'No Reservations' New Look: But Where's Anthony Bourdain?
This article was updated November 18, 2019.
Yesterday, the team behind Anthony Bourdain’s award-winning show No Reservations decided to update the branding on their Facebook page — which now does not feature the iconic host and all posts have been deleted except one uploaded around the time the branding was changed featuring a photo of him. (The name was also changed from Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations to simply No Reservations.) For a logo redesign, the blowback from the No Reservations audience online was swift — and scathing.
Bourdain, who died in June 2018, was known for his adventures in global cuisine, and his drive to change perceptions about local foods with his straightforward, honest observations. Thanks to his shows No Reservations and Parts Unknown, his blog and his books, he visited and supported many communities of marginalized people — making him a beloved figure both within the food industry and the wider public imagination. Bourdain’s standing may go some way to explaining the negative fan reaction to the new-look No Reservations.
Comments about the artwork from Facebook users on the show’s Page have termed the redesign “gross,” “nonsensical,” and “a disgrace.” As people have called out, the colors and design don’t remind viewers of Bourdain himself — or even much resemble the show he left behind. The day after the new look was revealed, fans noticed they could no longer find the Facebook Page — it is uncertain whether it was deleted or unpublished.
The bright colors and the plump font appear to be an antithesis of Anthony Bourdain and his hunger for all of the things he talked about around food: the people, the politics or the culture. Instead, it puts consumption in the forefront with hot dogs, pizzas, generic-looking chocolate chip cookies and more — hardly the international foods Bourdain celebrated so much.
When Bourdain appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air in 2016, he said, "I'm happiest experiencing food in the most purely emotional way. When it's, like, street food or a one-chef, one-dish operation, or somebody who's just really, really good at one or two or three things that they've been doing for a very long time, that's very reflective of their ethnicity or their culture or their nationality — those are the things that just make me happy."