Anthony Bourdain’s culinary and cultural explorations have had him globehopping for decades, but with sponsorship from All Nippon Airways (ANA), his empire is growing with a new digital series, ‘The Perfect Dish: Asia.’
ANA has continued its sponsorship of the ‘Explore Parts Unknown’ digital video companion to Bourdain’s CNN series, ‘Parts Unknown’ to include an eight-part video series titled ‘The Perfect Dish: Asia.’
The series features the culinary delights of eight distinct cities across the Asian continent, from the global cuisine of Singapore to the refined tastes of Tokyo and many places in between (Jakarta, Hong Kong, Taipei, Hanoi, Yangon and Okinawa), dispatching correspondents in search of the destination’s perfect dish. The thing that makes the video series unique is that Bourdain, after introducing the videos, hands off the hosting duties to other food and travel professionals from Roads & Kingdoms, a travel and food site and another partner in the series.
“The Explore Parts Unknown digital venture offers a new opportunity for brands to travel the world and engage with Anthony Bourdain’s fans year-round, regardless of the television season," said Joe Dugan, senior vice president of portfolio sales and client partnerships, Turner Ad Sales. "Working closely with Anthony Bourdain, the incredible team at Roads & Kingdoms, our network partners and ANA, we were able to develop a thoughtful and creative brand partnership that naturally incorporates ANA within Bourdain’s world, while also driving meaningful client impact and brand awareness."
At a recent kick-off event for the series in New York, hosted by ANA, Bourdain sat down with one of the Perfect Dish hosts, Yasmin Khan, to discuss his inspiration, his love of Asian cuisine and the regions he visited in the latest series of his CNN show.
The two talked about Tokyo in particular, which remains one of Bourdain’s favorite cities, both for its cuisine and the fact that, as Bourdain has said in the past, the city is “deliciously unknowable.”
Bourdain mentioned the city’s density and how one, no matter how long they lived there – and he would love to live there – “[will] never know as much as you want to know” because of the sheer volume of history, food and culture. He also gushed about its convenience stores and its minimalism. “It’s life changing,” he said to Khan.
Though Bourdain has been known for his brash statements and strong opinions in the past, through his seasons on television visiting vastly different countries, he said: “I come from a very young country and I will never know anything. I learned how to be the stupidest person in the room.”
Regarding the Perfect Dish series, he said he has an affinity for “places that have seen through a colonial, darker period,” which is why Myanmar interested him. He also takes some satisfaction with sitting down with people who may be opposed to his particular belief system because food unites everyone.
“I try to be grateful and humble,” he said, adding that “the world is a big place, full of cruelty and horror, but also random acts of incredible beauty and compassion.”
By eating his way through Asia and meeting its diverse people, he concluded that: “Asia’s big. It’s an endlessly interesting continent…you can never look at the word Asian-fusion again.”
Sunita Rajan, senior vice president, advertising sales, Asia Pacific, CNN International Commercial said: “We are delighted to work with a dynamic brand like ANA on six exciting and high impact initiatives over the last two years. These forward-thinking and multi-platform campaigns showcase CNN and ANA’s commitment to pushing boundaries, whether it’s through high-production storytelling or industry-leading data insight and analytics across established and emerging platforms. Through this partnership, we hope to bring our audiences closer to experiencing the unique culinary and cultural wonders of Japan.”