Chef dishes up his travel tips

An­thony Bour­dain has a new show, writes Kather­ine Leone of Scripps Howard News

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - TV -

CHEF, author and TV per­son­al­ity An­thony Bour­dain kicks up dust on the back roads and pounds the pave­ments of cities world­wide on his show No Reser­va­tions. He and his crew came up with the con­cept for a new show called The Lay­over. It shows view­ers places to visit – from five stars to dive bars – when they have only 24 to 48 hours in a city. What are the key dif­fer­ences be­tween No Reser­va­tions and The Lay­over?

No Reser­va­tions is all about me, me, me and me hav­ing fun and me sat­is­fy­ing my cu­rios­ity about the world and less about whether or not any­body in the au­di­ence will ac­tu­ally be able to repli­cate the ex­pe­ri­ence. With this show, we’re ac­tu­ally try­ing to be use­ful. We’ve un­masked a lot of in­for­ma­tion about places around the world over the course of eight years. We’ve got­ten pretty good about cut­ting right to the heart of the mat­ter. If you find your­self in New York for a brief pe­riod of time, what do we do bet­ter in New York than any place else? I al­ways ad­vise peo­ple to go for a pas­trami sand­wich. So we’re kind of look­ing for the Tokyo ver­sion or the Hong Kong, or Sin­ga­pore or Montreal or LA or San Fran­cisco ver­sion of the pas­trami sand­wich, you know, the lo­cal dive bars as well as uniquely weird and won­der­ful places around the world you might not stum­ble upon your­self. Given the choice of a dive bar or five stars, which do you pre­fer?

Chances are, on any given day I would much pre­fer to be hav­ing a beer in a late af­ter­noon in a favourite dive bar or at a fam­ily-run place, and no table­cloth, not fancy, you know, sleep­ing dog on the floor. Do you sched­ule lay­overs around in­ter­na­tional travel?

I travel so much and have so lit­tle time at home with my fam­ily and since I get to go, I choose where we go on these shows and what we do there, so I don’t need to do that. But ev­ery once in a while I have. I mean, if I’m do­ing a speak­ing en­gage­ment in Aus­tralia, as has hap­pened, or a writer’s fes­ti­val or food and wine fes­ti­val, I would stop off sched­ul­ing my­self a cou­ple of days, a two-day lay­over in Sin­ga­pore is some­thing I’ve done be­fore. You’ve men­tioned that this is sim­i­lar to Sa­man­tha Brown’s Travel Chan­nel show; in what ways is it dif­fer­ent?

I guess we’re very dif­fer­ent peo­ple to start with. If things go wrong, I’ll ac­tu­ally look at the cam­era and say ‘this sucks’, so that would be a dis­tinc­tive dif­fer­ence. I’m not re­ally in­ter­ested in the best or the most iconic places in lo­ca­tions where I think most other travel shows, you know, made an ef­fort to at least make you aware of the pyra­mids or the Eif­fel Tower. I’ve kind of gone the other di­rec­tion. Like any­thing I do, it’s al­ways point of view, it’s al­ways a per­sonal es­say of sorts. Do you think it’s a chal­lenge to make in­ter­na­tional cities and re­mote lo­ca­tions ac­ces­si­ble to a main­stream Amer­i­can au­di­ence?

You know, I don’t re­ally care. The Lay­over, these are places that any in­ter­na­tional trav­eller would be likely to find them­selves. But the chal­lenge is mak­ing Saudi Ara­bia or Liberia more ac­ces­si­ble in this sense.

No Reser­va­tions: Daily, var­i­ous times, The Life­style Chan­nel

An­thony Bour­dain

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