HomeCultureAnthony Bourdain in Cajun Country

Anthony Bourdain in Cajun Country

by Erin Z. Bass

A few weeks ago, I heard Travel Channel star and chef Anthony Bourdain was going to be in Lafayette filming for his show, “No Reservations.” I didn’t know exactly when he’d be here, but figured the local rumor mill would start to churn once he arrived. On Friday afternoon, a few people tweeted they’d seen him at Tsunami Sushi downtown. It didn’t take long for y’all to wonder why Anthony Bourdain was eating sushi instead of a poboy or bowl of gumbo, and he actually replied to a few tweets saying he’d only had a beer. To further clarify, he and his crew were staying in the lofts above the restaurant, and Tsunami does serve a crawfish roll.

There was no need to worry though. On Bourdain’s agenda for Saturday was an all-day boucherie at Lakeview Park in Eunice that included the 6 a.m. butchering of a pig. For those of you not from South Louisiana, a boucherie is an old tradition of making use of all parts of a pig before there were freezers and refrigerators. In communities like Eunice and Mamou, west of Lafayette, neighbors got together and spent the day killing and cleaning the hog, stuffing sausage and using other parts to make things like cracklin and hogshead cheese.

If you think about it, a tradition like this is a great fit for “No Reservations.” South Louisiana may not be a foreign country like Cambodia or Nicaragua, but it definitely has its own distinct culture. Boucheries and other local happenings, like Cajun Mardi Gras for example, bring the community together, keep a tradition alive and result in great local cuisine at the end of the day. I think it’s safe to say that for “Tony” it’s all about the cuisine. While he did seem hot and tired in the 90-degree heat, he was also excited about the cracklin coming out of the grease and boudin made from pig’s blood. See our YouTube video of the scene here.

Those of you who watch HBO’s “Treme” may have noticed that Bourdain is consulting on this season’s episodes dealing with restaurants. That’s probably why creator David Simon (that’s him with the bald head in the pic) tagged along with him on Saturday, partaking in the tray of cracklin and sitting in on a jam session inside the Lakeview Barn. I know there was a fais do do dance scheduled for that night, and Bourdain and his crew attended a crawfish boil yesterday, but we’ll have to wait until the episode comes out to see how Cajun Country is really depicted.

Many of you expressed concern about the stereotypes (“Swamp People” comes to mind here) that always seem to result when film crews come down here, but after witnessing Saturday’s activities and having seen Bourdain’s show in the past, I’m not worried. I know the Cajuns involved worked just as hard to make sure that didn’t happen as they did butchering the pig.

“No Reservations” in South Louisiana airs August 29 at 8/9 p.m. Here’s a few things to keep an eye out for:

1. A communal bottle of Jameson

2. Chef Pat Mould

3. The Red Stick Ramblers

4. David Simon on mandolin

5. Bourdain’s response to cracklin: “Perfection.”

Grits & Soul
Boudin On Display
19 COMMENTS
  • Angela Sherzer / June 21, 2011

    Hope they made it to the Blue Dog—one of my favorites when visiting Lafayette!

  • Angie / June 21, 2011

    Chef Patrick said the show will air August 29. Set the DVR!!!

  • Misti Aljoe-Graber / June 21, 2011

    Nice of you to highlight this area, Tony! Tell me, were you a little scared? Without cameras I would be…not mean. Just know the locals can be protective. Great food! No worries

  • dirk / June 21, 2011

    excellent!!!

  • Daveinaz / June 21, 2011

    WOW! It’s 10:30 in the morning and I’m craving some boudain and a Jax beer. But, alas, both are not to be found in Arizona.

  • Jennifer Brabson / June 21, 2011

    🙁 Oh I can’t believe I missed Anthony Bourdain!

  • Kernis Louviere / June 21, 2011

    I along with My cousin Raymond and my nephew Kip made the pork stew and Mini Stuffed Pork Roasts and we had the pleasure of watching Anthony’s eyes roll back in his head. What a joy to see him enjoy the food we get to eat everyday.

  • Kernis Louviere / June 21, 2011

    Now I know when it airs.

  • Brandon / June 21, 2011

    The highlight of it all even though I didn’t get to meet him was seeing him with an La 31 in his hand!

  • Jessica / June 22, 2011

    Do you always include the skin when you make cracklins?

  • Claire / August 29, 2011

    I saw this episode on my cable netword’s On Demand service and it made me want to visit Louisianna and not Bourbon Street but Cajun country. The food looked amazing and the people were so fun and proud.

  • Molly / August 30, 2011

    If he was seriously so impressed with the comraderie, the job sharing, the joi de vivre – I hope he knows its always that way. The best reason to live here is the people.

  • Lance Pitre / September 10, 2011

    Great article. Just a few references for your readers — Linzay Young made the stuffed wood duck gravy, Toby Rodriguez made the Turtle sauce picante, and, my wife, Kelly Pitre made the Crawfish Bisque that Tony raved over. Tony and his crew stayed at L’Acadie Inn while in Eunice http://www.hotboudin.com and the boucherie was held at Lakeview Park http://www.lvpark.com. Check out Eunice on the web at http://www.eunice-la.com!

  • ric chan / October 30, 2012

    I watched antony’s visit to cajun country with my son, and we were both blown away with the warm, real atmosphere of the people. It was TOTALLY MINDBLOWING.

    WOW! what wonderful people on the show. It looks like we’re gonna be heading to NO for the next holiday, if we can get to enjoy a boucherie while we’re there.

    Damn, it would be a killer tourist attraction.

    ric

  • Lyn / June 20, 2015

    I will never watch Anthony Bourdain again!! The cajun,pig slaughtering show was cruel and disgusting. People sitting around playing music and celebrating.., in America, while a pig with a slit throat was squirming.., still alive.. In pain. Surely there can’t be a more humane way to kill pigs and enjoy your pork.

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