“No Reservations” Season 7: Bourdain is Back

February 28, 2011

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.


Bourdain’s on the Road Again

January 11, 2010

By Karen

Season 6 of Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations begins tonight in Panama. I saw it online last week and exclaimed almost immediately, “WTF! He got another one??!!

I’m talking tattoo — BIG tattoo — right forearm. Then his left forearm. They kept appearing and disappearing, keeping my eyes glued to them.

Their presence was explained by the end of the episode, but they sure wreaked havoc on continuity.

Season 6’s promo theme is, “Which will it be? Nice Tony or Evil Tony?” Is that supposed to allay fears that Bourdain’s gone soft?

His Web site got a face-lift and they managed to reformat the episode schedule to make it utterly useless. (Thumbs up on the season recaps, though.)

On January 9, Tony spoke in Lowell, Mass. Cats Working reader Cindy found this pre-show phone interview. Tony’s appearing on Ariane’s favorite show, Yo Gabba Gabba.

The profane Anthony Bourdain doing children’s TV. What next? An F-bomb-spewing Vic Chanko puppet on Sesame Street?

Tony is in Calgary, Canada, on January 12. The Calgary Herald got an e-mail interview.

On the 13th, Bourdain’s speaking in Santa Rosa, California. The Press Democrat phoned him and Tony confided a “grudging respect” for — are you ready? — Guy Fieri. He also said they plan to shoot NR in Rome in black and white with subtitles, like a Fellini film.

This coming weekend, he’ll be barefoot on the sands of Seven Mile Beach at the Cayman Cookout, but apparently not before accepting his Person of the Year honor in San Francisco January 14 at the Tasty Awards, hob-nobbing with Meryl Streep, who won an Outstanding Performance award for her amazing portrayal of Julia Child.

The Daily Fork gave Tony only honorable mention on its annual list of sexiest culinary celebs, while the burger-blowing Padma Lakshmi from Top Chef made #5. Must be a guy thing.

Tony discussed his evolving fan base before his appearance in Lakeland, Florida, on January 8. I like to think he oh-so-obliquely acknowledged the existence of the Cats Working ladies.

Blog of New Orleans scored an advance interview before Bourdain’s January 7 appearance there and somehow managed to make it dull.

Tony was in Portland, Maine, January 2 – in a snowstorm – eating seafood for a NR episode set to air April 12.

Bangor Daily News reported Bourdain enjoying hot dogs and beans in Milo, hometown of crew member Zach. They said Tony’s next stop is Cuba.

I’ve got to quit now. His January travel schedule has my head spinning, and he’s still got a few more stops to make.


Tracking Tony: The Latest on Anthony Bourdain

June 2, 2009

By Karen

Anthony Bourdain spent at least 3 days last week on the West Coast, doing an appearance every night. His first stop was De Anza Community College in Cupertino, CA, and he did an advance phone interview with the San Jose Mercury from New York, revealing that a return to Beirut is definitely on tap for Season 6 of No Reservations, and his wish list includes Iran, the Congo, China, the highlands of Vietnam and Cambodia, Prague, and Rome.

Got Shares? saw Bourdain’s presentation and confirmed that Tony, so soon after his relatively cordial brush with Alice Waters, still didn’t hesitate to take his usual dump on the Queen of Organic Eating while standing virtually at her doorstep.

Blogger Brian Underwood at Bay Area Bites was also in the audience, and describes a fan who kept yelling during Tony’s talk, until Bourdain challenged him to come up on stage. The guy did, and revealed a tattoo of Bourdain’s face on his entire right thigh. Underwood said Bourdain seemed a combination of “flattered and mortified,” as he added his autograph to the young man’s leg.

I haven’t found anything noteworthy to share about Tony’s trek to Portland, OR, on May 29. Everyone must have behaved themselves.

UPDATE: I take that last paragraph back. Here’s a good account of his appearance in Portland. He gave that audience more time (2 hours total) than he usually does. And, again, he didn’t spare Alice Waters.

Tony was also interviewed by the Seattle Times by phone before his date with Mario Batali there on May 30.

And on the day of his Seattle appearance, he was seen hanging around outside a Mexican restaurant by someone who reported the sighting to My Ballard. No one seems to know if he lunched there or not.

Erin Crabb took forbidden photos in the auditorium in Seattle for Whrrl, and her punishment was that Bourdain and Batali came out as indistinguishable specks on stage. However, the poster outside the venue is definitely suitable for framing.

Aidan Brooks provides a clip of an early Bourdain special called Decoding Ferran Adrià and makes an interesting point about Tony’s writing process and how his eloquence seems to improve with time.

But the best news I heard all week was that new episodes of Season 5 of No Reservations will resume on the Travel Channel July 30.


My Personal Bourdain Dilemma

November 26, 2008

By Karen

But first, Cats Working’s latest tidbits about our favorite bad boy chef:

Les Halles in Washington, DC, has closed and news reports were calling it the “brainchild” of Anthony Bourdain, which must amuse him. I thought he just worked in the New York branch, which remains open.

No Reservations’ producers have apparently abandoned all attempts at censorship because here’s another highly detailed account of one of Tony’s stops in the Philippines.

Speaking of censorship, I just learned that his failed special, At the Table, was quickly yanked from YouTube. Were they trying to cleanse the ‘Net of the stench of failure?

I came across a forgotten answer to this burning question: If Tony had still been with Nancy instead of Ottavia, would he have gotten that skull tattoo on his right shoulder for Miami Ink? He answers it himself at the end of Kitchen Confidential:

“My wife, blessedly, has stayed with me through all of it, the late nights, the coming home drunk, my less than charming tendency not to pay any attention at all to her…. A few months back, in a moment of admittedly misguided solidarity with my heavily decorated kitchen crew, I got a tattoo, a reasonably tasteful headhunter’s band around my upper arm. Nancy, however, was on record as finding skin art about as attractive as ringworm; she took it, not unreasonably, as a personal affront. She was mightily pissed off, and still is, for that matter…but she still wakes up next to me every morning, laughs at my jokes on occasion and helpfully points out when I’m being an asshole.”

And now, my personal Bourdain dilemma: There’s An Evening with Anthony Bourdain in Durham, North Carolina, on February 19, 2009. I’m afraid it’s as close as he’ll ever come to Richmond, Virginia. It would involve many hours of driving over possibly treacherous winter roads, taking 2 days off because I’d have to spend the night, and getting someone to feed the cats. Tickets are available. Dare I go?

P.S. For all you Bourdainiacs who can’t get enough, the Travel Channel is running a No Reservations marathon from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (ET) Friday, November 28.


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