I love to travel, and hence, I love the Travel Channel. While taking a break this past weekend from my GMAT studying, I started watching my adored channel only to find a new show I hadn’t seen. Anthony Bourdain No Reservations. It is a show hosted by renowned New York City chef Anthony Bourdain about travel and the search for the perfect dining experience.
If you do not know anything about Anthony Bourdain he is regarded as “‘the bad boy of cuisine’ for his rock-star look and blunt observations about the world of restaurants, chefs and cooking, Anthony Bourdain is not your typical celebrity chef. A 28-year veteran of professional kitchens, Bourdain is currently the executive chef at New York’s famed bistro, Les Halles.”
The episode that caught my eye was Anthony Bourdain in Beirut. It so happens that when the show was supposed to tape in Beirut, the Lebanon-Israel conflict started in July 2006. The episode depicts the arrival to the country, the first peaceful meal (that looked delicious) and then the beginning of the “July War”. Luckily, Bourdain and the crew were able to escape the country. But at the end of the episode Bourdain said something interesting. He went on to say how he had been able to cross all cultural differences just by sitting at a table and sharing a meal, and how he finds that “war” destroys that principle. The simplicity of just being able to share a meal with whoever be it your neighbor, brother or enemy is simply just broken by “war”. And that made me think. When the ability to share a meal is taken away, all conversation ceases. Is this the main cause of war??? Is this what causes us to think of our enemies as monsters??? The inability to converse and share a meal??? Maybe. In the gift of a meal one creates the environment to converse and share ideas. Whether you agree with your dinner companion or no, the interchange of ideas could be stimulating. Yet, if no interchange exists and only lead bullets and bombs are the source of conversation, what is to become of us???
I have shared some of my most memorable moments on the dining table, with friends and family. And so the meaning of a dining table and a dining experience goes far beyond the food being shared. For maybe, that is the source of peace for all people. These meals, at the end of the day, enrich our tummies and our lives.
Anthony Bourdain No Reservations
On the Travel Channel
Mondays at 10PM ET/PT