Sunday, February 10, 2008

No Reservations--It's Not About the Food

Who is the sexiest guy on TV? Is it Matthew Fox, the conflicted leader from LOST? Is it one of those McDreamy doctors on Grey's Anatomy? Some folks would even say American Idol's acid tongued Simon Cowell should be a front runner (me!).

Wrong to all of the above. The sexiest man on TV is Anthony Bourdain, who hosts "No Reservations" on The Travel Channel, Monday nights at 10pm.
He smokes, he drinks, he's got a thick New York brogue and he'll eat almost anything. Mr. Bourdain is part of a new genre of food reality programming, which I call "Adventure Eating". It's not so much about great restaurants and fine dining as it is about scary cuisine and off the beaten track cafes from around the world that you would only go to on a dare. On a good night you might find Anthony hoisting a pint in a Northern Ireland Pub. On another kind of night, he'll be in a Russian sauna, steaming himself like an onion before jumping into a black icy pond clad only in his underpants. That was actually a good night for moi.

Most of the characters on TV today look too fake and squeaky, no matter how carefully they grow their three day scruffy partial beards. They all look like they've just been removed from a zip lock bag with tweezers, and they probably carry tiny bottles of hand sanitizer in their pockets. Anthony Bourdain has an old school rugged look that is rare and therefore immensely appealing . He'll down shots of Vodka with the locals. He'll swallow a big nasty smoked meat pie. And, unlike Cal Worthington, he really will eat a bug. I read somewhere recently that he quit smoking, but you can still see him puffing away like an iconic classic movie star in the older episodes. He's not the only Food Hottie on TV (Bobby Flay and the Naked Chef come to mind), but for my money he is the best. Watch No Reservations, and feast your eyes!

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