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Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Seasons 1-5


Louisa Chu
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Chef Bourdain (or anyone kind enough to answer)- this may have been covered already and I apologize for asking a question in reference to an older show, but did you ever find out what a Japanese moutain potato was?.

I recall your saying that it was one of the most vile things you had ever eaten but that you weren't sure exactly what it was. I have been wondering about that ever since.

BTW Love No Reservations and never miss an episode.

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Chef Bourdain (or anyone kind enough to answer)- this may have been covered already and I apologize for asking a question in reference to an older show, but did you ever find out what a Japanese moutain potato was?

Mountain Potato thread

Marsha Lynch aka "zilla369"

Has anyone ever actually seen a bandit making out?

Uh-huh: just as I thought. Stereotyping.

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Gigi,

If you don't speak Japanese, the whole "Imo" thing can be pretty confusing (at least it is to me). As in English, a bunch of different unrelated plants are all called by the same name. Sweet Potato, Taro, and what I'll call true Yam. If you care about plant latin, Mountain Potatoes are usually Dioscorea japonica, an Asian species of true Yam. True Yams (wiki link) are seldom seen outside of Japanese specialty stores in the US, though they are eaten in Africa, the Pacific Islands and other places.

-Erik

Edited by eje (log)

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Read a bit more about True Yams and you too will be able to astound your family at Thanksgiving with plant related trivia. When Aunt Tillie asks you to pass the candied yams, you can say, "You know, Aunt T, these aren't Yams at all; but, were named thusly as part of a marketing strategy by Southern Sweet Potato growers..."

Kills 'em in Peoria, everytime.

---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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I loved that episode. The whole Make Way for Foie Gras segment (who knew ducks could run that fast?), Mr. I Make Maple Syrup and I'm Okay, and all kidding aside, the Inuit family. Fantastic program.

But as a dedicated viewer, I must speak of my amazement that Mr. Bourdain is still alive. He's been so drunk in so many places and he always lives to tell the tale. I, on the other hand, had two glasses of wine last night and slipped on the runner in the hallway. Couldn't even get from the kitchen to my bedroom without injury. God help me if I got hammered in a remote village and had to get in a boat to go home.

Thank goodness I can leave all that to the professionals.

My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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My own personal marvel is that he could get through an entire hour show about the largest concentration of French people in the world outside France without once making a joke about Jerry Lewis. For this herculean effort of self restraint alone, he should be made an honorary lumberjack hockey star with maple leaf clusters.

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That would be fleur de lys clusters my friend, we've seen enough maple leaf crap in these neck of the woods.

Go Habs Go

Good point about the clusters. And as far as the Habs, maybe you'd better check out the champagne forum after they shot the lights out in Raleigh yesterday. Careful how you cheer, though. When we say Go Flyers Go they usually do... in the first round.

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I loved the Sweden Episode! Of course, I'm from Minnesota, which probably has as many Swedes as Stockholm.

I'm even related to several, but the only "authentic" Swedish cuisine I experienced, (other than the ubiquitous meatballs), was watching my Uncle Charlie (Rudstrom) eat blood sausage. :shock: On those dining occasions my cousin and I would opt for hot dogs. :rolleyes:

I especially liked the bikers throwing an axe through the Abba cd! :biggrin:

SB (has a Norwegian friend who likes Abba :shock: )

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The only thing I know about Sweden is the Volvo I once had, the meatballs at IKEA and my large drawer I once had as a teenager filled with VHS tapes starring Seka.

Edited by Jason Perlow (log)

Jason Perlow

Co-Founder, The Society for Culinary Arts & Letters

offthebroiler.com - Food Blog | View my food photos on Instagram

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Abba dabba doo!

I'm getting an idea how the Vikings were able to conquer so many countries so easily. The theory is that the style of music Abba made popular may have been handed down over the centuries but people became immune to it until an especially virulent form surfaced in the 1970s. Eventually, folks were even able to develop an immunity to Abba, but not before it conquered most of the ostensibly civilized world.

A little disappointed that there weren't any movie references this week. I was expecting something along the lines of "Wad O' Lou." Or maybe the censors were burning the midnight oil after last week's laxity.

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Good episode and maybe the funniest episode yet. That ABBA rant, coupled with Tony's own self-effacing narrative about it, was Bourdain at his best.

I'm really enjoying this season; each hour seems to fly by with little filler. It's also good to see that it's winning a wider appeal with mention in EW and I've seen banner ads for it on CNN, EW, and the Onion.

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Point of minor arcane interest:

While I did not, unfortunately, get to shoot Chris, I DID in fact save our Lavu. The fucking fire went out and the little gas heater malfunctioned, spewing carbon monoxide and smoke--but no heat. I woke up in a way below zero freezing tent, nearly numb--and by using my lighter and igniting my production schedule and some local currency as kindling--was able to restart a wood fire. Chris, Jerry and Todd, of course, were perfectly content to doze and fart their way into semi-conscious hypothermia..

abourdain

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I know it's nit-picky after the heroism shown in this episode but...where was the herring? I thought herring was a big thing. Or not. Just curious.

Not sure why but that blood sausage being made in the Lavu freaked me out way more than the seal last week.

Finally, with all due respect, that was crocheting, not knitting. The Martha Stewart Convention laid it out quite clearly: Swedes crochet, Norwegians knit, Danes embroider, and Fins tat.

My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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Hey! I just got a fax here at the office offering my organization the opportunity to have Tony Bourdain as a "sharp, edgy," speaker at one of our events!

I wish....

My fantasy? Easy -- the Simpsons versus the Flanders on Hell's Kitchen.

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Hey!  I just got a fax here at the office offering my organization the opportunity to have Tony Bourdain as a "sharp, edgy," speaker at one of our events! 

I wish....

Do it!

I have a tape of Tony, along with Michael Ruhlman and Courtney Febbroriello, from a panel at the '04 IACP International Conference. He's extemporaneously funny :biggrin: , and most likely just as interesting under any circumstances.

SB (wonders how "sharp" difers from "edgy"?) :wink:

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I have to say that this was my least favorite episode. Not much to this episode glass blowing,meatballs and a hotdog with shrimp salad? And the reindeer part seemed to be cut off early without showing the results.

It also seemed to repeat ideas of philosophy about being average over and over, I don't like Abba either but that also was played over and over, no drama, no conflict, and nothing unusal in any scene. Which made it a tad boring. The only thing that stood out to me was the flirting going on by the MTV host or was that the other way around?

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I was not too crazy about this episode either. I expected more of the reindeer section. It felt like it was too low on food and high on everything else, including ABBA.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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Though always dismayed when people are disappointed by a particular episode, one of the things I'm proudest of about NO RESERVATIONS is that each week differs in mood, tone (and to whatever extent possible) content--as well as degree of "success" or "failure" in capturing a place or a culture. It's a show with noticable--often violent-- mood swings, practically schizophrenic at times. There are numerous examples of places or countries that I clearly--no matter how deserving the subject--I just didn't "get" or do justice to. The end result of a shooting period in say..Iceland--is entirely dependent on a number of factors, both entirely subjective (Was I in a good mood? Was I tired? Was I cranky? Did I just not connect on a personal level with the people I met during my limited time in country?Did I bring some prejudice or off-camera peronal business to the experience?) to external (Was our fixer not so dynamic? Was the weather bad? Were we just not lucky? Did the reindeer not cooperate? Did we plan poorly?). End of the day, all we hope and try to do is make the best possible show with what we "got" on the road. In our case--"best possible" means most reflective of MY subjective (if admittedly limited) experience--good or bad. It would surely be easier and often more palatable--and even interesting--had we lied--meaning cobbled together a lot of B-Roll of food close-ups, splice in plenty of beauty shots of pretty vistas, monuments etc. and added a gushing voice over extolling the delights of the subject country, complete with a well-researched litany of historical facts. There's plenty to be said for that kind of approach. It's safer, certainly fairer to the country--and more reliably "interesting" to the majority.

It's also what everybody else does--and what I DON'T and WON'T do. I'd rather have people tune in saying "Mann..last week in Peru was so great..What the hell happened with Sweden?" than have viewers feel they know in advance what to expect. Fact is--I fall in love with some countries and gush about them. Ditto the camera people. Some countries are "shot rich" environments--where everywhere you look there's beautiful B-Roll, gorgeous, interesting, outgoing people and characters. Other places? Not. When I wax philosophic in a heartfelt way about say..Borneo..or China..or Japan..or Peru or Quebec or India, I'd like to be believed. If I pretend that I felt the same way about my (however inadaquate or unrepresentative) experience in say..Iceland..or Sweden, it devalues the whole enterprise. So all I can say is "stay tuned". There are happy shows...sentimental shows, miserable shows, snarky shows..shows where I loved the country but still feel (and will always feel) I missed the boat. (Sicily for instance--which I loved but where everything seemed to go wrong). I'm NEVER looking to present a representative slice of an entire culture or country in a scant 42 minutes of television. The show--at its best--can ultimatelyonly hope to be about me, me, me and what happened to me--and how I felt about things. I couldn't/wouldn't do it any other way.

I leave that to the professionals.

Coming soon: Puerto Rico..The Tex Mex border..2 India Shows..Korea..and Indonesia..

abourdain

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Sicily for instance--which I loved but where everything seemed to go wrong

I loved the Sicily show! Just goes to show you that it is not just your prejudice, likes and dislikes that come to play when the show is aired. Ours too. I love everything Italian and am particualry fond of Sicily and it's Arab influences. So, maybe things did go wrong there, but I watched this show when it ran and when it re-ran and it is one of my favorites...close second is probably Montreal although China was fantastic too... :smile:

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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