NEW YORK (AP) — Anthony Bourdain has traveled to all sorts of exotic places over the past couple of years, with none as important as where he’s taken CNN itself.
Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” series, a culinary travelogue, swiftly became the network’s top-rated series since debuting last April, a bright spot at a place that was in a severe dry spell before the missing Malaysian plane kicked up ratings. A new eight-episode season begins Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT.
Bourdain explains his team’s strategy with typical coarseness: “We are constantly asking ourselves, first and foremost, what is the most (messed) up thing we can do next week?”
The season opener, from Punjab, India, illustrates what makes “Parts Unknown” unique. Bourdain tells stories about the tense border between India and Pakistan and a Sikh gathering place where a free meal is served to tens of thousands of people each day. He rides a rickety train to a Himalayan village that was a summer getaway for the ruling class, and visits a luxury home nearly frozen in time.