Everyone’s favourite cool uncle, Anthony Bourdain, took his signature brand of booze-drenched, I’ll-eat-anything charm for a few weeks to our home soil, touching down in Newfoundland for what he describes as a “bro-cation” with Dave McMillan and Fred Morin, proprietors of Montréal foodstitution Joe Beef, as a part of the latest episode of his show Parts Unknown.
The culinary flâneurs landed in St. John’s, which Bourdain kindly describes as “if not a part unknown, then certainly a part underappreciated,” to run the gamut of local rites of passage including fishing, axe throwing, and moose hunting, even dragging an entire dining-room set into the wilderness to enjoy a meal while taking in the natural beauty of the province.
The group also stopped at locally-sourced fine dining restaurant joint Raymond’s, where head chefs Jeremy Charles and Jeremy Bonia (who Bourdain affectionately refers to as the “two Jeremys”) taught the host of the federal codfish ban that devastated the province’s fishing economy and forced them to pivot toward a more shellfish-based role in the fishing trade — the results of which include a delicious-looking shellfish tower, speckled with whelks and urchins, that Bourdain and company chow down on at Raymond’s.
That’s not to say his trip wasn’t fraught with mild controversy, first over the use of the term Newfie on his social media channels, then because of selecting Quebecois chefs for guides rather that chef’s from Newfoundland. But despite everything, Bourdain’s journey to one of the further parts of our country (or as he puts it, “the ass end of the universe”), was complete with feasting on “the champagne of animal protein”, moose, and a screech-in ceremony.
You can watch the full episode below: