You will never hear Food Network chef Tony Bourdain offer to "kick it up a notch." Nor will you see him tool around on a Vespa shopping for late-night snack fixings with his mates. However, you may see him play with high-powered rifles in Cambodia or preside over a lamb slaughter in the Moroccan desert!
On A Cook's Tour, Bourdain takes his bad-boy chef act on the road in search of the perfect meal. It's not your typical foodie's travel show, with lots of gushing over exotic ingredients. "I'm proud of the fact that I'm just as unpleasant on television as I am in person," Bourdain boasts to TV Guide Online. "If I don't like something, I'll look at the camera and say, 'This sucks.'"
Bourdain airs Tuesday nights between Emeril Live's Emeril Lagasse and The Naked Chef's Jamie Oliver two Food Network chefs he takes every opportunity to tease. "I don't know how I ended up as the toxic meat filling in the Jamie Oliver and Emeril sandwich," he groans. "I'm fully aware of the irony."
In his Cook's Tour companion book, Bourdain fantasizes about travelling back in time to the schoolyard and bullying Oliver the British cutie who cooks feasts in his London flat. On the other hand, the gourmand concedes, "I'm probably benefiting from [his] strong lead-in."
Bourdain also loves skewering Lagasse. During his travels, he's even captured footage of passersby shouting "Emeril is my b---h!" into the camera. It's all in good fun, though. "When you're on television, you're fair game," he grins. "And when you make that show, you're fair game."
Of course, even Bourdain allows that if he ever met his rivals and they took "a few shoves at me, I richly deserve it."