In my humble opinion, Anthony Bourdain’s travel show ‘No Reservations’ is one of the best ways to spend an hour watching television. If you are (shamefully!) in the the dark on ‘No Reservations’, the show features Bourdain taking a no holds barred approach to cuisine and the experience that surrounds it. Tony’s self deprecating humor and affable personality will have you glued to the tube as he explores places and cultures that you can only dream of some day encountering.
Last night’s episode was one of my favorites in recent memory; as Bourdain traveled to Rio de Janiero, Brazil. From start to finish, I was in absolute awe of how freaking awesome Anthony’s job is. This could have a something to do with the idea that traveling to Rio is very high on my constantly growing ‘Bucket List’. Add in the fact that the show revolved around a topic we are very fond of here at Moai Martial Arts, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and I was hooked!
For a typical episode, Bourdain will travel to a location and attempt to create an hour of television that embodies the cuisine and lifestyle of that culture or region. Other episodes see Anthony taking on a humanitarian role, as he looks to expand the awareness of earthquake recovery on Haiti or landmine disposal in Laos.
In last night’s case, Anthony was in Rio to take in a jiu-jitsu match, and not just any match, but one featuring his wife. I remember hearing Anthony talk about his wife’s interest in grappling ages ago on the Joe Rogan Experience, but I didn’t know how serious she took it. Ottavia Bourdain is blue belt under Renzo Gracie at his academy in NYC. For last night’s episode Renzo’s cousin, Igor Gracie, took on the role of instructor to Ottavia.
Along with the usual close ups of juicy grilled meats, icy beverages, and otherworldly sunsets; the ‘No Reservations’ crew did an amazing job at exhibiting Ottavia’s commitment to the martial arts. From Anthony taking jabs at her low-carb, protein rich diet and rigorous workout schedule, to the emotion showed by instructor Igor or Ottavia’s Brazilian competitor (I won’t spoil the outcome for you!). You couldn’t help but feel as though you were just as wrapped up in the competition as a member of the family, even if it was for just one hour.
The show ends, as many do, with Anthony and Ottavia enjoying a home cooked meal of customary Brazilian dishes prepared by Igor’s mother. For those of us out there that follow the world of martial arts and combat sports and always wondered what it would be like to sit down at a Gracie family dinner, ‘No Reservations’ gives you that chance.
I highly advise checking out your local listings and catching the next airing of the episode. You will not be dissappointed.