Anthony Bourdain & The Layover

For sometime I’ve been watching the Travel Channel and most of that viewing has been Anthony Bourdain’s shows. I have mentioned the Travel Channel in conversation a couple times and been surprise that some people turn their nose up at it. One response I got told me that the man didn’t think it was any more valuable than the Dirt Channel.

I used to have fun with my son about a fictional channel – The Dirt Channel. All Dirt. All Day. If that falls flat you will generally get a better response from an 8 yr old – provided he hasn’t already been violated by a steady diet of Grand Theft Auto and the like.

One of the great things about Kindle is that you can borrow a book once a month and this month I finally got to read Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain. I really enjoyed it and wasn’t too lost when he got into nitty gritty descriptions of foods and utensils and such. I definitely think a big part of his audience for this book is people who have worked in food more than just a little. He went into the origins of his love for food and seemed to leave out no details in his restaurant career adventures. So be warned. I don’t know what rating this book would get if it were a movie, but it is definitely not G rated.

My wife and I have probably seen 80% of his No Reservations show on the Travel Channel, though I’ve definitely seen more episodes. She thinks Bourdain is a jerk and in his book he describes himself using an even harsher word. He is pretty clever though and definitely adventurous.

I’ve only seen two episodes of The Layover and I think I like the format even better. To be fair to A.B. I think he has mellowed since he became a father. Isn’t that always the case? I think he has even mellowed enough to not flinch at the thought of having mellowed. Got that?

In his book he says that he started eating unusual fare when he noticed that he could get attention for the yuck factor. While he and his family were in France for the summer he tried an oyster and to his surprise he liked it. I think he was trying it not expecting to like it, but hoping to gross out family. Earlier in the vacation he and his brother had behaved like ugly American spoiled brats and had even had to endure sitting in the car for hours at one restaurant. Because he and his brother started out expecting American food wherever they went and were generally behaving badly, they weren’t allowed to go into the incredibly famous restaurant whose name escapes me right now. That’s ok. You can read Kitchen Confidential.

I am a little surprised that my wife is so put off by Bourdain, but I guess his creativity and entertainment value don’t overcome the jerk factor for her. But it’s not like she has to have him over for dinner.

Anyway, I’m thinking that I might not want to have a lot of caffeine right before I write as it doesn’t seem to be helping!

If you like food and restaurants and you are the least bit adventurous I think you’ll like The Layover. There are short bursts of information about places to stay and restaurants and eateries. It may be one of the most perfectly suited shows for this attention deficit era.

Though I know that the Kony video has been seen by 100 Million people recently. I’m not sure how long you have to watch it for YouTube to count it as a viewing. I decided to set aside a little time and watched the full 1/2 hour. I have tweeted about it and shared it on Facebook and my nephew is even going to put up posters on the designated “stay up all night and do the work” day. If you don’t know which video I’m talking about, check YouTube for Kony 2012. It’s really worth it even though it’s heartbreaking.

But it’s well done and captures your attention, so it’s not a screed. I think it’s important enough to tell you that you need to watch it and share it with others. If you’re on the fence I urge you to jump over and join the next level of participation. I’m not going to share any more about it, but I really, really urge you to watch it. It’s THAT important.

Unlike Anthony Bourdain’s stuff which is entertainment with some utility if you travel at all or just drive up the road to get something to eat. I think he might have started this new Layover show because he’s been just about everywhere else on No Reservations.

Funny thing about when I saw the very first episode of No Reservations by chance. The episode I saw had him staying the night with someone that he had just met and I thought that was part of “No Reservations” – that he would come into town and eat at different places and at the end of the day he would have hopefully found a place to stay with some kind soul putting him up. Boy, was I wrong!


2 responses

  1. I love Anthony Boudain. I read his book “No Reservations,” and another one (which name escapes me at the moment). Very interesting and entertaining guy. I like the fact that he’s blunt and tells it like it is. I don’t think I could consume some of the stuff he does (offal, anyone?), but it’s cool to see him give it a try. He’s also pretty funny. I will definitely give “The Layover” a viewing.

    1. Thanks for reminding me about the BOOK No Reservations. I’ll have to check that out. Do YOU have Kindle?

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