Anthony Bourdain was a man that was loved and appreciated for his brutal honesty in the restaurant world. His take on food was, perhaps, best encapsulated by his hit show, No Reservations, which aired on the Travel Channel in the United States and on Discovery Travel & Living elsewhere in the world.
Bourdain famously remarked to Food & Wine Magazine that he would never dine at any Trump-owned restaurants because he had “utter contempt for him, utter and complete contempt.” His comments came after the Trump Grill was voted by Vanity Fair as the “worst restaurant in America.”
So while Anthony Bourdain never crossed a Trump-owned threshold in No Reservations, there were eight places he did go to that proved to be a culinary — and visual — delight.
When Anthony Bourdain visited Iceland in No Reservations, he gave us an insight into his mind — an insight that many of us, at the time, didn’t notice or pay attention to. But in the second episode of the first season of the show, Bourdain reflected that he found the darkness of Iceland “comforting” (the title of the episode was “Hello Darkness, My Old Friend”) and participated in the local Icelandic customs while soaking in the Blue Lagoon and eating Hákarl, a fermented shark dish that’s considered the national dish of Iceland.
During the first season of No Reservations, Anthony Bourdain traveled to the island of Sicily where he had spleen sandwich with then-Governor Salvatore Cuffaro. He also tried tripe (a cow’s second stomach), went cliff-diving, and took advice from locals on finding the best cannoli.
Anthony Bourdain was instrumental in helping dispel various myths about various countries, and there was no better example of that than when he visited the beautiful African country of Ghana in No Reservations. He visited the Makola Market, went fishing with tourism minister Jacob Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey, and watched kente cloths being made on a loom. He also tried such dishes as barracuda, kenkey, and palm wine.
When Anthony Bourdain first started out as a chef, he worked in New England alongside Azorean Portuguese immigrants. To pay tribute to his roots, he visited the region and learned all about how these immigrants shaped the culture of New England today.
5. Croatian Coast
In what he called “the finest Mediterranean cuisine,” he took No Reservations to the Croatian coast, where he swam with bluefin tuna and went on a hunt to find a prized white truffle. And, in the episode, he literally got knocked off his feet.
Bourdain went to Finland after he received an overwhelming response on his social media pages from his Finnish fans to do so. He joined musician Sami Yaffa for a pub tram ride — and got completely drunk in the process — before going into a bloody sauna and having an interesting dinner with a cabbie’s mother.
Talk about serendipity. Weeks before the March 2011 earthquake that all but leveled the place, Bourdain took a trip to this glorious Japanese city, where he ate Hokkaido style ramen, waikanae crab, and Uni-ikura Don before dining at a ryokan enjoying a formal robatayaki. In the international version, not shown in America, Bourdain visited the Sapporo Beer Garden, where he had a beer called Ghengis Khan that’s not available in the United States.
Anthony Bourdain took his No Reservations crew to this lovely region of France where he stayed at a villa, ate daube, aioli, terrine, and Ricard Pastis, before trying — and failing — to cook a Provencal dinner for the locals.
Rest in peace, Anthony Bourdain. You will be missed.
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