Anthony Bourdain: Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll

Every Monday I will break down one of my favorite Episodes of No Reservations and talk about what I learned from it and why it is my favorite.

Then you’ll definitely want to join in the conversation on Tuesdays as we talk about what happened the night before!

Also, you’ll want to follow me on twitter @sojournerabroad so that we can talk live during the new episodes!

So, last night Anthony Bourdain did something that we have become accustom to seeing in many seasons of No Reservations… a clip show.  Somewhat as a homage to Tony’s past, the clips shown in this episode centered around sex (not really), drugs, and rock & roll.  For those of you unfamiliar with Tony’s book, Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain has been very public about his past addiction to drugs, so the episode is fittingly named.  So let’s break down each from the episode.

The Sex:

Although it makes for a provocative title, the episode was more about the “sexiness” of food.  Tony does discuss with a chocolatier whom, in describing the history of chocolate, indicates that chocolate has always been believed to be an aphrodisiac of sorts.  But that is the most sexual this episode gets.

Tony then has a segment something that he likes to call food porn.  It is those images of delicious food that you just cant help but watching on TV whenever its on.  For me, this would be all sorts of BBQ.  There are few things as delicious as good BBQ.

The Drugs:

As mentioned above, Tony struggled with drug addiction for a period of time in his younger days.  He also used to be a heavy smoker in the early seasons, but since getting married and having his daughter, his life style has changed heavily.  One of the funniest quotes from an earlier season of No Reservations is:

“I follow the Keith Richards diet: Meat, cheese, alcohol and cigarettes. When I wake up in the morning I check on the internet to see if Keith is still alive and if he is, then I know I am doing ok too.”

But obviously things have changed with an MMA fighter for a wife, and I think that Tony would agree that he is probably better off now.

When visiting Panama, Tony gets the opportunity to help out the Panamanian government with their burning of a gigantic pile of seized cocaine.  Upon seeing the pile, Tony says that it is “what he would have asked for for Christmas” back in the day.  I’m not sure if it was meant to be symbolic, but it does show a sense of overcoming his past when he burns the entire pile. (as a side-note, this is awesome.  Few people get to go to Panama, and even fewer get to burn a pile of seized cocaine!  That is definitely something that Tony would not have been able to do in the states.)

Bourdain then shows a clip from Cambodia, where he samples what the Cambodians call “Happy Pizza”.  This is marijuana laced pizza.  Tony makes a point that the crust leaves something to be desired, and it is obvious that the ingredients aren’t the highest of quality.  Then again, I doubt anyone is ordering this “happy pizza” for the terrific tomato sauce.

The Rock & Roll:

Anthony has met up with his fair share of Rock Stars in his day.  While in the South West (my neck of the woods), he met up with Alice Cooper right next to my beloved chase field.  Go Diamondbacks!  But I digress.  In this episode he met up with three rock bands:

1. The Queens of the Stone Age – While out in the desert (a couple seasons ago), Tony was able to meet and hang out with this iconic rock band.  Josh Homme from the band showed Tony some classic cars, which we all know Tony loves.  Even more impressive than his collection of cars, Homme found time to score (as in write the music for) the episode of No Reservations. Tony even got to help by adding his musical talent… banging a piece of metal real hard for ambiance.

2. The Black Keys – Tony met up (last season) with the keys in Kansas City, another place that I love dearly.  Funny enough, the Black Keys are from Akron, OH, and I am writing this just a few miles from the Akron/Canton airport, heading to a conference for work.  But since they are in KC, it is obvious that the only food option is BBQ.  Now my favorite place is Oklaholma Joe’s (nowhere else has the Z-MAN!) but the place they go specifically is called the Woodyard BBQ.  This place uses various types of wood, including apple, to achieve unique smoked flavors.

3. The Unband – Easily the band I was least familiar with, Tony met up with the Unband in a bar in Boston.  Apparently the Unband had some of the most rowdy shows during their heyday and they were eventually band from every venue in Boston.  They had to change their name several times to keep getting jobs!

The Other:

There were other clips throughout the show that didn’t really fit under either of the three categories.  Tony had his favorite pork chop sandwich out of a food cart in Macau.  He also ate some cow fetus soup in Ecuador.  But my favorite, and the one I could most relate to, was when Tony got some Pho in Vietnam.  I have come to love Pho.  If you haven’t had the chance to, there are few dishes more delicious than this authentic vietnamese soup.

What would be your ideal Rock Star encounter?

Don’t forget to check on all our Anthony Bourdain posts HERE!

3 Responses to “Anthony Bourdain: Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll”
  1. vyvacious says:

    I think my ideal Rock Star encounter would be getting pulled up on stage to rock out with the entire band!! That would be awesome!

    As for your mention of pho. I am sad to say that most of the great Pho places in Southern California have died off and I am left with a tasteless broth and sad veggies/meat. Gonna try to tackle the homemade version soon! 🙂

    • that is perhaps one of the saddest things i’ve ever heard! 😦 haha have you ever had the coffee they usually make at pho places? with the condensed milk!

      • vyvacious says:

        Yes, I have! Cafe su da! Sooo good…and extremely potent! 🙂 It’s weird though, over here, each place has its own specialty so it’s pretty rare that a good pho place would also sell good cafe su da sooo it requires multiple trips to hit all your cravings. I’m used to it by now. Haha.

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