Tony returns to the kitchen

I am watching the latest episode of “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations”, which I think premiered last week.

It’s a lot of fun — but completely atypical. Instead of the normal travelogue format, in this episode Bourdain goes home. You see, he hasn’t worked regularly as a chef in several years, since he became an author, TV host and president of the Rachael Ray Fan Club (that last item may have been just a wee bit sarcastic). But tonight, as premise for an episode, he goes back and works his old shift at Les Halles, a New York restaurant. It’s a wonderful, revealing episode about what makes a restaurant kitchen work and how that peculiar chemistry can be altered by the introduction of a new element — say, an older and out-of-practice chef trailing a TV crew.

Here, by the way, is Bourdain’s blog entry about the experience.