Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Season 6


Chris Hennes
 Share

Recommended Posts

Obviously, I'm new to this forum and I wasn't around when it all went down, but what exactly happened here on egullet where cofounders were exiled and lawsuits were threatened? Tony obliquely metioned it, but it was like he was afraid of getting sucked into the maelstorm of lawsuits to directly say what really happened.

Click here for information on co-founder Jason Perlow's resignation.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

Link to comment
Share on other sites

. . . Bourdain's been online enough that the gee-whiz aspect of his discussion seemed kind of intelligence-insulting.

I didn't see it as "gee-whiz" at all. From what I remember, he left the food forum world largely because he was disgusted with it and the attitudes of many of the people in it (and who ran it). He was attempting to get answers to questions he had had for some time. Like, "WTF, it's just food. Why the hell would you do the things you do to other people just over food?"

And he got his answer from what I heard in the show. It's all about making up for being powerless (in whatever way) in the non-virtual world. Whether it be powerless with women, powerless socially. . .whatever.

Simplistic, but not entirely inaccurate.

So, let me get this straight, you are proposing that the reason guys blog is that they can't get laid? Of course, Tony is a real ladies man.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Tony's not the one who said all those embarassing things; the bloggers were the one who stuck their feet in their mouths. It wasn't just Tony who thought food bloggers were weird. After watching that show, most of the audience probably thought so too.

I've been reading egullet for a while, and I generally enjoy reading Fat Guy's posts and his opinions. But that segment did not leave me wanting to have dinner with any of the folks involved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

. . . Bourdain's been online enough that the gee-whiz aspect of his discussion seemed kind of intelligence-insulting.

I didn't see it as "gee-whiz" at all. From what I remember, he left the food forum world largely because he was disgusted with it and the attitudes of many of the people in it (and who ran it). He was attempting to get answers to questions he had had for some time. Like, "WTF, it's just food. Why the hell would you do the things you do to other people just over food?"

And he got his answer from what I heard in the show. It's all about making up for being powerless (in whatever way) in the non-virtual world. Whether it be powerless with women, powerless socially. . .whatever.

Simplistic, but not entirely inaccurate.

So, let me get this straight, you are proposing that the reason guys blog is that they can't get laid? Of course, Tony is a real ladies man.

Did you even watch the show? I can't remember anything Perlow said, but Plotnicki said he didn't do so well socially, and FG said people like him didn't do so well with the ladies. All three of them said the obsession with food was in part to fulfill something missing in their lives.

I didn't say it, they did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Gosh, I guess I'm just naive. I thought the whole segment was meant to be tongue-in-cheek. I mean, Tony was acting (and I do think he was "acting") pretty obsessive over butchering that pig, in between interviews. Uh, pot calling kettle black, anyone?

I don't know about Jason and the others, but we all know that Fat Guy is married and that they have a darling son - he seems to have done just fine in the relationship department! I think this is just Tony's weird sense of humor, and I'd bet he talked the bloggers into it. What happens when a piece is edited is beyond their control. I think there probably was some acknowledgement of this being a joke that unfortunately ended up on the cutting room floor, as they say.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I read Mr. Bourdain correctly, he's not overly impressed with himself. He knows that he's been incredibly lucky and grateful to have chanced into a unique opportunity to travel around the world tasting food. The cameras surrounding him are a necessary evil. The producers are a constant butt of his snarkasm, but are the same time, his life blood. He's almost a parody of himself - in a good way.

So, when he looks at food bloggers, I imagine that it's hard for him to take himself out of the equation. The job is basically the same. And since he doesn't take himself very seriously, can he in any good conscience not view food bloggers with the same deprecation he willingly and enthusiastically heaps on himself?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[quote name='lancastermike' date='12 March 2010 - 09:51 AM' timestamp='1268355079'

Did you even watch the show? I can't remember anything Perlow said, but Plotnicki said he didn't do so well socially, and FG said people like him didn't do so well with the ladies. All three of them said the obsession with food was in part to fulfill something missing in their lives.

I didn't say it, they did.

Correction--Ozersky said he didn't do well socially so meat was his companion, Perlow said obsession with food makes up for something missing in his life, Plotnicki said it was an escape from the confinement life imposes, and Shaw said it was like sex for people like him and Ozersky (he was kind enough to speak on behalf of Ozersky) who didn't do so well with the ladies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was not a big fan of the blogger section of the show either. It was more or less a useless bit of filler that really did not belong in the same episode as the other segments. I especially liked Lahey's bit about pizza and would've liked to see more of it. The Wagyu beef comes a close second.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Catching up on Bourdain after joining the 21st century and getting a DVR....... Overall, I thought the Obsession episode had great potential, marred only by the inclusion of the blogger segment. God bless the food bloggers, they make it easier for me to find a great dish at a great restaurant when I travel, but I have to agree with most of the negative comments shared thus far. Ultimately, the segment struck me as a presentation of weiner measuring for the socially retarded....Stagedoor Johnny's. Don't get me wrong, I love food, and I probably obsess on it and talk about it way more than is mentally healthy, but I had to reign it in a bit before it crossed the line from a deep, romantic enjoyment to the level of the aforementioned schvantz warrior. I know the line is different for everyone, and the subject of "crossing the line" probably has fifteen different threads dedicated to it on this very site, right next door to the "restaurant photography etiquette" aisle, but what I got from the bloggers was "LOOK AT ME! HOLY GRAIL! I'M MUGGING FOR BOURDAIN!", instead of a thoughtful representation of the food community.

Other than that, my search for Wagyu that looks like THAT continues......

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I thought the entire thing, including the Wagyu, was a huge inside joke on OCD behavior in the food world. Would have been more ironic on Food Network, but we can't have everything. Well played Bourdain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't know about Jason and the others, but we all know that Fat Guy is married and that they have a darling son - he seems to have done just fine in the relationship department!

Plus, Fat Guy probably ended up doing better financially in the end by dropping out of lawering and becoming a food blogger. I know that Lehman Brothers very strongly urged and prodded its employees to invest their money and bonuses back into Lehman Brothers, and he would have lost it all if he had stayed with Lehman Brothers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I love most about No Reservations is the surprise. I would have never imagined that people in Saudi Arabia love fried chicken, that martial arts is a way out of poverty for so many children in Thailand, or that there's even a place in the world called the "Azores". And that's why I keep watching the show even when it seems like that week's location doesn't necessarily interest me: Bourdain might show me something that I've never seen before.

Contrasted to that fresh content, Bourdain's pontificating commentary is tired, monotonous, and what I dislike most about the show. After 2 seasons of Cook's Tour and 6 seasons of No Reservations, he just never expresses an opinion that surprises me anymore. His tone demands that we perk up and pay attention, like he's about to say something revolutionary, and then... "the nasty bits of an animal are actually the best parts! Especially from a pig! And cooks are badass!" Again and again and again. And I'm not saying I disagree, it's just that I GET IT PLEASE MOVE ON.

I'd like to propose a solution. Bourdain is allowed to wax redundant because he's always talking to some new local that's sharing a meal with him for the first time. But imagine how things would change if he had a constant traveling companion that had already heard it all before. Someone who didn't need to be converted to the way of "nasty bits", and who, on other subjects, might actually disagree with Tony. Someone who challenges him on his occasional bouts of hypocrisy. Someone who forces him to defend a position. If this happened, I'd not only enjoy the show's food, scenery, and culture, but the interesting arguments that they provoke.

Anyone agree? And if so, who would you pick as the companion(s)?

Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about.

Troy McClure, hosting the film, The Meat Council Presents: Meat and You - Partners in Freedom

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd like to propose a solution. Bourdain is allowed to wax redundant because he's always talking to some new local that's sharing a meal with him for the first time. But imagine how things would change if he had a constant traveling companion that had already heard it all before.

I like it. Kind of a Sancho Panza to Bourdain's Quijote.

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

IndyRob & Doodad, re: Obsession episode, I concur with your take. Interesting deviation from the usual show & I enjoyed it for what it was--a novel side trip with some snark. Tony takes himself about as seriously as any other New Yorker & talks the NY "faux bravado" game. I get it. Non-NYers, I find, very often misinterpret it & don't like it.

As for the bloggers, they said what they said. Ain't Tony's fault he asked the question or that they answered it. This line of posts is kind of obsessive about Obsession, ain't it? :wink:

I think the idea of a side-kick/foil to Tony is a good one. I'm sure he'd rather not just talk to himself all the time anyway. :smile:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Non-NYers, I find, very often misinterpret it & don't like it."

As an ex-NYer, I get that, too. Sometimes it gets too much for me. I'll be there in April. We'll see how long it takes for it to piss me off. 5 minutes off the plane, prob'ly... :rolleyes:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm hating the product placement. Tony flashed that Chase Sapphire card AGAIN, taking Lin et al. out to lunch. OK, I get that Chase must be buying heavy ad time on the Travel Channel and I get that they want Tony himself in their commercials - AND I get that Tony would rather been trapped on a desert island with a loop of Barry Manilow playing non-stop than to have to shill - but jeeeeeeez! Have Tony do the Chase Sapphire card ads like he did the ones for Bing. He appeared in those, but he never once said the word "Bing" or did any other kind of shilling. Even though Tony is trying to cheeze his way through the product placement like it's a corny in-joke, it's more jarring and disruptive than if just did an actual commercial aired OUTSIDE the show itself. And the shark has been jumped. It might not be a big shark. It might not have been jumped across its dorsal fin. But for the shill-hating Tony, it's still, most definitely, a shark - and he's jumped it. And it PAINS me to watch him try not to have to actually shill but still have to follow the party line of his network and . . . promote a product or sponsor. It really hurts. I actually winced watching him. Oh, Tony . . . !

Edited by Claudia Greco (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I read Mr. Bourdain correctly, he's not overly impressed with himself. He knows that he's been incredibly lucky and grateful to have chanced into a unique opportunity to travel around the world tasting food. The cameras surrounding him are a necessary evil. The producers are a constant butt of his snarkasm, but are the same time, his life blood. He's almost a parody of himself - in a good way.

So, when he looks at food bloggers, I imagine that it's hard for him to take himself out of the equation. The job is basically the same. And since he doesn't take himself very seriously, can he in any good conscience not view food bloggers with the same deprecation he willingly and enthusiastically heaps on himself?

I don't know...

After seeing the way those food bloggers debased themselves like that, do you really think Bourdain sees the food bloggers on the same level as him? In his own eyes, Bourdain sees himself more as the too-cool-for-school rebel bad boy. With the way some foodies flock and stalk Bourdain, there's no way he could view them the same way. As modest as Bourdain portrays his cooking skills, I don't ever recall him poking fun of himself as some type of band geek loser who can't get a girlfriend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was confused by it. Perhaps (or perhaps not) like you, I expected extreme noodle spinning or hand made Greek Fillo dough. Instead it was about basic techniques.

But what a cast of instructors.

I don't think this show was for 'us'. I think it might've been for non-cooking, or ill-cooking foodies on parole from the Food Network.

I imagine that Tony has a much wider audience than us. Especially on the Travel Channel. Samantha Brown's viewers might well routinely ruin their steaks or chickens. And, as Tony himself has said, if that raises the general quality of cooking in America, that might not be so evil.

On the one hand, I find it hard to complain about seeing how Keller roasts a chicken. On the other hand I think (in non-restaurant time) I could blow away that Les Halle steak (given the same cut).

But what annoyed me the most was that there was no credit card ad ;).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree entirely, it definitely wasn't directed at us. But I still think overall it was not a good show. There was very little new information in there, that people who watch food shows haven't seen a hundred times before. I mean, I've seen 10s of 10s of examples of people showing others how to dice an onion, and they've all been more succint and informative than the one on the episode. The only difference was that Tony explained the truth--- when you cut your thumb, the pain of feeling like a dumbass hurts more than the pain of the cut.

But even the Pepin omelette was subpar. Pepin's own technique shows are much better.

The Keller part was great, in my opinion. Especially when you consider that technique, attention to detail, and the striving for perfection is what makes Keller "Keller" rather than "that chef from that restaurant we really like."

Edited by KCWilkinson (log)

-K

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I enjoyed the show, although it was a departure. Even a not very well presented demo of basic techniques is worth watching with these instructors.

I did get a kick out of Tony's charming cluelessness about home cooking in a show designed to teach home cooks.

After noting that few home cooks have ever tried to make those french fries they eat in restaurants, he shows you how to do it by...using a restaurant deep fryer. :laugh:

Todd A. Price aka "TAPrice"

Homepage and writings; A Frolic of My Own (personal blog)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...