Behind the Scenes in Nicaragua

Go behind-the-scenes with Anthony Bourdain as he travels throughout Nicaragua.

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Zach's latest innovation, The Zamboni 3000 Amphibeaous Camera Platform. He was inspired by his experience on "Waterworld." 960 1280

  

Ruhlman and I, resplendit in our coffee filters, re-live school daze. 960 1280

  

A CIA student we dragooned into getting an on-camera "tattoo" of my logo. It'll come right out. Eventually. I think. 960 1280

  

Producer Tom Vitale, a worried looking Bill Murray and me. 960 1280

  

The rather awesome Mohonk Mountain House. 960 1280

  

Tugboat nap. 960 1280

  

Tony gambling in Macau
Tony gambling in Macau

Tony gambling in Macau

"I win big at Baccarat!" - Tony Bourdain 960 1280

  

Tony bungee jumping

Tony bungee jumping

"THIS was the hard part: standing out there on that shaky platform, 64 stories up in the wind and rain." - Tony Bourdain 960 1280

  

Tony bungee jumping

Tony bungee jumping

"Free falling....this was the fun part. A relief after standing there with calves turning to jelly, waiting'waiting'" - Tony Bourdain 960 1280

  

Tony Go-Karting

Tony Go-Karting

"Go Speed Racer! Go!!" - Tony Bourdain 960 1280

  

Tony in Macau

Tony in Macau

"We got a Wong Kar Wai thing going on." - Tony Bourdain 960 1280

  

Photos

Vietnam

Vietnam

"I'm happy with all our Vietnam shows -- probably because I’m always so ludicrously happy to be there. I could just watch the B-roll from those shows all day. It’s a good place to work, a good place to eat. A good place to be." -- Tony Bourdain 960 1280

  

Beirut

Beirut

"The 2006 Beirut show obviously holds a special place in the memories of all who were involved. Like the war that broke out around us, it happened unexpectedly. That experience changed those of us who were there. And it changed subsequent shows. We never, from that point on, forgot how arbitrary life and death can be, and how harsh life can be for the people we leave behind when we head safely home with our cameras." - Tony Bourdain 960 1280

  

Cleveland: Harvey Pekar

Cleveland: Harvey Pekar

"Harvey Pekar. We wanted to celebrate and step inside the life of Cleveland’s greatest chronicler in the style of American Splendor. It took a lot of work and pre-production to do that. But I’m very proud of the result. Not least because I believe so fervently that the late, great Pekar was a uniquely American, wonderful and important man whose life deserves celebrating and remembering. My love for Cleveland is absolute. I may not love it for the reasons some might like -- but I love it just the same. I am honored that Harvey, may he rest in peace, liked the show." -- Tony Bourdain 960 1280

  

Hong Kong

Hong Kong

Hong Kong, particularly the scene where a third-generation noodle maker practices his craft, rocking painfully and disfiguringly on his bamboo pole under the faded photos of his parents, encompassed everything I believe to be good and true about people who choose to make food the very best they can. It was a beautifully shot and edited sequence -- one of our very best. If our show is principally in the business of celebrating cooks -- wherever they may cook -- and in whatever circumstances -- then this was as good an example of our work as we could ask for." -- Tony Bourdain 960 1280

  

Montana

Montana

"Montana, which opens with the great American author and poet Jim Harrison reading from his work, would have been a proud achievement for that alone: Jim Harrison is in it. That’s enough. But it’s also where I started to look at those parts of America so different than my own -- cowboy country, gun country, red state, Palin bumper sticker America , with a genuine affection I’d previously only felt for Vietnamese and South Americans and Europeans." - Tony Bourdain 960 1280

  

Sardinia

Sardinia

"Sardinia was a risky show, because it was so personal, and I had a whole new Italian/Sardinian family looking over my shoulder -- and more perilously -- I had chosen to include my wife. My wife’s father’s family in the mountain towns of that incredibly beautiful island were the best "fixers" any one could have hoped for. The cinematography was incredible. And the editors, in spite of the fact that I was sitting in their laps for much of the cut and making their lives miserable, responded with a beautiful and heartfelt love letter to what is for most people an unfamiliar culture." - Tony Bourdain 960 1280

  

Venice

Venice

"Venice was where we were really hitting a golden period for cinematography, I think. Using film lenses and adhering to a stylebook shamelessly lifted from works like Don’t Look Now and The Comfort of Strangers, we’d do things like wake up very early in the morning to shoot in Piazza San Marco -- intending to make the usually crowded Venice look empty and haunted. It’s an example of a show that came out just as we’d planned, looked and sounded like we wanted it to, and it also had the advantage of being filled with great characters and food." - Tony Bourdain 960 1280

  

Rome

Rome

"Probably my favorite show of all of them. My proudest achievement. Why” Because it was so suicidally stupid. Because no one wanted it. Because everybody thought it was a bad idea to do a show in Rome—that most beautiful and colorful of cities—in black and white. : Instead of run and gun hand held cameras and fast editing, we shot stationary, with film lenses. Instead of no lighting and barely acceptable sound, we lit as if in a studio, made frequent use of subtitles." - Tony Bourdain 960 1280

  

El Bulli

El Bulli

"It was the most important restaurant in the world -- in its last days. And the greatest culinary artist of this or last century, Ferran Adria, had agreed to open his life and his kitchen to us. So it was important to get it right. We threw everything we had at it. Every camera, every technical innovation -- every creative idea we could come up with. We got the right guy -- the best guy -- Jose Andres -- to come along and show us, through personal reminisces, what it all meant -- and why it was important." - Tony Bourdain 960 1280

  

Holiday Specials

Holiday Specials

"Our last in a series of Holiday Specials was a high watermark of sorts. It has always been my belief that the pursuit of excellence in television is impossible if one does not regularly seek to cause terror and confusion at one’s network. The network’s sweetheart, Samantha Brown, playing herself as a crazed, vengeful, alcoholic and homicidal shut-in, pumped a bullet into my leg (spraying blood on a stuffed kitten) between pouring schnapps into a bowl of Fruity Pebbles." - Tony Bourdain 960 1280

  

Cajun Country

Cajun Country

"The pig slaughter and boucherie in the Cajun Country show is a personal favorite. It starts with a prayer. And it’s a scene I’m most grateful to the network for -- for leaving it alone. Pretty disturbing stuff to see a pig shot close-up to the brain. It’s ugly, and painful. But that’s what happens when you take a life for your dinner. And somebody, somewhere does -- every time you order a pork chop. We always work extra hard whenever we shoot in New Orleans or Louisiana -- to do right by them -- as they have been egregiously failed by so many others. Also, we love the place ferociously." -- Tony Bourdain 960 1280

  

Soldiers in Havana

Soldiers in Havana

Soldiers stand (sit) watch in Havana. 960 1280

  

Bourdain watches a sunset

Bourdain watches a sunset

Tony watches the sunset behind downtown Havana, along the Malecon aka seawall. 960 1280

  

Tony Bourdain watches little league

Tony Bourdain watches little league

Tony and Cuban baseball expert Peter Bjarkman watch a little league game. 960 1280

  

Dinner in Havana

Dinner in Havana

Tony enjoys a homecooked dinner. 960 1280

  

Mural in Havana

Mural in Havana

A political mural in Havana. 960 1280

  

Zach Zamboni

Zach Zamboni

Cameraman Zach Zamboni gets his picture taken. 960 1280

  

Industriales game

Industriales game

Tony and Cuban baseball expert Peter Bjarkman at an Industriales game. 960 1280

  

Centro Havana

Centro Havana

Centro Havana 960 1280

  

pork sandwiches

pork sandwiches

Delicious pork sandwiches for sale at the baseball stadium. 960 1280

  

Tony at Paladar Los Amigos

Tony at Paladar Los Amigos

Tony with Mara and Elizabeth at Paladar Los Amigos. 960 1280

  

A mural of Ernesto "Che" Guevara who was an Argentine Marxist revolutionary leader who played a major role in the Cuban Revolution. 960 1280

  

Tony with former Castro photographer Roberto Salas. 960 1280

  

Nicaragua

Nicaragua

Nicaragua has a history of oppression, political turmoil and civil war. Tony visits the Central American nation as its infrastructure and economy are slowly being rebuilt. One of his stops was at La Chureca, the city dump, where hundreds of destitute families pick garbage for a living. 960 1280

  

Beiruit

Beiruit

In July 2006, Tony and his crew traveled to Lebanon to film an episode of No Reservations. They expected to explore the beautiful country and enjoy delicious food. Instead, they ended up trapped for in a secured hotel atop a hill overlooking a war taking place in Beirut. After a week of uncertainty, they escaped the city by boat. Tony and the crew later returned to film the episode they had attempted to in 2006. 960 1280

  

Haiti

Haiti

Tony visits Haiti almost a year after the Caribbean nation was devastated by an earthquake in January 2010. While there he meets with actor and movie director Sean Penn at Petionville Camp, a tent city built by his relief group, J/P Haitian Relief Organization (shown here). While Tony was in Haiti, the country endured a cholera epidemic and a hurricane threat. 960 1280

  

China

China

China is one of the earliest and most important cradles of civilization, and one that Tony had not visited until the first season of No Reservations. Tony gets to enjoy one of the most dynamic cultures in the world. He stops by Tiananmen Square, dines at Li Qun Roast Duck Restaurant, learns about calligraphy and tours the countryside of HuangLongXi. 960 1280

  

Cuba

Cuba

Tony travels to Cuba to find the heart and soul of the island nation that's rich in good food, time-honored traditions, glorious architecture and pristine cars from a different era. Tony embraces the passions of the native people and marvels at one of the more beautiful cities he's ever seen. 960 1280

  

Colombia

Colombia

Colombia is a bright and beautiful country that's glowing with optimism and hope. It's shedding its label as the drug capital of world, a title it held recently for more than a quarter century. Now it attracts tourists in part for its great food. Tony explores Colombia and discovers its unique cuisine and hopeful citizens. 960 1280

  

New Orleans

New Orleans

New Orleans, a city known for its love of food, music, and life, was forever changed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The city is still a vibrant and spectacular town even as it continues to rebuild from the Hurricane, one of the worst natural disasters in American history. Tony explores the true impact of Katrina on this unique city. 960 1280

  

Kurdistan

Kurdistan

The geographic region of Kurdistan comprises land that touches five countries: eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, western Iran, northern Syria and Armenia. Tony and his crew ventured to the war-torn Kurdish region to explore the tragic history and the hopeful future of the Kurds, and sat down with three US soldiers stationed in the fledgling country. 960 1280

  

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan

Most of this former Russian Republic was hidden from foreign eyes for centuries. Tony journeys through Uzbekistan's 2000-year-old capital, Tashkent, dines at Jumanji, and gets acquainted with the culture by visiting the Registan, the center of the ancient city of Samarkand, a UNESCO's World Heritage Site. 960 1280

  

Liberia

Liberia

Tony and his crew discuss Liberia's troubled past and the country's hopes for the future with a man at the Ducor Hotel in Monrovia, the capital of the West African nation. Settled by freed American slaves, Liberia became a republic in 1847. Democratic elections in 2005 ended more than two decades of authoritarian rule and civil war. Security in Liberia is still fragile as the country rebuilds its social and economic structures. 960 1280

  

Chernobyl

Chernobyl

Tony and his friend Zamir Gotta take a trip to the Ukraine, a former Soviet Republic that struggles to thrive and prosper as a democratic nation. They enter the 'exclusion zone' around the shrouded Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (shown here), and tour an abandoned amusement park in the nearby ghost town of Pripayat. 960 1280