Anthony Bourdain continues to pull no punches on the new season of his hit show, No Reservations.With the eighth season of his award-winning show, No Reservations, debuting next month on the Travel Channel, Anthony Bourdain knows how fortunate he is. His job affords him the ability to travel, soak up various cultures, savor foreign cuisine and document it for TV. Then he gets to do it all over again.
But while his viewers watch enviously as he meanders the streets of faraway places like Cambodia, Mozambique and Brazil, Bourdain dreams of taking his wife and daughter for an extended vacation, sans camera crew. “I’m away from [my family] a lot more than I’d like to be,” admits the 55-year-old, who has gone through four passports in the last 10 years. “When I’m gone, I miss sitting in front of the television watching Phineas and Ferb with my daughter.”
Don’t think for a minute the allure of his career is lost on him, though. When asked how it feels to have the most coveted job in the world, he responds with a smirk and a simple, “It feels good. Real good.” No newcomer to the culinary world, Bourdain worked his way up the line-cook ladder in restaurants in Provincetown, Mass., before graduating from the Culinary Institute of America. Going on to run a number of well-regarded New York restaurants, he gained fame after authoring Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, a behind-the-scenes tell-all about the restaurant industry. Now with his TV gig, his most public platform to date, he enjoys educating other travelers and foodies on eating well.
“I think it’s tragic when people stay on the beaten track,” he says. “I like to eat what’s considered good by the locals, where it’s good. I love my country, but if I’m looking for the perfect restaurant in Rome or Saigon, a large number of my ?countrymen eating in that restaurant when I arrive is not a good sign. I want to be the only English speaker in the place.”
He encourages travelers to embrace his immersive, anything-goes attitude. After all, he asks, “What’s the worst that could happen? The perfect vacation is the one where things went horrendously wrong and somehow ended up right.”
It’s that sense of adventure — or misadventure — that has captivated his cultlike following of food-loving globe-trotters. Now if only he could break away from all his professional vacationing to take one of his own.
Eat Speak We asked international food expert Anthony Bourdain to tell us some of the best and worst dining experiences he’s had — and what he won’t eat again.
“Cinnabon. It’s disgusting.”
“San Sebastian: Arzak ; Saigon: the soup lady (a street vendor); Rome: Roma Sparita (try the Cacio de Pepe).”
“I won’t be having shark fin again unless it’s absolutely unavoidable.”