The complete Guide to parts Unknown) : title
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The itinerary: To encompass a separate section on food because that this episode seems practically foolish. There’s food everywhere. As Bourdain tells us in voiceover, “I come here mostly come eat, since that’s what they do here. And also they arguably perform it better—with an ext diverse, affordable food options per square foot than just around anywhere top top Earth.” but here’s “Singapore,” a fiendishly clever, spoonful-of-sugar type of episode, in a nutshell: Bourdain brings 3 Singaporeans out for oyster omelets, beef satay, fried prawns v chili paste, and fish sphere soup. The camera captures the dishes, the mouthfuls, v a stare that’s almost lascivious. And all the while, castle talk around heady stuff. The expense of living in a police state. The price of freedom of speech. Independence. Gender parity. Later, the episode will juxtapose exquisite cocktails and also legalized prostitution v cameras city hall in every car and also on every corner. It would certainly seem that Bourdain and the Singaporean federal government alike recognize that as soon as you placate human being with indulgences, girlfriend can accomplish things much less palatable.

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Looks delicious: everything qualifies here, however Bourdain saves one of his favourite dishes—char kway teow, a stir-fried rice noodles frequently cooked in pork fat—for last, and it’s a hearty, drool-inducing showstopper.

Episode 2: The French Alps


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The itinerary: Remember once Bourdain took chef/buddy cop Eric Ripert come Sichuan to watch him politely sweat his way through insanely spicy dishes and also glass after glass that potent booze? Here, Ripert it s okay his revenge—though it won’t look prefer it, until you check out Bourdain’s face. The pair journeys to the French Alps to ski, eat cheese, drink, eat an ext cheese, hike with snow-covered mountains and also finish it all off with some cheese. However somewhere follow me the way, Bourdain it s okay it in his head that Ripert have to really be at the facility of an activity movie, and also while life stays peaceful, the episode gets stranger native there.


Looks delicious: The raclette sliced as it melts indigenous the warm of what’s essentially a little copper portable cheese radiator is the stuff of dreams, however the farcon—a steamed potato loaf filled v bacon and dried fruit—will do you desire to grab your parka and head for the airport tout suite.

> Read much more about “The French Alps” in our list of Parts Unknown’s most crucial episodes.

Episode 3: Lagos


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The itinerary: This is among the most visually dynamic episodes of Parts Unknown—a textured, vivid, deftly edited piece of television. Shoot in no small component on 16mm film, the episode’s rich, deep saturated colors, grainy quality, and energetic editing distinguish it; yet if the style didn’t fit the subject, it would be one affectation, a item of cinematic showboating and also nothing more. That’s not the case. Director Morgan Fallon, a constant cinematographer because that the series (as well as for No Reservations), seemingly aims to replicate the tireless hustle and bubbling enthusiasm of the city with his filmmaking, a mix that makes the unforgettable areas Bourdain visits—the bustling computer Village, floating “city in ~ a city” Makoko—even more vibrant. The extra initiative is appropriate for an episode concentrated on world determined to do a far better life not simply for themselves, their families, and also their communities, yet for your country, and also for the civilization at large.


They to speak that wherein there’s a will, yes a way. And also there is plenty of will in Nigeria. Find a niche, create a business, develop a home, a school, a community, or look beyond to creating a new society.

Looks delicious: One the the purest Bourdain quotes about a food arrives in this episode: “Pepper soup is the food the the night and dark places. It burns. It burns actual good.”

Programming note: over there are plenty of Parts Unknown episodes in i m sorry the music is a fundamental piece the the storytelling, but even among that crowded field, “Lagos” stands out. You can hear much of what’s featured in this playlist, and also read an ext on the music here and also here.

Episode 4: Pittsburgh


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The itinerary: Prepare for part big, fat conversations, often over big, fat meals. In Pittsburgh, Bourdain talks to the locals about what’s foremost in your minds. Periodically that’s the virtues of experienced wrestling, and also the features necessary to make a an excellent heel (Bourdain, he is told, has them). More often, it’s gentrification, change, the legalization of marijuana, culture, community, aging, abandonment, civic duty, and also the like. Similar to episodes prefer “Detroit” and also “Montana,” the present makes the respect for the civilization who live in this changing, occasionally struggling neighborhoods apparent, and does no attempt to carry out easy answer to any kind of of the concerns raised. But “Pittsburgh” ends through something that feels curiously like response of a sort. The illustration asks if Pittsburgh deserve to stay Pittsburgh together the future knocks ~ above the door; that concludes through a great old-fashioned demolition derby, in which one of the prizewinners is the community’s just female driver. It is the future, but in the finest way, that still looks and feels favor the past.

Looks delicious: Bourdain travel to the Pittsburgh suburb the Braddock for a meal through the city’s mayor and also others in ~ the not-then-opened exceptional Motors, a supremely elegant enjoy the meal that appears to much more than make up for the mournful sight of gorgeous sausages and also peppers strewn end the pavement in the episode’s faster scenes.

Episode 5: Sri Lanka


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The itinerary: A te after No reservations first took Bourdain to Sri Lanka, he returns to uncover both good change and also ever-present history. The ghosts roam. They could also, as theater artist Tracy Holsinger of psychic Adventures Theatre company fears, be ignored by a country still living through the wounds of a decades-long conflict that witnessed thousands die, or just vanish. “The very first time I went to Sri Lanka, 10 year ago, nobody talked—not around the vital things,” Bourdain write in his indispensable episode notes. Lock were also afraid. During that visit, the No Reservations crew to be not permitted to travel north; the Parts Unknown team climbs plank a train and makes their means to Jaffna, to find more absence, an ext ghosts, more people life in a world shaped through a terrible past. Now, they can speak. Some do—among them, the artists of that theater company, who evocative, full-throated work-related weaves v the episode and also adds a streak of visceral emotion that dares you come look away.


Looks delicious: Bourdain phone call Jaffna crab curry “the divine grail of Sri Lankan cuisine,” and it’s basic to watch why. It’s one of several home-cooked meals that merely look so fragrant the it’s easy to imagine the aroma that the seasonings wafting turn off the screen.

Programming note: If you, prefer this writer, discover yourself shamefully uninformed about the Sri Lankan polite War, this piece, indigenous Parts Unknown’s supplemental website, is a wonderful place to start.

Episode 6: Puerto Rico


The itinerary: as soon as the Parts Unknown team touched down in Puerto Rico, they uncovered blue skies, beautiful beaches, drinks screaming the end for tiny umbrellas, and also food—especially seafood—that will make your tongue roll out of her mouth favor a carpet while your eyes make a stunner a-woo-ga noise together they careen from your sockets. They likewise found a crippled economy, a coast strewn v uranium and undetonated explosives, and people willing to was standing in prior of bulldozers to save the see from succumbing come mega-resorts springing increase in the name of financial development. This was months prior to Hurricane Maria; the episode aired weeks after, start with a shoot of a city under water. What’s many striking around this episode isn’t the gorgeous seafood. It’s the Parts Unknown was determined to present audiences a beautiful ar that, metaphorically, was drowning, well before the storm brushed up in. The an hour tinged through respect, affection, and anger, all mingling in a an especially memorable conversation v teacher Liza Fournier Cordova, whose eye fill together she speak Bourdain that she to know she can’t conserve all her students. “But I have the right to save a lot,” she says, lifting her chin. “And that’s my job.”


If this TV thing falls through, ns can always work in ~ Denny’s.

Looks delicious: Bourdain’s trip contains many beautiful meals—feasts the coconut arepas, slow-roasted pig, mofongo, stews, fritters, and endless seafood—but the enjoy the meal of fresh-caught grouper and red snapper v an encampment of protestors will certainly send you scrambling because that waders and a pole.

Programming note: The Parts Unknown digital team yes, really went above and past with this episode, publishing work by several of the hour’s guest under the title “Life after Maria,” including one by Cordova.

Episode 7: Seattle


The itinerary: If you’re searching for a feel-good episode of Parts Unknown, it can seem odd to begin with an illustration in i m sorry Bourdain is fixated top top the region’s rate of serial-killers-per-capita. However enthusiasm have the right to be infectious, and also this is a place that Parts Unknown tackles through relish. The episode begins with conversation of the locust-like descent of technology Boys (captured in a real sick burn the a pop song by The gods Themselves), an unwelcome development, but the civilization Bourdain meets clearly enjoy their indignation and also methods the protest; it ends v a mournful however enjoyable nostalgia, and also the satisfied of roll a joint in solitude. And the music—god, the music.

Looks delicious: Apologies come the raw oysters, yet the tiny pop of the crate bread at Modernist cook is an instantly unforgettable, joyful, how amazing moment.

See more: But Don T Take My Word For It Synonyms With Definition, Take My Word For It

Episode 8: southern Italy: The heel of the Boot


The itinerary: near the beginning of this evocative episode, Bourdain interviews Francis Ford Coppola in the sun-drenched courtyard that his boutique hotel—a mansion which, in the days of Mussolini, belonged to the podesta—and while they feast on part exquisite-looking dishes, Coppola talks around the unanticipated shame and embarrassment the arrived with the unanticipated success the The Godfather. The a hell of an interview, exquisitely shoot by manager Tom Vitale on Panavision cameras; the reds are so red, the whites, for this reason white. And also somehow, it’s not downhill indigenous there. This is among the best-looking illustration of Parts Unknown, one evocative outing it is as rich thematically as it as visually.


Looks delicious: The very first thing Bourdain eats in this episode is uni pasta. “In the annals of food,” that says, “this is a divisive dish—basically anything v ricci, also known together uni—we contact it sea urchin roe .” the goes on to speak to it “one the the best things top top Earth.” it straight-up drives him earlier to cigarette smoking a lone cigarette, and also even then, he’s no done. Listen for the final, deep satisfied, “Goddamn.”


Programming note: This is one of several illustration of the collection that prominently attributes Asia Argento.