Sypnosis Reviewed by Trixie Zabal, SPOT.PH
Eating, traveling and discovering subcultures, No Reservations
is every Bourdain fan's treasured photobook.
For those who are familiar with Anthony Bourdain, the sharp-tongued and irreverent gourmand, chef, writer and TV personality, this book will be a bedside table favorite. More of a picture book and companion to the TV series than a text-heavy account of his travels, Bourdain allows the images and photos to tell parts of the numerous stories that was his professional life while shooting across Asia, Africa, Beirut, and North America.
More than the people they meet and the experiences the crew goes through - like being marooned in Beirut in the middle of an impending air strike - it's the food that draws in Bourdain (and inevitably, the reader). In China, he finds that the country is alive with great cooks and says "Deep inside every great cook, (is) anyone who knows what the good stuff is and what to do with it." For Bourdain and the rest of his crazy crew, food is the one thing that allows people, whether tourist or traveler, to view a glimpse of how life is lived in unfamiliar terrain.
What makes this book worthy of purchase and flip-through is that most of the images, taken by Bourdain or by his team, never made it to the TV show. Postscripts on the images were written by Bourdain himself, oftentimes reflective yet still with the Bourdain swagger we all have come to love.
One notable chapter in the book, but not one I necessarily like, is a section called 'Bathrooms in the World' (reminds me of SPOT's CR Diaries, yes?) which showcases the worst 'CRs' they've come across while filming. The inclusion of this chapter is a call to action for all foodies of the world: know thy food, know thy bathrooms!
Entertaining at best, the photo book, which Bourdain pegs as "Just an honest and direct recording of the way life is lived in the rest of the world", will make you get off the couch and plan to explore the world, or at least watch the TV series to see what he's eating next. SPOT gives No Reservations 3 stars out of 5. Title:
NO RESERVATIONS: AROUND THE WORLD ON AN EMPTY STOMACHAuthor: