Rome + Bourdain = La Dolce Vita

August 16, 2010

By Karen

No Reservations is in Rome tonight. Don’t miss it. Period. It’s that good.

Yes, it is filmed in black and white with some subtitles, but they’re sprinkled like condiments, not the main course. The food gets hints of color.

Bourdain fears that fans will hate his foray into Federico Fellini’s style, but if you’ve ever enjoyed a Fellini film, you’ll get it. Tony is justifiably proud of the result and blogged at length about how they achieved it.

Rome is now on my short list of episodes, along with Venice and his very first one in Paris, that I could watch again and again. Bourdain, in suits and ties throughout, channels Marcello Mastroianni, and Ottavia appears in two scenes, the quintessentially earthy Italian. She deftly deflates his ego as only she can, even though she tweeted at the time that she was ill and off her game.

Travel Channel used one of the lamer moments for this promo which, for some reason, WordPress isn’t letting me post, even after repeated attempts, so here’s the link.

This show reminded me why I fell in love with NR in the beginning, and wiped away the ugly memories of Dubai and Kerala.

Australian blogger Lorraine Elliott at Not Quite Nigella did a phone interview with Bourdain that’s the best I’ve seen in a long time. She managed to cover new ground, and Tony confirmed that his next book is a crime novel.

Blogger Cooking for Assholes was thrilled to find himself “validated” by Bourdain during Lorraine’s interview. Look for his August 11 post; they don’t seem to have separate addresses.

Dallas Observer interviewed John Tesar, chef at Dallas Fish Market, and asked about Bourdain’s drinking habits. Calling Tony “Flaco,” Tesar said Tony never passes out, and throwing up is against his religion.

The Show Girl at TVSquad spoke to “Iron Chef” Michael Symon about Bourdain (she’s totally annoying, but it’s mercifully the first clip), and Symon good-naturedly said some catty things about our Tony.

Cats Working reader Morgan found a lengthy November 2002 Q&A with Bourdain in the Washington Post. I don’t remember ever seeing it, but it accompanied publication of A Cook’s Tour and is vintage Bourdain.


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