It’s an understatement to say that Anthony Bourdain had a prolific, inspiring career. Rising from the ranks of being a lowly, mediocre chef (his words, not mine), Tony became a beloved guide to the world for millions of viewers at home. His shows have earned their place among the best travel television produced, and continue to inspire people to step beyond their front doors with an open mind and heart.
While we all know his main four travel/food shows, there are a number of other Anthony Bourdain shows you might not know or have seen. These can be great for those days when you really miss Tony and want to explore somewhere new with him.
Below, you’ll find a list of Anthony Bourdain shows in order. A complete list of his television appearances can be found on IMDb, though this annotated list is perhaps more useful for fans than scouring the internet for streams of old episodes of TV docu-series and talk show appearances.
If you love/loved Bourdain and miss his voice guiding you to the four flavorful corners of our fascinating globe, be sure to check out all of Anthony Bourdain’s shows.
All of Anthony Bourdain’s Food Shows
To begin, here’s a list of the main food shows Anthony Bourdain was in, organized by the year the project began. Some will be very familiar to readers of this site; others surprised me as I did my research on Tony’s complete career.
- A Cook’s Tour (2002-2003)
- No Reservations (2005-2012)
- Top Chef (2006-2011)
- MasterChef Australia (2011)
- The Layover (2011-2013)
- The Mind of a Chef (2012-2016)
- The Taste (2013-2015)
- The Chew (2013-2017)
- Parts Unknown (2013-2018)
- Raw Craft (2015-2017)
Below I’ve organized these shows into different categories to tell you more about them.
Anthony Bourdain’s Own Shows
Gosh, where to begin? With Bourdain’s own shows – of course! In one of my favorite songs about Anthony Bourdain, he’s quoted as saying: I’ve been free to do whatever I want / To make the shows I want anywhere I want with whom I want / In any style I want / So I, at first I don’t know any other way / And by now I won’t have it any other way.
We can all agree that Anthony Bourdain’s four main shows were truly special television, and we were fortunate to have 293 episodes of them to watch and rewatch.
Though I doubt anyone reading needs it, here’s a quick recap of each of the main Anthony Bourdain shows in order.
A Cook’s Tour (2002-2003)
Formally named Anthony Bourdain’s A Cook’s Tour, this first show was rough around the edges – as one might expect from Bourdain and from his first project getting the hang of being the world’s most beloved travel and food television host.
It was produced in 2000-2001 and released in 2002-2003 on the Food Network; a book of the same name was released in 2001 in advance of the show. There are 35 episodes in all, spanning the globe from Tokyo to Arcachon to Rio de Janiero.
You can find my recaps of the destinations featured in A Cook’s Tour here.
No Reservations (2005-2012)
Another show with a mouthful of a name, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations – or just No Reservations to, well, everybody – this was Tony’s longest-running show, and my personal favorite. The show was produced by the Travel Channel (back when they actually had travel shows) and ran for 134 episodes in 9 seasons.
The show was critically acclaimed as well as a fan favorite; it won three Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards and was nominated nine other times, as well as other award nominations and wins. It is a truly globe-spanning show, but some of my favorite destinations on-screen include Paris (the 1st and 100th episodes), Maine (where he visits long-time cinematographer Zach Zamboni’s home state), and the two episodes set in Beirut (“Anthony Bourdain in Beirut” when the Israel-Lebanon War broke out and “Back to Beirut” when the team returned to highlight recovery progress.)
You can find my recaps of the destinations featured in No Reservations here.
The Layover (2011-2013)
The Layover was Anthony Bourdain’s (relatively) short-lived “true” travel show on the Travel Channel. It was less focused on food and cultural experienced, and added in more of the practical aspects of travel, based on the premise that he was visiting a city for 24-48 hours on a “layover.”
Because of the show’s concept, it only focused on large urban areas around the world during its 20-episode run, and lacked the cultural diversity of Bourdain’s other shows. Interestingly, the international versions of each episode run six minutes longer than the U.S./domestic versions (48 minutes vs 42 minutes), so be sure to find the international versions if you can.
You can find my recaps of the destinations featured in The Layover here.
Parts Unknown (2013-2018)
The final show in Anthony Bourdain’s television career is his best; its full name is Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, though everyone shortens it too. It ran for over five years across 12 seasons and includes 104 episodes. Similar to No Reservations, it was highly acclaimed, earning 31 Emmy nominations and winning 12 of those awards, as well as many – many – others. In some ways, it is a grand finale for Bourdain, who might have found it tough to replicate the show’s success across many aspects in any future projects.
As you likely know, the show covers it all, from Antarctica (Season 9) to Iran (Season 4) to London (Season 8). In every destination, Tony and the Zero Point Zero team sought to reveal the lesser-known and lesser-visited aspects of a place, telling stories and sharing perspectives that challenged every viewer and opened our minds. It was a truly glorious show, and well worth the time to watch it all.
You can find my recaps of the destinations featured in Parts Unknown here.
Cooking Shows Anthony Bourdain was On
Anthony Bourdain appeared on a number of cooking shows throughout his television career, usually as a guest judge. In this post and section, I’m focusing just on those shows where he made more than one appearance; shows on which he appeared just once include Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern (2007) and MasterChef Australia All-Stars (2012).
Top Chef (2006-2011)
Anthony Bourdain was a guest judge on Top Chef several times in the late 2000s and early 2010s. He appeared on 12 episodes overall, primarily in the “All-Stars” season (season 8). Some of the episode titles include “Thanksgiving,” “New York’s Finest”” and “An Offer They Can’t Refuse.”
I haven’t personally watched any of Bourdain’s episodes, but my guess is that his appearance helps boost the viewership – and ongoing streaming – of those episodes!
MasterChef Australia (2011)
Bourdain also appeared as a guest judge on two episodes of MasterChef Australia in 2011, the “New York Boroughs Challenge” and “Elimination Challenge 9” in Series 3. As you can tell, he was often called in to serve as a judge when the theme was New York-focused, since that’s where his cooking career reached its pinnacle before he became a writer and television host.
The Taste (2013-2015)
I personally was surprised to learn that Tony served as a judge for three seasons of ABC’s The Taste back in the mid 2010s. He sat alongside food writer Nigella Lawson, chef Ludo Lefebvre, and chef Brian Malarkey (Season 1)/chef Marcus Samuelsson (Seasons 2-3). The premise of the show is cool (the judges choose winners based on a single bite of food), but the execution of the concept was complicated. It also didn’t help that the judges didn’t seem to get along very well.
The show run was 23 episodes across those three seasons, and you can watch The Taste online for free on ABC. The fact that it’s now available completely for free online should give you a sense of how “good” it is, but I’ve enjoyed all the episodes I’ve seen.
The Chew (2013-2017)
The Chew is a bit different than other shows on this list; it was a cooking-themed talk show rather than a cooking competition show. During its 7 season run, Anthony Bourdain appeared four times as a guest, on episodes like “Turkey Day Potluck,” “All-Star Eats,” and – my favorite – “Meatless Monday Miracle Meals,” which had to be a hoot since Tony is notoriously anti-vegetarian food.
Other Shows Anthony Bourdain was On
Anthony Bourdain was on many other shows, primarily as a guest on talk shows including Good Morning America, The View, and The Daily Show. Additionally, he made plenty of appearances on late-night TV, meeting with the many greats like David Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Conan, Stephen Colbert, and others. He was also involved with more interesting projects like an episode of PBS’ Nova, a history of humanity called Mankind: The Story of All of Us, a very meta TV series called The Interviews: An Oral History of Television, and an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience.
All this to say: Anthony Bourdain did a lot of television that was focused on him as a celebrity and expert in addition to his cooking and travel shows. If you miss Tony and want to see new footage of him, there are many episodes out there to watch.
Below you’ll find two more projects he was heavily involved in that are well worth watching if you haven’t seen them yet.
The Mind of a Chef (2012-2016)
Many Bourdain fans will have already seen The Mind of a Chef, a documentary television series than ran in the early 2010s. There were 34 episodes in all, and Tony was both an executive producer and the narrator of the show. Interestingly, he was not the host of the show – each season featured one or more chefs exploring their own past and influences. It won the Outstanding Culinary Program Emmy in 2014 and was nominated twice more.
Season 1 was hosted by chef David Chang; Season 2 starred chefs Sean Brock and April Bloomfield; Season 3 focused on chefs Edward Lee and Magnus Nilsson; Season 4 highlighted chefs Gabrielle Hamilton and David Kinch; Season 5 featured chef Ludo Lefebvre (a friend from The Taste days; and Season 6 starred chef Danny Bowien. All were narrated by Bourdain, giving his spirit to the project as well.
Raw Craft (2015-2017)
One of Tony’s final projects – and one he promoted extensively on Instagram – was a web series called Raw Craft. It was released via YouTube and is still available online if you want to watch it. Each episode focuses on a different craftsperson; Bourdain serves as the host learning about the craft, the craftsperson, and the final product – which ranges from iron skillets to suits to saxophones. Perhaps the most famous episode is the one where Tony received a hand-forged kitchen knife made from iron meteorites. After his death, it sold for over $230,000 at auction!
So: have you seen all of these Anthony Bourdain shows? Have you seen them all in order? Have any questions about these shows, or did I somehow miss one that needs to be on this list of Anthony Bourdain shows in order? Let me know in the comments!