Dear Anthony Bourdain,
Disclaimer: I am a blogger but not a food blogger.
We’ve crossed paths once. I was walking home from class in Prague with my roommate when he spotted you in the Pivovarsky Klub which we lived above. He totally lost his shit and ran upstairs to sounds the alarm to our housemates. At the time, I had no clue who you were and was only mildly interested. I’ve since watched essentially every episode of No Reservations (sucks it isn’t on Netflix anymore), Lay Over (as short lived as it was) and Parts Unknown. And when someone asks me what my dream job is, I reply that it’s to do what Anthony Bourdain does: write, travel , and eat.
So you got crossways with The Travel Channel because they were shady about product placement deals in your show. That is becoming more pervasive and more talent should make a stand against it. I watch the show because of the authenticity I feel from your experiences. Anything editited in after the fact is outside your vision for the show/episode. A former letter recipient of mine Stephen Colbert has recently parodied this growing trend of post-production product placement. But how else are you going to make money off the fast-forward generation? That is the billion dollar question, but hopefully we can be more creative than sneaky product placement.
The running theme of your shows (and books) is that you probably need to leave your comfort zone to really experience a place and its people. It’s exciting, it’s good for you, and it’s the only real way to travel. I remind myself this in every new place I visit and always come away more experienced than I arrived. It seems like you’ve been everywhere. Where is left that you want to go?
Keep livin’ the dream Tony. Maybe someday I’ll join you.