A startling announcement was made last week: it seems that Anthony Bourdain will be returning to the Food Network. Yes, we’re talking about that Anthony Bourdain, the very same one who famously wrote that Food Network star Sandra Lee was “pure evil” and called the network’s executives “seriously crack-brained, rapacious, and evil.” So…it’s going to be a fun company holiday party, yeah?
Bourdain’s new Food Network show is actually just a continuation of an old one. A Cook’s Tour originally aired for two seasons beginning in 2002. The format was in many ways similar to Bourdain’s Travel Channel series No Reservations: Bourdain travels to an exotic locale, meets with various local resident, and eats. (A Cook’s Tour is the show where he famously ate the still-beating heart of a cobra.)
We love Bourdain and will look forward to watching any show he’s on, regardless of on which channel it happens to air. All the same, though, we must admit to being a little uneasy about Bourdain’s decision to go back to a network he has so openly mocked. We can only assume that this must be a win/win situation. The Food Network gets to look progressive and hip (and like they’re cool enough not to hold Bourdain’s words against him) and we can only assume that they backed a Brinks truck filled with cash up to Bourdain’s door. Really, we’re most curious about what Rachael Ray and Sandra Lee, the two most frequent targets of Bourdain’s ire, must think about all this. We bet they’re not too happy…
UPDATE, 12/18: As two intrepid commenters have pointed out, we made a very large error while reading the press release from the Food Network. The press release says that “Anthony Bourdain, returns to Food Network with a Christmas Day Marathon, airing four back-to-back episodes on Tuesday, December 25th from 9-11pm ET/PT. The series will then join the primetime lineup in its new timeslot on Tuesday, January 8th at 10:30pm ET/PT.” As a more observant reader than us might notice, that says nothing about new episodes. Rather, the Food Network will simply be re-airing episodes from the show’s original run (we’re still going to TiFaux the Vietnam episode). We apologize for and regret the error, although in our defense we would like to note that the post in question was written while rather feverish.
[Photo: Serious Eats]