Where Anthony Bourdain Travels on the Last Season of ‘Parts Unknown’
When Anthony Bourdain died by suicide, he was in France filming the 12th season of his CNN show, Parts Unknown. After realizing that they’ll never understand why the celebrity chef’s life was cut short, fans began to wonder what would happen to the final season of Parts Unknown.
CNN finished the season and will air seven new episodes starting on September 23, Eater reports. Five of the episodes are based in specific locations. Which makes you wonder: Where does Anthony Bourdain travel on the last season of Parts Unknown? Here’s what we know so far.
The 12th season of Parts Unknown begins in Kenya
— Parts Unknown (@PartsUnknownCNN) September 14, 2018
The premiere of the 12th and final season of Parts Unknown takes place in Kenya. As Travel + Leisure reports, CNN released a trailer that shows comedian W. Kamau Bell reflecting on the time he spent with Bourdain in Nairobi. In the clip — which you can watch on Vulture — Bell says, “Everybody who had dreams of traveling with Tony, it’s exactly as cool as you think it is. He wasn’t making TV for TV’s sake. He wasn’t just doing a job. This was his life’s work.”
The trailer also shows an exchange between Bourdain and Bell as they sit on a hill, overlooking the plains of Kenya. Bourdain shares that it’s hard to believe all the opportunities that his career afforded him. And he also explains how grateful he felt for all of them. “17 fucking years,” Bourdain said. “As soon as the cameras turn off, the crew will be sitting around; we’ll be having a cocktail. I fucking pinch myself. I cannot fucking believe that I get to do this.”
In a press release, CNN recounts what happens during the episode. Bell and Bourdain talk to locals in Nairobi. They take a Matatu party bus ride and share a meal of goat’s head soup. They also visit a boxing academy for young women, go to the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and spend time with a Maasai community.
Anthony Bourdain also visits Asturias, Spain
The season premiere is the only episode of the 12th season of Parts Unknown to feature Anthony Bourdain’s narration and full involvement, Vulture reports. But the show continues on to other locations. CNN reports that the second episode of the final season of Parts Unknown takes viewers to Asturias, Spain. As his traveling companion on this episode, Bourdain selected chef and humanitarian José Andrés, who “makes a return to his homeland.”
During the episode, Bourdain and Andrés hike to a remote village in the mountains for traditional fabada. They scale ocean cliffs for gooseneck barnacles. And they visit secret cheese caves which — CNN emphasizes — are in undisclosed locations. Bourdain also tries pitu de caleya with local musician Pablo Und Destruktion. And CNN reports that Andrés “saves a special surprise for the end.”
The chef travels to Indonesia for the final season
The third episode of the 12th season of Parts Unknown sees Anthony Bourdain traveling to Indonesia, a large nation in southeast Asia comprised of thousands of volcanic islands and diverse ethnic groups. CNN reports that “a shadow puppet performance provides an entry into understanding Indonesia, a country comprised of thousands of islands whose people endured political turmoil, and one in which, Bourdain discovers, food is the great unifier.”
Bourdain visits a variety of regions in the vast country. And he highlights unique traditions in each one, CNN reports. In Jakarta, Bourdain dines at a Padang Restaurant, where just about every item on the menu ends up on his table. And in Bali, he visits the beach and participates in a traditional Balinese funeral ceremony.
Bourdain even travels to ‘Far West Texas’
When season 12 of Parts Unknown goes to Texas, it doesn’t just visit Texas. Instead, Bourdain chose to travel to “Far West Texas,” as CNN puts it. His destination? Big Bend near the Mexican border. The network characterizes this region of Texas as “an area that pits man against nature, and in which the land usually wins.”
CNN reports that in this episode, Bourdain shares meals with “working cowboys who have made peace with the rough terrain.” And he also spends time with an anthropologist who decoded the White Shaman mural, a prehistoric landmark near the Pecos River.
His last destination is the Lower East Side of Manhattan
The final location that Anthony Bourdain visits on Parts Unknown is much closer to home for him and many of his viewers: the Lower East Side of Manhattan. CNN explains that on this episode, “Bourdain takes a personal journey through this formerly bohemian New York City neighborhood.”
The episode shows Bourdain meeting and sharing meals with notable figures in the worlds of music, film, and art. That includes Richard Hell, Deborah Harry and Chris Stein, Lydia Lunch, Fab 5 Freddy, Danny Fields, Amos Poe, Jim Jarmusch, Kembra Pfahler, John Lurie, Clayton Patterson, and Harley Flanagan. CNN reports that these icons’ “collective cultural impact in the 1970’s and ’80’s has sustained through the decades.”
The season also includes two specials
Season 12 of Parts Unknown also features two specials, in addition to the five location-based episodes. CNN reports that in an episode titled, “Bourdain’s Impact,” viewers learn “how Anthony Bourdain’s unique perspective and voice altered the world of food, travel, and culture, and in the process, reinvented how audiences watched television and engaged intimately and actively with the world around them.”
The second special, called “Behind the Scenes,” takes viewers inside Bourdain’s relationship his crew, CNN reports. The team traveled with the chef around the world. And CNN explains that “In this episode, the people who made Parts Unknown select moments from their episodes and pull back the curtain, to talk about collaboration, creative freedom, moments when Bourdain had their back or called them out, the times when he was caught off guard or forgot the cameras were even there.”
As Travel + Leisure reports, Bourdain and his producers typically chose locations from a list of “places that I’ve always wanted to go and haven’t been able to go or places where I’d like to look at it from a completely different perspective,” the chef once said. After selecting the destinations where they wanted to film, Bourdain would meet with directors to discuss inspiration and aesthetic, sometimes even assigning a “required viewing” list of movies for the camera crew to watch.
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