Back for the eighth and final season of Emmy® award-winning series NO RESERVATIONS, Anthony ‘Tony’ Bourdain dives head first into life’s colourful and rich pageant while encountering the weird, wild and wacky personalities and places that define each cultural landscape.
Best known for his culinary and cultural adventures, as well as his frank observations about the world around him, Tony weaves unexpected and thought-provoking narratives about these locales as he continues on his mission to embrace a culture through their food.
What makes the Croatian coast the Riviera du jour? What mysteries lie in post-colonial Mozambique? Of all places, why is Tony's second-largest fan base in Finland? Exploring 13 new locations - from Finland to Mozambique to Sydney to Penang - let Tony show you, in his inimitable style.
Anthony “Tony” Bourdain was born in New York City in 1956. After two misspent years at Vassar College, he attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. He is a veteran of professional kitchens, having worked as a dishwasher, line cook and chef in places good, bad and horrible – most of them in New York City.
Tony’s exposé of New York restaurants, Don’t Eat Before Reading This, published in The New Yorker in 1999, attracted huge attention in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. That formed the basis of his critically acclaimed 2001 book, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, which described in lurid detail his experiences in kitchens and became an unlikely, but enduring, international bestseller. He has since followed up with the gonzo-travel diary A Cook's Tour, which chronicles his adventures and misadventures as he set out to eat his way across the globe, looking for – as he puts it – kicks, thrills, epiphanies and the "perfect meal." The television series aired on TLC in Asia-Pacific.
Tony’s Les Halles Cook Book, published in October 2004, offered him a chance to reveal the hearty, delicious recipes of the Les Halles neighborhood in Paris and show the provocative tricks of the trade that have made him a celebrated name across the globe. Also an accomplished novelist, his work includes a historical account of the notorious turn-of-the-century cook and disease carrier Typhoid Mary, mystery novels Bone in the Throat, Gone Bamboo and The Bobby Gold Stories, a collection of essays entitled The Nasty Bits; and the companion book to the TLC series ANTHONY BOURDAIN: NO RESERVATIONS.
Tony’s latest series, ANTHONY BOURDAIN: THE LAYOVER aired in Asia-Pacific in October 2012.
Tony currently lives in New York City with his wife, Ottavia, and his daughter, Ariane.
NO RESERVATIONS continues a beloved holiday tradition as Tony experiences an unusual and disorienting holiday on Christmas day. Thrown out of his home, he takes shelter at New York’s ACE Hotel and calls on others to help him uncover the true meaning of Christmas. Chef guests include Lidia Bastianich, April Bloomfield, Kurt Gutenbrunner and Dave Arnold. Special guests, include Christopher Walken, Norah Jones, Samantha Brown and the band F****d Up.
Tony travels to Mozambique and finds himself in a mysterious, post-colonial Africa. From Portuguese ruins on Mozambique Island, to the vibrant metropolis of Maputo, Tony takes viewers on a journey to discover a stunningly beautiful country with amazing, delicious and diverse cuisine.
Tony takes a vessel from port to port to what is said is the next great vacation destination. Chef Mate Jankovic guides Tony through the rich history of the country and some of the best food he’s eaten. Also on this episode, Tony swims with bluefin tuna, hunts for a prized white truffle, and literally gets knocked off his feet as he is treated to the finest Mediterranean cuisine.
JAPAN: COOK IT RAW
In this episode, Tony goes behind the scenes for Japan’s gastronomic event 'Cook It Raw.' Each year, in remote and unusual locations around the world, some of the world's greatest and most innovative chefs assemble for a little known but highly exclusive gathering where they explore means to "cook it raw" using local ingredients in as close to their natural state as possible. This year, the event is being held in Tokyo and Ishikawa Prefecture.
Tony’s curiosity about mainland Portugal leads him to Lisbon. Once the center of the richest empire in Europe, Lisbon now faces one of the worst financial crises in the EU. But even as it struggles with rising debt and unemployment, Tony finds out that Lisbon is experiencing a cultural and culinary renaissance and dives straight into the heart and soul of Lisbon through traditional music and native dishes prepared by local chefs.
Kansas City IS barbecue. Tony goes on a barbecue-eating binge in the BBQ capital of the world with good friend and sidekick, Zamir Gotta. From ribs to burnt ends to the finer points of tailgating bbq Tony and Zamir see and taste it all. While there, Tony meets up with musicians, Dan and Patrick of The Black Keys, for some serious finger-licking good meat.
Tony heeds the calls of his Finnish Facebook fans – which interstingly turns out to be his second largest group of fans – and takes a trip to Helsinki, Finland. Tony joins musician Sami Yaffa for a liquored-up tour of the world's only pub tram, a bloody sauna and an unexpectedly exciting dinner with a cabbie's mother.
Baja used to be an easy escape, a quick vacation across the border. These days it can be a dicey destination. Warring drug cartels and increased crime have frightened away the tourists. But that doesn’t mean there still isn’t great food in this area of the country. In this episode, Tony crosses the border to visit Tijuana and Baja Norte.
Penang is the gastronomic capital of the Malacca Straits, with a cuisine that is influenced by a mix of Chinese merchant settlers, Indian labourers and ethnic Malays. Tony explores this beautiful, underexploited getaway during the Lunar New Year celebration, discovers a beautiful rice and shrimp dish wrapped in a banana leaf that he can't get enough of, and then eats fresh snapper on Monkey Beach which surprisingly lives up to its name.
The culture capital of Australia offers a mash up of surf culture, beach culture, restaurant culture, with an Asian dimension. It’s a big city with it’s own personality and an amazing food scene that Tony explores to the fullest. Tony travels to Sydney for the sheep farms of the blue mountains, the chic innovative restaurants of the big city and samples fresh seafood, old school charcuterie, and the ubiquitous Australian barbie.
Tony dives into Austin during the South by Southwest music festival and soaks up the indie music scene, BBQ, food trucks, lake and river culture, and the whole “weird island in the middle of Texas” thing. He looks to local chefs, BBQ Pit-masters and local bands that call Austin home, to guide him through the city.
Tony’s family roots extend to Burgundy, France but he hasn’t travelled to this part of France until now. Seated beside him as he coasts down a quiet road in Burgundy is chef, television host and Burgundy native Ludo Lefebvre, who has joined Tony to rediscover the place of his birth.
Manhattan’s neighborhood of Washington Heights contains a large population of Dominicans, and Tony has often been asked why it is he has never made a trip to their island. Santo Domingo, the capital, and the largest city in the Caribbean, marks his first stop. At Mason de Bari, in the picturesque neighborhood of Zona Colonial, Tony meets filmmaker Juan Basanta for lunch. Empanadas, longanisa, Dominican peas, stewed goat and avocado salad are served alongside Dominican beer, whose temperature must always be at the point just before freezing.
Tony travels to Emilia Romagna, known as the breadbasket of Italy, with acclaimed NYC chef Michael White. In a red Ferrari California, the two travel across the region, sampling the foods that make this part of Italy so great.
Tony travels to Rio to uncover the unseen city where he visits Rio’s famous favelas with the writer of City of God, Paulo Lins, and meets up with Brazilian chef Alex Atala. Though Rio seems like a perfect city that is almost impossible to not love, Tony has just one other wish – that he could enjoy his time more in this Brazilian paradise as he nervously awaits his wife's Jiu Jitsu battle.