I have a new favorite show (along with Mad Men, Modern Family and 30 Rock, of course)...and it stars gritty, chain-smoking New York chef & writer who has a fowl mouth and simply tells it how it is - Anthony Bourdain. For anyone who's a foodie, is passionate about international culture and travel, and wants to have a good laugh watching a grumpy, often-awkward New Yorker try to fit in with natives from every corner of the globe, set your DVR to record Travel Channel's Emmy Award winning show - Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations.
Each episode is a full cultural experience - in fact, Matt and I booked our honeymoon, much of which will be spent exploring southern France, after we watched Bourdain's travels through Provence. Much more than a show about exotic foods, Bourdain does an incredible job of sharing the history and "real life" of the cities, villages and countries he explores. One episode of No Reservations is a lesson in history, geography, social studies and cooking, all in one. He gives you a true experience in what it would be like to travel across the globe and immerse yourself in the cultural landscape of far away lands. He is always graciously hosted by locals so you get an insider's view of the way of life in places ranging from small, war-torn developing villages in south-east Asia, to the big city buzz in Paris and Tokyo.
My only qualm with him is that he truly believes that without meat, a meal isn't a meal. But fortunately, although one of the show's fundamentals is based on food, it's really more about the travel and experiences he has in countries abroad...and it's definitely worth checking out when you want to experience a little "get away" from the comforts of your own home.