Anthony Bourdain Hopes His Shows Can “Change Hearts and Minds”
At an event last night promoting the eight-part video series, The Perfect Dish, which will air on Explore Parts Unknown, the online component of his CNN show Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain continued to espouse his political views, this time commenting that he hoped his travels “change [the] hearts and minds” of his viewers.
Eater reports that at the event, Bourdain specifically mentioned traveling to Iran, saying that he was “completely enchanted,” by the experience.
“…Everyone was kind to us…Open your mind a little bit, and experience if you can, in a very subjective way, what I experience a little bit. I don’t know if it changes hearts and minds, but I hope it does,” he continued.
Bourdain also talked about his mindset when he enters a new country, saying that he tries, no matter where he is, or how fraught the politics of that country are, to be understanding and open to learning more about the culture he’s experiencing.
“When I’m on their home turf, I try to be grateful, I try to be reasonably humble, and I’m grateful people are kind to me,” he said. “I’m fortunate to have received many acts of kindness and generosity from people who have much less than I have.”
According to Eater, Bourdain doesn’t take center stage in The Perfect Dish. Instead, he introduces each segment, which is then hosted by a journalist who tastes a dish or type of cuisine for the first time, alongside a “local tour guide.”
Bourdain, who is dating actress and director Asia Argento, has lately been an outspoken advocate for victims of sexual assault, going so far as to look back with regret on the ways he has contributed to the restaurant industry’s “meathead culture.” In the wake of allegations against chefs and restaurateurs such as John Besh, some restaurants have been examining how to create safer spaces for their employees.