In his latest No Reservations - "Heartland" (rerun 2 am, Thur at 9, Friday 1 am, next Monday at 7) he starts off in Ann Arbor (probably from his talk at the Michigan Theater- great discussion) and gives it major props, before featuring a chef in Livonia. Of course, on the other hand, he goes to Columbus...but even the Ohio guy with him thinks of Columbus as a cultural wasteland. He hits other cities too, but of note, gives compliments to college students growing standards of taste when heading to Austin.
OT: Anthony Bourdain gives Ann Arbor a shout out!
I really like Bourdain's humor at times.
Thanks for pointing this out, M-Wolverine. I'll schedule it to record right now.
Bourdain is a beast. Anyone unfamiliar with his show needs to view it immediately. Impossible as it is, he has turned a travel dining show into something utterly badass, with live footage escapes from Beirut and an epic blooper show making full of his bitter hatred of Iceland.
Also, he wrote the following gem reviewing the food network:
"I watched poor Bobby battle to a draw recently in some bogus Southwestern “Chili Face-Off.” Now…does ANYONE actually believe that Bobby Flay can’t make a better chili than a supermarket ground beef bearing amateur? I don’t. It’s a cruel exercise in humiliation. A variation on “Dunk Bozo” or “Shoot The Geek,” at the carnival. And whatever I might have thought of Flay’s previous TV efforts, I find the network’s misuse of one of their founding chefs to be nauseatingly cynical. The conspiratorial-minded might be tempted to suspect this as yet another part of the Secret Plan to rid themselves of the annoyingly big ticket chefs–by driving Bobby to quit–or insane with misery. He may not be Mr. Cuddlesworth, but he’s a successful businessman and a good chef–and he doesn’t, after all, need this shit."
I love his utter disdain for the food network. He takes pot shots all the time on his show, usually to the celebrity chefs' faces.
Impossible as it is, he has turned a travel dining show into something utterly badass, with live footage escapes from Beirut and an epic blooper show making full of his bitter hatred of Iceland.
The Beirut show is one of the best pieces of television I've seen in years. The only thing I'd put up against it as a rival is the Top Gear episode where they have to get the three crap SUVs out of a Bolivian jungle.
Iceland was a lovely place when I visited...but the traditional food may well be the worst stuff on the planet (worse than Scottish food even). You can get good food in the cities, but their traditional diet is awful. Puffin is disgusting. They have this fish dish that makes Norwegian seafood recipes seem normal. There's one where the bury herring and cook it via geothermal heat...and they do all kinds of horrible stuff to the soil above it. It makes rakfisk and lutkefisk seem normal.
When he was there in May he stopped by Sparrow Market in Kerrytown, I know. My friend's dad is Mr. Sparrow, they have some pictures of Bourdain on their facebook page
link (you probably have to sign in to facebook)
When he rips on Andrew Zimmern (the bizarre foods guy) it is pretty hilarious.
The only time he gets annoying is when he tries to be hipper than thou...the San Francisco episode I wanted to throw him in the bay. My favorite is when he went back to work the double shift at his old restaurant.
speaking of chefs, i saw mario batali walking down state street about 3 weeks ago early in the morning. was he here with bourdain?
When he doesn't like something, he'll say it -- and that's a rarity in the food TV business. Most shows rave about everything.
And because of him I knew a great place to eat 1.2 kilo pork knee.
He is a real talent of fine cuisine. The man can flat-out cook. What he hates - more than anything, judging by his rant - is the celebration of mediocrity on FN. Even more, it seems, than what FN has done to incredible chefs like Emeril, Mario Batali and Bobby Flay. Mario is a towering giant among chefs, (by the way - the reason he was likely seen in Ann Arbor is that his wife is from Michigan, and he owns a home in the state).
I'm with him on the whole, Rachel and Sandra Lee thing. I don't watch Rachel at all, because I'd be too likely to destroy my television out of fury. Sandra Lee is different, though. She's like an aging barfly, terrifying her nieces with stories of weekend benders and one-night stands. Then make them turdfurters and Kwanzaa Cake for good measure.