Back in December, I was thrilled and terrified to learn that “bad boy” chef and writer Anthony Bourdain was filming an episode of his globetrotting food show, “No Reservations,” here in the Aloha State. Thrilled because Bourdain is sharp, funny, and brutally honest. Terrified because there was a local PR agency involved. Mocking local “handlers” is a hallmark of Bourdain’s city tours, so I was worried he’d push back just for the heck of it, or be steered toward umbrella drinks and cheesy luaus rather than genuine holes-in-the-wall and “real” island eateries.
Well, we’ll soon see how Hawaii fared in Tony’s jaded (though somewhat softened) gaze. The “Hawaii” episode of “No Reservations” will be broadcast next week Monday, March 3. And the official Travel Channel synopsis gives me hope:
Arguably the most exotic of “The States”, Hawaii sits nearly 2500 miles from the continental United States. But is it all just leis and luaus? Or does this archipelago in the middle of the Pacific offer something more?
And Nathan G. Kam, who works with McNeil Wilson and knows first-hand how Bourdain came to Hawaii and how his trip went, is very optimistic. Hopeful that Hawaii at least fares better than Cleveland (to which Bourdain was “brutal”), Kam admits some nervousness but quotes Bourdain as saying, “Hawaii exceeded my expectations in every way.”
I’ll be interested to see which local eateries make the final show. Bourdain, who was traveling with his family, apparently skipped some scheduled stops (Hank’s Haute Dogs, Elmer Guzman’s Poke Stop, and Nalo Farms among them) for some quality time here in paradise. He did at least manage to live it up with his fellow chefs at Side Street Inn.
And one thing is almost certain (courtesy New Uptown Fountain) to get some airtime: Spam!