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Bourdain on Cajun Country

Last night’s episode and the season finale of Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” took place in Cajun Country. The show was just too good – and Bourdain’s one-liners too plentiful – to watch just once, so we viewed it a second time and wrote down our Top 10 favorite lines. If you missed the episode, it airs again next Monday, September 5, at 8 p.m. E/P. And for a behind the scenes look at filming during the boucherie in Eunice, watch our video here. (A travel guide for Bourdain’s Cajun Country is also in the works and will be up on our site soon!)

Top 10 Lines From “No Reservations” in Cajun Country (in order of appearance)

1. New Orleans still has a regional culture. In much of the rest of the country, you ask them what kind of food they eat, they say McDonald’s or Burger King. You ask them what kind of music they listen to, whatever’s Top 40. New Orleans, you get emblematic food, emblematic music, emblematic architecture, and we are an example for the rest of the country to rediscover those things about themselves. – Lolis Eric Elie on New Orleans

2. Two hours drive from New Orleans, and you’re in another world entirely. – Anthony Bourdain upon arrival in Cajun Country

3. Smothering is where you break all the rules of classic French cooking by doing everything gloriously wrong … the result: a gravy of the gods. – Anthony Bourdain at Glenda’s Creole Kitchen in Breaux Bridge

4. Crawfish used to be considered trash food, a meal of last resort, a desperation meal. Thankfully, the early Cajuns knew a damn good thing when they tasted it. The flavors that came out of here, it is the only really unique to America cuisine. – Anthony Bourdain on crawfish

5. It’s not the professionals who are cooking today, which is one of the amazing things about Cajun Country. Nobody seems to cook professionally, but as you’ll see, everybody’s got a specialty. – Anthony Bourdain on Cajun cooking

6. More men in this area cook per capita than any other area of the country. – Chef Pat Mould on Cajun cooking

7. Wood duck, turtle stew, corn hash and a crawfish bisque that is the single best goddamn thing I’ve eaten since elBulli. – Anthony Bourdain on eating at Joel Savoy’s house

8. 6 a.m. in Eunice, Louisiana, and already it’s so hot, you see heat mirages. Your shirt sticks to your back, and you struggle for air. – Anthony Bourdain the morning of the boucherie

9. What blows you away, and it sure blew me away, was the sheer scope and variety of piggie food porn. This is freakin’ epic. – Anthony Bourdain at the boucherie

10. For the second time this trip, I’m absolutely blown away by the depths of flavor and deliciousness that I’ve rarely encountered anywhere. – Anthony Bourdain on backbone stew

Photo taken from The Travel Channel’s “Behind the Scenes in Cajun Country” photo journal.

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  • Lance Pitre / September 10, 2011

    Wonderful article! The one-liners were great. Also, the crawfish bisque was cooked by Kelly Pitre (wife) of L’Acadie Inn (where Anthony and crew stayed while in Eunice). She helps keep my figure up! Check us out on the web at http://www.hotboudin.com and Lakeview Park at http://www.lvpark.com!


  • Rev. W. T. Kan / May 29, 2012

    “Smothering is where you break all the rules of classic French cooking by doing everything gloriously wrong … the result: a gravy of the gods.” Bourdain noticed that Cajun cooks repeatedly caramelize and liquify the fond at the bottom of the pot to intensify the flavor. This is a technique that has apparently been used for centuries in some parts of India. Culinary inspiration apparently knows no boundaries.

    Although not a native to these parts, I currently live east of Cajun country just off I-10 in Panhandle Florida where folks treat Cajun cuisine as foreign and strange. What a crying shame. Keep teaching your kids and keep the heritage alive.