Anthony Bourdain: Well, I’m making the show with the same people. I mean, it’s the same creative partners who I’ve been working with since the very beginning. But since signing on with CNN, they’ve really enabled, encouraged and assisted us in really spectacular ways. They’ve given us the freedom to move, to go to places that we never could have shot before. They’ve been really open to me telling whatever stories I want wherever I want to do them and in whatever way I’d like to tell those stories. So to have an international news organization backing you up and supporting and assisting you the way CNN has has been an enormous [advantage] and let us do the best work of our lives.
Zap2it: When you went to places such as the Middle East, what did you encounter in terms of attitudes toward Americans?
Anthony Bourdain: I think I have an advantage in that I’m not showing up reporting a hard news story. I’m there asking people very simple questions about what they eat, what makes them happy, what are their lives like, and I think that’s something I’ve benefited from greatly in the past many times. You know, if you just show up with an open mind and an open heart thing — you know, “Feed me and tell me about your lives. What makes you happy? What makes you sad? What’s your life like?” — particularly when you’re eating, people open themselves up to you in ways that they might not to a reporter chasing a story.