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Rediscovering "A Cook's Tour"
Wednesday, December 26, 2007 | posted by Mike

I'm not sure if this is a commentary on the quality of the program or the lack of good shows in the genre currently on Food Network, but I'll be damned if A Cook's Tour -- mothballed for four or five years -- isn't still the most compelling travel show on the Network.

I couldn't put my finger on exactly what it was that made it so fascinating until I realized it was the fact that he dislikes a not insignificant number of the dishes he tries. It's a very real and refreshing break from the relentless "WE LOVE IT ALL!!!!!!!" assessments we get from Rachael, Giada, the Deen Brothers, and Guy on their travel shows.

Sometimes there is more to be learned from the dish you don't like than the one you do.

That said, hearing him talk reverently about his formal Japanese meal was a wonderful thing.

I will say, however, that some of the cinematography and visual effects (especially that "jerky" effect in parts of the Japan episode) sure were dated. And Bourdain is clearly not the polished professional he now is, which makes me all the more mad at Comcast for denying me my Travel Channel.

If you saw the episode on Rio, you may have noticed that the show appeared to be dedicated to his guide Fabio. At the risk of passing along faulty info, a post over at Chowhound a few years back claimed that he was shot and killed during a carjacking.

UPDATE: Word on Fabio from Bourdain himself in a post from 2003. Scroll to the last post on the page.



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