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Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations - Collection Four

4.5 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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(Jul 14, 2009)
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Anthony Bourdain, the intrepid TV host, culinary adventurer and self-proclaimed hedonist, uncovers a fascinating side of countries that many tourists never see. By sharing meals with local families, participating in their celebrations and indulging in their sometimes unusual pastimes, Tony experiences different lifestyles and locales at their most vibrantly authentic. If you want to get a taste of the beauty, magic and quirky delights found off the overly traveled tourist path, take a trip with Anthony Bourdain!

Vancouver, British Columbia: Home to a thriving film industry, gorgeous scenery and an evolving food scene. For a change of pace, Tony tries ziplining, and he lands a small film role.

New Orleans: After the impact of Hurricane Katrina, Tony sets out to prove that New Orleans is still a vibrant and spectacular town. He meets up with restaurateur Emeril Lagasse and takes in a down-home New Orleans cookout.

London / Edinburgh: Tony goes on a renegade deer hunting trip with famed chef Marco Pierre White and then heads to St. John, considered one of the best restaurants in the world. In Scotland, Tony meets up with one of his literary heroes, best-selling crime author Ian Rankin.

Greek Islands: Tony experiences an - ofto, a huge festive picnic during which men slaughter a lamb and roast its meat over an open flame. Then he arrives at Shipwreck Beach to join a local family in their festivities.

Jamaica: Tony explores areas of Jamaica not so well-known to tourists - the bustling marketplace known as Coronation Market and the caves so plentiful on the island. He also gets a lesson in coffee growing and shares a traditional Jamaican Sunday dinner.

Hawaii: Tony gets a taste of paradise, sampling such local favorites as the Puka Dog and a variety of SPAM dishes, ranging from sushi to chili. He also takes off on a jet ski and pays a visit to Kilauea, the world's most active volcano, before participating in a fun-filled luau.

Into The Fire: After so many years away from the kitchen the big question is....can Anthony Bourdain still cook? He tests that theory himself when he sets out to work a double shift on ""the line"" at his old haunt, Restaurant Les Halles. Laos: Tony finds himself in Laos, a land with picturesque landscapes and mountains, exotic cuisines, and a mysterious history.

Tokyo: Famed Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto joins Tony in an examination of Japanese food ranging from the simplest of soba noodles to the sophistication of the traditional Kaiseki meal.

Uruguay: Tony and his brother, Chris, are on a mission to connect with their family in Uruguay after learning of Bourdain roots in this tiny South American country.

Colombia: Tony witnesses the amazing changes that have transformed this country. He pays a visit to the city of Medellin, once plagued with drugs and murder, but now home to families, laughter and great food.

Spain: Outside of Asia, Spain is the single greatest location for culinary achievement in the world, according to Anthony Bourdain. And Tony is out to explore and discover the culinary gems that make Spain great.

Egypt: Tony visits with locals to get a taste for what it means to be Egyptian. He spends an evening smoking shisha at a men's cafe, takes a boat ride down the Nile to spend the day with a local family and sleeps under the desert stars with a group of Bedouin men.

Saudi Arabia: After a nationwide casting call, No Reservations FAN-atic Danya Alhamrani was chosen to show off her hometown of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Tony explores the Saudi Arabia that most Westerners have never seen.

Washington D.C.: Tony samples fare from the popular Ben's Chili Bowl, hits up Peruvian chicken joint El Pollo Rico, and visits the D.C. Central Kitchen.

US Southwest: Tony meets with rocker Alice Cooper at a Phoenix hot dog stand that bears his name and tries out Texas-style fun with rock legend Ted Nugent.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Travel Channel
  • DVD Release Date: July 14, 2009
  • Run Time: 698 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0026IQTPO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,571 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Storm the Penguin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 19, 2009
Season Four of No Reservations is where I think the show really started to pick up steam on the entertainment side of the house. Whereas the show used to revolve simply around Tony going to various locations and eating food, this is where the Travel Channel really started figuring out that Anthony Bourdain is probably their biggest star asset.

If you're a food show purist, you will probably be a little annoyed with the increased frequency of the "Tony, go hurt yourself," skits in the various locations. Season Four includes the zip lining and cave diving bits as well as the Greek shipwreck party and the night out at Kilauea. The entire episode focusing on Anthony going back into the kitchen at Les Halles will probably irk you too as there is little to no actual food tasting being done.

If you're a Bourdain fan, this will most likely be one of your favorite seasons; probably because of the Les Halles episode (and lets be honest, Eric Ripert makes everything better). This season is a very introspective one and it seems like Tony's really taking the time to figure himself out during the course of the season. You see a lot less of the old "A Cook's Tour" and "No Reservations: seasons 1 and 2" Bourdain - the smoking, drinking, swearing version of Tony. Yes, he still swears a lot, but as he made his transition into fatherhood, the mantle of responsibility was almost palatable (no pun intended). This led to some great personal moments in the Uruguay episode with his brother Chris, trying to reconnect with their family's history. Serious items aside, there's the great Southwest road trip episode with Alice Cooper and the always entertaining Ted Nugent.

If you're a foodie, there is so much to drool over in this season.
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Bourdain isn't slowing down much; his latest shows are still some of the best travel/food tv out there. He remains one of the sharpest observers in that genre, and isn't afraid to raise a hackle or three. He does seem to be getting a bit caught up in his own legend, so it's good to see him cooking at his old haunt Les Halles---more in that vein would be nice, as it's entertaining to see him working in the kitchen instead of just oohing and aahing at others doing the same. The Jamaica, Colombia and Egypt epsiodes are also stand-outs of those featured here; Tony seems at his best when most out of his element.

I'd really like to see a show where all of the tv food guys have to cook for each other and every one was honest about what they ate. I wonder where Bourdain would rank?

His enthusiasm for the rituals around food and the people making it are usually the best thing about this show, in any case; his genius is more in his friendly irascibility and dry directness than culinary expertise. And mothers must love this guy: he always eats all the liver on his plate...and whatever other entrails cross his path. But nothing here beats him eating the roasted anus in Season 2.

Let's face it: Bourdain will only fulfill his destiny once he has done a show with a tribe of Amazonian cannibals (the jungle's, not the ones on this site). He'll take a big chunk out of somebody's thigh and say, "It's a tough piece of meat, but with enough seasoning and giblet gravy," he says, looking straight at the camera, "it's actually pretty [bleeep!] tasty."

And we'll believe him.
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I've been a pretty big fan of Bourdain's food-centric travelogues since Food Network debuted the A Cook's Tour show and the accompanying book (A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines). From his auto-bio/expose on the restaurant business (Kitchen Confidential Updated Ed: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (P.S.)), to his unrestricted palette of taste, through to his no nonsense style of writing food inspired crime fiction, Bourdain has cut an interesting niche in the foodie world. With No Reservations, he's left behind the insanity of the Food Network and taken his travels in search of good food and culture to the Travel Channel.

What I find interesting about No Reservations is the balance he's seemingly struck between his own tendencies and the requirements of filming a network driven travel show. On A Cook's tour it came across as butting heads with the network and producers resulting in a lackluster second season filled with excursions to ridiculous destinations like the Mall of America, content that felt forced and sad. No Reservations, though occasionally still succumbing to these depths, frees Bourdain up to getting to the heart of the matter which is examining true local culture and the food that sustains and elevates it. It combines the point of view of a 70s punk rebel with a soul searching existentialist, while also ditching most of the pretension and being generally entertaining TV which is pretty darn rare.
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