Wednesday, January 4, 2012

An interview with Anthony Bourdain

I have consulted for the Miami No Reservations TV show and the Layover segment shot in Miami last July that aired December 13th. What does consulting mean? It means selecting the places Anthony will go and getting the permission to shoot which means lots of footwork, phone calls, lining up production assistants and being a fixer so nothing goes wrong. It is work but fun and always a pleasure working with Anthony who may give off a bad boy persona but is a very considerate, smart, funny and sweet person. He also gives credit to the people who help him which makes him a gentleman too.

Here is what he said about me in an interview of himself on

The question asked by Eater interviewer Jackie Sayet: In the mainstream, Miami tends to be equated with South Beach in recent memory, and culturally to a large extent Cuba for good reason. Do you think Miami is misunderstood or do you think people are finally able to see it through the eyes of those who live here?
Anthony Bourdain answers : I mean, the extent which Miami is Latin American and Caribbean I think is under appreciated for sure. The Haitian dimension is largely overlooked, like the other Latin American countries, Colombia, Nicaragua. There is a tendency...You know it is your burden and your blessing that people associate Miami with Miami Beach and Miami Vice. I mean, that show made your city in a lot of ways. There's good and bad that come with that but if you spend long enough in town...Repeated exposure to Linda Bladholm really helped me, from the first time I came to Miami looking to do and article for Gourmet Magazine. That's pretty much her area of expertise. That there are other large groups, that there are many people from West Africa and countries in South America...She really concentrates on that and has done really, I think trailblazing work in that area.

The photo of Anthony Bourdain is by me just as the sun was setting when he was shooting No Reservations Miami and I took him frog gigging in the Everglades. He was a great sport and gigged his only frog on his first try, not an easy thing as you are in an air boat in the dark on water with mosquitos and alligators and have a helmet on with a little light to shine in the eyes of frogs. When you spot the eyes, you take what looks like a giant fondue fork and try to gig it (stab it). Later we feasted on Derek the air boat captain's stash of frogs legs, battered with Everglades spice mix and deep-fried. I contributed banana bread with Indian spices to cap off the night and the long drive from the River of Grass to Miami Beach.

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