Slashfood: What can we expect in this season?
AB: New destinations, returns to some old ones, better production values, as our shooters are getting better, better-looking shows and some fairly wild destinations.
Find out who Anthony Bourdain respects on the Food Network and more after the jump.
Slashfood: What's that got to do with food?
AB: It just kind of happened. I don't have to be shoving food in my face in every scene. It's a food-centric show always told from the view of a chef, but when someone offers me at the last minute the ability to walk around knee deep in pure cocaine and then set fire to it, how can I say no?
Slashfood: What was the food like in Manchuria?
AB: Sort of Russian, because there's a Russian influence, a lot of river fish. It alternated between really, really good and tough going.
Slashfood: What's your favorite cuisine and place?
AB: I'm happiest shooting in Vietnam, because it's a perfect confluence of great food, great people and beautiful country. If I had to eat only one cuisine for the rest of my life, it would probably be sushi. It's a tough question. I eat a lot of good stuff. I guess it depends on what day of the week it is. I think Spain, Vietnam, Indonesia, Italy, Japan -- there's good food in those places.
Slashfood: Your passport must be chockablock.
AB: I'm on my third passport from doing the show, and that's after the additional pages. My first one looked like an accordion.
Slashfood: Does your daughter remember what you look like?
AB: Well, there have been a suspiciously high number of shows in and around Italy the last few years, and I try to bring her and my wife along. We did a Provence show that I'm really proud of. We're really good at food porn, so the challenge this year was to do travel porn -- to make you look at a place and desperately want to be there. I think we did that with Provence.
Slashfood: Well, hello! It's Provence. It ain't Flushing, Queens.
AB: Yeah but just moving around walls and gardens, you wouldn't think it was the type of thing I'd get off on. It's pretty hot. Later we're going to be shooting in Rome, widescreen black and white, like an old Fellini film.
Slashfood: You gave up smoking recently.
AB: I smoked over two packs a day for 38 years. You know, I'm a Dad now. I did it for no other reason than because I'm the father of a little girl and also I had my first child at 50 and, for the first time in my life, I have a responsibility to at least try and live a little bit longer. Before I hadn't really cared that much.
Slashfood: Do you watch the Food Network?
AB: Sometimes, sure. You'll never believe it, but I like Ina Garten.
Slashfood: What's wrong with that? I love her.
AB: I'm constantly surprised by how correctly she does things. Giada's not terrible. I would eat her food. No one who has ever cooked professionally can watch Sandra Lee without their head exploding. It makes me angry watching it.
Slashfood: So where's the next trip?
AB: Island-hopping in the Caribbean.
Slashfood: Shut up! You have the best job in the world.
AB: We all started talking about the Duran Duran video where they're on that sailboat and we said, 'Let's do an hour long Duran Duran video in the Caribbean.'
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