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  • >>Female Presenter: We are so thrilled to welcome Chef Anthony Bourdain and

  • his team here to Google New York. You all may know him

  • from his Emmy award winning show No Reservations where he

  • pretty much does everybody's dream job including mine. Of traveling the world and eating whatever

  • the hell he wants. Including some things that there's no way

  • you could pay me enough, I think, that you actually

  • eat. There you go. He has a second show debuting on the

  • travel channel in November called The Layover, which is

  • described as a high octane travel series that follows him to cities around the world as

  • he gives viewers the inside scoop on where to eat, where to drink,

  • and what to do on the 24-hour layover. He has written several books including

  • Kitchen Confidential, A Cook's Tour, and Medium Raw,

  • which I see a lot of you guys have in the audience. These are

  • books that made many people, including myself, decided

  • never to eat fish again on a Monday. In case you don't know why, it's because apparently

  • that's where all the crap from the week before goes to the Monday specials, so don't eat

  • it. He's joined today by his Emmy award winning team from No Reservations and the Layover.

  • We have, starting right here, Tom Vitale, an Emmy nominee,

  • producer director of No Reservations and on the Layover. Zach Zamboni, to his right is

  • a two time Emmy winning director of

  • photography for No Reservation and also the director of photography for the Layover. And

  • obviously Chef Anthony Bourdain is right next to him in case you

  • don't know who that is. [audience chuckles] And Todd Liebler

  • to his right who is a two time Emmy winning director of photography of No

  • Reservations. So we've asked Chef Bourdain to run the discussion here today so I have

  • no idea what they are going to talk about but I have a feeling it's going to involve

  • food and travel, and possibly his girlfriend, Paula Deen I don't know; we'll see. [audience

  • laughs] Thanks >> Chef Bourdain: Now there's an idea. Thank-you.

  • So what we'd like to talk about today is making things. We make things and with

  • the people on this stage make -- along with a much larger

  • group of people, equally hard-working, make No Reservations

  • and the new series. I guess why it's us up here rather

  • than Lydia Tenaglia or Chris Collins or Sandy,

  • or Eleanor or all the people in post production, editing, sound,

  • color correction or all these other incredibly [chuckles] vital

  • components of the show. The reason these guys are up here is

  • because we spend -- we just talked about -- we spend

  • about 200 days a year with each other on the road. We're

  • the principal road team for No Reservations. We spend a

  • lot of miles, a lot of time, a lot of drinks, a lot of poop

  • jokes. [laughter] And so, I thought we'd talk today about how we

  • do what we do. And really, why -- you know, I joke about

  • it, but I mean it. For me, the worst thing about the show

  • -- in a perfect world, I would not be on it. I would

  • not be on No R You see the world as I see it. I would

  • go. I would see it. I would narrate the show and it

  • would be told through my point of view , but I would really not

  • like to not see my stupid face up there. If you imagine

  • the show without me in it, I think it would still be the

  • best God damned travel and food show on travel television ever. [audience cheers]

  • And so, the question of the day is, how come it's just so

  • fucking good? [laughter] Tom Vitale, producer, director, perhaps you

  • can explain like the process. How does it all begin?

  • Like, a typical show such a thing exists. >> Tom: Tony is picking on me because he knows

  • I'm terrified of public speaking. [laughter] How does it

  • all begin. We start about a month before we go out.

  • >> Anthony: Generally I'll pick a spot.

  • >>Tom: Tony picks a spot. You have an idea sometimes a film that reminds

  • you of a place. You give us some direction and we go

  • out find interesting locations, interesting people,

  • interesting things to do and the rest sort of takes care of

  • itself in a strange way >>Tony: Really so anybody can do it?

  • >>Tom: Yes. [laughter]

  • >> Tony: you can follow Tom Vitale, at TV superstar. That's his Twitter feed, by

  • the way. At Zach Zamboni.

  • >>Zach: Yes, Tony. >>Tony: Surely it's not that simple. Come

  • on, the show looks amazing. Look at all the other shows

  • that try to be like us; they suck. The meal scenes,

  • they're all sitting there like mummies. Welcome to my home. Guy. Please

  • enjoy our food. [laughter] You know, they're the photography

  • is ugly, the lighting if any seems spectacularly inept. There's no human dimension. It's all

  • happy horse shit. Everything's great . Please help me understand, why are we so damn good

  • Zach Zamboni.

  • >>Zach: We got heart, man, we got heart. That's you, me,

  • these guys, post people, editors -- everybody involved's got heart. We try to do something

  • good, you know, and we've got skills -- yeah, for

  • sure. [laughter] But I think -- I do think we got heart. We're

  • trying to do something. >> Tony: Heart explains why, I think, why

  • particularly, you know, meal scenes with people seem

  • to work a little bit better. You know what? I've

  • often said, you know, we -- that we take the time --

  • you know, we drink with people. You know, that

  • we're not alcoholics -- we're television professionals. [Zach clears throat] [laughter]

  • Drinking with our subjects and the people who host us on the show certainly helps.

  • But I think it's a function of -- we spend the

  • time with the people. We're not just gang rushing some

  • poor rice farmer. You know, and saying, "Okay,

  • the scene's starting now. Get Tony out of the

  • trailer. I go in. I sit down, I take a couple of bites. "Mmm, good" and back to the trailer.

  • The 4-minute scene represents about how long, what do you think?.

  • Typically Laos show for instance. Maybe it's a four, five, six

  • minute meal scene. How long did it take you guys

  • to get those shots, and how much do you shoot between your two or three cameras

  • because you operate a camera as well for a show

  • like that. >>Todd: We're probably there two to

  • three hours before you're even there, because we're

  • shooting the prep with the food which is actually a

  • great way to get involved with the family. Because

  • you know, as a lot of you probably know, a lot of

  • stuff happens in the kitchen. You know, that's where the hearth is. So we go in there and

  • have a relationship often incredibly nonverbal, right?

  • Because as people on the crew know, my grasp for

  • foreign languages is incredible [ laughter]. You

  • know, we go into the kitchen and we are just taking

  • an interest in what they're doing. And that immediately, I think, just opens them up to

  • us. And of course we're open to them because we're trying to

  • just get in there.

  • >> Tony: I mean, you're in the kitchen often in a very tight space with somebody's

  • grandma. She's not used to having other people in the

  • kitchen other than family to start with. She's certainly

  • not used to this -- especially when you're talking

  • about the mountains of Laos -- this invading army of

  • hulking white people from America with cameras. That is a weird and

  • terrifying thing to people particularly hill tribe

  • region of Laos. I keep using that as example because that was probably -- I'm trying to

  • think of where we appeared as most shocking apparitions,

  • you know? [laughter] So you know you go into a

  • room with cameras, everything changes. Everybody gets weird.

  • And I think part of the struggle -- I think one

  • of the things that you guys particularly do really

  • really well that makes all the difference is the

  • time spent to A: let people get over that shock. The

  • fact that you're in -- it's often you. You're in

  • the kitchen with grandma. She's bumping you out

  • of the way. You smiling at each other. You're expressing

  • willingness to try things. You're open to the

  • experience. You're clearly appreciative of what's

  • going on and interested. You know, people are proud

  • of their food, wherever they are. Just about everywhere in the world, people are proud

  • of their food. It means something. It reflects their

  • history, their family history, their ethnic history, often a long

  • story of struggle and deprivation to arrive at these

  • dishes. It means a lot. They tend to like it wherever

  • you go when a guest is willing to smile and try

  • it and be open to it. But I think the time you put

  • in with petting the family dog, playing with the kids.

  • >> Todd: Milking the yaks. >> Drinking the local rot gut.

  • Because let's face it, a lot of these situations, in almost all of them, somebody is fermenting

  • or distilling something cloudy in a backyard

  • somewhere in a 55 gallon drum.

  • >>Todd: Which they are very proud of >>Tony: The willingness to drink that

  • makes a big, big difference in how things are going

  • to go. So there's that. [laughter] You know, I talk about

  • time. But then again, this is a hand-crafted outfit, you know? This is -- you know, we're

  • not Target. We're Hermès . It takes a long damn

  • time to make the bag. [laughter] But at the end

  • of the day, okay, it's expensive. It's a damn nice bag. [laughter]

  • >> Zach: Yeah, I think -- I mean, yeah, it's like the Japanese craftsmen that believes

  • they're part of what they make. I think we go in

  • like that. We know our signature is on this thing

  • we're making. We're not -- we're making this thing

  • that represents us and we put -- we standby it, you

  • know. >>Tony: You ever watch a show, you ever make

  • a show, and later -- I mean, to me it's really really

  • important. Whatever I did yesterday. I know the feeling

  • of waking up looking in the mirror and going,

  • "oh, God --," like, whatever I did yesterday was

  • really, really, shameful and embarrassing. [laughter] Story of a lot

  • of my life. I guess I determined whenever I decided to go on television to

  • not be, you know, really I would love to make a joke about

  • The Chew right now. Should I? No. [chuckles] You

  • know, I just -- I'm constitutionally unable to wake

  • up to in the morning. To know that I'm going to

  • wake up tomorrow morning. "Jesus, God, that show we did

  • was really cynical, and cheap, and stupid. I don't care if people liked it, it sucked."

  • Have you ever woken up in the morning after seeing a show that

  • you made and thought, "oh, man."

  • >>Tom: I think that's one of the amazing things about working on this show,

  • we all feel so proud like Zach said. The product

  • we put out there. I mean, it's just very special.

  • There's so many other people who work on shows that

  • you just like you say you don't get to go home and

  • feel really proud of what you do. It's kind of

  • awesome. >> Tony: You knew this was coming too?

  • What about the Romania show, Tom? [laughter] Here's the

  • problem for me on the show is that, on the one hand,

  • it's a good thing. Like, if the show goes really

  • really badly, we tell that story anyway, you know?

  • And if it goes really badly and it's an utter misery

  • for me because I found out painfully one of Tom's

  • early masterpieces, apparently that's pretty damn

  • entertaining. [laughter] Do you care to tell --. How badly did that shoot go?

  • >> Tom: It went pretty badly. I can't just any other episode that's gone -- everything

  • -- it was a perfect storm. Everything was so

  • bad that it end up being so great in the end. [laughter]

  • Ultimately, I think it was a fair accurate representation

  • of our eight or ten days there. Ultimately -- so I can go

  • to bed at night and sleep with an easy conscience because

  • again, that's a fair representation of what we saw

  • during our time there. It may not be all of Romania and we certainly did not go out to

  • assassinate a country.

  • >> Zach: We tried to do right. We had the intention of doing right by those people

  • >> Tony: At the end of the day, that was a funny shit though.

  • >> Zach: We tried. We tried. I just want to say anecdotally,

  • this guy, when it starts raining, right? We're in

  • the middle of nowhere. We got no cover. No trees

  • no nothing. It starts raining. >> Tony: And I'm always, "this scene is

  • over. We're screwed. Time to move to plan B."

  • >> Zach: "shit," and he goes "yes!" >> Tom: Bad weather makes for good TV.

  • >> Zach: And he's just like as soon as things go off the track naturally "this is

  • perfect. >> Tony: He starts to smell Emmy.

  • >> Tom: That's one of the things I learned about this show. There is no script.

  • We don't do multiple takes of things. If Tony

  • says something or one of the people we're filming

  • says something and we didn't catch it for some reason we're

  • shooting a food insert. We don't ask them to say it

  • again. I think that's very important. It lends that feeling of immediacy to the show.

  • It doesn't feel scripted or forced. >> Tony: What do I hate most on the

  • show? The walk in and the good-bye. That way back

  • when, we would do what's called "the walk in". It was, "Okay, Tony, stand outside the

  • house and this is the scene where you walk in and

  • you meet your hosts." Worst case scenario, "We'd like to do that

  • again." Boy -- it's impossible to feel any more of

  • an asshole [laughter] than warmly introduce yourself

  • to somebody and then "I'll be right back to do it again."

  • [laughter] Or only thing worse is, "Thank you so much for the

  • meal and letting me in your home, good-bye." And then

  • you got to go back and do that again." [laughter]

  • So we just don't -- we don't do it. The whole organism

  • is created to never have that kind of artificiality.

  • So favorite shows -- Favorite show for you to watch

  • and then favorite show of yours to make? Is there a

  • difference? >> Todd: Sure there is. Haiti was just

  • unbelievable, because I think, as I believe Lydia was

  • saying or someone, we were just running on all

  • cylinders there. >>Tony: You won an Emmy for that one, didn't

  • you? >>Todd: I, I, think so

  • >>Tony: Might that weigh heavily on your--. [laughter]

  • >> Todd: You know, I was asked, "is there something you want to push forward?"

  • And I said, "yes." So that was I think amazing.

  • Every step of the way I would watch it. Pretty

  • overwhelming. Very, proud. >>Tony: So favorite show? Proudest of

  • that one. >> Tom: Right now. Most fun show to

  • do. Well, the India show we did a making of. So we

  • had two crews on. A lot of friends. It was a lot

  • of fun, you know? You know, all my stuff hit the

  • editing room floor but what am I gonna do It's not about me.

  • >>Tony: Your