How Anthony Bourdain Inspired José Andrés For New Spain Travel Show

Although José Andrés says he was inspired by the late chef Anthony Bourdain, his new show "José Andrés and Family in Spain" is notably lacking the trademark sardonic wit of his friend. In the new series, the Andrés travels across his home country with his three daughters, Carlota, age 23, Inés, age 21, and Lucía, age 18 (per People). It's a decidedly more wholesome, tender tone than the one that earned Bourdain's "No Reservations" its enduring popularity amongst fans, but Bourdain's biting narrative voice wasn't the part of his work that inspired Andrés.

In the twelfth and final season of Bourdain's series Parts Unknown, which aired in 2018 after the chef's death, Andrés shows Tony around his personal hometown of Asturias, Spain. The episode is intimate and joyful. The pair play games, enjoy traditional food, and discuss Andrés' experience immigrating to the United States and what his Spanish identity means to him. Andrés even leads a packed restaurant in a rousing chorus of an Asturias anthem. 

At one point during the episode, Andrés says to Bourdain, "You show all of us that it's worth it to go to the end of the world for the right food and for the right stories." It's this sentiment that Andrés says inspired his new travel show.

José Andrés aims to storytell and unite

As "José Andrés and Family in Spain" premiered earlier this week, Andrés recounted his relationship with Bourdain and the lasting influence the chef imparted on him. "I had a good mentor," Andrés told People. "He was a poet. He was a guy that understood the moment and was able to transform the moment into a phrase that we'll forever remember." With his new show, Andrés says he's trying to emulate Bourdain.

This isn't the first time Bourdain inspired Andrés' work. In 2019, Andrés and fellow chef Eric Ripert teamed up to pay tribute to Bourdain on what would've been his 63rd birthday, per Esquire. At the time, Andrés shared that Bourdain inspired him to write "We Fed an Island," a memoir recounting Andrés' relief work in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Andrés is the founder of World Central Kitchen, a humanitarian organization that provides global aid for hunger crises, and Bourdain encouraged Andrés to write the book and tell the story. 

Particularly in his last series, "Parts Unknown," Bourdain's message was as much about the global socio-political landscape as it was about food. But, while both chefs have made huge strides in the humanitarian world, they both celebrate the cultural significance of a good meal, a concept Andrés' new show is exploring to the fullest in Spain.