Anthony Bourdain is said to be an arrogant, snarky, self-promoting, witty New York restauranteur and chef with a sexy voice. He eats bugs and guts and is politically incorrect. He seems to enjoy that his continual swearing has to be bleeped out on his television travelogue/food show. Sometimes I love his show and sometimes I am grossed out and even offended by it, but mostly I think this guy is the most interesting host on television.
If you are already an Anthony Bourdain fan, you probably watched Tony’s visit to the legendary elBulli. If you are not already a disciple and you love food and travel, set your DVR to let Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations into your life. The complete El Bulli episode airs again on the Travel Channel on Monday, September 5 (Labor Day in the U.S.), at 3:00pm Eastern, as part of a No Reservations marathon that starts at 11 E/P. Even if you are able to watch it live, I still recommend that you record it so that you can watch it again. It is truly a special show and one that blew away all (well, most) of my Bourdain prejudices.
Bourdain’s visit to the amazing elBulli was one of the best documentaries I have ever seen, probably because even though he’s got some cooking chops of his own, Bourdain was clearly in awe of founder and head chef, Ferran Adria. Tony blogged about his visit to what foodies considered to be the most innovative restaurant in the world, and his childlike wonderment about being in the presence of a personal idol practically jumps off the screen when you watch the episode.
Ferran Adria closed the doors of El Bulli to restaurant-goers on July 30, but will continue to run a renovated state of the art compound as a think-tank for chefs who are ready to push the boundaries of food preparation. After having seen this episode, I’m heartbroken that I never got a chance to eat at elBulli. I will have to settle for reading the book my son got me for Christmas and maybe even trying a recipe or two.
Bourdain’s No Reservations has finished its season of first-runs, but he continues in reruns at several times on the Travel Channel. There will be more Tony to love starting on November 21, when his new series, The Layover, begins.
P.S. If Anthony Bourdain’s rough-rider style isn’t your cup of tea, Travel Channel also features Samantha Brown, who’s kind of a cross between Rachael Ray and Bourdain. She visits lots of interesting locations, but I doubt if you will find her drinking tequila with the guys in the desert or eating fried bugs in Asia.