Anthony Bourdain holds a special place in my life. The content he has brought to the public’s attention has been an important asset to my growing knowledge and appreciation for different cultures. As I mentioned in my previous post, once the travel bug hits, all I want to do is consume myself in experiencing foreign places, lifestyles, food, people, etc. Of course traveling first-hand is the best way to see any culture, and over the past 5 months I’ve been lucky enough to have had two very fulfilling trips to Paris and Costa Rica. But, since there’s only so much traveling one can do (considering there is a stable job and a limited amount of disposable money involved), Tony’s No Reservations is an outlet for me to get my travel fix…and an inspiration for my next trips.
Beyond satisfying the travel addict with me, Tony’s philosophies and raw, realistic observations provide an acute sense of whichever culture he is exposing. There’s no BS; he’s blunt, honest and knows what he’s talking about. His ideologies have opened my mind in a very humbling way. He is also hilarious, a New Yorker, and a flat-out cool guy. Every show is an experience, a learning opportunity, and most of all entertaining. My top picks: Paris (the 100th episode), Brazil, El Bulli, Vietnam (any of his 3 episodes), Brittany, Rome, Penang, and Spain.
Here are some of my favorite lines from Anothony Bourdain over the years:
Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one’s life.
Perhaps wisdom, at least for me, means realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.
On Southeast Asia: “This part of the world really messed me up. It’s the condiments here, the chilies. Once you have that, there’s no going back.”
On eating seasonal food in Italy: “They don’t talk annoyingly about seasonal here, they just fucking do it.”
While eating Laska in Penang: “Imagine a world without traditional fast food outlets, the usual suspects clogging up our mini-malls. Imagine we had individually owned and operated joints serving stuff like this all over America. Can you imagine how delicious that would be?”
On Rio de Janerio: You have to have some serious problems to not like it here. Pork. Caipirinha. Beach. Life is good.
And of course, his final thoughts on the last episode ever (which was based in Brooklyn!): “It’s been a wild ride. A lot of miles, a road sometimes smooth, sometimes hard and ugly. And I guess I could tell you that if you look hard enough, that just next door is just as interesting as the other side of the world, but that’s not exactly true. If I do have any advice for anybody, any final thought, if I’m and advocate for anything, it’s to move as far as you can, as much as you can, across the ocean or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in somebody else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”