Sensual Seduction

For the past couple of weeks, I've been watching marathons on the Travel Channel. Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. Both shows are pretty much parallel to each other but, I've always been a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain, since the publication of his bestselling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. Anthony Bourdain is brash and unapologetic with his gastronomic opinions about cooking, vegetarianism, and celebrity (faux) chefs. Moreover, his approach to food, ciggies, and drink seems almost hedonistic. Shamelessly hedonistic. No Reservations makes me a fan of his all over again. Last night I watched Anthony navigate the epicurean and multicultural splendor of Sao Paolo, Brazil. He and two Brazilian companions dipped in and out of the frenzied rehearsals of Carnivale, visited decadent food stands that touted the wonders of pork with all the fixings and various other kabobed meats. They chugged caipirinhas one after the other during their food-hops. But one segment in particular stirred weird emotions inside of me. Anthony, his crew, and his two Paolista friends visitied an Afro Brazilian woman's home. Apparently, this woman opens up her small, modest home to weary travelers (many of whom pay her a small fee) filling them up with a home cooked Brazilian meal (with roots born from Brazil's African slaves), wonderful company, and drink. I watched everyone... the production crew included... appear rapturous and hynotized by this woman's hospitality. Cheeks flushed, eyes glazed from the effects of good food and drink. She had full on seduced them. The scene that played out during that particular segment seduced me. It made me tear (or it could've been the pinot noir I was sipping, but who knows). I felt an overwhelming sense of wanderlust. And a strong desire to be in that particular mix... dancing, eating, my brow covered in a sheen of sweat as a side effect. It made me yearn to be abroad once more. Because that is the exact feeling I had when I frolicked, drank, and ate with abandon, whilst in Palermo, Sicily. I felt nostalgic and emotional because I was once caught up in the rapture of an exotic locale with people who relished and appreciated food and used it as a way to congregate and engage one another... as opposed to our (Americans) unhealthy relationship with food, eating, and feeling regretful afterward. Perhaps I felt a little emotional because 2008 for me, will present a new career opportunity that, if all goes well, may just allow me to experience that high once again. This past year was tumultuous. Not just with me, but universally. Hopefully '08 will offer a slight reprieve, if only for a moment!


BeautyinBaltimore said...

Coffee, you are after my heart.I though I was the only one to pick up on how similar the two shows are. I love Bourdain. He seems like one hell of a guy to have luch with. He is up for almost anything when it comes to food(now). I love how he enjoys life.

Zimmermanin is another story. I don't find him as engaging as Bourdain. He also seems quite fearfull of some of the food he is given to eat and I've seen him spit things out a few times which came across as a bit disrespectful to me.

What other shows do you watch on the travel channel. Do you watch the show on the people of the South Pacific?

TiffJ said...

@BeautyinB'more: Hey there! I've always been a huge fan of Anthony Bourdain. I've just been able to sit down and catch up on his show No Reservations. (sinc He had a similar food/travelogue that I used to watch. And his book is amazing.

Zimmern just seems sort of sloppy and gluttonous to me. The exotic and foreign foods he slurps down just comes off as gross. The idea behind many of the delicacies Zimmern eats are gross based on our Western standards, but he doesn't do anything to make balut or bull's testicles look appealing. Bourdain has a better presentation and approach. Plus he's appealing in a curmudgeony, chain smoking, dirty hedonistic daddy sort of way.

I'm also a fan of the regular travel shows... with Sandra Brown and I just got into that Tribe show. Trying to take advantage of all the free cable I can, while the getting is still good, because I don't ever buy it. ;-)

Another Conflict Theorist said...

Peace Sis,

I wish you a joyous, safe and prosperous New Year.

I have to admit that I haven't heard of either of these gentlemen. Cooking shows just don't seem to do it for me. Most of the televised chefs seem to be slightly too elitist for my taste (not that I mind certain forms of elitism but, when it comes to food preparation, it just seems like elitism for elitism's sake).

At any rate, Bon Appetite.