So Anthony Bourdain’s producer calls me…

About four months ago I got an email from a nice lady with a production company out of New York City. They were looking to film a show in the Missouri Ozarks and wanted some background from a local source – or localish, in my case. I followed up with Sally and we spent an hour or so on the phone, discussing the demographic, culinary and agricultural history of the Ozarks. You know the spiel: corn, hogs and Little Dixie. Anyway, at the end of our conversation I asked her what the show was called.

It’s a Travel Channel show called “No Reservations.”


Anyway, I tried to steer them to Newman Farm, Edwards Mill and a few other spots in southwest Missouri. I don’t think they took me up on any of it, but they did ask about “bloody bucket bars,” or something. Apparently these are temporary, rough-and-tumble bars that pop up in the Ozarks. Who knew? Also, did I know of any cool restaurants run out of trailers? Ummm.

The upshot is that while I know Tony will end tomorrow night’s Ozarks episode with a hopeful and optimistic homage, it’s also not going to beat around the bush. They shouldn’t. The region, like many in the state, suffers from substantial challenges – drugs, poverty, child abuse – but it’s as much a part of our state as the Arch, Harry S. Truman and laughing at Kansas. Still,  it’s an Emmy-winning show I happen love, it’s set just a few hours south of here and squirrel and cammo seem to feature heavily. Whatever. The Missouri Tourism Board can find something else to watch; I’ll be glued to my set.

No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain
Travel Channel
Monday, March 28
8:00 p.m. Central


Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

8 thoughts

  1. Looks like they knew the angle they wanted before they even contacted you huh? Wish I would have known, my husband is from SW Missouri and knows some deep-seeded good old boys who run food operations, etc. Maybe not out of trailers though…

  2. Thanks for the heads up on the show. I don’t think I’d know how to respond politely to blood bucket bar requests, so good on you for managing it. My mom once thought I was sending her to a Spanish topless (tapas) bar and was utterly worried about going there; her assumption freaked me out for weeks.

  3. Well, I watched it. I moved to Columbia from Joplin. Very strange representation of the area. I have had squirrel and gone bird hunting. I have never had squirrel pot pie, sucker fish, or raccoon. But hey, that is what his show is all about.

    Fred and Red’s Spaghetti Red is a 4-State (MO, AR, KS, OK) institution. I am now craving it. They also hand make their tamalies. They close for a month in the summer and people order bricks of the chili to keep in the freezer to tide themselves over.

  4. Wow you people need to get out more or keep up with what’s going on outside of the Missouri bubble. Anthony Bourdain is quite well known and famous, and his show is a mainstay on the Travel Channel. Eesh.

  5. Hmm, I guess my “Oh” comment in the post could be read to mean i didn’ know the guy or the show. I watch it weekly and have read his books. It was a joke. Oh well.

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