As we mentioned in May, No Reservations host Anthony Bourdain is leaving the show, which he has hosted on the Travel Channel since 2005, to host a new weekend food and travel program on CNN.
CNN says the new show will be shot on location, and debut in early 2013. The show will examine cultures from around the world through their food, dining, and travel rituals.
On the last leg of his final No Reservations tour, Bourdain traveled to Brooklyn, a part of New York that he’s barely visited.
Bourdain explored the food, music, and people in the area, and met the characters of the old days who co-exist with the new Brooklyn.
Tony said goodbye to his sidekick, Zamir, at Primorski, and visited Brooklyn’s Sunny’s Bar, family owned since 1890 and unchanged by time.
Grub notes that in his self-assessment, he gives high marks to last season’s holiday special, mostly because it fulfilled his goal of causing ‘terror and confusion’ among network executives.
“ROME Is probably my favorite show of all of them,” writes Bourdain.
“My proudest achievement. Why? Because it was so suicidally stupid. Because no one wanted it. Because everybody thought it was a bad idea to do a show in Rome—that most beautiful and colorful of cities—in black and white.”
Bourdain says El Bulli was the most important restaurant in the world—in its last days.
“And the greatest culinary artist of this or last century, Ferran Adria, had agreed to open his life and his kitchen to us. So it was important to get it right. We threw everything we had at it. Every camera, every technical innovation—every creative idea we could come up with.”
Bourdain commented that episodes like Berlin, Puerto Rico, Charleston, and the talk-show format explored in the “At the Table” episode were failures.
“Responsibility for some failures rested entirely on me. They sucked because I sucked. BERLIN should have been a good show: great producer, great shooters, great fixers, great city. But for no good reason at all, I just wasn’t ‘into it’”, writes Bourdain.
He added: “Some disastrous shoots, through the sheer weight of misadventure turned out, like SICILY, to be good shows. Though not in the way we intended. The scenes that were supposed to be ‘great’ ended badly—but the ones for which we had low expectations (the caper farmers in Pantelleria) became magically real, spontaneous and fun.”
In recounting the Emmy-award-winning Beirut episode, which was shot just as war broke out, he noted that “his daughter was conceived the day after he and his crew were rescued from the front lines there.”
And finally, Bourdain expressed gratitude to the line-up of chefs and cooks. “The famous and the not at all, who’ve been kind enough to appear on the show over the years: I doubt any show has ever had such a line-up of talent.”