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ANTHONY BOURDAIN PARTS UNKNOWN

Prime Cuts: Season 3

Aired April 13, 2014 - 20:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

ANTHONY BOURDAIN, HOST: I'm a man, as my father used to say, of simple needs.

I want a golden unicorn that shoots money.

I like a country where people have a sense of humor. Why is it okay if you hit (ph) somebody with a penis but you (inaudible) with an octopus tentacle?

You know, when I was chef, you pour gin in my soup, I would have stabbed you in the neck with a fork.

I would never do that as a responsible journalist but I'm interested in investigating.

So that's where potatoes come from.

Certainty is my enemy. I'm all about questioning oneself and the nature of reality.

In ancient times, early drivers would hang the testicles of their enemies on their rear view mirrors.

I'm going to find a distinguished segue into adulthood one of these days.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(MUSIC)

BOURDAIN: I hate clip shows. I despise them. Clip shows generally are a cheap exploitative way to wring another hour of television out of existing footage. We aim to be different -- but not that different. All I can say in my own defense, those of you who tuned in expecting new and original material, is there is actually new and original material here, because it probably doesn't surprise you that we don't use everything we shoot. Some of it's actually kind of good. So I hope you enjoy this hour of clips.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: NEW MEXICO

BOURDAIN: Thirty rounds per magazine of steel jacketed destruction as fast as your finger can pull the trigger. You might well ask yourself why the hell would anybody need a weapon like this?

I'm an East Coast guy. I'm a New Yorker. But I come from a place where a glimpse of weapon on somebody at a bar or in the street is reason for panic. Here and in much of America between New York and L.A., you walk into a bar and see somebody with a weapon, that's my neighbor, maybe he's going hunting. Who knows? Most people you know own guns?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Everybody.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I had a rifle before I had a baseball bat.

BOURDAIN: Meet Jesse, Bill, Bo and Daniel.

UNDIENTIFIED MALE: This is what I grew up with. I shot my very first turkey with this gun at 12 years old, actually. That's a .22 rim fire cartridge and that is probably the type of firearm that most kids start off with.

BOURDAIN: These guys, I'm guessing, are not people I should be worried about shooting up a shopping mall. They are nice and exceedingly patient with a city boy who wants to play with their guns.

There's a dark little genie in all of us I think that wants to pick up a gun, point it at something and blast away.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is a new Springfield arm nine millimeter with a 19 round clip.

BOURDAIN: I like guns. I don't own a gun but I like holding them. I like shooting them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Glock 22, chambered 40 caliber.

BOURDAIN: There is something compelling, an eerie rush, an unholy sense of empowerment feeling the warm glow of these heavy iconic shapes in your hands.

I know how to shoot beer cans. If the zombie apocalypse comes, I'll be ready. Long as they're holding beers.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: We tend to see places, places in the Middle East, Africa in particular. We see them as places, we only see them when bad things happen. What do we see in Palestine? Generally, it's kids throwing rocks and weeping women. For the three minutes or 30 seconds that we get to see footage of this place and other places, that's all we see. I know that a lot of people don't ask Palestinians what's for dinner, what's your life like, where does your kid go to school? What are your hopes for your kid? There's a story there. It's not a big story. But it's an important story.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) TEXT: ISRAEL

BOURDAIN: This is Laila El-Haddad, a native Gazan, journalist and author of "The Gaza Kitchen."

LAILA EL-HADDAD, JOURNALIST/AUTHOR: The catches are not as big as they used to be. And that's primarily because the fishermen can't go beyond three to six nautical miles. They will destroy their boats, they'll cut their fishing nets, they'll detain them. So it is obviously risky business.

BOURDAIN: Laila has something to show me. The Sultan (ph) family own a small farm in the (inaudible) area of the eastern Gaza Strip. Ohn Sultan (ph) and her husband are unusual in that they cook together. This is not typical in this part of the world or in this culture. They use their own fresh-killed chickens to make the Gazan classic maklouba, the traditional Palestinian dish comprised of layers of fried eggplant, tomato, potatoes, caramelized onions and chicken sauteed and simmered in a broth with nutmeg, cinnamon, cardamom, and rice.

EL-HADDAD: Do you like it, she's asking?

BOURDAIN: Absolutely. Really, really good.

EL-HADDAD: She wants you to open a restaurant for her.

BOURDAIN: Keep cooking like this, it's really delicious. Will, in your lifetime -- I guess the first question would be in your lifetime, will you be able to visit Yafa?

EL-HADDAD: She says she hopes she can. She also hopes she can go to Jerusalem as well. So she's optimistic, yes.

She's saying -- first he said you're not allowing us to, then he self- corrected and said the Israelis aren't allowing us.

This is the normal tone of voice. He's not upset, by the way. This is how we talk. We yell.

BOURDAIN: What's he say?

EL-HADDAD: He's saying, give me a permit, if they allow of course I'll go.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: Tokyo. All I can tell you about Tokyo is that my camera crew all came out, their lips were blue and they were shaking after many of the scenes. I want to thank my network for airing the Tokyo show. I know they were worried by it. I expected of all the shows we have ever done, I thought that we would get the angriest blowback over the Tokyo show. I thought we were really in for it. But wow, you were some sick freaks out there, because apparently you liked it a lot.

Let's put it this way. If you like the Tokyo show, I'm not going camping with you.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: TOKYO

BOURDAIN (voice-over): Those who buy into the notion of Japanese women as shy, giggling, subservient victims of convention would be confused by Tomeka. Her day job is doing this. And I gather from what she tells me that she gets plenty of work.

This is Naga, invited along to help translate. Then there's this man, Kinoko Hajime, one of the best known and most respected practioners, a master of shibari, the art of ropes, of beautiful knots, of what, for lack of a better word, we call bondage.

(on camera): How big is the sadomasochistic community? How many people are active participants?

NAGA (ph): Hundred thousand people.

BOURDAIN: A lot.

NAGA (ph): A lot.

BOURDAIN (voice-over): This is shibari. Translation, to bind. And to make things more confusing for those looking for a concise takeaway, a comfortable reaction to what sure as hell looks pretty disturbing, Tomeka, who spends most of her time whipping, burning and generally abusing men, enthusiastically reverses roles in her long time relationship with Hajime.

(on camera): It looks like a very delicate procedure. Does it hurt? or does it feel good?

NAGA (ph): This pain change to the ecstasy. She said when she was tied up, no need to think, just leave it to another.

BOURDAIN (voice-over): Performance art, craft, fetish or compulsion. It's an old and shockingly omnipresent feature of Japanese popular fantasy culture. Magazines, movies, even comic books -- the intricate restraint of a willing victim is, well, it's there. Not far from the surface.

(on camera): What percentage of Japanese men are interested in either tying up women or subjugating?

NAGA (ph): All of them.

(LAUGHTER)

BOURDAIN: All of them? Well then the question is how many Japanese men like to be tied up?

NAGA (ph): All of them.

BOURDAIN: So in your experience, all Japanese men like to tie women up, but in your experience, all Japanese men like to be tied up?

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOURDAIN: I have been many places on this earth and I have been to many American cities. No place in America looks as much like Chernobyl as Detroit. This is a fact. I was angry about it, really angry, and also inspired. And it angers me that we have reached this point that we as a nation have allowed one of our greatest cities where all of these uniquely American things, this petri dish for cool stuff, it angers me that for whatever reasons, we let this happen. It's unthinkable to me. But never doubt my love for Detroit. I love that town. So I hope you will enjoy this stop that we never aired before. Before we go back and you see it again and again and again and again and again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TEXT: DETROIT

BOURDAIN (voice over): There are a lot of ways to know a city, but nobody knows it better, what really makes a city run, how the wheels of power turn or don't, what scares it, what ails it, nobody knows these things better than murder police.

Tony Wright (ph) and Nike Carlyle (ph) are recently retired homicide detectives. Each of them has 20 years on the job as street cops and another ten as detectives. They have seen it all. This is Mitch's. It's a cop bar.

(on camera): How have you seen the town change?

TONY WRIGHT, RETIRED DETECTIVE: Pre-riot days, Detroit was booming. It was the place to be. After the riot, all downhill.

BOURDAIN: A lot of people point to the riots as the moment where everything started to go bad, without talking about everything that led up to the riots.

MIKE CARLYLE, RETIRED DETECTIVE: I think probably another downfall that really hit the city hard was, for so many years, decades, Detroit counted on the big three for a tax base. Small mom and pop businesses in the neighborhood started leaving, crack epidemic hit in the '80s and it devastated the city.

BOURDAIN: Crack hit like a bomb. I mean, you can literally see the impact zones.

CARLYLE: You had Detroit police and narcotics, the DEA, they were raiding houses left and right, arrested all the people in the house, took the dope, took the money. Once it was empty, neighbors would burn the house down. They didn't want these people moving back in. Before you know it, two or three years passed, the neighborhoods were devastated.

BOURDAIN: These are casualties of war.

WRIGHT: Yes, that's the best way to express it because those empty lots were once well maintained homes.

CARLYLE: Now, Detroit police are out there on the street, only thing they basically have time for is to respond to the major crimes. We have had families sitting in their house eating dinner, an aluminum sided house, somebody stripped the aluminum siding off their house as they eat. If all of a sudden there's a shooting, I'm sorry, I can't help you with your aluminum siding, I have to go to this shooting.

BOURDAIN: You don't exactly have 1,000 extra guys just to bust loiterers or guys --

CARLYLE: You come on your shift and you find out from the dispatcher that we are 80 something runs behind --

BOURDAIN: 80 runs behind.

CARLYLE: 80 runs behind, a national average for homicide detective is three to four cases a year. We average 25 to 30 cases a year.

BOURDAIN: Let me ask, when you grew up, if you were seen misbehaving down the block, I bet somebody's mother would call your mother.

WRIGHT: Let me tell you something. I will tell you this. Whoever seeing you out there acting the fool, a neighbor, next door, across the street, whatever, they're going to come and they're going to whoop your natural-born behind.

BOURDAIN: Just the sense of looking out for your neighbor, now people, there's a body on your front lawn, eh.

CARLYLE: Got a body on the lawn, neighbor comes out and sees it, what do they do? Before we even get there, they get the garden hose out and wash the blood off. We're like don't do anything until we're done and we get the evidence technicians (ph). No, they got the hose, like, they're like it messed up my yard. I'm not going to have this all over my yard. We're looking at all the evidence going down the drain. Bullet casings is the same. We're like holy (expletive) now what.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: There are two Detroits, just like there are two Americas. There is the Detroit a lot of people see when they drive into town to go to a concert or a game. The other Detroit, maybe they see it out the window. The Detroit I show, the Detroit I love, may not be your Detroit but it's what I saw.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN (voice over): This is Vicky's Barbecue. There are no renovated houses or new businesses on this block, just Vicky's Barbecue. Like 700,000 citizens, it too has endured.

(MUSIC)

(on camera): Who lives here?

GEORGE AZAR (ph): Some would say it's an abandoned city. This neighborhood, I mean, working class. I actually live like a mile and a half that way but it's completely different environment.

BOURDAIN: George Azar (ph), born and raised in southwest Detroit.

AZAR (ph): It's weird, like in Detroit, it's super contrast in like certain senses. If you go down Jefferson towards Gross Pointe, it's like once you hit Gross Pointe, it's beautiful million dollar estate homes but right before that, it's the slums. There's no in the middle, I guess you would say. That's the problem with Detroit. There's a general consensus of fear of this city, you know what I mean?

BOURDAIN: Wait a minute. You have a whole hipster resurgence going on right in Corktown.

AZAR (ph): It's great. Lot of people talk that it's positive. When you are a city left without options, you know, it's time to accept things. They're ringing positive energy, businesses, money, it's a great thing. At Corktown, it was abandoned. Phil Cooley opened up Slows, took a chance on that strip and it exploded ever since.

BOURDAIN: Who are the customers?

AZAR (ph): Anyone who wants to come to Detroit and eat barbecue and feel safe, so where do they go? Slows.

BOURDAIN: Not here.

AZAR (ph): Not here.

BOURDAIN: Whose barbecue is better? Tough question.

AZAR (ph): Where we're sitting at, you know. So you already know.

DENNIS BUTLER: How do you do, sir?

BOURDAIN: Dennis Butler runs Vicky's.

This is good.

BUTLER: This sauce you are tasting is a concoction of one of the customers.

BOURDAIN: Really?

BUTLER: Yes.

BOURDAIN: She came in and was like, I don't like your sauce?

BUTLER: Yes, this is not barbecue sauce. Told my mother how to make -- BOURDAIN: You got to love Detroit. I don't like your sauce. Use this one.

Your parents opened the place?

BUTLER: Yes.

BOURDAIN: When did the bulletproof glass go in?

BUTLER: Well, their time and in my time. I put it across the windows. They put it across the counter.

BOURDAIN: Think it will ever come down?

BUTLER: It can come down. We can let it go to hell. We're not going to let it go to hell, though.

BOURDAIN: I hope you don't come down. I hope you stay here.

BUTLER: Oh, no, I'm not going to be here. I'm 66 years old, man. I need to sit down.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOURDAIN: Top five favorite food experiences. Where was I again? I don't even remember.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Cheers.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Here we go!

(MUSIC)

BOURDAIN: This is where it's at.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Wow. Wow, wow, wow.

BOURDAIN: It works.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It works.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Where you come from, New York?

BOURDAIN: Yes. How did you know?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, yes, yes. It works, he said.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BOURDAIN: Top five food experiences. I don't know, off the top of my head, Tokyo always good. So Yasuda in Tokyo. All of Spain. I mean, if you're not eating well in Spain, there is no hope for you at all. Have I said Japan yet? Yes.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TEXT: #5 SPAIN: TAPAS

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at that. That's a great tapa. Come on.

BOURDAIN: So if I were like a degenerate rock wino I could still eat well.

Tapas are free. It shouldn't work but somehow it does.

I could pretty much eat that all day.

Another drink, another tapa.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Another fried fish, what do you think?

BOURDAIN: OK, fried fish, then we're done. And cheese.

TEXT: #4 ISRAEL

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're going to spoil you now.

BOURDAIN: Yes, here we go. Mm. I just had this incredibly delicious meal, completely oblivious to the fact it's entirely vegetarian. If any of the vegetarian restaurants in New York served food that tasted anywhere like this, I would actually go there. I would consider it.

TEXT: #3 DETROIT

BOURDAIN: That's delicious. I think I better have another one of these.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, you should.

BOURDAIN: Behold the future.

UNDIENTIFIED MALE: What, like cooking in a back alley?

BOURDAIN: Yes.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: All right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The coriander blossoms we pick right from a farm in Detroit.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Good, isn't it?

BOURDAIN: I will tell you this is some of the best greens I ever had. No doubt about it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This dude has been everywhere.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Come on, man.

BOURDAIN: They're not just delicious, they are luxurious.

TEXT: #2 TOKYO: SUSHI BAR YASUDA

BOURDAIN: Yasuda is a friend and my master in the sense that he's taught me pretty much everything I know about sushi over the years.

(MUSIC)

BOURDAIN: Delicious.

YASUDA: Thank you very much.

BOURDAIN: Which is more important, the rice or the fish? Or what percentage?

YASUDA: Rice.

BOURDAIN: Rice.

YASUDA: 90 percent.

BOURDAIN: Wow. OK.

YASUDA: So my sushi is rice.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BOURDAIN: So Copenhagen was an amazing meal. That was one of those places where you're eating a really important meal. You've heard about it for years. In the case of Noma, how could it be as great as everyone said, particularly since you're eating moss and all this forage stuff, which kind of goes against my instincts. There's a hippie dimension that I'm hostile to. But it was truly a delicious, delicious, wildly creative yet always delicious meal.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

TEXT: #1 COPENHAGEN: NOMA

BOURDAIN: What Rene and Cruz started, what they're famous for, is foraging for ingredients.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Reindeer moss with last year's harvest of set mushrooms.

BOURDAIN: And color me dubious.

PORCHELI: Did you ever eat moss before?

BOURDAIN: No. That is incredible.

PORCHELI: Wow.

BOURDAIN: There's no way that this is going to look convincingly delicious on TV. But it is really delicious.

To tell the truth, food nerds, captains of industry, celebrities, you name it, have been flocking here for years.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) marinated in grasshopper. (INAUDIBLE)

BOURDAIN: That's good. The technique, you don't notice it. You notice the flavor. That's delicious. It's like I have never tasted a green vegetable that good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Come on, guys. They're waiting now. Let's go.

Traditionally, it's served around Christmastime. We call them (INAUDIBLE) skewers.

BOURDAIN: You got a little fish ran right through. I love it.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Isn't that sweet?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: There's a pickled cucumber in the middle.

BOURDAIN: It's great.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Isn't it just awesome?

BOURDAIN: Very traditional flavors.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Rene, since the beginning, is thinking about how to put into our plan what's around you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Service.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So we have some roasted (INAUDIBLE). And then roe is on the top there. Beach plants on the outside.

BOURDAIN: So, I know these ingredients, we were plucking them yesterday.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

BOURDAIN: Wow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Asparagus, beautiful. And then just one dollop in the middle, ok. We roast the asparagus with this (INAUDIBLE) That's why we have the bread. Do not eat that branch however. Underneath is a small pile of tender spruce shoots, grilled green asparagus sauce and a little bit of fresh cream.

BOURDAIN: That is incredible.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have two eggs smoking now.

BOURDAIN: Whoa! Quail egg Copenhagen. Wow. That's like the greatest thing ever. A perfect dish.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Perfect dish. BOURDAIN: I want more of those.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The next thing we serve you is flat bread. Very traditional here. We spice ours with shoots of spruce and oak tree.

BOURDAIN: This is amazing. That's like both really classic and totally new.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We have two berries on board. All right, the next thing we serve you is the dried-in juices from last year's harvest of black currant. Then we wrap it in wild roses that we've had in vinegar for two years.

BOURDAIN: This is like super-powered. They're not just thinking about what tastes good now, they're talking about will it taste good in two years if we ferment it or age it or dry it.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So we have wild blueberry desserts, so one for each of you. And the (INAUDIBLE) wild strawberries.

BOURDAIN: Oh, beautiful.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Look at this. Like a picnic in the park, huh?

BOURDAIN: Wow.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Unbelievable.

BOURDAIN: Look, I have eaten in a lot of great restaurants around the world, and it was still a little part of me that was saying, you know, this is going to be (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

(LAUGHTER)

BOURDAIN: You guys out in the field yanking weeds out of the ground, I really didn't expect it to be as good as it was. It was delicious. It was amazingly delicious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Amazing.

BOURDAIN: Yes. I thought it was amazing.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's not just about coming up with the greatest concept. It's this assembling what is out there in a new and beautiful, authentic and delicious way.

BOURDAIN: But always delicious. Always, always, always delicious first.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOURDAIN: Ah, yes, let's talk about Sicily. Now, it was a unique moment in my personal television history. Not one that I'm proud of. How can you screw up a show in Sicily? It's incredible on its face that such a thing is possible. You have to understand, this was our second Sicily show. We made these mistakes before. And you know, I thought that Sicily, particularly second time around, would be like an easy, a lay-up of a show.

It's one of the most amazing places on earth. You know the food's great. There is never going to be any shortage of characters in Sicily. The architecture is spectacular. Everywhere you point your camera, it's beautiful. And yet somehow, we managed to make a hash of it.

Sicily deserves better, and God knows I deserve better. Or at least I think so. Maybe I don't. Even if I don't deserve better, I deserve better than that. What you see on the Sicily episode is an actual, real-time nervous breakdown.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BOURDAIN: So the plan was we go fishing. We get some fresh octopus, maybe some cuttlefish, explore the bounty of the surrounding waters, all while working on our tans. With a local chef, fishermen, man of the sea. He's experienced. He knows where to get it good.

TURE: You like sea urchin?

BOURDAIN: I love it. How do you say it in Italian?

TURE: Ricci.

BOURDAIN: Ricci. Yes.

TURE: Ricci de mare.

BOURDAIN: It's one of my favorite things to eat.

This is Turin, my host.

What else is out there? Octopus?

TURE: Octopus, now it's cuttlefish and I like -- I want to try to find some small apalone, we call it (INAUDIBLE).

BOURDAIN: Nice.

TURE: And there's the clams. Here the water is still cold. I think they will be really full.

BOURDAIN: I'm thinking, really? Are these prime fishing waters? I don't know about this. With all this boat traffic and all these people, so close to the action I can't see much of anything living down there.

TURE: OK. Let's anchor. We anchor here.

BOURDAIN: But I am famous for my optimism so I dutifully suited up for what was advertised as a three-hour cruise. So I get in the water, and I'm paddling around. And splash. Suddenly there's a dead sea creature sinking slowly so the seabed in front of me.

Are they kidding me? I'm thinking, can this be happening? Splash, there's another one. Another rigor mortis half-frozen freaking octopus but it goes on. One dead cuttlefish, deceased octopus, frozen sea urchin after another, splash, splash, splash. Each specimen drops among the rocks or along the sea floor, to be heroically discovered by Turin moments later and proudly shown off to camera, like I'm not actually watching as this confederate in the next boat over hurls them into the water one after another.

I'm no marine biologist, but I know dead octopus when I see one. Pretty sure they don't drop from the sky and then sink straight to the bottom.

TURE: How many do we have? Three?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes.

TURE: OK. I tried to get some patate now and also small (INAUDIBLE) abalone.

BOURDAIN: Strangely everyone pretends to believe the hideous sham unfolding before our eyes, doing their best to ignore the blindingly obvious.

TURE: (INAUDIBLE). Don't swim at it.

BOURDAIN: Then they gave up and just dumped the whole bag of dead fish into the sea. At this point I begin desperately looking for signs of life, hoping that one of them would stir, become revived. I'm frantically swimming around the bottom littered with dead things looking for one that's still twitching so can I hold it up to the camera and end this misery, but, no, my shame will be absolute.

For some reason I feel something snap, and I slide quickly into a spiral of near hysterical depression.

Is this what it's come to, I'm thinking, as another dead squid narrowly misses my head? Almost a decade later back in the same country, and I'm still desperately staging fishing scenes, seeding the oceans with supermarket seafood, complicit in a shameful, shameful incident of fakery?

But there I was, bobbing listlessly in the water. Dead sea life sinking to the bottom all around me. You've got to be pretty immune to the world to not see some kind of obvious metaphor.

I've never had a nervous breakdown before, but I tell you from the bottom of my heart something fell apart down there, and it took a long, long time after the end of this damn episode to recover.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

BOURDAIN: So look, I've had worse things happen to me, and god knows worse things have happened to other people. I was in Sicily, after all. But I'm just telling you, reasonably or not, that was my personal Waterloo. I mean, for the first time in a long time -- let's face it, I have the best job in the world -- I'm sitting there in the Sicilian countryside, staring off into space thinking you know, I wonder if my old brunch shift is still available.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOURDAIN: I have been to a lot of countries. I have seen a lot of things. And if I know anything for sure, it is that I know nothing for sure. That people will always surprise you, that the world is big. The more I travel, the more I see, I really feel that the steeper the climb, the more stuff that I realize at least that I don't know.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BOURDAIN: Where are we going? What is this place we're coming up on?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We are going to eat the beef (ph).

BOURDAIN: Right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The beef (ph) is I think the only true national dish.

BOURDAIN: Really? There's no doubt about it. You can track the genealogy of this dish right back to this guy.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think it's a metaphor for the Israeli side because you take a pita bread, and you put a lot of stuff that don't begin together. But you force them together and say that's Israel, that's food, go and eat it.

BOURDAIN: If you read his books, you know Edgar is no stranger to the absurd. Nor, it appears, is he a stranger to the absurdly delicious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The story how it was named after this guy was that when we started making the thing, it didn't have a name. So people who say to him Sabeh (ph), give me another one because that was his name. And people who overheard, they said, yeah yeah, give me a Sabeh (ph), too.

BOURDAIN: The ingredients, hard-boiled eggs, fried eggplant, hummus, tahini, salad, potato, parsley and mango sauce. The assembly process is time-consuming and intricate.

Like brain surgery. I will hold this and look at it while they make yours. My god, look at that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Multi-cultural thing. Like the potato is in the armpit of the eggplant. There's no space there.

BOURDAIN: Now, is it an appropriate way to attack this? Does one go straight in or does one go at it from an angle?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It depends what kind of man you are. If you are a coward, you would go from the corner.

BOURDAIN: From the corner. Well, I'm a manly man.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So you go in the middle.

BOURDAIN: So going straight in. All right. Wow. That is pretty indescribably delicious, isn't it?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's a zillion different tastes colliding together. Used to be the people of the book. Now we're the people of the eggplant.

BOURDAIN: This is a great argument for the greatness of a nation, actually.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: No. It's a good reason not to destroy us.

BOURDAIN: This is the end of what has actually been a deeply traumatic week for me. There's no safe ground at all to describe even the most innocuous things. Is it a wall or is it a fence?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It looks like a wall.

BOURDAIN: Looks like a wall to me, too. I'm frustrated that I'm not going back to New York feeling any smarter. I am definitely not going back feeling like I have learned or been able to encapsulate or -- I don't feel I'm capable of going back and having an intelligent conversation about my experience. I feel all messed up emotionally.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But I think this means that you truly came here because when you get close to something to understand it, you don't understand what's going on. When you're far from it, it seems kind of sober. But when you go into it, you say hey, it doesn't make any sense. So, it means that you've really been here. If you say no, I go back and I'm wiser, and I'm going to return as a settler or I'm going to join the Peace Corps and I don't know --

BOURDAIN: I'll become a pundit.

(LAUGHTER)

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You should take this with you. It will only bring goodness to New York. Don't take all the other stuff. We will manage that.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

BOURDAIN: When selecting locations for PARTS UNKNOWN, there is always sort of a sliding sequence or hierarchy of criteria. One is does it sound like a cool place to go? A chef friend says the food's awesome. There are a few times where it's issue-driven or concern-driven, but generally it's nothing more intellectual or well thought through than well, that place looks really good. Let's go there.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

BOURDAIN: Looks like everybody in this town is either on their way to have sex or coming back from having sex.

The kaiparinias (ph). Did I mention kaiparinias? They do those here, too. I like them. I like them a lot.

What's magical about this cocktail is the first taste. It's like I don't know, man. It's a little too something. Then like that second sip, it's like oh, that's kind of good. Then the third sip, it's where are my pants?

Bobby Flay probably lives like this all the time.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I honestly never thought it would have come to this.

BOURDAIN: Well, I was dunking fries 14 years ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You have made some steps up.

BOURDAIN: You make me feel better about all of this luxury looking back at that.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. You deserve this.

BOURDAIN: You're right. You're right.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You deserve this.

BOURDAIN: Entering my golden years era. You know, go ahead and kill some young people (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

BOURDAIN: (INAUDIBLE) Getting cold. To victory. Victory in our time.

This is the story of one man, one chef and a city. Also, it's about France and a lot of other chefs, and a culinary tradition that grew up to change the world of gastronomy. It's about a family tree, about the trunk from which many branches grew. And it's about food, lots of food, great food. Some of the greatest food on earth.

Mexico is a country where every day, people fight to live. All too often, they lose that battle. A magnificent, heartbreakingly beautiful country. The music and food and a uniquely Mexican, darkly funny, deeply felt world view. Right down there, cuddled up beneath us, our brother from another mother.

This is going to be suboptimal seating. Yeah, I don't think this reclines. Thank God they have relaxed attitudes towards prescription drugs. Before you enter the gateway to the Himalayas, you better self-medicate.

While my stomach growls, I become the kind of traveler I warn against. Gripy, self-absorbed, immune to my surroundings. But as my brightly colored little train heads up into the hills from Calcutta station, known as the gateway to the Himalayas, my world view starts to improve.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

I have been doing shows like this for a long time. I have been traveling for about 14 years. The challenge is always to stay interested and to have a good time. I just like to keep making episodes that are different than the week before, that are, you know, as creative as we can be, do the best job we possibly can. As long as you don't know what's next, I'm doing good.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Any other closing thoughts for this clip show in general?

BOURDAIN: No. Let's hit the beach.