Skip to comments.Anthony Bourdain Beirut Footage To Air August 21st
Posted on 07/31/2006 8:34:06 PM PDT by angkor
Anthony Bourdoin is the host of the Travel Channel's "No Reservations", and a renowned New York chef, "foodie" author, and novelist.
Turns out Tony and his NR crew were filming an episode in Beirut at the start of the conflict, and were stuck there like many other Americans until they joined the evacuation.
An account of his experiences appeared in Salon last week, Watching Beirut die, and he answered questions at the Washington Post's Live Discussions forum last Wednesday.
Bourdoin also showed up on the eGullet foodie forum, while in Beirut assuring fans that he was OK, but that the footage from Beirut may not be worth much for any future No Reservations episode.
Looks like a change of course has occured. Tonight the Travel Channel has been running a crawl that the Beirut footage will be shown as a special No Reservations episode on Monday August 21st. Presumably it'll run on Discovery as well at the normal NR viewing time.
Thought you fans might like to know.
Might be interesting. However, if tonight's episode is any indication of the future of the show, my hopes are not high for it. I guess they'll have some Lebanese 'extreme' sports people and a representative of the Lebanese version of MTV along with Tony while he visits some place that hand sews suicide bomber belts?
I was so pissed with tonight's show that I almost posted a vanity about it here...I suppose this rant will do though.
I've got his Les Halles cookbook right there about 4 feet away. His fiction writing is good too.
Thanks for the post.
Thanks for the heads up. Bourdain's a cool cat that's made a nice life for himself.
Watching his shows makes me wish I had followed up my career as a fry-cook in a Howard Johnson's at the age of 17.....and been smart enough to follow his path.
The man is obviously having a good time
"I was so pissed with tonight's show that I almost posted a vanity about it here...I suppose this rant will do though. "
Not very impressive, was it. The food commentary was merely obligatory at best, and the remainder was just silly. Extreme skiers? MTV babes? What has this to do with food?
Bourdain even made a comment at one point about the "changing direction of the show", I'll have to Tivo it to get the exact quote. In retrospect I think (hope) he was being sardonic, because he knew they'd produced a real dog of an episode. Maybe it was just a failed experiment.
"IIRC Bourdaine was hanging with the Khmer Rouge on one show I saw a few years ago."
I wish Food Network would release his previous shows on DVD. Discovery already has 8 shows on 4 DVDs (including Vietnam). Would love to see the Cambodia episode.
"He was at a combination restaurant\ rifle range in Cambodia."
The AK rifle range has been spruced-up since the Singaporeans made an investment. It used to be just a lowly bamboo hut. Contrary to popular myth, you couldn't shoot B40 rockets at stationary cows. That was borne from the reality that your real target was a Coke can sitting at the bottom of a 10-foot berm, and only M-79 grenades (not B40 RPG) were available. IIRC, $20 a pop.
"and been smart enough to follow his path."
I just finished Kitchen Confidential - kind of a professional autobiography - and am now on The Nasty Bits.
He gives the impression that much of his career has been an ugly and brutal slog.
"His path" is probably the best way to put it, because no one would go the way he's gone if they didn't truly love their profession. In fact Bourdain does make the point several times that its a calling for him, much more than a mere job.
The episode is on in 10 minutes local time.
Bourdain Lebanon Travel channel
ping for "No Reservations" in Lebanon in 10 minutes.
So, I trust you have stopped eating in any and all restaurants.
That's not the image we want to show.
isn't everything on TV nowadays?
Not very engaging so far.
Strange it's sandwiched between two viewings of the "South of the border" episode.
I hope in the next season he refocuses on food.
Oh, now he's partying with two Lebanese disco babes. Good. /sarc
Cool he had footage of the airport bombing.
No, obviously that is not true. I was quoting Bourdain during his show.
I've got it tivo'd...I'll watch it tomorrow and post back...I don't have high hopes for this episode.
I watched it. Don't waste your time. The first 10 minutes are kinda interesting -- seeing his host's reaction to the Hezzies cheering in the streets and celebrating the capture of the Israeli soldiers was cool. After that it derailed. It all about him. How much trouble it was waiting in the fancy hotel while someone else planned his escape and that sort of stuff. The only interesting bit was when a cameraman went and got the reaction to the bombing from some children spashing around in the pool. Bourdain wasn't even there to ask questions. A title flashed up: "Day 6", and I looked at my watch. Six days there and they only managed to get 30 minutes of TV-worthy material out of it? He fixed a meal in the kitchen. Got on a ship. Ate some Navy chow. and that was it. Done. Over. Yawn. How's that Dallas/NO game going? ... |flip|
"He fixed a meal in the kitchen."
The only reason Bourdain has a TV show is because of the food. That's his schtick. But on many many episodes he'll float through the entire show with only about 1 minute total of food porn.
So I was happy to see that he actually did cook a meal - some Middle Eastern lamb thing - and did joke around with the hotel restaurant staff. Yeah, it was only about a minute, but better than nothing. And he did get the opening cafe scene and the closing Navy chow hall bit, so at least he did his duty on this episode.
I was getting quite peeved at the end when he started whining about how long it took to get out, and about the chaos at the boat ramp.
As an American caught in a similar situation abroad some years ago, I never once thought it was the government's duty to get me out of that tight spot, since I (and not the government) had put myself into the situation. Not only that, but from the get-go it was pretty clear that the embassy was in waaayyy over it head, and why shouldn't they be, evacs are not their normal business. Depend upon yourself, not Big Daddy America.
Finally, if Bourdain was so allegedly concerned about the plight of those who "must remain behind", why didn't he just refuse his evac and sit there to witness the aftermath, even helping out if he could? That's what I did during my own experience, so I don't feel at all like a hypocrite in suggesting it.
But to be sneaking out on your U.S passport and a U.S. Navy ship while simultaneously moaning about those poor people left behind was a little over the top in terms of false sentimentality.
He's a loon. That's line about Bush burned me but that's Bourdain. You take the good with the bad. If you want to get mad, check out the open borders propaganda disguised as an episode on Mexico. It's pretty shocking.
"You take the good with the bad. If you want to get mad, check out the open borders propaganda disguised as an episode on Mexico. It's pretty shocking."
Believe me I do. Bourdain is a unique and interesting character, and a good writer. He's been self-indulgent this season but perhaps next will be better.
I could really care less about his political attitudes, some of which I think are affected for the show.
I was just noting some of my critiques for the record. I'll keep on watching the show and buying his books until I've had enough. Not there yet.
"I think (hope) he was being sardonic"
I'm shocked.... shocked that Bourdain was being sardonic!
Yeah, well, I guess he was being sardonic on that episode.
They're still trying to figure out what to do with the show, and sometimes it doesn't work (e.g., the Swedish extreme skiers, why were they on a food show? The bikers on the same episode?).
Bourdain himself says that you can tell when he is and isn't enjoying a show, and that's true. Some of them have been dogs, and Bourdain looks pretty glum.
I'd give them a pointer: devote 50 percent of the airtime to food, and the other 50 percent to setup and "travel".
I enjoy watching his shows, despite his verrrrry liberal NY'er tendencies. But, this one does have a bright section. I hate to admit it, but the screen really fuzzed when the group was evacuated by the Marines. ThAT little bit of exposure reveals the hearts of a Marine, AND THEIR DEDICATION.
Bourdain is a liberal, but you gotta love the Marines...
Semper fi from a Navy guy!
I don't think we watched the same show. The show was very interesting in that we got to see what it was like to be an American in Beirut during that time. There was no politics at all, and I was surprised. I don't even remember him whining about the evacuation...In fact, he went out of his way several times to say how incredibly great the Marines were and how glad he was to be back in the US. I think some people here only want to see the things they want to see.
"I don't even remember him whining about the evacuation."
Fire up your Tivo and watch it again.
I like Bourdain and generally his is my favorite show on TV (I've also read a few of his books). But there were several comments about the failings of the embassy in getting people evac'd.
Now I don't doubt that the embassy didn't get people out in a timely manner, *but I don't think that's the embassy's job, either, because local embassies aren't babysitters for travelers.* Unfortunately many Americans think this is the case.
It is true (and Bourdain himself commented on this) that his experience with the Marines was "completely different" than with the embassy. He couldn't have paid the Marines and Navy any higher compliments than those he offered.
There were failings....and in a time of war, it is the Embassy's job to get people out...what are Embassies in foreign countries for but to help Americans. I think if you were stuck in a foreign land during a time of war you'd do a little whining yourself. It's easier to whine than to face how fearful you really are.
Ummmm.....that's exactly the point.
I have been stuck in a foreign land during a time of war, and I never once expected the U.S Embassy to save me. Not for one second. In fact I took Embassy assessments with a huge grain of salt based on past experience. They didn;t disappoint.
And no, I didn't whine, either. I did stand in amazement at the American (and Brit, French, Belgian) citizens who thought their governments were suposed to save them from their very own traveling and working decisions.
The U.S. Embassy didn't tell them to go there. Or to Lebanon.
what are Embassies in foreign countries for but to help Americans
Embassies are in foreign countries to protect the interests of the United States Of America. They lots of things (trade deals, military arrangements, etc), so getting individual American citizens out of fixes is (and should be) pretty low on the list of priorities.
In other words, they don't exactly train for, or anticipate, wholesale evacs.
So you're visiting Lebanon on vacation, and a war breaks out....HOW THE HELL ARE YOU GOING TO GET OUT OF THE COUNTRY BY YOURSELF... I will apologize to you profusely if you come up with a satisfactory answer.
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