Despite some lollygagging leading up to the show over CNN’s use of the term “Newfie” in a Twitter post, Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown” episode received mostly positive feedback in this province.
The former chef turned television host and food writer travels all over the world for the “Parts Unknown” show, featuring the food and culture of each locale.
Sunday’s episode featured Newfoundland and Labrador, and now many people are crossing their fingers in hopes that being showcased on “Parts Unknown” will promote the province to tourists.
Provincial folklorist Dale Jarvis made an appearance on the show, and said during filming he spoke with Bourdain for “an hour or so” about everything from the history of fish and chips (while having a feed at Chafe’s Landing in Petty Harbour) to food security and safeguarding culture.
“Being showcased on a program like ‘Parts Unknown’ firmly places Newfoundland and Labrador in the ‘bucket list’ category of global tourist destinations,” he said.
Jarvis said the show demonstrated that the province has “that perfect mix of culture, cuisine and landscape that travellers want to experience.”
“Anything that shares our story in a positive way is good marketing for the province,” said Jarvis, who described his appearance on the show as “both a blast and a bit surreal.”
Celebrated St. John’s chef Jeremy Charles was called the best chef in Canada during the episode, which may account for a spike in Google searches for both his name and restaurant, Raymonds, also featured on the show.
According to Google Trends, searches for people who appeared on the episode, and the province itself, experienced a surge in interest at the same time the show was aired.
For example, searches for “Dale Jarvis,” “Newfoundland and Labrador” and “Jeremy Bonia” all increased while the episode aired on CNN.
But what did people in this province think of the episode?
In a poll on The Telegram’s website from 7 a.m. to 6:15 p.m. Monday, 2,359 readers answered the question, “What did you think of Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Parts Unknown’ episode about Newfoundland and Labrador?”
More than half of the respondents — 54.77 per cent — said they “Loved it. The show gave the world an amazing look at this province, its people, and its food!”
Another 34.59 per cent responded, “It was OK.”
A small percentage, 10.64 per cent, said they “Loathed it. It didn’t float my boat.”
Comments on The Telegram’s Facebook page were also mostly positive.
A few comments mentioned Bourdain’s attempts to pronounce “Newfoundland” correctly, with the general consensus being, who cares if he can’t say it right.
“I can’t say spaghetti right,” joked commenter Raylene Manning-Puddister.
Another commenter, Carol Wells, wrote that Bourdain could call Newfoundland anything he wanted after an episode that brought “Newfoundland to the world.”
Robert Dyke commented that Bourdain “painted an inviting portrait of unique dining, welcoming people and breathtaking views.”
“Made me proud to be a Newfie,” he said.