Anthony Bourdain may be the best-traveled person alive. Here the host of CNN's Parts Unknown and F&W's brand-new Illustrator-in-Residence shares three singular experiences.
Open-Fire Cooking in Myanmar
In an open-air market in Yangon, the former capital of Myanmar, I saw a woman squatting by an open fire in the street, preparing mohinga in a simmering wok, her components in baskets around her (left). Mohinga is ubiquitous, one of the most beloved and iconic dishes you'll find in Myanmar: The base is a rich, darkly sinister fish broth, served with rice noodles and an array of garnishes that contribute highly complex flavors (sweet, sour, spicy, savory) and textures (soft, chewy, crispy, crunchy). Though I saw it most often in the morning, anytime—breakfast, lunch or dinner—is mohinga time.
The man roasting coffee beans in the sketch (right) was one of the Palestinian elders I met outside Gaza City who gathered each evening to discuss community matters. He was unfailingly hospitable, insisting on preparing me coffee as soon as I arrived. He ground the beans in a makeshift mortar and pestle, then brewed the coffee next to the fire. It tortured him to see my camera crew working, unfed, while we ate a roasted melon salad. The coffee was delicious: strong, thick, heavily spiced with cardamom. It tasted like hospitality. At all times, tasting the strong, fresh, slightly bitter black grounds reminded you of exactly where you were.