Bourdain to Jump Ship to CNN

May 29, 2012

By Karen

I haven’t written about Anthony Bourdain lately because No Reservations is leaving me meh, but attention must be paid to today’s announcement that No Res is wrapping up after current Season 8 and he’ll be leaving Travel Channel after filming one more season of The Layover. In 2013 he’ll begin a Sunday prime-time series on CNN and become a domestic and international commentator.

Here at Cats Working, we’ve been saying for a long time that he’s too good for TC, but I’m not sure CNN is good enough for Bourdain. What do you think?

This just in (5/30): The CNN arrangement calls for Bourdain to produce 8 shows in 2 seasons each year, or a total of 16 episodes. Will an 8-week “season” be enough to  hook viewers so they’ll remember to return 6 months later for more? Hmmm…

Bizarre Food’s Andrew Zimmern, who’s been lately talking like Bourdain’s mini-me, must be giddy at the prospect of inheriting Tony’s crown as the “grand old man” of TC.

CNN’s news release describes Tony’s as-yet-unnamed program as one that “will be shot on location and examine cultures from around the world through their food and dining and travel rituals.”

I certainly hope this implies something more substantive than another opportunity for Tony to globe-trot, eat, drink, and shoot his mouth off.

Will CNN try to rein in Bourdain’s tendencies to stir up controversy? At last weekend’s Great GoogaMooga Festival in Brooklyn, Tony talked about doing unspeakable (if well-deserved) things to Dick Cheney and expressed a desire to soak an Olive Garden in gasoline so he could burn it to the ground over its pasta-cooking techniques.

Apparently, he’s forgotten the heartfelt review of the new Grand Forks Olive Garden that got him so misty-eyed, he handed a publishing deal to its 85-year-old author that’s probably doomed to produce a book to make Garrison Keillor seem like a pornographer in comparison.

Gothamist did a good job of putting Tony’s kind gesture into its proper Photoshopped perspective.

Tony’s long-awaited graphic novel, Get Jiro! is finally coming out July 3.

And someone is adapting his first novel, Bone in the Throat, into a movie.

Bourdain received an honorary Clio Award on May 15. I congratulate him, but I’m still trying to wrap my head around the rationale behind it.

I’d say Bourdain’s career has hit critical mass. Like Paula Deen, whatever he touches, whether past, present or future, is destined to turn to gold.

Speaking of Paula, Tony tried to clarify that he objects to her misleading fans and profiting richly from diabetes, while Paula and her kids disingenuously spin it that Bourdain blames her for having diabetes.


A few other things I’ve collected that may interest you:

Tony told Eater he’s still considering the year-in-Vietnam book, but opened the possibility of relocating it to Italy. YES, YES! Eater “gets” Tony, and their interview is well worth reading. In 2 parts.

Here are the first batch of books Tony has chosen to publish under his new Ecco imprint.

Ottavia’s become a celebrity in her own special niche. Here’s are some links to video interviews on how she got into MMA.

Bourdain & Waters Face Off: Reconciliation or Duel?

May 11, 2009

By Karen

On May 14, Anthony Bourdain hops over to Hartford to be on a “Food for Thought” panel at the Connecticut Forum with Alice Waters, the California restaurateur who “bugs the living shit” out of Bourdain for advocating that everyone eat fresh, locally-grown produce, even when it’s prohibitively expensive. Cheekily nominating herself to be on Obama’s “kitchen cabinet” to ensure he gets the country eating right was what landed her between Bourdain’s crosshairs.

Now, Michelle Obama did dig up the White House lawn to plant a vegetable garden, but admits she enjoys sneaking to Five Guys for a burger, and President Obama and Joe Biden lunched at Ray’s Hell Burger last week. Obviously, fresh veggies only go so far with the First Family.

I’m guessing it will take more than a fruit basket to quell Bourdain’s philosophical clash with Waters. Oh, and the unfortunate bystander on the panel will be The Ace of Cakes’ Duff Goldman.

In other news…

Shades of Grey writes about recently discovering Bourdain. Where has she been? (Warning, annoying music accompanies her post, but you can silence it. Scroll down to the “Spring Mix” heading and click the largest button in the purple playlist.)

And here’s some video of Bourdain and others being asked to compare various recording artists to food for Average Betty at the UCLA Extension 13th annual Restaurant Industry Conference.

Bourdain would appreciate this rant that he and Iron Chef inspired in Chatterbox Sara against Semi-Homemade’s Sandra Lee. I just recently read a bit about Lee’s nightmarish childhood and wonder if all this abuse will ever make her crack. (I know, Tony would say, “Too late.”)

And blogger hungry4morefoodie, who uses the tagline, “Who exactly is this Anthony Bourdain?” and claims her favorite book is Kitchen Confidential, still has the temerity to wax eloquent about a lunch at Olive Garden. Adding insult to injury, she also doesn’t think Applebee’s sucks. Her affection for the chains Bourdain always mentions as what’s wrong with American cuisine makes her brazen hijacking of his catch-phrase (in lieu of composing something clever herself — you know where Cats Working stands on that) seem like blasphemy.

To end on a side note, Top Chef judge Toby Young was recently hit by a car while bicycling around London — in the middle of the night — so his lack of wit would seem to extend beyond the judges’ table.

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