CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown won the prime time Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Series Sunday night—its fourth consecutive win.
Bourdain, the world-renowned chef and jet-setter, will continue to explore the world through food in Season 8 of the series when it returns Sunday, Sept. 25 at 9 p.m. ET/PT with a trip to Vietnam featuring dinner with President Barack Obama.
“I think we produced our best work this season, I truly do,” Bourdain told TVNewser. “We worked really, really hard to make each episode different, to stand alone technically and be stylistically interesting. My directors of photography and people who do the music and editing all worked very hard to make the season even more strange and awesome than it’s ever been.”
The 9-episode season will take viewers from Nashville and Houston, to Sichuan, China and Minas Gerais, Brazil; also, London, Buenos Aires and a unique trip to Rome.
“I was really proud of the Rome show because Rome is a city that has been photographed many, many times. This time, we shot it in a way that we hadn’t done before, and in a way that I don’t think anyone else has ever done before on television. We shot it in anamorphic format with a wide screen letterbox using real film equipment, and we shot only Brutalist, Fascist and post-Fascist modern architecture. There was very little footage, if any, on ancient Rome.”
And about that meeting with the Commander-in-Chief in Hanoi?
“The White House reached out to us quite some time ago,” said Bourdain. “Within a very tight circle of people at the production company we were searching for a place where it would be fun and interesting to sit down for a meal with the president. We settled on Vietnam very quickly because it’s a place where we have a lot of experience, where we know a lot of people, and a place where we tend to know what’s good.”
And what did Bourdain learn about the 44th president? “I learned that he is nostalgic for his time in Southeast Asia as a young man when he spent some time in Indonesia. He is VERY good with chopsticks, and likes spicy pork and noodles!”
Could a Season 9 premiere of Parts Unknown feature dinner with a future president? “I’m dubious that Donald Trump has chopstick skills or would be comfortable in a working-class Vietnamese place, or could even grab chop sticks with his tiny little vestigial fingers,” said Bourdain.
“Now that’s not necessarily an expression of a political affiliation,” he added. “Purely as a dinner companion, I think the answer is obvious to anyone who likes food. The guy eats his steak well done, so the case is closed as far as I’m concerned.”