Bourdain Mugged by Yogi Bear for Emmy

August 23, 2010

By Karen

I planned to title this post, “2010 is the Year of Bourdain,” because his book, Medium Raw, continues to occupy bestseller lists, and because he won his first personal Emmy for writing the Prague episode of No Reservations.

But I was only half right.

Bourdain didn’t win the freaking Emmy. It went to PBS’ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.

Are they KIDDING? Even the title is boring!

With a new movie coming out later this year, 2010 is shaping up to be the Year of Yogi.

I’d have been happier if Tony lost to Buddha.

The Bourdains traveled to Los Angeles for the Emmy ceremony on August 21, and Ottavia was resplendent in a pale gray strapless Marchesa gown with beaded bodice. She tweeted that they skipped the red carpet but, from what I’ve seen, Ottavia would have mopped the rug with most of the women there. Don’t those ladies have mirrors?

Well, back to the day job…

This week on No Reservations Tony returns to Beirut to make the happy foodie show he intended in 2006 when he inadvertently got trapped as war broke out with Israel (and the show earned its first Emmy nom). This time, he stays in the same hotel and catches up with the same people.

Since it’s been a niggling annoyance with me lately, I watched this episode (thanks to Room214) with an eye on how they ate. Finger foods were picked up with bread. During the show’s last meal, one of Bourdain’s hosts even said that Lebanese don’t eat with their hands (except for foods Americans would also pick up) because they like to stay neat.

Last week’s black-and-white episode in Rome sparked a lot of controversy. ChowHound weighed in, and it wasn’t good. Apparently, some of Tony’s fans have no tolerance whatsoever for the absence of color. Their loss. They’ve essentially slammed the door on Hollywood’s heyday and greatest stars.

On the other hand, Phoodie.info in Philadelphia loved it.

September 6, Travel Channel plans a No Res marathon, with a new special called “What Were They Thinking” airing right before the Paris episode. (Note: CinemaBlend says No Res has been on for 15 years; it first aired in 2005.)

To further set the record straight, you’ll see all over the Internet that NR is in Season 7 or 8. According to Room214, we’re still in Season 6 (I specifically asked). As always, thank Travel Channel for pulling air dates out of their ass so nobody knows what’s what.

If you happen to be in Edinburgh, Scotland, on August 28, Tony is making an appearance at the International Book Festival.

He’s back on the road in the U.S. with a vengeance in September, with many personal appearances until around Thanksgiving (I’m seeing him myself in Washington, DC, in November).

Tony gave a phone interview to the Sacramento Press before his appearance there on September 17.

How226 published a surprisingly high-quality forbidden video of Bourdain speaking in Santa Cruz about Gordon Ramsay. If you’ve never seen Tony in person, it’s a good sampling of his off-the-cuff speaking style.


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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