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bourdain in hawaii

The whole campaign to bring Tony to Hawaii started after I completed the season finale production of Bravo’s TOP CHEF 2 in Hawaii. (Read more about the TOP CHEF production at Honolulu Star-Bulletin). What was the next big show after this???

A year of cold pitching and trying to track down the folks that produce Anthony Bourdain’s renowned program on Travel Channel…searching constantly month after month to find who the right person to talk to…

This all lead to…

One sunny October afternoon in Hawaii, I hear a ping on my email inbox. It’s Emily, a segment producer, introducing herself and that one of her colleagues had forwarded an email I had sent to the production company. I was shocked…ecstatic…wildly excited to hear that Tony will finally be coming to Hawaii.

So the process started with that email…we began to discuss possible story ideas for the episode…steering Tony away for the iconic symbols of Hawaii such as luau, tiki drinks, gawdy aloha shirts, etc. We went after things like the thriving Hawaii agriculture (vanilla, chocolate, lavender, mushrooms, etc.), tako hunting, kava drinking, mom and pops shops, historic neighborhoods, local bakeries, paniolo history, and all things made local.

It all boiled down to filming on Oahu and Hawaii’s Big Island…telling the story of what Tony had envisioned Hawaii to be and experiencing all things Hawaii. Without revealing too much, a special thanks goes out to the staff at The Kahala Hotel & Resort, Hawaiian Airlines, Ono’s Hawaiian Foods, Bailey’s Aloha Shirts, Side Street Inn, Halekulani – House Without a Key, New Uptown Fountain, La Mariana Sailing Club, Paradise Cove Luau, and all other individuals that assisted with the production.

New Uptown Fountain - SPAM segment New Uptown Fountain - SPAM segment 2

I’d hate to ruin the episode for you so tune in to Travel Channel’s No Reservations at 10 p.m. ET/PT on Monday, March 3. You might catch a glimpse of me in La Mariana…I had to sit in as an extra. Ha! I can add that to my resume along with being a “associate producer” for TOP CHEF 🙂

***After the show airs, I’ll post some pictures taken during the shoot on Oahu and provide more insight on the production, producers, and Tony. Go check out my boss’ blog as well***


6 Responses

  1. Mike…good work on this project again. Can’t wait for Monday to come around…can’t believe I just said that. Posted yet another story on my blog as well:


    Hope you’re having a good day off.

  2. It was fun…looking forward to the next one 🙂 I’m excited for Monday as well…hopefully I won’t ruin the premiere this weekend. Thanks for linking to me on your blog.

  3. I have the episode set to record on my DVR!

  4. Whoo hoo! Look for my name in the credits, Lianne 🙂

  5. […] a number of others, I’m anxiously counting down the hours until Anthony Bourdain’s Hawaii […]

  6. This is all good � I will be back to this blog hxxp://www.fun-hawaii{com}

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