people are Canadians.

    This week no one can resist a Charlie Sheen shot.

    Who was it who said that computer keyboards need a “sarcasm” key?

  11. MorganLF says:

    Zappa your mom is a pisser. The poverty in Jamaica where I honeymooned was depressing. I remember all the resorts beaches,and so forth, then one day we took a tour of what was advertised as an historical old plantation and plantation home in the Blue Mountains.

    We got off the bus to see a once beautiful antebellum manor home badly in need of paint and plaster. Weedy lawns and barely furnished. What struck me was in the once grand dining room that was so sparsely furnished, the ornamentation was a Perrier bottle with a few flowers stuffed into it. The tour guide seemed ashamed.

    It bummed me out so badly I had to lighten my mood with some most excellent ganja!

  12. zappa says:

    All apologies,Cheray.”Winnepeg” is a reference to a truly vile,loathesome,mouthbreathing male biped that would be a shitstain on humanity regardless of what his passport says.

    Aaaahh,Morgan…the good old days!!


  13. adele says:

    Charlie Sheen is something to be proud of; isn’t he? He denies being bi-polar, because he’s never “down,” but I think he’s one of those rare types, who stays in the manic phase almost all the time. All those “tigerblood” and being his own drug statements make me believe that he’s utterly slipped the bonds of reality. It’s amazing that he was able to focus enough to do a TV show — which I’ve never watched, so I have no idea how well he did it, but I know it was very popular. President Josiah Bartlett must be so proud.

  14. catsworking says:

    Now that we’re talking about Charlie Sheen, I saw most, if not all, of his 3 interviews on the Today Show. His mannerisms reminded me of Michael J. Fox when he doesn’t take his meds. No offense intended at Fox — he makes sense when he talks. Sheen was bobbing and weaving all over the place, and it really did seem like a chemical situation gone awry. I have no doubt one day we’ll wake up to headlines that he was found dead, either from an overdose or suicide. I hope he’s added Bambi I and II to his will.

    Switching gears…

    Jamaica: The first few times I went there, they greeted ship passengers like criminals being released from jail. You’d have to walk through a building, then cross a wide courtyard surrounded by a chain-link fence. I always felt like I could be taking a bullet in the back at any minute.

    Once outside the fence, destitute Jamaicans, a lot of mothers holding babies, would be lined up on the sidewalk, held back by the police. It was totally unsettling.

    And I remember once being on a bus going somewhere, and we passed some Jamaicans on the side of the road, standing in a puddle with a car. Our driver pointed them out and said, “That’s a Jamaican car wash!”

  15. cheray smith says:

    On the subject of poverty…

    Years ago, while taking an excursion from a cruise ship, the stop was Caracas….I was excited to visit as I had never visited South America. Once off the ship, there was a lengthy drive in a cab of about an hour through mountains. All along this road, there were huts clinging to the hillsides made from cardboard boxes, old Pepsi signs, whatever the poor inhabitants could scrounge. These were miniature cities with people wandering aimlessly…children with no clothes. I cannot describe to you how awful it was. No hurricane or earthquake was responsible for these conditions. Corrupt government and uncaring human beings were at fault.

    I began to question the cab driver. He was scornful of these poor souls, saying that they never got out of this cycle of poverty and many could not learn because they were so malnourished. The children did not go to school. They had distended bellys.

    When we finally arrived in Caracas, we saw many wealthy people in expensive cars, wearing the latest fashions, covered in jewelry. Very few (what we would consider) “middle class”. Only wealthy citizens and unspeakably poor.

    I could never bring myself to visit another South American country.

  16. catsworking says:

    I’ll never forget the first time I visited St. Maarten back in 1988. This was before it cared about tourism. I walked down the main drag on the Dutch side and was absolutely appalled at the poverty (and that we were dumped off there to rub the people’s noses in our comparative affluence). There was a little school and the kids were outside for recess. People were hanging over the fence snapping pictures of them like they were animals in a zoo. It was disgusting.

    I have traveled pretty extensively in the Caribbean by ship, so I haven’t had extended stays anywhere, but I’ve been to several islands MANY times and have seen a lot. It’s part of the reason I get so irked by these TV shows where well-fed foodies bitch about trivialities.

    And I could start another blog devoted to the boorish behavior of American tourists who go abroad only to close their eyes and see nothing and let nothing touch them or change them in any way. They just buy a T-shirt to give themselves bragging rights to being “world travelers” back home.

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