For fans who can't get enough of globetrotting chef Anthony Bourdain and like to binge on those early Parts Unknown episodes as much as he likes to stick a fork into something exotic, mark June 16 on your calendar. That's the last day episodes 1-8 of Bourdain's CNN series will remain on Netflix.
For those who've never caught Parts Unknown, don't expect the brashness of a Gordon Ramsey or the uppity chat of a Wolfgang Puck. Bourdain isn't anywhere as glib as Bobby Flay nor as folksy as Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives host Guy Fieri. Bourdain's more of a brooding, yet curious sort as he scours the planet for hidden eatery finds. Just as importantly, he also pays heavy attention to the culture's effect on cuisine and vice versa, which made it a perfect fit for CNN's reality programming experiment that gave us Lisa Ling's This Is Life and Morgan Spurlock Inside Man.
Shot documentary style, Parts Unknown, which still has fresh episodes running on CNN, not only takes viewers across the U.S. at stops that include a Waffle House in Nashville and a Nepalese restaurant in Pittsburgh, but jets them to far-flung locales like Sri Lanka for fish stew and Oman for some creamed spinach.
He'll also include some popular destinations for more posh fare in Italy and France, but the real draw is in watching mom and pop operations in more impoverished areas put together the best dishes possible. Some of the surroundings look rather ramshackle and something that you'd likely see Gordon Ramsey try to exterminate. But to see the look on Bourdain's face when sampling the entrees is convincing enough to assure viewers that the food's delicious enough to take your mind off the scenery.
Through it all, Bourdain interviews some of the locals while at a restaurant noshing over a popular local delicacy as they talk about the spot's history and the importance of food in their respective cultures. Curiously enough, despite the host's culinary background, he's rarely been seen in a kitchen since the show's start in 2013.
But what Bourdain whips up on the flatscreen is something else entirely. From the moment the haunting theme, created and performed by Queens of the Stone Age members Mark Lanegan and Josh Homme, ends its sha-la-la chorus, viewers are in for a treat.