A retrospective of season one highlights and preview of season two.
This live show features highlights from season 2 and a lively debate among the guests on subjects such as food sustainability and guns in America.
This one-hour special offers a preview of the new season of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.
Tony looks back on Season 3. Last 5 minutes looks forward to Season 4.
A retrospective of season four and preview of season five.
A look back at the previous season featuring recaps, out-takes and commentary; including a sneak peek into season 6.
A look back at the previous season featuring recaps, out-takes and commentary; including a sneak peek into season 7.
A look back at the previous season featuring recaps, out-takes and commentary; including a sneak peek into season 8.
A look back at the previous season featuring recaps, out-takes and commentary; including a sneak peek into season 9.
Series executive producer Chris Collins asks Bourdain to reflect upon the 10 seasons of Parts Unknown.
A look back at the previous season featuring recaps, out-takes and commentary and including a sneak peek into season 11.
With the slight relaxation of control by the government of Myanmar, Tony is finally able to explore one of the most fabled and beautiful areas of Asia.
Tony takes Los Angeles--but with a twist. No Hollywood sign, no Beverly Hills. Instead, he zeroes in on a three square-mile area of the city known as Koreatown, where he finds a tight-knit community still marked by the 1992 Rodney King riots.
The public face of Colombia has changed immensely over the past ten years and is still changing for the better. Tony will explore several regions of the country from the mountains down to the Caribbean coast to the coca leaf growing inlands formerly controlled by drug cartels.
Bourdain travels to remote areas within the province of Quebec where he samples local delicacies, explores ice fishing and beaver hunting and spends time with two of funniest and most brilliant chef/restauranteurs in Canada, Joe Beef's Dave McMillan and Fred Morin.
Tony explores the "Interzone", where artists like Burroughs, Bowles, and the Rolling Stones sought escape from Western moral prohibitions and the possibilities of great empty spaces.
Libyan hip-hop, Italian restaurants, tribal allegiances and post-war uncertainty in Libya. Bourdain looks at the country through personal stories, food--and the music of anti-Qaddafi rapper expats who returned to fight.
Tony and his friend, world-renowned chef Eric Ripert, explore the far reaches of indigenous Andes in search of a rare variety of wild cocoa that is said to be the "best" in the world. They move from hip, modern Lima back in time into pre-Colombian Peru.
Tony visits Congo, the setting of one of his favorite books, Conrad's Heart of Darkness, and the basis for one of his favorite movies, the classic Apocalypse Now.
In the season premiere of Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, the host and crew make their first trip to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. While the political situation is often tense between the people living in these areas, Bourdain concentrates on their rich history, food and culture, and spends time with local chefs, home cooks, writers and amateur foodies.
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown explores Andalucía during Semana Santa (Holy Week, leading up to Easter), a time filled with great pageantry and excitement. Featured in this episode is Bourdain’s longtime Director of Photography Zach Zamboni, who lives part-time in Granada and shows the host sights off the beaten path.
Parts Unknown takes a close look at the mash-up of cultures that comprise this uniquely American state by sampling its food – a combination of Spanish, Mediterranean, Mexican, Pueblo and even chuck-wagon influences. New Mexico is also a land of drugs, guns, monster vehicles, and possibly extraterrestrials. It may also be the perfect place to investigate the underside of the Western cowboy ideal.
This episode explores the food and natural beauty of Copenhagen, the economic and cultural center of Denmark. Home to famed chef Rene Redzepi and his brainchild Noma – regarded by critics as one of the world’s best restaurants – Parts Unknown delves into the city’s cuisine and the new Nordic creativity that infuses Redzepi’s work at Noma.
Parts Unknown explores the Sicilian way of life, which puts a premium on savoring family, life, and food. Bourdain travels in search of those foods as he eats his way around the island. He makes his home base at the Villa Monaci, on the outskirts of Catania with his enthusiastic, fast-talking sidekicks who counter the otherwise relaxed tempo and epic “food porn” of this episode.
Once considered the most dangerous city in the world, Johannesburg now barely makes the top 50. But the end of the apartheid has led to vast changes in the city. In this episode, Bourdain visits the suburb of Hillbrow (which remains a dangerous locale), spends a day in the life of a taxi driver and discovers the culture and food that make up modern day Johannesburg.
Japan is a paradox. The low birthrate, the dedication, the conformity, and the life of a salary man are well known. There is also a competitive and rigid culture that gives way to some unique subcultures. Bourdain has traveled to Tokyo countless times, but on this trip he is in search of the city’s dark, extreme, and bizarrely fetishistic underside.
Few cities have experienced such a dramatic economic rise and fall of Detroit. In this episode of Parts Unknown, Bourdain explores the past, present and future of the Motor City. He steps into the lives of Detroit natives and sees the glory days of the past at the famed Packard Plant, the current state of the city’s urban decay, and the promise of the future in the citizens who are rebuilding their communities.
In the Season 3 premiere of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," Tony explores Punjab -- one of the most beautiful and relatively unknown areas of India. Punjab is the Sikh Holy Land, and is also India's agricultural breadbasket.
Anthony Bourdain travels to Las Vegas, a city known for over-indulgence, with food author Michael Ruhlman and visits locales that include Huntridge Tavern (in the shadow of the strip), and famed restaurant é by Jose Andres. Also featured are Penn Jillette, and former mayor Oscar Goodman.
World-renowned French chef Daniel Boulud takes Tony back home to the food-obsessed city and farm where he was raised on a journey into the roots of gastronomy. In this food-centric episode, Bourdain accompanies world-renowned chef/restaurateur Daniel Boulud as they travel back to Boulud's hometown of Lyon, France for a "once-in-a-lifetime" pilgrimage to the so-called Mecca of French cuisine's rich food culture and legendary chefs, with a focus on Nouvelle Cuisine innovator Paul Bocuse.
Bourdain travels to Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Cuernavaca to commune with local residents who express their passion through food, art, and the struggle for an improved quality of life. Addressing the latter issue, Bourdain talks with journalist Anabel Hernandez on the impact of the area’s drug trade-related violence.
It's been nearly a decade since Tony has set foot in Russia with his longtime drinking buddy/travel partner Zamir Gotta. Vladimir Putin is more powerful than ever. On the eve of the Sochi Games, the country is on lockdown, but Tony and Zamir aren't known for keeping their mouths shut and following orders.
Bourdain goes off the beaten path and explores some of the food and history of Mississippi including downtown Jackson’s Big Apple Inn, known for its “Pig Ear Sandwich” and as a Civil Rights Era gathering place, and then travels into the Mississippi Delta to Po’ Monkey’s Social Club, a juke joint located in an old sharecropper structure.
Bourdain and his crew head to the Chiang Mai province of Northern Thailand along with celebrated chef and Thai food specialist Andy Ricker (Pok Pok restaurants) to explore the country’s distinctive eating and drinking scene that varies by region and season.
Parts Unknown tours Bahia, known as the “African heart of Brazil” and internationally recognized for its Afro-Brazilian music, art, design and food. A look at the dance/martial art of Capoeira, the region’s legendary food vendors, Salvadoran fishing neighborhoods, and a BBQ on the beach are featured.
In the season premiere of Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, the host explores Shanghai by savoring classic, home-style cuisine at restaurants that include Chun and Fuchun Xiaolong, and converses with locals who give their take on their country’s booming economy and expanding global influence.
Bourdain explores the widely diverse cuisines and cultures found in the NYC borough just north of Manhattan. Bronx mainstays Afrika Bambaataa, Mellle Mel, and Baron Ambrosia help guide the host through the music, food, art, and other offerings of this often misunderstood part of the city.
A South American country of 6 million, much of the oppressively hot landlocked nation of Paraguay is jungle terrain or desert known as "the Chaco." An investigation into the puzzling history of the host’s great, great, great, grandfather, Paraguayan émigré Jean Bourdain, is a springboard to his first tour of this South American country, primarily comprised of jungle and desert land, which features a rich culture and savory local dishes that include Bife Koygua, Bori Bori, and Sopa Paraguaya.
Parts Unknown travels to the host’s “first love,” with a look at Hue, a city in central Vietnam, including excursions to the Dong Ba market, Vinh Moc tunnels, the Duyen Anh restaurant, and the Citadel. Sampled dishes include Com Hen, Bun Bo Hue and a special bird’s nest soup.
Parts Unknown travels to Tanzania for an African safari adventure. Bourdain visits Zanzibar, a one-time slave trade hub, and enjoys the island’s famous foods, from mandazi to street food including grilled seafood and the famous Zanzibari pizza. On an excursion to the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater, Bourdain comes face to face with lions, elephants, and the great migration.
Bourdain and his crew take their long-awaited inaugural trip to Iran exploring Tehran and Isfahan, and sites that include Imam Square, the Borje Milad, mosques, and ancient caravanserai. The cuisine includes Dizi, Fesenjan, Biryani, and Tahdig. Local guides for this tour include Washington Post reporter Jason Rezaian and his wife Yeganeh Salehi, who were subsequently detained by the Iranian government.
In a departure for the series, Bourdain takes a trip to the Provincetown haunts of his post high school youth (The Atlantic House, The Lobster Pot) that marked the start of his culinary career, and he candidly discusses his descent into heroin addiction (and later recovery). He then heads to the western part of the state to throw light on the unexpected and exploding heroin problem in small town New England – discussing with residents exactly how this happened – and how they are learning to deal with it as a community.
Bourdain heads to Jamaica, a destination well known for delicious Caribbean delicacies and feel-good vibes. The host travels along the Northeast region of the island and explores life in Port Antonio and Winnifred Beach. He also delves into the importance of music legend Bob Marley, with his producer Chris Blackwell, and takes a side trip to the home of author Ian Fleming (the setting of James Bond novels). A main topic in this episode is the ever-burgeoning tourist industry and how it continues to affect the local population.
The season premiere of Parts Unknown uses reverse chronology to tell the story of the host’s return trip to South Korea after a 10-year absence. Bourdain experiences the nuances of hyper-modern Seoul which has its sights set on becoming the world’s top exporter of popular culture. Food options include Korean fried chicken, and a vintage Korean "army" stew, budae jjigae, with Spam, canned baked beans, frankfurters, ramen noodles and Kimchi.
“Curiosity pays unexpected dividends,” observes Iggy Pop, legendary rock musician, Miami resident and one of Bourdain’s local guides in this multi-faceted, seductive city. The host visits favorite haunt Club Deuce bar, the B&M market in “Little Haiti” for cow foot soup, Islas Canarias with chef Michelle Bernstein for a different take on the Cuban sandwich, and explores “The Miami Sound” with Questlove and Willie Clark (founder, Deep City Records).
Bourdain visits one of his favorite cities in Europe, Glasgow. He makes his first stop at the Old College Bar for a pint, learns knife defense techniques from instructor Mark Davies, and tests his physical endurance while stalking red stag with writer A.A. Gill in the Scottish Highlands. Along the way Bourdain indulges in some surprising Scottish fare including deep-fried haggis, roasted grouse with bread sauce, and fresh venison.
Unspoiled paradise or microcosm for the end of times? With acclaimed film director Darren Aronofsky (Noah, Requiem for a Dream, The Black Swan, Pi) as his travel companion, Bourdain explores this island nation off the southeastern coast of Africa. Starting the journey in the chaotic, crowded capital city Tana, Bourdain samples the cuisine of legendary Malagasy chef Mariette Andrianjaka, including a goose specialty and and broth with chicken and ginger.
Bourdain travels to his childhood home state with his brother Chris and rekindles memories at classic roadside joint Hiram’s, known for its fried hotdogs, and Barnegat Light in Ocean County. He heads further down the shore to Atlantic City and stops by the Knife and Fork, Docks Oyster House with local reporter Brian Donohue, the Baltimore Grill to see husband and wife comedians Rich Vos and Bonnie McFarlane, and tours Asbury Park with none other than famed musician Southside Johnny.
Drawing inspiration from iconic Hungarian born cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, Bourdain explores the beauty, culture, history, architecture and food of Budapest. The culinary dishes sampled during his journey include goulash, fisherman’s soup, blood sausage, stuffed cabbage and, during a stop at restaurant Pleh Csarda, a golden brown pancake heaped with chicken liver and bone marrow, fried schnitzel and venison stew.
Bourdain explores the other Hawaii, the one that those 8 million tourists don’t see when they descend on the islands every year. Tony meets with travel writer and novelist Paul Theroux, Chef Andrew Le of Pig and the Lady in Honolulu, talent manager Shep Gordon and communes with residents of Molokai for a meal at an ancient oceanside fish pond.
The season five finale takes the host back to Beirut. Nicknamed “The Paris of the Middle East,” its nightlife is infamous, the population beautiful, and its cuisine legendary. During his travels, Bourdain meets up with freestyle artist Double A The Preecherman in the Mar Mikhael neighborhood, has a classic Lebanese meal with writer, publisher, activist Joumana Haddad, and visits a Syrian community in southern Beirut with CNN correspondent Nick Paton Walsh.
In the season six premiere, Bourdain explores Cuba – just as the half-century U.S. embargo softens and economic and social progress loom – from its bustling capital city Havana, to the slower paced, music mecca Santiago. Sampled food includes pig’s head soup with plantains and pumpkin, flan in a beer can, and dogfish ceviche with pickled vegetables. The tour culminates with a dialogue-free tracking shot capturing the hopeful anxiety of its people, seemingly waiting for something to start.
Bourdain and his travel companion, chef Eric Ripert (Le Bernardin), visit France’s oldest city to experience its stew of cultures and cuisines, indulging in chef Gerald Passedat’s famous bouillabaisse, the classic pied et paquets, Algerian couscous and as much salumi and Corsican cheeses as they can handle. The pair also meet crime novelist Cedric Fabre, esteemed chef Georgiana Viou, and journalist Gilles Rof.
The alluring island of Okinawa, which endures tragic memories from World War II battles, is explored by Bourdain from historical, political, cultural and culinary perspectives. The tour includes a bloodless bullfight over a bowl of Yakisoba, a retrospective meal of Tundabun with the city’s former governor, and a demonstration of open-hand karate experienced first-hand by Bourdain.
Bourdain visits the Bay Areas of San Francisco, Oakland and San Jose to take a personal journey – in martial arts training with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu instructor Kurt Osiander, and healing through food, featuring dinner at the original Trader Vic’s with author Sean Wilsey (Oh the Glory of it All) and at soul food restaurant Real Miss Ollie’s with Bobby Seale (Black Panthers founding member).
Acclaimed chef Marcus Samuelsson (Red Rooster, Aquavit) and his wife Maya take Bourdain on a personal tour of their native country to experience this nation beyond the headlines, first in Addis Adaba where they sample injera bread and beyaynetu platters, followed by drinking Turbo and eating Tibs with local skateboarding pioneers, listening to the traditional music of Azmari singers and legendary Ethiopian-jazz musician, Mahmoud Ahmed, a sampling Ethiopian coffee and a village feast with Maya’s family in the Gurage region.
After a 10 year absence, Bourdain abides by his promise to return, dining on chicken rendang for a reunion meal at Aunty Aini’s, taking a boat ride to Kuching, traveling back to the longhouse at Entalau to attend the Gawai Rice festival, and acquiring a new hand-tapped tattoo, prefaced by a stop in “street food paradise” Kuala Lumpur for pork noodles and black pepper crab.
The cliché East meets West rings true in Istanbul as Bourdain explores its confluence of food, culture and politics, featuring a Turkish breakfast with old friend Esra, an oil wrestling tournament, and lunch at an Armenian restaurant near the Golden Horn. Bourdain leaves the urban sprawl of Istanbul for Sedef Island and a meal with author and philosopher Gündüz Vassaf and celebrated Turkish actress Serra Yilmaz.
For the season finale, Bourdain travels with “one of America’s most important chefs,” Sean Brock, to sample Charleston’s varied food offerings including traditional Gullah cuisine, and oyster pie and shrimp and grits at Brock’s restaurant Husk with actor and a Charleston resident, Bill Murray.
In the season seven premiere, Bourdain explores the Philippines during Christmas season and travels through the festive streets of Manila to taste the fast food wonder Jollibee, try the sweet, milky drink, Halo-Halo, and indulge in the classic dish, Sizzling Pork Sisig. The trip continues with the host accompanied by cover band “Keystone,” as they dine on Adobo, a simmered pork-chicken dish. The tour concludes with a family meal of Kare-Kare and the opening of the Balikbayan box.
Chicago’s iconic Old Town Ale House and its colorful patrons are the gateway to Bourdain’s tour of the “City by the Lake,” which includes the host dining on breaded steak sandwiches at Ricobene’s with music producer Steve Albini, sampling Mapo Doufu at Chinatown’s Sze Chuan with Chef Stephanie Izard, and a home cooked meal with Chicago-raised rapper Lupe Fiasco and his mom, plus a tour of comedy mecca Second City with mainstage performer Paul Jurewicz.
Life on the Greek islands, home to a fiercely independent and proud population, is relatively secluded, steeped in tradition, and revolves around local food, wine, close friends and family. On the island of Naxos, Bourdain heads offshore to dive to a sunken ship wreck, drink raki with the local residents, and sample cuisine fresh from the fishing boat, including octopus salad, salatouri (skate), and rofos (grouper) with olive oil and lemon. While exploring the island, he meets with politically outspoken musical group, The Stray Bitches, and travels to the mountainous village of Apeiranthos where he attends a traditional celebration in the town square.
Bourdain traverses big sky country and embraces Montana’s distinctive history and culture with a visit to Crow reservation to watch horse relay racing and feast on buffalo steak, pheasant hunting with podcast host Joe Rogan, dinner at Butte institution Lydia’s supper club (est 1946), and by going underground in the Orphan Boy Mine with state senator Jim Keane. A conversation with his friend, famed writer Jim Harrison, who passed away in March 2016, encapsulates the Montana experience.
Sidekick Zamir Gotta temporarily upstages Bourdain in this tour of the mountainous Eurasian country Georgia, featuring the cities Tbilisi, Batumi, and Khurvaleti (bordering Russia), with traditional dishes that include spicy chashashuli stew, chkmeruli at Café Gabriadze and an epic meal at the Black Lion. On the political front, acclaimed journalist Tamara Chergoleishvili (Tabula magazine editor-in-chief) offers Bourdain an insider’s POV of her country’s changing views.
Bourdain explores the distinct culture of the West African nation Senegal, which despite its deep-rooted religious beliefs, is known for its nightlife, global musical influence, vibrant fashion scene, rich food culture and history of tolerance. Featured guides on this journey include Chef Pierre Thiam, NPR Africa correspondent Ofeibea Quist Arcton, and famed musician Youssou N’Dour, for conversation and a taste of maffe, a much loved rich beef stew, popular throughout West Africa.
The 40-day Cologne Carnival celebration sets the tone for Bourdain’s visit to this city that boasts many delicacies (kolsch, mett, blood sausage with himmel und erde, schnitzel), and maintains a peaceful atmosphere and sense of tolerance, despite the recent New Year’s Eve assaults linked to incoming refugees, which the host discusses with the locals.
Inspired by Graham Greene's words “... whatever you’re looking for, you will find here...” Bourdain joins the throngs of locals as he motorbikes through Vietnam’s capital, traverses its rapidly changing cityscape, and indulges in its singular cuisine with president Barack Obama, who, over a dish of Bun Cha, shares personal stories and reflects on his own international travels.
Bourdain absorbs the tastes, sights and sounds of music city, from chef Josh Habiger's Catbird Seat and Bolton's famous hot chicken, to a night of cooking, drinking and rocking out with singer Alison Mosshart, and her bandmates. The episode features performances by The Kills, Dead Weather and Margo Price.
Michelin star chef, and all around good sport, Eric Ripert is introduced to China and Sichuan province by host and good friend Bourdain. Bourdain takes Ripert to the Sichuan province capital, Chengdu, testing his endurance with mouth-numbing, sinisterly spicy meals (like green peppercorn fish). They also visit the world’s largest stone Buddha, seek out a local favorite rabbit head snack, and visit a legendary distillery for some Baijiu, a fermented sorghum wine. Ripert will never forget this trip.
Visiting London, post Brexit vote, Bourdain finds comfort in classic British cuisine including roast bone marrow at chef Fergus Henderson’s famed restaurant St. John, Scotch eggs at Princess Victoria Pub with Nigella Lawson, and pig’s trotter a la Pierre Koffman with chef Marco Pierre White at the Rudloe Arms, plus a meeting with revered artist Ralph Steadman at his studio.
Looking beyond oil, NASA, and football, Bourdain explores Houston’s diverse cultures, taking in a Bollywood-style dance in a grocery store, a Quinceañera in suburban Pasadena, and the city’s slab car parade, while making time for Viet-Bayou crawfish, East Texas barbecue, and a Congolese-Cajun stew.
Guided by world-renowned chef Masa Takayama, Bourdain’s return trip to Japan begins with a tour of outdoor food markets in Kanazawa where they sample uni, steak-sized oysters, and grilled eel liver, followed by a conversation with an ex-geisha at her teahouse, and comes full circle with a special omakase experience at Tokyo’s acclaimed Ginza restaurant, Sushi Koi, where Masa trained as an apprentice.
Bourdain’s trip to meat-centric Buenos Aires during the hot summer month of February, features a meal with chef Francis Mallmann at one of his favorite local spots, Don Carlito's, and an after-hours soccer match accompanied by Soledad Nardelli and the kitchen staff of Chila.
Bourdain explores the Brazilian heartland, known as the region where all the best cooks come from, and namesake to the country’s mining history. Home to baroque architecture, lush hillsides and mineiro cuisine (influenced by Portuguese, African and Indigenous people), which includes frango ao molho pardo (broiled chicken served in a sauce made using its own blood), that the host samples during a traditional country meal.
Bourdain’s Roman holiday takes a cinematic turn, influenced by his tour guides, actress Asia Argento, screenwriter/director Abel Ferrara, and a host of larger than life Romans who take him inside a Rome for the locals. Bourdain shares drinks at the ‘Friends Corner’ trattoria in Lido di Ostia, dines a traditional Roman meal at Trattoria Morgana, eats pasta and watches an amateur boxing match in the suburbs, and takes a trip to the famed E.U.R zone built by Mussolini.
An alternative tour of Los Angeles by Bourdain focuses on the impact and contributions of its less photographed and often overlooked Latino communities. From downtown, for Oaxaqueno specialties at Gish Bac and redefined Mexican food from chef Ray Garcia at Broken Spanish, to Hollywood, for a health-conscious but savory dinner with actor Danny Trejo (Machete) at Trejo’s Cantina, the host experiences this vibrant culture against a backdrop of LA glamour.
Bourdain visits the coastal city of San Sebastian in the Basque Country, famous for its spectacular views and incomparable fresh seafood. Alongside friend and renowned chef Juan Mari Arzak, Bourdain dines at favorite haunt Ganbara for its popular dish of seared wild mushrooms and foie gras with raw egg yolk, and is given a taste of the finest Basque delicacies prepared simply, including grilled turbot at famed restaurant Elkano, in Getaria.
The rich sensory experience of Laos with its enchanting scenery, distinctive aromas, and exceptional food are explored in Bourdain’s trip to this Southeast Asian country which also continues to suffer the effects of the Secret War by the U.S in the 1960’s-1970’s. In his travels, the host takes in a boat festival, dines on imperial dishes at the Ban Lao hotel prepared by Mama Vahn, and communes with residents who have fallen victim to active bombs that still pepper the countryside.
Bourdain discovers a hub of international cuisines and cultures in the New York City Borough of Queens. Traveling via the No. 7 train, the host dines on morcilla (blood sausage) with Sean Basinski of the Street Vendor Project in Corona, samples Chinese food in Flushing with Swet Shop Boys member Himanshu Suri, imbibes at historic Neirs Tavern (seen in GoodFellas) in Woodhaven, eats a Tibetan dinner at Llasa Fast Food in Jackson Heights, and takes a detour to Aqueduct racetrack in South Ozone Park with his Appetites cookbook co-author Laurie Woolever.
Bourdain travels to the bottom of the world to experience the serene beauty and mystery of the driest, coldest, windiest place on earth. Taken under the wings of such hearty residents as scientists, contractors and the U.S. military, Bourdain’s adventures include a helicopter view of the largest active volcano in the southern hemisphere, a snowmobile drive over 8 ft. thick sea ice, a visit with a colony of Adele penguins, and a trip the South Pole.
Bourdain takes his first journey to the Sultanate of Oman and finds a peaceful land of remarkable beauty that defies expectations. His travels include the capital city Muscat, as well as port city Muttrah to restaurant Bait Al Luban for shuwa, a special dish made from the complex process of cooking meat buried in the ground for days over hot coals, and Sharqiya Sands, on the edge of the Empty Quarter, to dine with the local Bedouins who inhabit the world’s largest sand desert.
A trip to the Caribbean uncovers how the island of Trinidad has turned a history of colonialism and slavery into a non-stop celebration of multicultural food, music and good times. Bourdain visits Port of Spain, a vibrant city of African, Indian, Chinese and Middle Eastern influence, where he dines on curried duck, doubles (floppy Indian bread topped with curry chickpeas, mango) and fish in tahini sauce with Trinidadians of contrasting cultures. While the Carnival lifestyle revolves around liming (hanging out) and whining (dancing), Bourdain questions the extent to which this non-stop bacchanal distracts residents from the the country’s growing list of social ills.
Food takes center stage in this tour of the northern Portugal city by Bourdain, whose local travel companions include his former Les Halles boss Jose Meirelles. A sumptuous pig tripe dinner at A Cozinha do Martinho, an at-home meal of sea lamprey and a stop at Café O Afonso for local specialty Francesinha highlight the trip which culminates with a traditional food celebration in the Douro Valley countryside.
Bourdain tours the historically rich streets of Singapore and immerses himself in the vast array of multicultural foods found throughout this island city-state. An old-school style prawn mee lunch with his go-to Singaporean food guide, KF Seetoh, and a trip down to the Muslim quarter for a soup-like dish of wontons, rice cake, coconut gravy, vegetables, and hard boiled eggs are included in the host’s cuisine-driven excursion. Bourdain also explores the dichotomy of Singapore society that is known for its tolerance of diverse cultures, generous social services, and sanctioned diversions (ex. legalized brothels, casinos), and the restriction of such basic civil liberties as freedom of the press and privacy.
The gloves are off and the rivalry continues as Bourdain and his long time friend, three-Michelin-starred chef Eric Ripert, embark on a ski-and-cheese-filled journey through the French Alps – home advantage Ripert? Bourdain gets a glimpse into Ripert’s early life while tending a little too closely to cows, and overindulging in delicious cheese dishes. The pair team up to prepare a French meal, featuring caviar and steak au poivre, with the help of Ripert’s mentor Maurice Guillouet. Bourdain and Ripert also venture across the Italian border to La Maison Rose and surrender to Bourdain’s love of pasta with gnocchi, ravioli, and polenta.
Once considered the most dangerous city in the world, Lagos is, in many ways, the epicenter of modern Africa. The driving force of the city is a pervasive, almost pathologically positive outlook, a sincerely entrenched “can do” spirit. The ingenuity of the Nigerian people is the focus of Bourdain’s travels as he explores its food, music, and rich cultural diversity. Among the food offerings are fresh fish dishes, spicy soups, a great deal of beef, and the ubiquitous pounded yam. Bourdain also spends time with Femi, Seun and Yeni Kuti, the children of Fela Kuti, a family that is still at the heart of Lagos’ creative, political and cultural scene.
Bourdain delves into a dining scene at a crossroads: part iconic steel city defined by blue-collar, working-class comfort food – steak and potatoes, sausage and sauerkraut – and part foodie boom-town catering to the new high-tech industry. Bourdain criss-crosses the fault lines of old and new by sitting down with, among others, professional wrestlers, a civil rights activist, and writer and Pittsburgh native Stewart O’Nan. Pioneer chefs of the city’s burgeoning restaurant scene Sonja Finn and Justin Severino host a back-country pig roast. And chef Kevin Suousa serves grass fed beef short ribs at his new restaurant, Superior Motors.
As peace spreads throughout Sri Lanka following the end of its brutal civil war, Bourdain travels to the once divided nation to experience the reinvigorated people, food and landscapes. Starting in Colombo, the country’s capital, Bourdain discovers change in in a place he visited nearly a decade ago as he enjoys street food on The Galle Face Green, dining on light curries and lots of seafood. Taking a 10-hour train to the northern “time capsule” city of Jaffna, Bourdain experiences crab curry, a dish he calls the “holy grail of Sri Lankan cuisine,” for its spicy and fiery flavors.
When Bourdain heads to Puerto Rico to check out the reality behind the piña coladas and fancy resorts, he finds natural splendor, delicious food and warm people, all against the background of a seemingly insurmountable economic crisis. Bourdain also learns why Puerto Ricans are so devoted to their homeland, and so determined to stay there. He samples ‘grandma food’ at a restaurant that evokes a simple traditional Puerto Rican home, cracks open the freshest crabs at a rustic spot on the beach, joins singer Tito Auger for a meal with friends and enjoys some of the best lechon (roast pork) around. A trip to the small island of Vieques rounds out his experience, with a meal at a sustainable farm and an optimistic discussion about strategies for a better future for the region and its people.
Bourdain immerses himself in the “boom or bust” city of Seattle. Two industries are reshaping the city and its culture – tech and the newly legalized cannabis industry. Bourdain gets the skinny on the “tech bro” invasion of Capitol Hill, throws back a dozen succulent oysters at the Taylor Shellfish Company and enjoys fish & chips at the Pacific Inn Pub with band members of The Gods Themselves. Along the way, he also hangs out with legendary Seattle rocker, Mark Lanegan and mad food scientist, Nathan Myhrvold.
The“Heel of the Boot” draws Bourdain back in time as he visits the largely untouched landscapes and colorful locals of Southern Italy and a culture steeped in both Christian and Pagan traditions. Unlike any other part of Italy, locals here perform a Taranta dance and speak the ancient language of “Grieco.” The local cuisine of the Southern Italy is showcased during a meal with Italian-American film director Francis Ford Coppola at his hotel, Palazzo Margherita, where Bourdain is served traditional dishes of the Basilicata region like ‘Pecora Pastorale,’ a Summer preparation of mutton and herbs.
Bourdain digs deep into the proud, often misunderstood culture of West Virginia, as he traverses a 5,000 foot mine, observes the demolition derby–like sport of rock-bouncing and dines on signature Appalachian dishes. Bourdain’s own preconceptions are dashed as he finds the West Virginian attitude to be a remarkable dichotomy, both resolute and open-minded. Over an assortment of local dishes – snapping turtle patties, squirrel gravy, pawpaw ice cream, spaghetti pie, and bear meat – residents candidly discuss their staunch views on the second amendment, Donald Trump, life beyond the coal industry, and the reclamation of West Virginian cuisine.
Bourdain returns to Uruguay after a decade away and finds a progressive nation in the midst of social change, but with evident fragments of its colonial past, most notably in its local cuisine. Accompanied by Uruguayan native and restaurateur/chef Ignacio “Nacho” Mattos, the two visit his hometown of Santa Lucia for a home cooked Italian family meal made by his grandmother, head for a night out in Montevideo with local band Hablan Por La Espalda, sample drive-thru steaks, and cap off the trip with an asado (barbecue) with friends on a small island in Jose Ignacio.
An exploration of this rocky, east coast Canadian island by Bourdain reveals a magical place abundant in fish and wild game and steeped in distinctive traditions. Guided by prominent chefs Frederic Moran, Jeremy Charles and David McMillan, the host takes part in cod fishing, moose hunting, and axe throwing and dines on charred whelk with brasciola, caribou tartare, and Newfoundland classic Jiggs Dinner (boiled meat & vegetables). A side trip to the nearby French archipelago of St. Pierre is the setting for a home cooked meal of sea urchin pâté, stuffed squid over rice and braised halibut.
Bourdain takes a wide-angle look at the culture and history of this country, heavily influenced by Europe and Russia, with guides musician of Armenian descent Serj Tankian (System of a Down), and historian/Armenian resident Richard Giragosian. Breaking bread with Tankian at the restaurant Dolmama in Yerevan, during dinners with locals, the host explores the native and diaspora Armenian populations’ survival and achievements against the odds.
Hong Kong, a city that’s always in transition and unapologetically modern has another side…a beautiful one that’s in danger of disappearing entirely. Bourdain experiences this city through the eyes and lens of legendary cinematographer and longtime Hong Kong resident Christopher Doyle (Chungking Express, In the Mood for Love, The White Girl).
In Berlin – an anomaly among German metropolises – Bourdain encounters an extremely accepting society, teeming with unbridled creativity, despite a grim history. Against the backdrop of Berlin Wall remnants, the host communes with musician Anton Newcombe (Brian Jonestown Massacre) for a home-cooked meal, and electronic artist Ellen Allien over a lunch of sausage made from chicken, pigs feet and sage at Michelberger. Bourdain also mixes in with photographers, club bouncers, cabaret owners, and historians, to discuss this city’s unparalleled culture.
In this celebration of Louisiana’s Cajun culture, complete with Zydeco music and a crawfish boil, Bourdain goes off the beaten path and takes part in the less familiar Mardi Gras traditions of the region’s history stemming from the French Middle Ages. Donning a conical hat, mask and colorful fringed costume, the host participates in the day long Courir de Mardi Gras in Mamou. Meals include a home cooked meal in Grand Coteau, lunch at Laura’s 2 in Lafayette with creole cowboys, and boudin & cracklings at Billy’s in Opelousas.
Bourdain and film director Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan) tour the remote South Asian Kingdom of Bhutan and travel on the winding East/West highway known for its spectacular views of the Himalayan Mountains. The seasoned explorers share a meal with yak herders, visit the capitol city of Thimphu for traditional Bhutanese cuisine, drive to Punakha to explore the village of legendary divine monk Drupka Kinley, and visit Bumthang for a bamboo archery competition.
Bourdain introduces his fellow CNN Original Series host W. Kamau Bell (United Shades of America) to the distinctive sights, tastes, and sounds of Kenya. It is Bell’s first trip to the African continent, and to a country that holds a personal connection for him. In Nairobi, they talk to locals about the country’s growth and economic challenges, as well as the continual fight for identity and self-definition of Kenyans. Bourdain and Bell also take a Matatu party bus ride, share a meal of goat’s head soup and visit a boxing academy devoted to teaching young women, and promoting female empowerment. Leaving Nairobi the pair travel to Lewa Wildlife Conservancy and visit with a Maasai community actively engaged in conservation. Through the eyes of Bourdain and Bell, and their first experiences with this highly dynamic deeply, soulful and beautiful country we ask, what will a future Kenya… for Kenyans…. by Kenyans…look like?
Bourdain travels to the enchanted region of Asturias, Spain with chef and humanitarian Jose Andres, as he makes a return to his homeland. The people of Asturias embody the rugged environment of the region with a hard working ‘do it yourself’ spirit. Bourdain and Andres hike to a remote village in the mountains for traditional fabada, ocean cliffs for gooseneck barnacles, and secret cheese caves in undisclosed locations. Bourdain also enjoys pitu de caleya with local musician Pablo Und Destruktion while he’s served on the last worker’s class movement. And in true Jose Andres form, he saves a special surprise for the end.
A shadow puppet performance provides an entry into understanding Indonesia, a country comprised of thousands of islands whose people endured political turmoil, and one in which, Bourdain discovers, food is the great unifier. In this fourth largest country in the world, every area has it’s own unique traditions. In Jakarta, Bourdain eats at a Padang Restaurant where nearly every menu item comes to the table; while in Bali he visits the beach, commenting on yoga before joining in a traditional Balinese Funeral ceremony.
This episode explores how Anthony Bourdain’s unique perspective and voice altered the world of food, travel and culture and in the process reinvented how audiences watched television and engaged intimately and actively with the world around them.
Bourdain travels to the untamed land of Big Bend, Texas near the Mexican border; an area that pits man against nature and in which the land usually wins. Bourdain shares meals with working cowboys who have made peace with the rough terrain, and meets with an anthropologist who decoded prehistoric landmark, the White Shaman wall painting.
Bourdain’s relationship with his crew, the team that traveled with him and slogged through the trenches, was like no other in his life. In this episode the people who made Parts Unknown select moments from their episodes and pull back the curtain, to talk about collaboration, creative freedom, moments when Bourdain had their back or called them out, the times when he was caught off guard or forgot the cameras were even there.
Bourdain takes a personal journey through this formerly bohemian New York City neighborhood, as he meets, shares meals and reflects with music, film and art trailblazers including Richard Hell, Deborah Harry and Chris Stein, Lydia Lunch, Fab 5 Freddy, Danny Fields, Amos Poe, Jim Jarmusch, Kembra Pfahler, John Lurie, Clayton Patterson and Harley Flanagan, whose collective cultural impact in the 1970’s and ’80’s has sustained through the decades.