Anthony Bourdain overhauled TV's "Celebrity-Chef Industrial Complex" led by Mario Batali and Emeril Lagasse
"When Anthony Bourdain rose to fame in the early aughts, the celebrity-chef-industrial-complex was reaching its most bloated moment," says Sara Dickerman. "Food Network stars like Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, Wolfgang Puck, and Emeril Lagasse were seemingly everywhere at once, using their very familiar faces to launch countless restaurants, with which they had varying degrees of actual connection. Bourdain was different. Sure, he had been a chef, but a chef-for-hire, and not always a successful one." With A Cook's Tour, followed by No Reservations and Parts Unknown, Bourdain was able to change the relationship viewers had with TV chefs. "By valuing street food, improvised meals, and home cooking on the same plane as extraordinary restaurant meals, he helped viewers recognize that great dining didn’t need status signifiers," says Dickerman. "Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri would soon build their own brands on showing audiences how to enjoy lower-brow meals, too, but Bourdain always seemed to absorb more of the world around him: the lives and personalities of the people making the food, the clash of cultural histories. Even the sounds: he chose microphones that picked up more street noise than typical mics would. Bourdain understood that a huge part of what was interesting in the dining world was not going on in fine restaurants."
- Bourdain's No Reservations executive producer: "He didn’t suffer fools. He didn’t hold back barbs"
- "Bourdain was the best white man": He never treated non-western food as if he "discovered" it
- How Bourdain helped humanize the Muslim community
- Danny Trejo recalls filming Parts Unknown with Bourdain in L.A.: "When he walked in, it was like getting visited by the Pope"
- Andrew Zimmern recalls how Bourdain changed his approach to TV after calling it the "most vile mistress" 13 years ago
- Bourdain hadn't finalized his divorce from wife Ottavia Busia when he died
- Travel Channel will continue airing No Reservations episodes through July 3
TOPICS: Anthony Bourdain, CNN, Food Network, A Cook's Tour, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Travel Channel, Andrew Zimmern, Danny Trejo, Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batali
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