Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown
Thank you for getting lost with Anthony Bourdain all season. We are currently filming Season 5, which begins in 2015.
Get a taste for the unexpected! Travel with Anthony Bourdain as he takes incredible adventures to extraordinary locations. Parts Unknown recently received its third Emmy award since the show debuted last year. See All Episodes »
Thank you for getting lost with Anthony Bourdain all season. We are currently filming Season 5, which begins in 2015.
Season 3, Episode 1

Punjab, India

In the Season 3 premiere of "Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown," Tony explores Punjab -- one of the most beautiful and relatively unknown areas of India. Punjab is the Sikh Holy Land, and is also India's agricultural breadbasket.

Share

Share This
Facebook
Twitter
Google+
Linked In
'See Tony eat vegetables - and like it!'
:49
Bourdain enjoys vegetarian cuisine with 'intense colors, flavors and spices' at a Kesar Da Dhaba, a roadside food stall.

Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown: Punjab

"He gave the impression that very many cities had rubbed him smooth." --Graham Greene

It begins!

The pool at the Grand Hotel del Paraguay is, best as I can tell, unused. Maybe it's the heat -- and the humidity -- which are considerable and relentless. Or the lack of a bar, or towels, or staff. But nobody else seems to come. I am alone, waist deep, mesmerized by the heat, torpor, and the thin, black hose that dances around the bottom like a serpent as it pumps fresh water into the deep end.

There is a very large parrot in a cage nearby. Occasionally, he screeches at me.

Re-live Season 3! Check out the "Parts Unknown" live blog

As I'm standing here, too tired to swim, too jet-lagged to sleep, I'm trying to put some thoughts together about Punjab -- about the show I filmed month , many airports, many planes, many miles ago, my sun-baked brain, further addled, no doubt by many excellent Paraguayan beers last night, the Vietnamese pain medication I've been taking for my back and the anti-malarials I've been on since Tanzania (which I'm convinced are making me psychotic. Last night, I dreamed I was being chased by a chainsaw wielding Joe Pesci through a convenience store. He was wearing a cocktail dress.) I try to shuffle through my memory file, the highlight reel, for images of India, the foothills of the Himalayas. The Golden Temple. Amritsar. The former hill station of Shimla.

Bit by bit, it seeps back:

First? The colors. In India -- Punjab in particular -- the thing you notice first, the thing that stays with you is the colors.

They pop, they leap right out at you. It's like somebody, just before you got off the plane, changed the lenses in your head, turned up your color receptors from 7 to like 14. You completely understand why The Beatles would want to drop acid, come here -- and stare at stuff. Because it's beautiful and the colors. The colors, man, burn right through your eyeballs and into your brain. No Maharishi needed.

Recognizing this, we made sure, when setting the various color balances for this show, to jack things up, make sure that it will look for you like it looked for us. Electric. Trippy. And always beautiful.

PHOTO GALLERY: Anthony Bourdain in Punjab

We will be forgiven, I hope, for (yet again), ripping off a favorite director in an early sequence. Call it homage.

I generally don't care much what people take away from my shows. Of course, I hope people like what they see. I hope they and entertained -- and interested; that they find the images beautiful, or striking. It's nice -- very nice -- when people notice the good technical work of the directors of photography and the editors and producers. But, I'm not much for attempting to inspire or "enlighten" or educate. That's far, far from what I'm thinking about when I make sure my carry-on is free of liquids or gels; that my laptop is out of my bag and in the plastic tray, shoes and belt off.

But with this episode, Punjab, it would make me very happy if a few more people out there got a clearer picture of the Sikh religion is. Who Sikhs are and who they are not; a little about the central concepts and intent and principles of their faith. The degree to which we in the West (myself included) are ignorant of such things is pretty spectacular.

I've made much fun of vegetarians over the years and am said, frequently, to "hate" them. This is not true. I am dismissive and (okay) contemptuous of food that is made with ideology or a narrow world view as its first priority. I am made unhappy and even angry when a restaurant that claims to celebrate the vegetable in fact, utterly ignores the seasons, the conditions of ripeness that make vegetables interesting and wonderful in the first place -- when such places, with determination and malice aforethought, murder vegetable after vegetable, sacrificing carrot after carrot, soybean after soybean to a sludgy, monochromatic, mush.

Not so in India.

In India, to eat vegetarian is usually a joyous and joyful thing.

Bright colors, wildly varying textures, huge selections and thrilling blends of spices and assertive, delicious flavors accompanied always by wonderful, freshly made breads. I could happily go veg for a week -- or even weeks at a time.

In India.

Hope you enjoy the show -- our first of the new season.

And remember: Eat your vegetables!

Share

Share This
Facebook
Twitter
Google+
Linked In

Recent Episodes

See all »
Season 2, Episode 8
Detroit »
Season 2, Episode 7
Tokyo »
Season 2, Episode 6
South Africa »
Season 2, Episode 5
Sicily »
Season 2, Episode 4
Copenhagen »
Season 2, Episode 3
New Mexico »
Season 2, Episode 2
Spain »
Season 2, Episode 1
Jerusalem »

About Anthony

Renowned chef, bestselling author and Emmy winning TV host Anthony Bourdain is a trailblazer and outspoken commentator who provides unique insights into food, current events, and cultures around the world.

Bourdain on Tumblr
Follow Bourdain on Twitter