Au revoir, No Reservations

"The journey is part of the experience - an expression of the seriousness of one's intent. One doesn't take the A train to Mecca.”
― Anthony Bourdain
A Cook's Tour 

Eight years ago, Tony Bourdain began taking us on his adventures to Paris and Penang and all places in between.  Now, he's onto his "Final Tour" of No Reservations and I am feeling a little sad that he won't be letting me vicariously hitch a ride any longer.
Through his unmatched combination of charm and snark, Tony has taught me how to travel.  Here's what I've learned along the way:
  • Eat where the locals eat and respect local culinary customs whether that means eating with your hands, using chopsticks or sharing with your fellow diners.  Be humble.
  • "Meat in tube form" is generally a delicious bet in most any country, especially in the very early morning,  and especially after a night of imbibing. 
  • Have fearless tastebuds(except in the case of fermented shark or bovine nether-regions) and indulge in (carefully-sourced) street food.
  • Savor the simple, unadorned "No Reservations" required establishments. 
  • No matter where you are and no matter how you muddle it, try to say "hello", "goodbye", "please" and "thank you" in the native tongue.
  • Meet the people who grow the food, cook the food and serve the food.  Listen to their stories.
  • Match your mode of transportation to the destination (camel= Egypt, scooter= Mumbai, water taxi= Venice).
  • Approach each journey with openness and no judgements.
  • Food tastes best with friends and a heavy pour of the local libation (and of course it helps to have friends like Eric Ripert, Michael Ruhlman, Norman Van Aken and Zamir Gotta).
  • Reflect on your adventures at the end of each journey and assess how you grew over the course of the trip.
  • Enjoy the ride...


  1. I too LOVE Tony!
    He is by FAR the most articulate host on tv.
    Kitchen Confidential is one of my FAVs.

    Love his irreverence and irony. Who else could say, "I did everything my mom told me NOT to do and so far it's turned out pretty good."

    No one, but no one on the tube is as entertaining/enlightening as Tony.

    Is his show a cooking show or a travel show?
    For me, it's the TONY show.

    It's about HIS perspective.
    I LIKE that he'll have dinner one night with the taxi driver and the next with the maharajah.

    I will be in NO RESERVATIONS withdrawal.

  2. Send this Valentine to Tony!
    I too love Tony and his edgy view.


  3. In honor of Tony, you should come up with a Tony cocktail -- somthing tony and a bit snarky, something with a bit of a bite.


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