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Posted Monday 6/11/18 at 9:19PM EDT
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
Posted Friday 6/08/18 at 11:16PM EDT
Anthony Bourdain's wokeness was a secret ingredient baked into every Parts Unknown episode
Bourdain could be "casually radical" explaining to viewers why, for instance, the Black Panther Party's controversial demands weren't all that controversial, says Sarah J. Jackson. In Bourdain's death, says Jackson, we "lost a man who brilliantly and bravely wove political education into food culture in a way that provided the kind of historical context and compassion for the oppressed that Americans need now more than ever. In an era in which 'woke' has morphed, for some, into a derisive term for those who are too earnest about injustice, Mr. Bourdain delivered this kind of insight effortlessly and without repentance. It was a secret ingredient baked into his every episode, and served to viewers whether they’d ordered it or not."
- Bourdain's mother, longtime New York Times editor Gladys Bourdain, told The Times: “He is absolutely the last person in the world I would have ever dreamed would do something like this"
- Bourdain treasured cultural differences -- in contrast to Roseanne's joke that black and Asian families are "just like us": "No matter where Anthony Bourdain went, he never wanted the takeaway to be, 'Cambodians are just like us' or 'Lebanese are just like us,'" says Daniel Fienberg. "He treasured cultural difference and viewed it all as worthy of recognition and understanding. He wasn't about homogenization; he was about not being isolated in the world, not being lonely."
- "Anthony Bourdain was who I wish I was"
- "Anthony Bourdain was the best friend I never had"
- Anderson Cooper says "he loved and was loved in return" on CNN's Remembering Anthony Bourdain special
- Bourdain's CNN colleagues were in "complete shock" over his death
- Bourdain understood his privilege and used it as a cudgel to force Americans to think about our role in the world
- Photographer recalls "raw" and "filterless" Hollywood Reporter photoshoot that Bourdain used for his Twitter avatar
- Jimmy Kimmel tweeted of Bourdain: "This is a man I admired greatly"
- Suits' Patrick J. Adams responded to Bourdain's death by admitting: "I’ve wrestled with the darkness for years. And it wants us to be alone. That’s how it wins"
- Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential book showed that it's never too late for a second act in life
- A Chinese restaurant owner featured on No Reservations recalled how Bourdain changed his family's life
- Here are five episodes that capture Bourdain's blazing spirit
- The best Bourdain episodes were when everything went terribly wrong, like in Romania
- Here's a roundup of Bourdain's most poignant quotes
- The replies to Bourdain's last tweet are devastating
Posted Friday 6/08/18 at 2:52PM EDT
Anthony Bourdain offered a refreshing alternative to the way TV showed Americans abroad
"This may sound like a grandiose claim for a guy best known for stuffing his face and making wisecracks, but Bourdain presented a model of how Americans could act in the world: open-minded, always curious, and unafraid to sometimes look ridiculous," says Joshua Keating, in tribute to the late Parts Unknown star, who died today from an apparent suicide. "His persona was a refreshing alternative to the familiar archetypes of Americans abroad—flak-jacketed war correspondent, selfless aid worker, pampered tourist, blissed-out enlightenment-seeking backpacker. Bourdain showed how you could be radically open to new experiences while still being basically yourself. While profoundly aware, particularly on his CNN show, of past U.S. misdeeds and how his country is perceived in the world, he was undeniably American too. Bourdain could serve up food porn with the best of them, but also deserves credit for smuggling in-depth features on countries that rarely rate for TV-news coverage, like Congo, Myanmar, and Ethiopia, onto prime-time television."
- CNN plans multiple tribute specials this weekend, starting with tonight's Remembering Anthony Bourdain at 10 p.m.
- Bourdain rewrote the rules of food and travel shows: "Anthony Bourdain made it clear throughout his published and televised career that he was a learner and a listener rather than an educator, that that to be open to new experiences and new people was the key," says Chris Fuhrmeister, adding: "Bourdain wanted to know the world, and thanks to his voice and the hundreds of hours of television he made, he convinced a legion of fans that they wanted to know the world, too. Through Bourdain’s on-air travels, his viewers came to know people and cultures they otherwise may have never met."
- "I mean, honestly, WHAT A GODDAMN LIFE, MAN!" says Drew Magary, who admits to wanting Bourdain's life. "He lived a scant 61 years, but my god, were those years densely packed. Watching him trot around the globe week to week engendered only the warmest of envies. And, in death, Bourdain takes with him a collection of memories and experiences so immeasurable, and so vast, that they dwarf any book or TV episode he leaves behind. It is that life, more than his work, that millions of people (myself included) seek to emulate: a life that is hungry, thirsty, curious, honest, compassionate, rowdy, horny, all of it."
- Bourdain told the truth and became perhaps the best-known celebrity in America: "Bourdain’s fame wasn’t the distant, lacquered type of an actor or a musician, bundled and sold with a life-style newsletter," says Helen Rosner. "Bourdain felt like your brother, your rad uncle, your impossibly cool dad—your realest, smartest friend, who wandered outside after beers at the local one night and ended up in front of some TV cameras and decided to stay there."
- Bourdain stood up for women without making it about him: "'Right now, nothing else matters but women’s stories,' he wrote in a gut-punch of a Medium essay in December," says Megan Greenwell. "That such a seemingly obvious line from a male celebrity feels so extraordinary is dismaying; that Bourdain was willing to scream it just as loudly as he once told sous chefs to suck his dick gives me hope."
- Bourdain's show increasingly became less about him: "Over the years, Bourdain’s approach to his shows became less about what he was going to eat and more about who he was going to meet," says Caroline Framke. "He made a concerted effort to resist the idea that his breadth of experience made him an expert in any given cuisine
- Bourdain's appreciation of Waffle House tells you all you need to know: "It would be easy to say that Anthony Bourdain 'got' places, but I hate that term," says Spencer Hall. "I kind of hate the term 'understood,' too, because the word implies a kind of authority. 'Understood' can make experience a mandatory training webinar to be completed, with certificates, stages, merit badges, and flair earned along the way. To the observer who gets and understands and frames places, there is only acquisition, and process, and then a new target. That’s not what Bourdain’s work felt like."
- Bourdain was the rare celebrity who appealed to the common man: "#AnthonyBourdain was everything I hoped he'd be in real life: smart AF but humble, kind and even goofy. And a man with a huge heart," tweets Gustavo Arellano, who appeared with Bourdain on Parts Unknown's 2017 Los Angeles episode. He adds that Bourdain "spoke against pretentious idiots, against exploitation and harassment. But for me, his greatest achievement was his full-throttled defense of the food industry's most exploited class: Latinos."
- New Yorker writer Patrick Radden Keefe recalled his 2017 profile of Bourdain: "Looking back over my notebooks this morning, I recognized dark threads running through our conversations. Bourdain freely acknowledged that part of the reason he continued to work at such a frantic pace might have been a fear about where his mind might go if he ever sat still. Any facile notion I might have entertained about writing a light-hearted portrait of a man with a dream job was, upon meeting Tony, quickly overtaken by a sense that he wasn’t content—that, in all that globe-trotting, he was chasing something that would forever elude him."
- His decepitively optimistic outlook will be missed the most: "Bourdain may have had a snarl," says Linda Holmes, "a cutting tongue and closets full of demons he was often fairly open about. But he treated the world as if he had not given up on it. He treated it as if, at any moment, it might open itself wider, reveal a crack into which he hadn't ever slipped, with pen and paper, with a flashlight and a fork. And he might be able to help other people understand what was inside."
- Bourdain was an inspiration to many: "For those who struggled with addiction like himself, he showed that you could burst forth from that suffocating cocoon and lead a life of wonderment and adventure, traveling across the world, indulging in its myriad pleasures," says Marlow Stern. "For those who felt walled off from the rest, he presented a glorious escape."
- Bourdain was deeply moral and deeply compassionate: "His character sketches of his fellow cooks showed a humility and curiosity about the lives of others that made his television series stand far, far above anyone else’s. He had been through fire, literal and spiritual," says Corby Kummer. "That left him alive to not just the pain of the cooks who had practiced their trade until they were good enough to attract his attention. It also left him alive to joy: the joy of a burrito or spring roll or soup dumpling or churrascaria or squid skewer. Of living in a new landscape, spectacularly beautiful or spectacularly simple."
- Barack Obama's Bourdain tribute to their Parts Unknown Hanoi noodles-and-beer meal captures exactly why he was beloved
- Asia Argento, Bourdain's girlfriend, says: "His brilliant, fearless spirit touched and inspired so many, and his generosity knew no bounds"
- Bourdain took responsibility for toxic masculinity and called out his friends
- Why Bourdain was a #MeToo champion: "In these current circumstances, one must pick a side," Bourdain wrote in Medium in December. "I stand unhesitatingly and unwaveringly with the women."
- Bourdain discussed his depression on a 2016 Parts Unknown episode in Argentina: "I find myself in a spiral of depression that can last for days"
- Food Network's Sandra Lee, whom Bourdain mocked, paid tribute to him as "a really gifted, smart, articulate man and his humor will be missed"
- Somebody Feed Phil's Phil Rosenthal said Bourdain "invetned an entire genre"
- A reminder: Parts Unknown Seasons 1 through 8 are leaving Netflix on June 16
- Bourdain's book imprint will be discontinued
- New Yorker editor David Remnick recalled the Bourdain's 1999 essay that propelled him to fame
- Remembering Bourdain's tremendous literary talent
- Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential tops Amazon's best-seller list
- Bourdain had been working on a "more personal" new book
- Newsweek under fire for trying to capitalize on Bourdain's death with a flood of "clickbait" articles
- Val Kilmer criticized for calling Bourdain's apparent suicide "so selfish"
- Here are the most memorable moments from Bourdain's shows
- Bourdain reportedly gave everything to his work: "His travel schedule was grueling and he often seemed quite beat-up from it, as anyone would be," a source tells People. "He’d put everything into the shoots and then go back to his room to isolate."
- Travel Channel announces a 12-hour Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations marathon for Sunday
- Check out Bourdain's life in photos
# TOPICS: Anthony Bourdain, CNN, Food Network, A Cook's Tour, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Travel Channel, Asia Argento, Barack Obama, Phil Rosenthal, Sandra Lee, Sexual Misconduct
Posted Tuesday 4/24/18 at 5:36PM EDT
Travel Channel enlists Megan Fox to host a history show
The actress will explore history's greatest mysteries on the four-episode Mysteries and Myths with Megan Fox.
Posted Wednesday 3/21/18 at 1:47PM EDT
Travel Channel star began working on a Charles Manson TV documentary shortly before the cult leader died
Ghost Adventures host Zak Bagans got the idea to make a Manson's Bloodline documentary after meeting with Manson's grandson. Bagans hasn't lined up a network for his film, but says the documentary will cover everything from Manson's life in prison to the battle over his body.