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Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations Seasons 1-5


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Very, very proud of the Border episode--and taking a lot of shit for it. We shot the thing a few months ago--before the full xenophobic furor--and I couldn't be happier about the timing.

I had long planned a show where we meet the chef at Les Halles--and the cooks--and then relate that back to the whole Mexico/US  relationship--as it exists on the ground and near the border. It was very striking and encouraging to see how many Texans speak fluent Spanish and consider the people a few feet across the river to be neighbors, relatives, friends...I found a very different attitude locally than is prevalent among blowhard politicos who live nowhere NEAR Mexico.

I'd really planned to do nothing more than explore the "Who's actually doing the cooking" thing--something of a personal cause for me--and look at another side of Texas and Texans than the stereotypical one--and was surprised at the blowback from some really angry angry people...

I also wanted to learn how to ride a big motorcycle and hang out in the locations where they shot El Mariachi. Sweet.

the insight from the texans who are good neighbors with the mexicans is encouraging. when you said..."This is WHO we are.", it made the point. i see a different attitude emerging from people who saw the border as a problem. i mean, everyone here came from somewhere else, somewhere along in their ancestry.

the episode was so relevant. and other than that, kiddo, you were the best looking thing in texas! :cool: great series.

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Tony,

I'm Swedish and I hate ABBA (allthough non of my friends do)..

I'll guess there's hope for us somehow. :raz:

How did you like the Goose blood soup?

Edited by Hector (log)
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Great episode Tony!

Thanks. It's nice seeing our neighbors being treated as such and not as illegals.

The time for airing the show was inspired.

Hey Hector, what's up?

-------------------------

Water Boils Roughly

Cold Eggs Coagulating

Egg Salad On Rye

-------------------------

Gregg Robinson

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Very, very proud of the Border episode--and taking a lot of shit for it. We shot the thing a few months ago--before the full xenophobic furor--and I couldn't be happier about the timing.

...

I also wanted to learn how to ride a big motorcycle and hang out in the locations where they shot El Mariachi. Sweet.

I was very moved by the Border episode - and you're right, the timing was perfect. To show the problem of Alfredo as a HUMAN dilemma, not a political issue or an abstract concept, was heart-rending. You, an American, can go back and forth at will, and Alfredo can't even see his mom to visit?

I know the your "carnales" have always been an important issue for you, Tony, but your work is truly evolving - although you addressed the issue in your Puebla/Oaxaca episodes of A Cook's Tour, it was fom a cooking standpoint. The Border episode really had a deeper dimension to it, and I think it was certainly as deep as the Malaysia "journeyman" episode. I had thought that, while Vietnam changed everything for you - and changed YOU - to date, Malaysia was your best work. But I have to revise that opinion -- this was really meaningful.

One thing, though -- no one in their right mind would expect you to give up cigarettes, but you riding without a helmet is the most frightening thing you've ever done. I hope it was just for the Easy Rider close-ups?

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Very, very proud of the Border episode--and taking a lot of shit for it. We shot the thing a few months ago--before the full xenophobic furor--and I couldn't be happier about the timing.

****

I'd really planned to do nothing more than explore the "Who's actually doing the cooking" thing--something of a personal cause for me--and look at another side of Texas and Texans than the stereotypical one--and was surprised at the blowback from some really angry angry people...

Well, sure : this episode showed that Mexicans are, gasp, people! --instead of an evil, cunning sea of brown seeping across our border! --hell-bent on exposing white folks to the horrors of Spanish grammar! --right before they steal all the migrant worker jobs from white college graduates! How dare you!!?? Damn you, Travel Channel!!

We cheered. Loudly. You and your crew have achieved Stephen Colbert status in our house.

Oh yeah, and the food looked amazing.

"She would of been a good woman," The Misfit said, "if it had been somebody there to shoot her every minute of her life."

--Flannery O'Connor, "A Good Man is Hard to Find"

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Yeah. The one thing I regret about the episode. Unfortunately, I often do voice over in an isolated studio after looking at a rough cut (in which I'd seen myself drinking Corona)--subsequent (and multiple ) drinks and beers included the Shiner seen on camera.

For the record: Shiner Bock. 100% TEXAN beer! And apologies.

abourdain

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and was surprised at the blowback from some really angry angry people...

as in angry angry email??

very good episode Tony from a Texan...err..who came here via Africa...but was born and raised, mostly, in Lebanon :smile:.

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

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

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and was surprised at the blowback from some really angry angry people...

as in angry angry email??

Nope, more like angry if not down right racist, comments over at the Travel Channel forums. Well, I don't know if he's getting email but I've seen some of the posting on the forums over there and that was more than enough for me. But that place has been a haven for trolls - no matter which show board on the Travel/TLC/Discovery channels forums you read.

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and was surprised at the blowback from some really angry angry people...

as in angry angry email??

Nope, more like angry if not down right racist, comments over at the Travel Channel forums. Well, I don't know if he's getting email but I've seen some of the posting on the forums over there and that was more than enough for me. But that place has been a haven for trolls - no matter which show board on the Travel/TLC/Discovery channels forums you read.

Yes, I had to stop reading the Travel Channel forums because some of what I read was . . . mutant-generated, for want of a better word. :shock: I felt a lot less shell-shocked among the more erudite and open-minded eGullet foodies -- even the wonderfully raucous and king-hell crazy ones! ("and, dah-lings, joo know who you are!") :wacko:
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The border episode was excellent. Although I have to imagine Tony spent a considerable amount of bathroom time in that episode that was left on the cutting room floor. Street Tacos and Street Tortas? They looked good, but I dunno man. You must really have to be loaded up with antibiotics to eat that stuff.

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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Anybody notice FN silently re-airing A Cook's Tour once again albeit a 4AM slot, I haven't seen about three quarters of those episodes.

Oh FN has been doing that for at least 2 years now. They've even run it on the rare weekend, especially right after No Reservations hit the air.

I'm more surprised that they haven't started running it earlier.

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The border episode was excellent. Although I have to imagine Tony spent a considerable amount of bathroom time in that episode that was left on the cutting room floor. Street Tacos and Street Tortas? They looked good, but I dunno man. You must really have to be loaded up with antibiotics to eat that stuff.

I wondered about that. Back in college, a Texas Spring Break was always a trip to Puerto Vallarta or Acapulco (cheaper than Ft. Lauderdale for us), and I inevitably got Tourista (Montezuma's revenge, etc) on return. Of course, staying a really cheap hotels that did not filter the water was one issue.

My in-laws now live in Ajijic on Lake Chapala. On our last visit, my SO and I ate pupusas and tamales from a street vendor. We were careful to specify "sin lechuga y tomate." No problema!

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Anybody notice FN silently re-airing A Cook's Tour once again albeit a 4AM slot, I haven't seen about three quarters of those episodes.

Oh FN has been doing that for at least 2 years now. They've even run it on the rare weekend, especially right after No Reservations hit the air.

I'm more surprised that they haven't started running it earlier.

Those tricky guys, I thought they stopped running it altogether.

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The border episode was excellent. Although I have to imagine Tony spent a considerable amount of bathroom time in that episode that was left on the cutting room floor. Street Tacos and Street Tortas? They looked good, but I dunno man. You must really have to be loaded up with antibiotics to eat that stuff.

I'm sure all the other stuff eaten in other countries has readied his digestive system for that. But last time I was in TJ, the street vendor food was quite unappealling - covered in flies that the vendors would only periodically shoo away.

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Thanks for the great episode, and thank you for not portraying Texans as a bunch of racist idiots.

Come back soon, and have some more Shiners!

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

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Anybody notice FN silently re-airing A Cook's Tour once again albeit a 4AM slot, I haven't seen about three quarters of those episodes.

They've been airing them at 4 am for a while - I think I have all but three of them on tape. (Stuffed Like A Pig got cut off with about a minute to go, so I missed Tony's nightmarish battle with the three day-old tete de veau [veal head]).
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I have each episode and have watched all of them numerous times. It's how I introduce people to Tony. After an episode or two, they become hooked. That's when I produce my ratty but still readable copy of Kitchen Confidential for them to borrow.

Oh yeah, speaking of the racist response to the last NR, some fool has posted an online petition to get Tony fired from the Travel Channel for that episode. You should read the "signatures" so far.

Fire Bourdain Petition

<a href='http://www.zenkimchi.com/FoodJournal' target='_blank'>ZenKimchi Korean Food Journal</a> - The longest running Korean food blog

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This was an amazing show Mexico/Texas border! Well filmed, edited and creatively put together, even the music touches, just good story period! I just loved it. I am surprised about the complaints though, we know its a personal point of view, and we already know its edgy, griddy by nature of the author, yet honest, for that reason one should know well enough to leave it alone. And just look at the artistry alone its really got it all going on! And night and day from the Sweden episode!

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i don't mean to quibble with anyone, but i eat those tacos at least once a month, and they've never wreaked havoc on my digestive system. has anyone else ever sampled them? jalisco-style street tacos are truly some of the best foodstuffs i've ever had, bar none. i was so happy to see that kind of cuisine represented in the episode...

it's all about the tacos and the shiner in my life. :wink:

Edited by shoutsandmurmurs (log)

"i dream of cherry pies, candy bars and chocolate chip cookies." -talking heads

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Oh yeah, speaking of the racist response to the last NR, some fool has posted an online petition to get Tony fired from the Travel Channel for that episode.  You should read the "signatures" so far.

Fire Bourdain Petition

That petition is a typical, knee-jerk, flag-waving, low-rent xenophobic cracker response to something that was not only a man's right to free speech, but what turned out to be a thoughtful and sensitive piece on the divisions not between not just two countries or skin colors, but economies. I, for one, am taking a very perverse pride and enjoyment in the fact that Tony has now not just merely put some people off, but has profoundly inflamed them. He has said important here, and no one can accuse him of being standard-issue snarky, edgy or gonzo; it just proves he's doing something really right - and more profound that just a food/travel show (which is reason enough to celebrate, don't get me wrong.)

The very strength of our Constitution lies in the freedom we enjoy to criticize that very government, to disagree with it, to debate - and, occasionally, to challenge it. Criticism in and of itself doesn't undermine a government, and only a person of narrow mind, stubborn ideology and rigid, self-righteous belief would regard people like chef Bourdain or Hunter S. Thompson - or any of the other great gonzos in the world - as a threat that has to be taken out.

It is his very hyperbole that makes him so watchable and readable, and anyone who think they might have their tender little sensibilities ruffled watching NR should just stick to Martha Stewart and BassMasters. To quote Tom Wolfe (The Right Stuff) - "pudknockers."

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The border episode was excellent. Although I have to imagine Tony spent a considerable amount of bathroom time in that episode that was left on the cutting room floor. Street Tacos and Street Tortas? They looked good, but I dunno man. You must really have to be loaded up with antibiotics to eat that stuff.

I wondered about that. Back in college, a Texas Spring Break was always a trip to Puerto Vallarta or Acapulco (cheaper than Ft. Lauderdale for us), and I inevitably got Tourista (Montezuma's revenge, etc) on return. Of course, staying a really cheap hotels that did not filter the water was one issue.

My in-laws now live in Ajijic on Lake Chapala. On our last visit, my SO and I ate pupusas and tamales from a street vendor. We were careful to specify "sin lechuga y tomate." No problema!

Actually, now that I recall, Tony wrote a peice for eGullet.com that touched on those issues somewhat, and I think it was the second artcle we published. Its actually in his new book, The Nasty Bits, that was just released.

http://www.egullet.org/tdg.cgi?pg=ARTICLE-bourdainidentity

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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