Anthony Bourdain is going balls to the wall on this last season of No Reservations, and this episode was no exception. Bourdain travels to the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy with New York chef Michael White, who trained there as a young chef. The show is food porn start to finish (except when it's Italian sports car porn), jam packed with cheese, olive oil, balsamico, cured meats, wine and pasta. Now, on to the Quotable Bourdain — feel free to add your picks in the comments below.
1: On Italy: "Once upon a time, for me anyway, Italy was a strange and exotic place. They made beautiful films, they drove cool and insane cars, and they ate delicious things in restaurants whose names I couldn't pronounce."
2: On Emilia Romagna: "Often overlooked by tourists in favor of Tuscany or Venice, or thought of as a place to pick up a ham on the way to Rome, it has its own superbly tasty culinary traditions."
3: At the cheese shop: "You could pretty much just can the rest of the day and I'd be happy staying here."
4: On a dish that has been on a menu for 42 years: "Good is good forever."
5: On the Ferrari he drives in the episode: "I just happened to see this little thing with the keys still in it and the motor running out front of the hotel. Other than the half eaten barbecue pork nori roll under the drivers seat, the glove compartment filled with tubes of silver hair tint, and the Nickleback CD in the sound system, it seemed in perfect order."
6: Eating culatelli and drinking wine: "This is our last bit of grueling work for the day."
7: On Italian fashion: "At 55 as an American, there's no way I could get away with the clothes 55 year old Italian men are wearing. It would be considered douchey on an American."
8: On translation: "Don't knock the banana hammock. How would you say that in Italian?"
9: On the Ferrari, during dinner: "I'm feeling separation anxiety between me and my car, whom I will call Sparky from now on. Because he's red."
10: On driving at Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari: "Exactly the place you'd want to be if you're an overgrown little boy with somebody else's Ferrari California and something of a death wish."
11: On good food in simple surroundings: "They may happen to make the world's best balsamico in the backyard, but this is basically a tavern."
12: On growing wine grapes: "There is a point at which you want to deprive your grapes of nutrients. You want to make them work a little harder. You torture them, essentially."
13: On eating vegetables: "Generally speaking, if our produce were like this in the states, I would be eating a lot more vegetables."
14: On what old school luxury restaurants need to thrive: "This place needs hipsters. I can't believe I'm saying that."
15: On what hipster might thing of fine dining: "First you enjoy it in a post-ironic way, but then you eat this food and you're like luxury is good."
16: On souvenirs from Italy: "How many duck presses do you think there are on the entire planet? I gotta go to eBay before this show comes out, I want one."