Monday, February 11, 2008

Deer Heads, Pigs Heads, and Michael Caine

Live Blogging Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations - "London and Edinburgh"

Opener: Yay! Looks like Tony's going to be slaughtering some kind of wildebeast!

Clapham, London:
Hanging out with a member of...some band. The greatest band since the Ramones. I have no idea what he said. Nevermind. Something better: Tony recorded an album? Apparently it's a spoken word album. Sorry, it's a short story he recorded. My bad. Although, it's kind of like Tony rapping. To some funky beats. I'm totally going to buy it. Let's go check on Amazon...

Tony knows where to stay and eat in London - he seems less surly here. Oh, Fish and Chips! Oh, the thesis of the episode has been revealed: He's here to prove the food in England doesn't suck. I believe you Tony. At least you have a thesis, it's better than soem scientists we know.

Hanging with Marco Pierre White (side note: I was literally JUST reading an article about him the other day...this is weird - Tony's in my head). He's was Tony's hero because he looked like a drunken, strung-out bastard, just as Tony did when he was working at Les Halles (or maybe another restaurant, they didn't specify - I'll try to figure out the timeline laster). Marco says he made cooking sexy.* Then he retired. Wow. England is beautiful. Let's go and wander about the countryside, drinking and frolicking about. Marco went on sabbatical to the countryside and used the fruits of the meadow to create new, yet classic combinations. Oh, Tony's got a gun!!!!! He missed the deer. Marco shot something and now is rubbing blood on Tony's head. Hot.

Now they're in Marco's restaurant - getting into the wine cellar...oh, yeah! MMMM....quail eggs. Venison. Lots of old-world dishes, "old-fashioned skills." HAHAHAHAHA! Marco brought the deer head out on plate for Tony to look at while he eats the fresh liver! Tasty!

Soho, London:
Hazlitt's - Tony's favorite boutique hotel. Everything is slightly askew. It looks awesome - I want to go stay there and write a novel. Did he just sign someone else's book and put it back on the book shelf? Oh, no time for that now, he's heading to a member's only basement club. Crazy, blue suit, poet-guy is reciting poetry, and kind of flailing about. Ha, Tony said "wanker," as in acting like a drunken jackass. Now he's wandering around with blue suit guy. He's telling Tony about the brothels in Soho...and he kind of looks excited. Something about spanking and loin cloths...I kind of tuned it out. Can you just wander around the streets with open containers of liquor? Wow. Yes! Let's go to England now! Open containers AND beautiful countryside! Tony's bashing Starbucks...time for a fade out to a new locations.

Massive butchershop (Smithfield)! Pig head! Blood! Guts! Offal! Holy crap! That's the biggest pig's liver ever! I think it's as big as me. Giant saw to fabricate meat! It must smell horrible there - I think they actually just sent the camera crew, no Tony...he was probably too hungover from his night of drinking with Marco (maybe blue suit guy?) to deal with the smell of decaying flesh.

Back from commercial and back to Smithfield - oh, here's where Tony comes in - he meets them for breakfast. Oh God. It looks so good! Meat. Sausage. Eggs. An early morning pint or two. The butchers are wearing their bloody smocks in the restaurant. That's kind of gross...and mostly gross because it's unsanitary.

AGH!!! Fergus! Henderson!!! "Nose to Tail!" Tony hearts him! OK, back to the food...bone marrow smeared on bread. Oh...there's the culinary word of the hour, "unctuous." Bowl of pig's head. English bloodcake topped with a fried egg. Tony has apparently entered a new plane of existence. He just keeps cursing. Fergus keeps talking about where England went wrong. It's because of the loss of seasonal cooking and basic good taste. I 100% agree.

Commercial break - Tony's in Jamaica next week. This had the worst shoot Tony ever did. According to his blog.

Back from commercial and back to the recording studio - drinking Guiness and recording. All about Michael Caine! He's having problems getting the inflection right. Now he's relating Michael Caine's movie, "Get Carter." to England's poor culinary reputation and his search to find legitimate food in England. And now he's moving on to Scotland. I like the trifecta split screen the editors have going on here. Especially the art-y closeup of Tony's face in the sunlight.

It is a beautiful city. Good call, Tony. In a pub. Drinking a pint. I'm sensing a theme for the show...Gosh, it IS a gorgeous city. Wow. I really need to get my flabby ass to Europe.

Leith, Edinburgh:
Food (at some shady street stand-type thing): Deep-fried haggis!! Fish and chips! Some kind of red, sugary liquid! King Rib! Even better, none of them know what it it "hamster meat?" I'm betting on leftover bits of meat from an American meat farm, you know, the bits of the meat McDonald's won't put into their nuggets (yeah, I know, shut it, guys. I like the nuggets, too...especially with BBQ sauce).
Things Tony learned so far:
a) Batter is a main course!
b) No matter what the food shaped like a rib is, people will eat it!

More food: Seafood! Leith is keeping their own seafood instead of selling it all to other places. The Kitchin. True (and delicious) Scottish cuisine. Sea Urchin! Foie with scorched haggis! The ubiquitous Pig's head! Grouse! Langostein! Diver scallops! The explanation of crappy Scottish food - convenience food is too easy. Hmmm....sound like somewhere else we know? But, The Kitchin is bringing back local delicious food, now with one Michelin star!

Sum up: Where did things go wrong? How did we forget about legitimate food and taste? And a parting shot of the gorgeous vista. And Tony's album....

*Just like you're bringing sexy back, PW?


Anonymous said...

Fergus Henderson suffers from Parkinson's disease.

iko said...

Sorry, my fault...maybe I should actually look up facts about people before I post. Thank you for letting me know.

Beth said...

I should have thought to check your blog last night - I could have done live commenting...

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