Bourdain's back with more 'No Reservations'
April 9th, 2012
05:16 PM ET

Bourdain's back with more 'No Reservations'

Now eight seasons in to "No Reservations," you might think host (as well as author/chef) Anthony Bourdain would be growing weary of his televised travel-and-eat lifestyle. (Particularly when you take into account that he has another food-focused Travel Channel show, "The Layover," which is more service-oriented than "No Reservations.")

But prepping for the eighth season of "No Reservations," which debuts tonight at 9 p.m. ET on the network, Bourdain said in a recent press call that he's not struggling to find fresh material.

"The guiding principle with the show," he says, involves a few essential questions, with the first being, "'where can I go that will be interesting to me?'"

Each season, the idea is to seek places that "I'm genuinely curious about, where I'm excited to go, where I either have something to say already or know nothing about, but am intensely curious about. Where will be interesting for me and the people who I have embarked on this creative enterprise with?'"

The key being satisfying his sense of curiosity, and heading off on sojourns where he can discover and be "forced to learn things about myself.  I see those as essential to making interesting television. If this is a job for me, if traveling around the world and being the guest of people all around the world [is a job], then I don't see any reason why it would be interesting and fun to anybody else. That's the only principle. Am I having fun, am I finding this exciting and interesting, is this still a creative enterprise. And I think we've very much managed to keep it one."

This season will hit 15 different locales, including Croatia, Kansas City and Mozambique, which is the subject of Monday's episode.

"The food was a hell of a lot better than I expected, the food was amazing," Bourdain said of the premiere's destination. "It was one of the shows where I came out feeling hopeful about the world."

On the process of taking their travels and turning it into an hour-long TV program, Bourdain said he starts by entering every location chosen "with an open mind, and we shoot a lot - whatever happens."

There will be certain stops and cuisines that the team's researched and will generally try to capture more of, he said, "but any story, any voice-over, any narration, I write that after. That's almost the last thing, as part of the shaping and editing of the show."

"In the best case scenario, the place reveals itself to us, and I'm forced to think about what I've experienced and write from there," he said. "[In] the best case scenario, I go in blind and come out maybe a tiny bit smarter."

And sometimes, along the way, he finds himself departing a destination with a new frame of mind.

"I think anytime you go to a place where they've had very, very little, and where they have very, very little...and yet still manage to take joy in the simple act of cooking and eating and do that with real pride," he said, "it's hard to come away from an experience like that, if you're lucky enough to experience it, it's hard to come out of that unchanged."

As far as having the best gig going, Bourdain said he's fully aware. "There's no question about it," the host said. "Me and my crew, we know we're lucky. And I have the freedom to decide where we're going, what we're going to do when we go there and how we're going to tell the story. I'm well aware of how fortunate I am."

Filed under: Celebrities • television

soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Craig Moore

    To English 101: I have to agree with Jmacq1 – – in addition, spell check should be in order - restaurant is the proper way to spell the word. And Les Halles was his last restaurant. I've had the pleasure of eating there and tracing the footsteps of Mr. Bourdain. Even managed to venture from Buffalo down to Pittsburgh to hear him speak courtesy of a birthday present of my wife. When it came time for a book signing, Mr. Bourdain was extremely gracious to everyone standing in line and took time to speak with everyone individually. Here's someone who was on the verge of leaving this world due to his previous lifestyle, righted his life and has been able to live the last half his life a hell of a lot better than the first. He's opened our family's eyes to many new locations, lifestyles, culinary trends and tastes than anyone else so I tip my hat to him as well as marvel at his marketing skills. English101 needs to take a seat and a remedial class. Rock on Tony!

    April 11, 2012 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
  2. idiot

    stupid, the show is not on tonight!

    April 10, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. LeBar

    Glad to hear there's going to be another season of "No Reservations". I started watching re-runs of the show last year and I'm hooked. Funny thing is, I'm a vegetarian, & I know Tony finds us non-meat eaters reprehensible, but I don't care. I love learning about the cultures he explores, & his show takes me to places I will never get to experience in person.

    Besides, he's a Ramones fan, so he can't be all bad. And if he is "bad", so what. I like his show.

    April 10, 2012 at 6:39 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JonfromLI

    It's a tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.

    April 10, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ResjudiKATA

    Bourdain est simplement fantastique!!! That's right, is his dad's native language. Keep up the good work Tony, love your show...

    April 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Superfart

    Bourdain rules. If you don't get it, I feel sorry for you.

    It's a waste to be a hater...

    April 10, 2012 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CN Red

    He looks like Herman Munster.

    April 10, 2012 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. SMU

    Who wouldn't sign on another season of drinking, eating and being yourself? Although, the production gimmicks and one liners are lame.

    April 10, 2012 at 12:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Thegoodman

    He is very kind to the people he meets in his travels, its obvious on camera. He is a very gracious and grateful guest in every encounter I have seen him in. He has helped a great deal in crafting a television show that is exactly what I want TV to be. Food, traveling, and culture. If that makes you a bad person, so be it.

    How is he mean? Paula Dean is a disgusting MEAN person who preys on the vices of America to make millions of dollars at their (and her own) expense. Pointing these facts out does not make Tony mean.

    April 10, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. nancy

    I don't like him either. He's an egotistical drunkard.

    April 10, 2012 at 11:12 am | Report abuse |
  11. English101

    Bourdain is the worst kind of person, a dilletent masquerading as someone who knows anything about class, style and sophistication. I dont care what he finds interesting, he is a nobody that knew someone in order to get his show. What is the name of his resturant? Why have i never heard of it? Please Anthony crawl back beneath the rock from whence you came and leave the civilized world to our own culinary and social dictates.

    April 10, 2012 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
    • AB

      Actually, he got his TV gig because of a bestselling book, "Kitchen Confidential". Which is a great read, by the way

      April 10, 2012 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jmacq1

      If you bothered to do a shred of research, you might find that he has little to do with style and sophistication and more to do with culture and more specifically how the food of various cultures reflects their history and is an important part of their heritage. You might also find he gained his success due to his best-selling book, as noted by a fellow poster. Do YOU know the names of every "good" restaurant in the world off the top of your head? I rather doubt it.

      PS: You'd think someone that took "English 101" would know how to spell "dilettante" correctly. Nevermind being "cultured" enough to do a shred of research and find out that the word in absolutely no way applies to Mr. Bourdain, who does in fact have a great deal of knowledge and passion concerning food.

      April 10, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  12. @@blue ink lol

    Does that mean you want to fill out an application to join the club ?

    April 10, 2012 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  13. Tanya

    I don't like him. He is rude and abrasive. Mean people suck.

    April 10, 2012 at 9:53 am | Report abuse |
  14. @blue ink lol

    Wow! So this is where the national illiterate moron club meets! Always wondered where you idjits gathered.

    April 10, 2012 at 8:12 am | Report abuse |
  15. Blue Ink LOL @6:12

    I pay attention to his site. It's the only way for me to learn bout pu55y. Now kindly stfu. Mama is getting old en in the need to get old pu55y sumwhere else. I'm also tired of men's stretched out a55hole. Unless you want to bend over for daddy, put a sock in it ho3 bag. – lol

    April 9, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • unbelievable

      if writing trash on the internet keeps you inside so you are not out walking around and have the chance to meet nice people whose day your behavior would ruin, I am all for your staying in your mom's basement

      April 10, 2012 at 8:08 am | Report abuse |
  16. @mp4/3gp

    Really? He said that? I wouldnt have known that if I hadnt READ THE STORY FIRST! Can you just not post anything original or do you just not have anyone paying attention to your site?

    April 9, 2012 at 6:12 pm | Report abuse |

    As far as having the best gig
    going, Bourdain said he’s fully

    April 9, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |

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