Out Of Anthony Bourdain Shows, This One Stands Above The Rest

Aside from his idol status among food and culture enthusiasts, Anthony Bourdain touched the hearts of all he crossed paths with. His genuine interest in how others lived and celebrated life lacks pretension and ego. It takes a special type of person to comfortably approach new cultures without sparking disrespect by means of confusion or objection, and Bourdain was that special type of person. His 40-year career took place both in front of the oven and the camera.

Bourdain awoke the food world in more ways than one, and his successful TV shows were one imprint he left behind for fans to enjoy infinitely. Though honored as a culinary mastermind known for shows like "No Reservations" and "Parts Unknown," Bourdain kicked off his TV career with "A Cook's Tour" back in 2002. 

Brett Martin of GQ remembers "A Cook's Tour" fondly, recognizing how it "birthed an icon." Admirers on Reddit agreed, sharing how the series provides a glimpse into his beginnings before making it big. As Laura Shapiro of The New York Times pointed out, Bourdain was known as an edgy New York City chef who appeared rather polite and affable on screen. And, if it weren't for Bourdain's leather jacket and racy comments, as Shapiro remarked, she would have assumed she was pseudo-traveling with a food expert who'd led culinary adventures for decades — quite a nod to Bourdain's first episode. Read on for more of why Anthony Bourdain's "A Cook's Tour" stands above the rest.

A Cook's Tour was a spinoff of Bourdain's best-selling memoir

Anthony Bourdain stretched his skills to the written word as well as television, reveals CIA Chef. He took his raw, firsthand knowledge of the gritty restaurant world to paper in 1999 with The New Yorker essay that first put his bold charisma on the map, leading to his bestselling memoir, "Kitchen Confidential." Born from Bourdain's memoir, "A Cook's Tour" stayed true to his ideals, following Bourdain around the world as he connected with people, places, and cuisines through wholesome curiosity and wit. The show kicked off a popular theme for food and travel-related programs: The people and culture of the region were just as appreciated as the dishes prepared. As Phil Gallo described to Variety, "For once, Food Network is putting on display food you can't do at home." With the majority of food television staged in upscale kitchens, this show allowed viewers to escape by joining in from their living rooms.

Bourdain eased locals and captivated fans from opposite ends of the world and everywhere in between, whether appeasing his sweet tooth with gaufres in France or searching for the best bar. By peeling back the mainstream layers of the food world, Bourdain revealed what's beneath it all: community. His artistry showcased his devotion to food as a force that brings everyone together. "A Cook's Tour" was our first peek into Bourdain's unmatched passion and likely where many of us fell in love with his bright spirit.