In late October, I traveled to Lisbon to make a 13-day transatlantic crossing to Miami on Royal Caribbean’s ship, Vision of the Seas. My plan was to get away from it ALL — job, litterboxes, useless Congress (and Obama), never-ending disasters, premature Christmas (that one didn’t work out at all, the Caribbean was already decorated). I just wanted to reboot.
But one thing I couldn’t leave behind — Anthony Bourdain. He was EVERYWHERE.
Not that I complain. Long-time readers know Cats Working has a history with Tony & Assoc. And other travelers with only a passing interest wouldn’t have even noticed how he dogged their every step (through no fault of his own, I must add — he has people for that now).
Bourdain has certainly hit critical mass, and then some. The Richmond, Newark, Miami, and Atlanta airports all had their big-screen TVs tuned to CNN.
They might as well have been showing the Cartoon Network, but let me not digress.
During every commercial break (they’re numerous) were Parts Unknown commercials and outtakes, especially for the season finale in Detroit.
In United’s and Delta’s in-flight magazines, I found his caricature and mentions in several places.
I caught him on TV at my hotel in Lisbon.
In my cabin on the ship, in mid-freaking-ocean, I channel-surfed to a rerun of No Res on ship’s TV where he visited St. Vincent and Bequia in the Grenadines. This struck me as ironic, since Bourdain expresses only disdain for cruise travel.
So, I tell people I took this vacation alone, but Bourdain might as well have been in my suitcase.
In other news…
Thanks to my new DVR, I’ve been collecting all of A Cook’s Tour and I’m closing in on the last episode I need, “My Life as a Cook.” Sitting on the DVR yet to be watched is Tony’s first episode ever, “A Taste of Tokyo.”
I’m actually enjoying A Cook’s Tour more than Parts Unknown because it’s pre-jaded Tony. At times, he reacts to strange dishes like Andrew Zimmern used to, before Zimmern anointed himself mini-Bourdain.
Today, there seems to be nothing revolting enough to make Tony turn a hair. The thrill is gone.
If you follow Tony on Twitter, you know he’s taken up Brazilian jiu jitsu with his wife and daughter, and recently earned his first stripe on his white belt.
Personally, if I had a husband, and he were on the cusp of geezerhood, and he told me he was taking up wrestling, I’d brain him with a skillet.
In case you’re interested, Gothamist did a nice job of covering some new ground with Tony and his relationship with movies, before he appeared on Dec. 11 with filmmaker Albert Maysles at the Society for Ethical Culture in NYC.
And mark your calendar. Season 2 of Tony’s cooking competition, The Taste, begins Jan. 2. Nigella Lawson and Ludo Lefebvre are back, and they’ve replaced Brian Malarkey with Marcus Samuelsson as a judge.
I’m just relieved they didn’t recruit that bald bastard from Master Chef, so I’ll check it out, with fingers crossed that it’s improved.