Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown Premieres, Snags Two Emmys
Tony Bourdain in Israel.
CNN's gamble on having Anthony Bourdain host a travel/food show on its news network paid off last evening in a big way.
Not only did the show begin its second season, with Bourdain visiting Jerusalem and getting the views of both Israeli and Palestinian people, but Parts Unknown walked away with two Creative Arts Emmys.
Just as fans were getting ready to settle down with season two of Parts Unknown, Bourdain tweeted pictures of himself and his crew decked out in formal finery for the Creative Arts Emmmys at the Nokia Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.
Emmy prep pic.twitter.com/169TkhXy5F— Anthony Bourdain (@Bourdain) September 15, 2013
Bourdain and Zero Point Zero Production were nominated for four awards and took home two. The team behind Parts Unknown won an Emmy for Outstanding Cinematography for Non-Fiction Programming and tied with Bravo's Inside the Actor's Studio for the win for Outstanding Informational Series or Special.
Watching the season two premiere, it was easy to see why Bourdain and company won Emmys for their work. The Jerusalem episode saw Tony traveling back and forth between the wall that separates two people who are so similar yet so vastly different.
Tony notes that in this part of the world you are literally walking in Jesus' footsteps. As he tries to find the words to describe how he feels, someone chimes in.."pious?" "No, too late for that," he quips.
Talking to both sides, it's easy to see that the tensions run deep for everyone. When Tony notes that he saw some anti-Muslim graffiti, his reply is that kids did it. "Yes. But why don't you paint over it, " Tony asks.
Across the wall, children play around murals of martyrs and political prisoners and Tony breaks bread with a family who almost fault him for their not being able to travel freely across the border.
Tony encounters families on both sides in which innocent women were killed in the fighting. A man who owns a Brazilian restaurant ra few miles from the border on the Israeli side lost his daughter in a Hamas bombing. He tells Tony, "I know my daughter was killed for no reason. People on the other side were also killed for no reason. The bottom line is to stop with the suffering,"
Just when you think all may be lost, we see a married couple working at their restaurant. He's Muslim. She's Jewish. Against all odds they make beautiful food together.
A powerful hour of television that shows that food -- and love -- are universal and that there's power in the ability to break bread together.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.