Five or six years ago, Anthony Bourdain traded in his chef hat to be a traveling TV personality, food connoisseur and best-selling author. The likeable host of The Travel Channel’s Emmy Award winning series, No Reservations, has the opportunity to travel to every corner of the world to go on the most amazing adventures, eat the most amazing foods and interact with some of the world’s most amazing people. Food is the main focus of the ex-chef’s series. Food helps to understand how people live their lives in faraway lands and unfamiliar territories.

       Bourdain has come a long way from his first food-industry job as a dishwasher. “I remember viscerally what real work is, so I’m well aware of how lucky I am. I’m never going to be someone who gets upset at walking through an airport and somebody asks for an autograph,” Bourdain said. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and became a leading chef in New York City on Fifth Avenue. He then appeared on twenty-two episodes of Food Network’s A Cook’s Tour before landing his dream job with The Travel Channel.

       No Reservations is different compared to some of The Travel Channel’s other series, like Samantha Brown. Anthony Bourdain prefers getting lost and improvising his travels, “Given the demands of organizing a television show, we improvise to a surprising degree. I enjoy it. Famously, when confronted with a disappointing location, I prefer to quickly move to ‘Plan B’ – even if there is no ‘Plan B’. It makes my crew very nervous – but some of the best scenes for our show – and the best times on the road, came from winging it at the last minute. Seeing something and saying, ‘fuck it…let’s just go there and see what happens.’” Places that everyone goes to lead Bourdain to become automatically hostile to the idea of going there himself.  

       “It’s not work. At the end of the day, the TV show is the best job in the world. I get to go anywhere I want, eat and drink whatever I want. As long as I just babble at the camera, other people will pay for it. It’s a gift,” said Bourdain of his Travel Channel series, No Reservations. “I’m well aware of how unique a situation that is and how lucky I am. And, of course, I’m milking it for everything I can.”

       Anthony Bourdain has, quite possibly, the most enviable and desired job in the entire world. “Who gets to do what I get to do? I have a good, good life. I can’t complain about where I’m spending my time because I decide, or who I’m working with, because I decide, or creatively, because I’m with my friends who are these amazingly talented editors and post-production people and camera people and producers. We get to sit down and drink a lot of beer and look at a map and watch some movies and figure out, “Man, I really like Wong Kar-wai, let’s go do an hour of Wong Kar-wai in Hong Kong or Taipei. Awesome, high-five, let’s go!” Bourdain said.

       Bourdain has held the title of several different job positions over the last forty years, “I hate the sound of TV host. Writer? Maybe. Ex-cook-who-tells-stories. I kind of like that one.”


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