BOURDAIN: A military field manual for creating classic bistro brasserie dishes: Julia Child meets Full Metal Jacket. It will explain traditional bistro recipes in crude, blunt language. It's the kind of book I would give the new guy in my kitchen, telling him how to prepare the dishes on our menu. And it's not food porn. Not some coffee table book. This is a cookbook you keep in the kitchen and you're not afraid to spill things on. It will be out in the fall.

AMERICAN WAY: Given that, will you keep taping A Cook's Tour?
BOURDAIN: Not anymore. I had a fine time doing it, but now it's time to do something new. The people at the Food Network are great, but they want to focus on the U.S. For me, it's all about the travel. Food isn't just something you eat, it's a place.

AMERICAN WAY: What kind of places will you go?
BOURDAIN: Someday soon I want to do a big Vietnam book. I want to go live there for a year, in some little obscure fishing village along the coast, take it all in, and write a book - though I don't know yet what it will be about. I'd be the village's big, freaking tall American guy. I've fallen in love with that country. The first time I saw it was like meeting the girl of your dreams in high school. I can't wait to go back. I'm also hoping to go to Africa. Richard Branson has a hotel and a game reserve I'd like to see. It's a continent I've given short shrift to.

AMERICAN WAY: That's a lot of territory to cover.
BOURDAIN: I'm used to long distances between good meals. I've been to the Midwest.




evan kafka is a manhattan-based photographer who lives just a few blocks from les halles. kafka notes that despite his perceived image, bourdain was very easy to work with, and even offered the crew hot soup after the shoot.