Bourdain is Moving On

February 22, 2017

By Karen

Finally catching up on Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, I watched the Rome episode the other night. Must admit I preferred his highly stylized black-and-white visit on No Reservations, but that’s not to say Parts Unknown is lacking. There has been something in every episode that grabs me in some way.

But what I didn’t catch in Rome was any vibe between Tony and the woman he spent a lot of air time with, Asia Argento. In hindsight, the scene of Tony in a grocery store with Asia and her two kids should have tipped me off. You have to be totally ga-ga about someone to tag along on that chore — with kids.

Anyway, Page Six and People just made it official. They’re an item. “Bourgento”? Asia is 41, Italian, divorced, tatted, and her Wikipedia entry lists her as an “actress, director, singer, model, DJ, writer.” A real Renaissance woman.

bourdain-argento-pagesix-gettyimages

Page Six – Getty Images

Did I mention she bears some resemblance to pre-MMA Ottavia?

If Tony’s happy, I’m happy, although I was hoping for someone age-appropriate. But we did see him bounce around after his first marriage with a few unlikely chicks before he fell for Ottavia, so I’ll still hold out hope for Nigella Lawson.

And now that I know he had something going on in Rome, that scene in the London episode of Nigella cooking Tony breakfast takes on new significance. I didn’t rewind to double-check, but was he wearing the same clothes from the night before, or was it my wishful thinking?

On the other hand, knowing how scenes get juxtaposed in the final cut, I’ll give Tony the benefit of the doubt that he and Nigella are still “just good friends.”

Bourdain recently gave an extensive interview to the New Yorker, for which author Patrick Radden Keefe deserves kudos for exhaustive research. (Note: This is the same piece I linked to as a must-read in the comments on an earlier post.)

Keefe gathered input from Nigella, Tony’s buddy Eric Ripert, brother Chris, and a host of others, including Ottavia. But the biggest coup was comments from first wife Nancy, who has been silent and elusive since the Bourdains divorced in 2005. Keefe reveals that Tony wrote to Nancy after he had a health scare while vacationing alone in France.

As always, Bourdain is pursuing myriad projects, including plans for Bourdain Market at Pier 57 in New York City, and popping up everywhere. Also, Bourdain and Ripert teamed with Williams-Sonoma to sell the limited-edition Good & Evil chocolate bar again. I think the price dropped from $18 to $12.95.

We original Cats Working Bourdainiacs have watched Tony achieve a level of fame where he makes the AOL homepage whenever he disses Donald Trump. I’m sharing just a few tidbits that have been highlights for me.

BONUS: Here’s an interesting in-depth analysis by Maria Bustillos for Eater of Bourdain’s three early novels and how they may have reflected the real Bourdain back in the days before his TV fame.


Tony (Bourdain) Trivia: Part 2

July 2, 2008

By Karen

More poking around to find out what makes Anthony Bourdain tick yielded some interesting results:

In March, he was interviewed while filming No Reservations in Uruguay and explained the kinder, gentler demeanor we’ve been seeing. (This was translated electronically from Spanish, so it’s phrased strangely):

“I believe that now I am less angry and pardon a little more. I imagine that I am just a little bit going to be gentle, and I would like to think that I will be less disagreeable and revolting, but I doubt too much to it. (laughter)”

A treasure-trove of Tony trivia is on eGullet forums, where he posted 759 times. When asked if his first wife Nancy inspired the hero’s wife, “Frances,” in his novel, Gone Bamboo, he replied, “I guess you could say there are definitely some similarities.”

Very flattering for Nancy. Frances was virtually Wonder Woman – gorgeous and sexy, too.

But this comment might have been closer to their true relationship:

On a Harper’s Bazaar piece on “Sexy Chefs”: “Total bullshit – and they know it. They could easily have peeked just a little bit deeper and had an interesting story but chose – as usual in such pieces – to basically stick with the generally perceived wisdom – that chefs are just basically hot – and that it must be dreamy to be hooked up with one. As any chef – or chef’s significant other will tell you – that’s far from the truth.”

I wonder if he still loves making this dish, since Ottavia declared his caponata “disgusting” in Tuscany and he’s since said she doesn’t think much of his Italian cooking:

“I do love making a simple Spaghetti à la Chitarra with Pommodoro. For some reason it makes me happy – particularly when I add that finishing shot of olive oil at the end and the pasta sucks up the last of the sauce and sits up pretty on the plate.”


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