Skip to main content

Anthony Bourdain: Human race is 'essentially good'

By Anthony Bourdain, CNN
updated 5:56 AM EDT, Tue April 16, 2013
Anthony Bourdain reads the paper next to a local market in Yangon, Myanmar.
Anthony Bourdain reads the paper next to a local market in Yangon, Myanmar.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" takes you across the globe to exotic destinations
  • The CNN personality will share his unique perspective and insights while traveling the world
  • Bourdain: "People, wherever they live, are not statistics. They are not abstractions"
  • He hopes to show "what people are like at the table, at home, in their businesses, at play"

World-renowned chef, best-selling author and Emmy winning television personality Anthony Bourdain is the host of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," CNN's new showcase for coverage of food and travel. The series is shot entirely on location. "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" premieres Sunday, April 14, at 9 p.m. ET

(CNN) -- Before I set out to travel this world, 12 years ago, I used to believe that the human race as a whole was basically a few steps above wolves.

That given the slightest change in circumstances, we would all, sooner or later, tear each other to shreds. That we were, at root, self-interested, cowardly, envious and potentially dangerous in groups. I have since come to believe -- after many meals with many different people in many, many different places -- that though there is no shortage of people who would do us harm, we are essentially good.

That the world is, in fact, filled with mostly good and decent people who are simply doing the best they can. Everybody, it turns out, is proud of their food (when they have it). They enjoy sharing it with others (if they can). They love their children. They like a good joke. Sitting at the table has allowed me a privileged perspective and access that others, looking principally for "the story," do not, I believe, always get.

People feel free, with a goofy American guy who has expressed interest only in their food and what they do for fun, to tell stories about themselves -- to let their guard down, to be and to reveal, on occasion, their truest selves.

Nick Brigden is an Emmy award-nominated editor and director. He lives in New York with his wife, Carrie, and their dog, Honey Paw. Nick Brigden is an Emmy award-nominated editor and director. He lives in New York with his wife, Carrie, and their dog, Honey Paw.
Nick Brigden: Editor
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
>
>>
Meet the crew Meet the crew
Anthony Bourdain previews new CNN show
Human-powered Ferris wheel
Anthony Bourdain in the hot seat

I am not a journalist. I am not a foreign correspondent. I am, at best, an essayist and enthusiast. An amateur. I hope to show you what people are like at the table, at home, in their businesses, at play. And when and if, later, you read about or see the places I've been on the news, you'll have a better idea of who, exactly, lives there.

"Parts Unknown" is supposed to be about food, culture and travel -- as seen through the prism of food. We will learn along with you. When we look at familiar locations, we hope to look at them from a lesser-known perspective, examine aspects unfamiliar to most.

People, wherever they live, are not statistics. They are not abstractions.

Bad things happen to good people all the time. When they do, hopefully, you'll have a better idea who, and what, on a human scale, is involved.

I'm not saying that sitting down with people and sharing a plate is the answer to world peace. Not by a long shot.

But it can't hurt.

Anthony Bourdain
Hotel El Minzah, Tangier

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:39 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Tethered to an IV drip, 71-year-old Shin Young Ja lies under a thin fleece blanket, nursing a broken back and wracked with survivor's guilt.
updated 7:48 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
The Vice-Principal of Danwon High School was rescued from sinking ferry last week. Two days later he took his own life, wracked with survivor's guilt.
updated 7:23 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Family members of the missing passengers are pinning slim hopes on floundering air pockets.
updated 2:29 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
The world's most memorable accommodations don't always come with five stars. Sewer pipe hotel, anyone?
updated 10:01 PM EDT, Sun April 20, 2014
Love eating? Money? Appreciate efficient population density? HK might be the city for you.
updated 12:14 PM EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
An Iranian mother slaps and then forgives her 17-year old son's murderer in dramatic scenes at the gallows.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
Prince George takes a special interest in an Australian animal on a zoo trip.
updated 7:35 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
An "extraordinary" video shows what looks like the largest and most dangerous gathering of al Qaeda in years.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Explore each side's case, reconstructed from Pistorius' court affidavit and the prosecution's case during last year's bail hearing.
updated 8:37 AM EDT, Wed April 16, 2014
Mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square student protests or political reform are still censored in China.
updated 5:34 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
The Hadza are one of the last communities of hunter-gatherers in the world -- but losing their land.
updated 9:22 PM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
In choosing to change a traditional practice, Francis is being as radical as Jesus was in his own time.
updated 7:13 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Too weak. Can't handle pressure. Unattractive to sponsors. Susie Wolff has heard it all.
updated 7:07 AM EDT, Mon April 21, 2014
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
updated 8:30 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
It's like finding a needle in a universe-wide haystack. Researchers have located a planet roughly the size of Earth that could be habitable.
updated 5:40 AM EDT, Fri April 18, 2014
Dubai, long champion of all things biggest, longest and most expensive, will soon have some competition from a neighboring country.
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT