What if you found yourself next to CNN's rockstar travel documentarian Anthony Bourdain at a party? Obviously, you ask him where you should go on vacation this summer and shake him down for travel advice. We took a sip of vodka, summoned the courage, and did just that.
If you had time for one trip this summer, where would you go?
It's always life-changing to go to Japan for the first time. It's like life before acid and life after acid. Summer might not be the ideal time to visit there though; it's hot and Tokyo is a city full of people. I would also recommend South Vietnam, Nha Trang. A beach in Vietnam would be nice. Chances are it's very different from the everyday experiences that you are used to. Personally I just fell in love with that part of the world.
How do you get around in South Vietnam?
First and foremost, rent a scooter. That's the way to see Vietnam, no question. There is just this flow of thousands of people navigating the provinces on scooters and that's a magical thing to see and to be a part of. You want to be as close to the action as possible. You don't want to see Vietnam from a bus or inside an air conditioned car.
Where was your last visit to?
I just came from Shanghai and it was amazing. You can see the future and it doesn't include us. Just modern building and high-speed rail everywhere. We were up the Congo River where there were no toilets, but everywhere you go there is full signal on your iPhone.
You won a Peabody Award for your Parts Unknown episode visiting Israel and the Gaza. What did that trip mean to you?
I knew it was going to be a difficult show. I didn't want to mess it up. I wanted to be honest about what I saw and what I felt. I worked very, very hard, along with the production crew, to get it right. I'm proud with the result.
What did your family feel about the accomplishment?
Nobody's really impressed by what I do in my family. My wife was in the restaurant business as well and she knows what I was going through about 30 years ago, and chances are whatever I'm doing with the show is a hell of a lot easier than standing on my feet 12 hours a day in a kitchen being a line chef.
You're traveling for the show so often, what do you find yourself doing during your hiatus?
I have to say though that my wife and daughter, who is 7, are my favorite people to travel with. I probably take a month off every year and it's all about what the 7-year-old wants. I let her decide. My brain turns off. Beach? Fine. Hotdogs? Sure. If she doesn't want to get out of her pajamas I'm okay with that too.
What cartoons do you enjoy most?
I'm amazingly up-to-date on Adventure Time, Regular Show, Sanjay and Craig. I'm a big fan of Sam and Cat, especially the illegal toddler climbing episode.
Your imprint is going to publish a biography from Shep Gordon. He's got so many great tales as a manager, are there any that you're making him put in the book?
I just want to let Shep be Shep. When you're talking about a guy like that there is no shortage of amazing stories.