Lessons from the road with Anthony Bourdain

The final season of “No Reservations” airs Mondays at 9 p.m. on Travel Channel.

Anthony Bourdain is in his last days of vacation. He’s not globe-trotting around the world or eating local specialties, the kinds of trips that have gained the no-nonsense chef a cult following on his Travel Channel show “No Reservations.” No, this is a getaway in the Hamptons with his wife and daughter, who, he says via cellphone, is snuggled up to Dad as he answers our questions about the show’s ninth and final season.

One of the great things about “No Reservations” was the way that you documented regions — it was you, exploring a country and culture, through food. Looking back, how were you able to get such a non-touristy show on the air — and then last for nine years?

You know what? I don’t really know. We were surprised that it did well. What I’ve heard from people was that  [they love] what we don’t do, that we weren’t like other shows. I didn’t care if I was particularly likable, I didn’t care if I was particularly informative; it was always a really personal travel essay. We wanted to make the best, most interesting show we could. The number of people who watched it, we didn’t care about. You can’t think about those things in any creative endeavor.

Another hallmark of the show was the soundtrack. How did you choose the musicians?

You get a sense over the years, “Do I want to hang out with this person?” Most of the decisions in my life are built around, “Do I have to have business meetings on a regular basis with assholes?” I will forgo a lot of money and I will avoid plenty of opportunities if it erodes my quality of life. I like a guy like me who likes to collaborate with people and isn’t so much about making the big money tomorrow.

Speaking of collaborations, you are involved in so many projects — from writing on the HBO series “Treme” to writing a graphic novel. Are you deliberately trying to stay closer to home?

I’m making a conscious effort to be away from home a little less. But the things you mentioned I do for free or relatively little money. Those are things I do for the pleasure of working with the people who I really respect and admire.

When do you find the time?

Look — when ["Treme" creator] David Simon calls, you find the time. [Laughs]

What’s next


In later seasons it seemed like you delved even more into the politics and history of some of the places you visited. Is that part of what led to your next food and travel show, which will air on CNN?

   
I know that CNN probably saw a place for us on their network when they saw episodes like the Haiti show. Where food comes from and what people in any given place eat is already a very political thing. Maybe unconsciously we started to look at harder stories to tell because with food and travel, there’s always the threat of becoming insipid and repetitive.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

New statue of Penn State's Paterno set for…

By David DeKokHARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (Reuters) - Fundraising for a new statue depicting Joe Paterno "as the man he was and not Joe the football coach"…

Local

Future Boston Alliance invites you to #RidetheLine, support…

#RidetheLine aims to show the city, the nation, and the globe our creative impact as Boston citizens.

Local

(Update) Body of missing BU grad Eric Munsell…

The dead man pulled from the water at Boston's Long Wharf Wednesday afternoon was that of missing 24-year-old Boston University alumnus Eric Munsell, Boston Police said today.

National

On newly released tape, 'Squeaky' Fromme says was…

Manson Family member Squeaky Fromme told a mental health examiner in newly released interview the "X" she carved in her forehead was meant to separate her from "the system."

The Word

Taylor Swift battles paparazzi daily at Tribeca penthouse

We're entranced by these photos of poor Taylor Swift leaving her Tribeca apartment.

Movies

Tribeca: Nikki Reed on going funny for a…

"Intramural" star Nikki Reed talks about being the straight person in a broad comedy, spending time in Austin and how "Thirteen" was a "miracle."

Arts

'Becoming Cuba' at Huntington is a bit short…

Playwright Melinda Lopez freely lampoons the English language for its lack of passion in her latest work, “Becoming Cuba.” Ironically, the Huntington Theatre Company’s playwright-in-residence…

Movies

Interview: 'The Quiet Ones' star Sam Claflin on…

"Hunger Games" co-star Sam Claflin talks about his new horror film "The Quiet Ones," plus how technology connects him with fans.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24…

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April 24 version

MLB

5 infamous pitcher ejections for cheating

Never fear Yankees fans, Michael Pineda is far from the first MLB pitcher to be thrown out of a game for cheating.

NFL

Patriot’s schedule comes up fair

Those looking for built-in excuses for the Patriots 2014-2015 season will have to look elsewhere, because their schedule came up fair. For the fourth straight…

MLB

Nava demoted, Victorino return imminent

  Red Sox outfielder Daniel Nava, who was batting a team-low .149/.240/.269, was demoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Wednesday. "His struggles at the plate, I…

Parenting

New study: Inside the wage gap between boys…

According to a new study, there's a wage gap between boys and girls, with boys earning more allowance for less chores.

Tech

From Apple TV to Fire TV, big changes…

Apple is set to launch a new generation of it's Apple TV, which grossed over $1 billion in 2013. But competition from Amazon and Google looms.

Style

Katy Perry releases a new Claire’s collection

Katy Perry expands her empire by releasing an accessories collection at Claire's.

Style

MAC & Proenza Schouler collection unveiled

MAC Cosmetics is releasing a new collection with Proenza Schouler.