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» One Touch Football - Archive » World » Anthony Bourdain on the Food Network (Page 4)

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Author Topic: Anthony Bourdain on the Food Network
Inca
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He has this persona, but one that I think a lot of people expected of him as well after reading Kitchen Confidential. In this season of his travel show, the schtick really seems to be have cut to a minimum. He actually spoke warmly of Los Angeles in the episode last week, which I wouldn't have thought possible.

And his episode last year on the border between Texas and Mexico was amazing, a outcry against discrimination against Mexican immigrants and American immigration policy--I was frankly surprised that the Travel Channel didn't make him tone it down, to be honest.

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Coffy
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Anyone watch Saturday Kitchen? A coworker's cousin will be on it tomorrow.
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My name is Mumpo
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i used to work for the Carlton Food Network. Christ, that was a soul-destroying job. never has so much effort been directed by so demoralised a group of people at so small an audience.
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My name is Mumpo
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even to this day i can't hear the name 'Aldo Zilli' without the entire right side of my face violently convulsing.
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ad hoc
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Apparently Anthony Bourdain has caused a shitstorm in Romania by making a show which was, how can I put this, highly critical of the country. No idea if anyone here has seen it, but it seems from reading his blog that he (a) went with a Russian guide who knew fuck all about the place; (b) got really bad service; and (c) thought the food wasn't up to much. This has caused something of an issue with Romanians (as you can tell by the fact that he already has over 1000 comments on that blog post). Mostly because he was kind of paid to come here by the tourist board, and most people seem to think (a) they should have organised his trip significantly better and (b) they should actually be more organised in general. (The reaction is not especially negative towards Bourdain as far as I can tell).

Mind you, he's mostly right - obviously he shouldn't have been dining at places called "Motel Dracula" if he wanted good food and authentic experiences, and probably having a Russian guide who knew nothing about Romania was -let's face it - fucking ridiculous. But service here is shit, and Romanian food is nothing to write home about.

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Inca
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I haven't watched that episode yet, but I think he says it well in his post:

quote:
This show never pretended to have any responsibility to show the “best” of any place--or the “top ten” of anything. Or to even be diplomatic. I, me, Anthony Bourdain went to Romania. I made some bad decisions. And this is the show I came back with. At the end of the day? That’s what happened. That’s what it felt like. Period. Frankly? I think it’s a pretty funny show.
Now, most of the places he goes he enjoys the food, but it's not a Samantha Brown, oh isn't everything great type of show. He gets cranky. On the Berlin episode, he went to some cabaret, and they showed it for some minutes before he said he hates the cabaret and the audience is all friends and relatives of the performers. I thought it was pretty funny, because it was unexpected.
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ad hoc
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I'm just watching the Romania epsiode on YouTube, and have to say that Bourdain comes across as a supercilious and self-regarding tosser. I don't think this show is his fault at all - his producers and his ludicrous Russian guide are the fault here, but his personality is all a bit "Look at me, I'm hilarious" for my taste
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Dr. Hofzinser
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Yeah, I love food programs, and spend far too much time watching the Food Channel, but Bourdain's not to my taste at all.
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Wyatt Earp
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That's my problem with him too. I like his taste in food; he's into the same non-poncy simple trad French stuff that I really go for. But that "Look, I drink too much and smoke weed and am really badass and street" schtick is very wearing, and he also seems really incurious about the places he visits on his show. He went on and on and on about eating tripe in Vietnam; either eat it or don't, Tone. I know it's unfamiliar; it's like Vietnam's a whole different country or something.

Britain's "Hairy Bikers" show is based on a similar concept: travel round the world eating and cooking local stuff. But they're a good deal less into that "Isn't this weird and aren't I daring to try it?" thing.

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Dr. Hofzinser
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The hairy bikers are brilliant.
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Inca
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quote:
Britain's "Hairy Bikers" show is based on a similar concept: travel round the world eating and cooking local stuff. But they're a good deal less into that "Isn't this weird and aren't I daring to try it?" thing.
I don't think Bourdain's show is like that at all. Certainly nothing like his fellow Travel Channel host Andrew Zimmern, who has a show called "Bizarre Foods".

Bourdain's show from the US/Mexico border was probably the best discussion of immigration I saw in the media. At a time when the Minutemen were making their noise, and seemingly every member of Congress was trying to outdo each other about how high they'd make a border fence and how quick they'd deport The Illegals, he made a show celebrating Mexican immigrants.

Also, his show from Lebanon, filmed during the war in 2006, was just about the only thing in the US that showed the perspective of what it's like to be on the receiving end of Israel's military.

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Wyatt Earp
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Well, credit where it's due for that.
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Reed
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Bizarre Foods is disgusting. Like "stinky tofu." What the fuck? It's like eating rot and he said it tasted and smelled like it quite literally. I don't ever want to visit Taiwan now that I know about that. Good luck with sorting out your issues with the PRC, but keep that shit away from me.

My personal belief, although I can't prove this, is that a lot of the exotic cuisine that we hear about or see on that show - various sorts of bugs, deep fried rats, ground sand-crab curry, etc, is only eaten because the people in those places can't afford not to. If they could get their hands on proper meat, they wouldn't be eating bugs.

Of course, every now and then a "peasant dish" created out of necessity either turns out to be very good. For example, I imagine the first crab or lobster consumed by a human was done so on a dare. Alternatively, through years of trial and error, a people may figure out how to turn one man's trash into another man's treasure, so to speak. For example, barbecue, perhaps America's signature dish, came into being because poor people discovered that the non-choice cuts of meat were edible if you slow coooked them right.

But, I imagine, most of those experiments fail. I simply refuse to believe that a cobra's gall bladder soaked in grain alcohol (as I witnessed on that show last week) is actually tasty.

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The Batebe of Toro Foundation
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quote:
For example, I imagine the first crab or lobster consumed by a human was done so on a dare.
I've said it on here before, but at the time of the Famine, there were people in the West of Ireland who chose to starve rather than feed themselves on inedible filth like those, or mussels and oysters...
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lyra
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My favourite thing is the thing about it being illegal to feed your slave lobster more than three times a week in Roman Britain, because it was cruel.
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