How Anthony Bourdain’s “A Cook’s Tour” Revolutionized the TV Travelogue

Chris Collins, producer of Bourdain’s first TV show, talks about the history of travel shows on TV at the Skift Global Forum 2015.

Bourdain-ZPZ

In the video below, Chris Collins, co-founder of Zero Point Zero Production, talks about the history of travel shows on TV at the Skift Global Forum 2015. Collins’ talk, “The Evolution of the Travelogue, 1950s and Into the Future” starts with the time ZPZ produced Anthony Bourdain’s A Cook’s Tour.

A Cook’s Tour was Bourdain’s first ever show on TV. When Collins and his partner pitched the show to the Food Network, the description was “it’s about a guy who smokes, drinks and eats his way around the world.” The initial description was met with questions like “but what is it about?” To which the production replied by describing it as Bourdain’s—the chef had just come out with his best-selling first book, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly—search for the perfect meal.

The show premiered in January 2002, with the ZPZ team helping Bourdain establish his distinct way of story-telling, revolutionizing the way stories of food and places were told on TV forever.

 

The team, along with Bourdain, focused on letting a destination tell its own story—first through its people, and then through the food.

“It began a process of storytelling that was truly, truly immersive and real. I think the one thing we always hear is the authenticity of the experience and of the journey—and that’s what resonates,” Collins shares.

About the Author

Jozza Alegre Palaganas

Jozza Alegre Palaganas

Jozza Alegre Palaganas prefers staying in one place for long-ish periods of time when she travels. Partly because she likes to pretend she's local, but mostly because she's sentimental.