Before groundbreaking chef, writer, and host Anthony Bourdain died, he filmed an episode of his docuseries Parts Unknown in New York — teasing some of the restaurants he had visited on Instagram. Now, that episode set in East Village and LES will be premiering at the Food Film Festival in New York on October 24. All of the featured restaurants will serve food at the event.
The episode will follow Bourdain along a personal journey through the old-school haunts of LES and East Village, accompanied by the music, film, and art trailblazers who defined the neighborhood in the 70s and 80s, painting picture of the area’s cultural history.
He visits iconic desserts shop Ray’s Candy Store for egg creams with former Cro-Mags bassist Harley Flanagan and longstanding Dominican restaurant El Castillo de la Jagua with hip-hop legend Fab Five Freddy.
Bourdain also dines with influential punk rock music industry executive Danny Fields at 24/7 pierogi stalwart Veselka, and at longtime LES art bar Max Fish, he sits down with filmmakers Jim Jarmusch and Amos Poe. Locals dining at the old-school kosher diner B&H Dairy Restaurant also appear in the episode.
The only restaurant that hasn’t been around for multiple decades featured in the episode is Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Public Kitchen, where Bourdain meets with singer and poet Lydia Lunch, a player in NYC’s no wave scene in the 1970s.
The neighborhood’s red-sauced legends also get nods, with Bourdain hitting up Emilio’s Ballato with Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Chris Stein and John’s of 12th Street with artist Joe Coleman, who became a prominent painter and performance artist in East Village in the 1980s and Bourdain considered a friend.
In addition to food from all of the restaurants featured in the episode, the premiere will have dishes from other, younger LES joints, like Big Gay Ice Cream, Doughnut Plant, Guss’ Pickles, Kings County Imperial, and Speedy Romeo. Drinks come from cocktail bar Saxon+Parole as well as the New York Distilling Co, Six Point Brewery, and Lagunitas Brewing Company.
This is the 12th and final season of Parts Unknown. The star filmed them before his death, but his signature narration will be absent — with other people in the episode filling in those gaps.
There are still tickets available for the event, taking place at the Angel Orensanz Foundation on October 24 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tickets start at $250, and all of the proceeds go to the Bronx Letters Foundation, an initiative supported by Bourdain.