Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations: Cool, Always

Last night I watched one of my favorite travel shows, the inimitable Anthony Bourdain, who spent time in Ecuador and later, travels to Kerala, India.  The thing about this guy is that he is so real.  There is none of the scripted corniness that can seep into some of these shows; that cliched string of adjectives that makes it all sound touristy.

I am somewhat reluctant to praise Bourdain, perhaps because I think he gets too much praise already. I mean, he’s so cool that when the Travel Channel has events and promotes itself, he’s rarely on the bill. For all of the times we exhibited at the New York Times Travel show, you’d see Samantha Brown, and Andrew Zimmern, but never the man himself. No, he doesn’t need that kind of shilling, he’s cool and he’s above it.

But time and time again, he delivers!  The Ecuador show had him eating stew after stew, and then gasp, ceviche with catsup. After about a week of catsup, he begins to enjoy it, and as it’s slathered on topped with fried banana chips, he accepts this random and seemingly awful tasting mix as well, bueno!

Inevitably, he ends up at a huge table clinking beers and doing exactly what I love to do. Enjoying conversation, new foods, and an enthusiastic host who teaches him how they cook what they cook, wherever he is.

I see a huge parallel between the work we do every day at and what Bourdain does. I hope that someday, he visits our site and wonders about the people who publish it. Maybe he’ll think we’re almost as cool as him.