This Sunday, Travel Channel star and foodie Anthony Bourdain goes off the beaten path and explores some of the food and history of Mississippi on his award-winning CNN original series “Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown.” Bourdain admits the Mississippi Delta is a place he knows little about, but ambassadors John T. Edge and John Currence help fill him in along the way.
Bourdain starts his tour in downtown Jackson, where he meets up with Edge at the Big Apple Inn to taste a pig ear sandwich. He then paddles the Mississippi River with John Ruskey of Quapaw Canoe Co., who cooks greens, sweet potatoes and pork loin over an open fire for dinner. Julia Reed and Currence meet him at Doe’s Eat Place in Greenville for the famous salad, tamales and fried shrimp. Next, his travels take him to state Sen. Willie Simmons’ The Senator’s Place in Cleveland where he indulges in fried okra, mac and cheese, neck bones, rice and gravy and fried chicken before heading on to Lusco’s in Greenwood, a “reliquary of indiscretions past” as described by Edge.
No trip to the Delta would be complete without a stop in Oxford. A writer himself, Bourdain makes sure to fit in a visit to Faulkner’s home of Rowan Oak and then meets the local literati, including Tom Franklin and Beth Ann Fennelly, former writer-in-residence at ‘Ole Miss Megan Abbott, Jack Pendarvis, Ace Atkins and others upstairs at City Grocery for drinks.
Bourdain wraps up his trip with some Mississippi barbecue at Lamar Lounge and an evening of jookin’ at Po’ Monkey’s in Merigold, where owner William Seaberry makes him a promise he won’t soon forget. Bourdain admits in the end that he’s still not quite sure what to think of Mississippi, but says “it’s kind of a wonderland.”
“Parts Unknown” airs Sunday, May 18, on CNN at 9 p.m. EST and re-airs again at midnight.
Photo Credit: Episodic image Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown Mississippi Delta episode airing Sunday, May 18 at 9pm ET, Credit CNN.