It’s a little sick, and probably a fetish somewhere in the world, but watching someone completely immerse and love a food experience is for me, one of the greatest things I can ever observe.
I love No Reservations partly because of Bourdain’s snark, well a lot of it is because of his snark actually, and his shorthand honesty aimed I think mainly at people in the food service industry (for example, calling himself the “FNG” when going back on the line in his restaurant after 10 years off and getting in the way of the rest of the cooks). But another reason I love it is because of his straight up, balls out, unabashed love of food and who cooks it for him.
One of the last episodes of this season was his visit to Spain, and I recalled from reading a few of his books, that he refers to Spain (particularly the culinary village of San Sebastian) as one of the top few places at which he is the most excited to return. He loves Asia as well, but something about his whole energy shift in Spain made me instantly want to get on a plane and go there.
This season of No Reservations, there has been a notable shift in his demeanor. He’s quit smoking, no doubt in part due to the arrival of his baby daughter and perhaps hot new Italian wife. He’s still snarky, but seems to have mellowed a bit. Easier to laugh, quicker to bliss out, and not too slow to get romantic about his experiences.
By the end of the Spain episode I was, with all due respect and in its most pure state, aroused. Not like bonin’ aroused, but viscerally so. My head and my heart together, completely in love with his experience albeit vicariously. He makes mention of cooking food over fire as one of the most basic ways to bring people together, a commonality shared by the entire world. The simple joy of a glass of wine, good conversation and well-prepared food made for, in that moment, a perfect existance.
I’ve no doubt that heaven exists, and in my mind, heaven is a sidewalk cafe with dappled sunshine, 79 degrees and breezy, the faint smell of 2 stroke scooter exhaust in the air, bottomless glasses of wine without those pesky side effects, a basket of freshly baked bread, olive oil, and plates of food wherein you can actually taste the love with which they were prepared. Oh and my dad telling some army stories while drinking a margarita.