The itinerary: To include a separate ar on food because that this episode seems nearly foolish. Yes sir food everywhere. As Bourdain tells united state in voiceover, “I come here mostly to eat, due to the fact that that’s what they do here. And also they arguably execute it better—with an ext diverse, affordable food alternatives per square foot than just around anywhere on Earth.” but here’s “Singapore,” a fiendishly clever, spoonful-of-sugar type of episode, in a nutshell: Bourdain brings 3 Singaporeans out for oyster omelets, beef satay, fried prawns with chili paste, and fish sphere soup. The camera records the dishes, the mouthfuls, with a rigid that’s practically lascivious. And also all the while, they talk about heady stuff. The cost of living in a police state. The price of liberty of speech. Independence. Gender parity. Later, the episode will juxtapose exquisite cocktails and legalized prostitution with cameras the town hall in every car and on every corner. It would seem the Bourdain and the Singaporean federal government alike know that when you placate world with indulgences, you can attain things much less palatable.
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Looks delicious: everything qualifies here, however Bourdain saves among his favorite dishes—char kway teow, a stir-fried rice noodles frequently cooked in pork fat—for last, and also it’s a hearty, drool-inducing showstopper.
Episode 2: The French Alps
The itinerary: Remember when Bourdain take it chef/buddy cop Eric Ripert come Sichuan to clock him politely sweat his method through insanely spicy dishes and glass ~ glass that potent booze? Here, Ripert gets his revenge—though it i will not ~ look favor it, till you watch Bourdain’s face. The pair journeys come the French Alps come ski, eat cheese, drink, eat more cheese, hike v snow-covered mountains and finish it all off with some cheese. Yet somewhere follow me the way, Bourdain gets it in his head that Ripert should really be at the center of an action movie, and while life continues to be peaceful, the episode gets stranger from there.
Looks delicious: The raclette sliced together it melts from the warm of what’s essentially a tiny copper portable cheese radiator is the stuff of dreams, but the farcon—a steam potato bread filled through bacon and also dried fruit—will make you desire to grab your parka and also head for the plane tout suite.
> Read more about “The French Alps” in our list of Parts Unknown’s most crucial episodes.
Episode 3: Lagos
The itinerary: This is among the most visually dynamic episodes of Parts Unknown—a textured, vivid, deftly edited item of television. Shoot in no small component on 16mm film, the episode’s rich, deeply saturated colors, grainy quality, and also energetic editing identify it; but if the format didn’t suit the subject, it would certainly be one affectation, a item of cinematic showboating and nothing more. That’s no the case. Manager Morgan Fallon, a regular cinematographer because that the collection (as well as for No Reservations), seemingly intends to replicate the tireless hustle and also bubbling enthusiasm of the city through his filmmaking, a mix that makes the unforgettable places Bourdain visits—the bustling computer system Village, floating “city within a city” Makoko—even more vibrant. The extra initiative is ideal for one episode focused on people determined to make a better life not just for themselves, your families, and their communities, yet for your country, and also for the civilization at large.
They to speak that whereby there’s a will, yes a way. And there is many of will in Nigeria. Uncover a niche, create a business, build a home, a school, a community, or look beyond to creating a brand-new society.
Looks delicious: One of the purest Bourdain quotes around a dish arrives in this episode: “Pepper soup is the food that the night and also dark places. That burns. It burns genuine good.”
Programming note: over there are numerous Parts Unknown illustration in which the music is a basic piece the the storytelling, but even among that overfilled field, “Lagos” stands out. You deserve to hear much of those featured in this playlist, and also read an ext on the music here and here.
Episode 4: Pittsburgh
The itinerary: Prepare for some big, fat conversations, frequently over big, fat meals. In Pittsburgh, Bourdain talks to the locals around what’s foremost in your minds. Sometimes that’s the virtues of professional wrestling, and the characteristics necessary to make a great heel (Bourdain, he’s told, has them). Much more often, the gentrification, change, the legalization that marijuana, culture, community, aging, abandonment, public duty, and the like. Similar to episodes favor “Detroit” and “Montana,” the present makes that is respect for the people who live in these changing, occasionally struggling neighborhoods apparent, and does not attempt to provide easy answers to any type of of the inquiries raised. However “Pittsburgh” ends v something that feels curiously like an answer of a sort. The episode asks if Pittsburgh deserve to stay Pittsburgh as the future knocks on the door; it concludes v a good old-fashioned demolition derby, in which among the prizewinners is the community’s just female driver. That’s the future, yet in the ideal way, it still looks and also feels like the past.
Looks delicious: Bourdain travel to the Pittsburgh suburb the Braddock because that a meal through the city’s mayor and others at the not-then-opened superior Motors, a supremely elegant enjoy the meal that seems to an ext than comprise for the mournful vision of gorgeous sausages and peppers strewn over the pavement in the episode’s earliest scenes.
Episode 5: Sri Lanka
The itinerary: A decade after No reservations first took Bourdain to Sri Lanka, he return to uncover both good change and ever-present history. The ghosts roam. They can also, as theater artist Tracy Holsinger of mental Adventures Theatre agency fears, be ignored by a nation still living v the wounds the a decades-long dispute that saw thousands die, or simply vanish. “The first time I saw Sri Lanka, 10 year ago, no one talked—not about the important things,” Bourdain to write in his indispensable illustration notes. Lock were also afraid. Throughout that visit, the No Reservations crew to be not permitted to travel north; the Parts Unknown team climbs board a train and makes their means to Jaffna, come find more absence, an ext ghosts, much more people living in a human being shaped through a terrible past. Now, they deserve to speak. Part do—among them, the artists of that theater company, who evocative, full-throated work weaves v the episode and also adds a streak that visceral emotion the dares you come look away.
Looks delicious: Bourdain phone call Jaffna crab curry “the divine grail of Sri Lankan cuisine,” and it’s basic to check out why. It’s among several home-cooked meals that merely look therefore fragrant that it’s straightforward to imagine the aroma that the flavors wafting turn off the screen.
Programming note: If you, choose this writer, discover yourself shamefully uninformed around the Sri Lankan civil War, this piece, native Parts Unknown’s supplemental website, is a great place come start.
Episode 6: Puerto Rico
The itinerary: once the Parts Unknown team touched under in Puerto Rico, they uncovered blue skies, beautiful beaches, drinks screaming out for tiny umbrellas, and food—especially seafood—that will certainly make your tongue roll out of your mouth prefer a carpet while your eyes do a stunner a-woo-ga noise as they careen from their sockets. They additionally found a crippled economy, a coast strewn with uranium and also undetonated explosives, and people willing to was standing in prior of bulldozers to save the see from succumbing come mega-resorts springing up in the name of financial development. This to be months before Hurricane Maria; the episode aired mainly after, start with a shot of a city under water. What’s many striking around this illustration isn’t that gorgeous seafood. It’s the Parts Unknown was figured out to display audiences a beautiful place that, metaphorically, to be drowning, well prior to the storm swept in. That an hour tinged through respect, affection, and also anger, every mingling in a specifically memorable conversation through teacher Liza Fournier Cordova, whose eyes fill as she speak Bourdain that she knows she can’t save all she students. “But I have the right to save a lot,” she says, lifting her chin. “And that’s my job.”
If this TV thing drops through, ns can always work at Denny’s.
Looks delicious: Bourdain’s trip consists of many beautiful meals—feasts that coconut arepas, slow-roasted pig, mofongo, stews, fritters, and endless seafood—but the enjoy the meal of fresh-caught grouper and also red snapper v an encampment the protestors will certainly send you scrambling because that waders and also a pole.
Programming note: The Parts Unknown digital team really went over and beyond with this episode, publishing work-related by several of the hour’s guests under the location “Life ~ Maria,” including one by Cordova.
Episode 7: Seattle
The itinerary: If you’re searching for a feel-good illustration of Parts Unknown, it could seem weird to start with an illustration in which Bourdain is fixated top top the region’s price of serial-killers-per-capita. But enthusiasm have the right to be infectious, and also this is a location that Parts Unknown tackles v relish. The episode starts with discussion of the locust-like descent of tech Boys (captured in a real sick burn the a pop song by The god Themselves), an unwelcome development, yet the people Bourdain meets plainly enjoy their indignation and methods that protest; it ends v a mournful yet enjoyable nostalgia, and also the pleasure of rojo a joint in solitude. And also the music—god, the music.
Looks delicious: Apologies to the life oysters, yet the tiny popular music of the canned bread at Modernist cook is an soon unforgettable, joyful, surprising moment.
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Episode 8: southerly Italy: The heel of the Boot
The itinerary: close to the start of this evocative episode, Bourdain interviews Francis Ford Coppola in the sun-drenched courtyard the his boutique hotel—a mansion which, in the days of Mussolini, belonged come the podesta—and while they feast on some exquisite-looking dishes, Coppola talks about the unforeseen shame and also embarrassment the arrived with the unforeseen success the The Godfather. That a hell of an interview, exquisitely shoot by manager Tom Vitale top top Panavision cameras; the reds room so red, the whites, therefore white. And also somehow, it’s no downhill from there. This is among the best-looking episodes of Parts Unknown, one evocative outing that’s as wealthy thematically as it together visually.
Looks delicious: The an initial thing Bourdain eats in this episode is uni pasta. “In the annals the food,” he says, “this is a divisive dish—basically anything through ricci, also known together uni—we speak to it sea urchin roe
Programming note: This is one of several illustration of the series that prominently features Asia Argento.