From nose to tail, Tony's eating lamb in all its delicious forms. He bites into brain in red wine sauce & sphincter sausage in Austria, and rips apart a lamb, caveman style, in Greece. Then he slurps down lamb noodles in NYC.
Bread, meat, repeat. Tony bites into a foie gras dog in Chicago, his definition of hotdog perfection. Then examines the finest kind of beef in NYC and inserts a polish sausage into a tunnel of toppings in Hawaii.
Not everything is located on a map. Tony visits communities found only by GPS, leading him off the beaten path. Tony explores a bit of Mexico's history, traveling down river just as the Aztecs did hundreds of years ago. At the end of an isolated canal, Tony stumbles upon Diego, living on the Island of the Dolls. It's a weirdly creepy wonderland of headless doll bodies, doll heads, and various body parts strewn throughout the trees. The dolls were hung years ago by Diego's uncle who lived there alone. He thought the dolls would protect him from the ghost of a dead girl who roamed his little island. These days, Diego makes his living by showing people around his strange yet happy home. Tony heads to Hawaii, home to the most active volcano on the planet - Kilauea. And Kilauea is home to Jack Thompson. When the rest of the volcano-side community left after the threat of lava flow, Jack remained behind, content with the solitude. During Tony's visit, Jack reveals that he is satisfied with the peace and quiet he has every day but that it's days like these, when he gets visitors, that make him really happy. He believes in destiny and wants to stay here 'til the end. Unfortunately for Jack, the end came too soon as he was forcibly removed from his home just a few weeks after Tony's visit, sparing him from the impending lava at the hand of 'Mother Pele,' the fire goddess. In Isla Grande, Panama, Tony visits US-appointed ex-dictator Noriega's home, normally closed to the public. Rumored to have been involved in Santeria, among the usual claims of torture and murder, Noriega ruled the country from 1983 to 1989, and then he was ousted by the very forces that appointed him. Tony eagerly waits as the rusted locks to the estate are opened, only to find a modest house succumbing to the ravages of humidity and time, prompting him to recall Arendt's writings on the "banality of evil."
Some food just really isn't right to eat in a restaurant. Tony joins El Gato in Colombia for a rooftop party full of stew, blood sausage and a drunk chicken. Then he enjoys grilled local onions & mass amounts of wine in Barcelona.
A juicy cut of meat, the open fire, and repeat. Tony devours steak and butterfly larvae on a stick in China and a whole roasted cow in Uruguay. After target practice, he dines on bacon-wrapped venison & pork chops in the Ozarks.
Lights, camera, action! From Bill Murray to Snoop from The Wire, Tony gets to know these entertainers on a more casual level. He cooks an Italian feast with Christopher Walken and explores a tent city in Haiti with Sean Penn.
Transportation, the most remembered part of any trip. In Malaysia, Tony takes a Liberace-like carriage ride through the streets, beer in hand. Then in Colombia, he has a pimp my bus moment before gorging on empanadas.
We've compiled the best of Anthony Bourdain's Caribbean trips in The Caribbean Files - Volume 2, in which he further explores Jamaica, the Dominican Republic and Cuba. In Kingston, Jamaica, Tony walks through Coronation Market, a sprawling market in the center of the city, known for being a political dividing line. Tony meets reporter Robert LaLah who gives him a tour of the grounds. They travel to Red Hills Road, known for its Friday night street food scene. Tony samples drum pan chicken, otherwise known as street jerk chicken. Tony spends the next morning relaxing on family-friendly Hellshire Beach. Tony and his friend Sarah Manley prepare a traditional pepper fish meal, and enjoy it while watching the locals. Jamaica is home to a large number of underground caves, and with the help of the Jamaican Caves Organization, Tony and his crew descend into the depths of a bat infested cave. In the Dominican Republic, Tony heads to Boca Chica, Santa Domingo's local beach. Filmmaker and surfer Ivan takes Tony to Wendy's for a lunch of fried fish, fried sweet potatoes, avocado and yaniqueques: crunchy tortillas served as a light snack. The next morning, Tony meets Jerry, a longtime friend and cameraman, for breakfast at El Cabito, a small restaurant run by European expats. Over a salad of fresh conch and cuttlefish, grilled shrimp and beer, Tony and Jerry reminisce about their days working together. In Havana, Cuba, Tony sits down with Roberto Salas, Castro's favorite photographer, to talk about his photos and his life in the socialist country. They dine on roasted chicken with orange sauce and rice and beans. Then Tony heads to the market to meet with Elizabeth Espinoza, who is known locally as Godmother. In a country where most restaurants are state-owned, she runs a private establishment out of her home. Here, Tony enjoys pan-fried port, yucca, rice and beans. Lastly, Tony visits a barbershop where the camera shy proprietor gives him the closest shave in the history of man.
We've compiled the best of Anthony Bourdain's Caribbean trips in The Caribbean Files - Volume 1, in which he further explores Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the Grenadine Islands. In Haiti, Tony walks the streets of Port Au Prince, taking in the destruction the earthquake left behind. After that, he meets up with Handy Tibert, a well-known face in the Haitian film industry, for a taste of Haitian street food. When Tony and Handy stop for chicken, rice and beans, and a spicy slaw, they quickly notice that passersby have stopped to watch, not because of the film crew, but because they are hungry. Tony and his crew make a quick decision to buy out the street food vendor and feed the onlookers. Unfortunately, a violent commotion erupts, which Tony pegs as a metaphor for what is wrong with so much well-intentioned aid effort around the world. The next day, Tony returns to the streets for the Day of the Dead. Usually this holiday is filled with celebration, but this year's festivities are a bit more somber as the Haitians visit the remains of their relatives lost in the quake. Afterwards, Tony meets with actor and humanitarian, Sean Penn, in the tent city built by his relief group, J/P Haitian Relief Organization. They sample chicken pies and explore the grounds, then look through inspiring pieces of art created by local Haitians. In the Dominican Republic, Tony meets filmmaker Juan Basanta for lunch. Empanadas, longanisa, Dominican peas, stewed goat and avocado salad are served alongside ice-cold Dominican beer. On the outskirts of town is the neighborhood of Villa Mella. Here, Tony meets up with local writer and magazine editor Ruben Lamarche for a celebration full of chicharron, pork deep-fried in lard. Tony heads to the Grenadine Islands where he meets chef and restaurateur Norman Van Aken for breakfast on the beach. They dine on barracuda, clawless lobsters and croissants that don't suck. Then he visits the small island of Bequia to hunt and feast on a large rodent. On St. Vincent, Tony fishes for crawfish and relaxes by a waterfall.
We've compiled the best of Anthony Bourdain's Latin America trips in The Latin America Files - Volume 4, in which he further explores Colombia, Brazil and Chile. In Cartagena, Colombia, Tony joins chef Jorge Escandon at his restaurant, La Cevicheria, for some delicious fresh seafood. They visit the Central market and enjoy a meal with local market workers at Cecilia. Across the channel from Cartagena is Tierra Bomba, an island with a completely different way of life than its bustling sister city. Arnufo, a local lobster fisherman, invites Tony and Jorge to a meal at his mother's restaurant, complete with lobster that Arnufo caught that morning. Back on the mainland, Jorge shows Tony a popular late-night snack in the town of San Antonio: fried pig intestines and boiled pig ears. In Belem, Brazil, Tony meets up with Felipe, a local food enthusiast, and chef Oliviera de Ofir, an expert on indigenous Amazonian cuisine. Tony is led to the fish market, where he is introduced to the massive filhote catfish. He convinces the fishmonger to slice a sashimi-thin piece from the belly and eats it raw, something unheard of in Brazil. It was fantastic. Tony heads down the Amazon with his guide Caito, to meet up with Dr. Urano Carualho, a botanist specializing in Amazonian fauna. Dr. Carualho collects the prized acai berry and shows Tony how it is prepared. Next, Tony heads to Mexiana Island, where an enormous fish is said to lurk. Tony is determined to find the pirarucu, a prehistoric delicacy. With the help of local fishermen they set off into the jungle, moving through murky water until an enormous form breaks the water's surface. After landing in Santiago, Chile, Tony's friend Raul takes him to a country town in the Corrico Valley to experience a favorite pastime in Chile: the rodeo. Yes, there are horses, cowboys, and ropes, this rodeo is as much about the food as it is about the action.