If there’s one element that every geek shares, it seems to be curiosity. Geeks approach their thing — whether it’s keyboards, headphones, or maps — with ravenous curiosity. They hunger to know and remain open to knowing more.
I don’t think anyone’s called Anthony Bourdain a geek, but he’d fit the mold. On his travel shows No Reservations and Parts Unknown, Bourdain was the avatar of curiosity. He was someone who lived voraciously on new sights, sounds, and snacks. This curious geek relished unfamiliar cultures and approached them with openhearted appetite.
If you haven’t guessed by now, the man was something of a personal hero for me. I wanted to be like him; to eat, travel, and write across the world in parts unknown. It gutted me to
hear that he took his own life. Bourdain leaves behind an inspiring — even geeky — body of work. No Reservations and Parts Unknown remind us of the wonders of travel, the joys of food, and the affinities of people all around the world.
5 EPISODES OF PARTS UNKNOWN TO START WITH
COPENHAGEN, SEASON 2, EPISODE 5
‘Copenhagen’ is one of the episodes focused predominantly on food. Bourdain visits with chef René Redzepi and his Michelin-starred restaurant, Noma.
TOKYO, SEASON 2, EPISODE 8
You’d think Tokyo has been covered to death, but you’d be wrong. From meeting the man who invented tentacle porn to interviewing a dominatrix, this episode shows you the city’s other side.
VIETNAM, SEASON 4, EPISODE 5
Bourdain visits the former Vietnamese capital of Hue in this hauntingly shot episode. He later returned to Vietnam in season 8 and famously shared beer and noodles with US President Barack Obama.
IRAN, SEASON 4, EPISODE 7
This episode takes you into Iran, which US President George W. Bush named one in the “axis of evil.” And yet, Bourdain finds himself warmly welcomed by Iranians who share their food and homes with him.
BORNEO, SEASON 6, EPISDOE 7
Bourdain returns to Borneo after 10 years to return to the Dayaks. He drinks like a fish and delivers one of the most intensely personal episodes in the en re series.