10 Jun2018

Me feeling the heat at the Taboan dried fish market. Bourdain was cool as a cucumber, even as the crew jokingly said through t-shirt wrapped nostrils, “OMG, this is THE smelliest place we have ever shot an episode”… :)

Shooting the breeze with San Miguel in hand with Augusto (the host from the Bourdain search contest) and myself.

We were waiting for the first lechon to come off the flames…

…and this is where Bourdain tried a piece and said “It tastes like candy…”

Posing with the lechons.

Watching an expert make the coconut leaf packages for rice, otherwise known as puso…

…prepping kinilaw na lukot (or sea hare secretions) that Tony wasn’t too sure about. Sea hare secretions?!?

Prepping more seaweed dishes.

The buffet under a humongous kapok tree.

Checking out the dessert selection… he was polite, as he doesn’t like sweets much and has said on many occasions it is the first course he would give up if he were forced to pick one…

…he passed on the durian (a fellow comrade in arms in that department) but he got his crew members to try it for amusement…

I have since burned my shirt and RUE the day I thought it would look fine on camera. RUE THE DAY.

After the shoot was over (from7am or so until say 2pm) they lingered another 2-3 hours and it is then that we had the most interesting discussions and conversations, off-camera…

He was witty, shy, introverted, erudite, inquisitive and a gentleman. He doted on the baby that came to lunch and regaled us with stories of his daughter’s yaya back in New York.

We had more San Miguel beer (had to send a car out for a couple more cases!)…

I am notoriously bad on video and hate it, but here, in the aftermath of the filming, it turned all congenial, intelligent, comfortable and just darned pleasant, as a cool breeze blew on this small hill in the middle of Cebu City.

Nothing was scripted, no advance warning of topics to be covered.

Oops, one more photo with cameras and Augusto’s distant relatives from Cebu who joined us for the on-camera shoot.

Tony graciously signed several of his books which Mrs. MM brilliantly remembered to bring with her from Manila…

…and I am thrilled to have both books still on my bookshelf along with my collection of cookbooks.

He drew caricatures for Isabel and her food-obsessed teen friends…

…and we laughed about crazed fans on his trip and all that they did to get a glimpse or a photo with him somehow. He said people camped out in hotel lobbies, for goodness sakes!?

Chief of stuff got him a fresh ice-cold can of San Miguel and managed a terrific solo photo with the man…

He graciously posed for photos with the crew (EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM) and was very thankful for all that they had done that day.

He insisted on several photos with Mrs. MM, our daughter and myself, and one of these have been pinned on the cork board in our den at home for the last decade.

At some point during the day, in the air-conditioned board room between takes, he looked at me, and said something to the effect, “So tell me, how did you end up roasting pigs, because to be honest, you don’t seem like the typical lechonero, if there is one…” and I replied, “Actually, I spent a lot of time in the U.S. for university and grad school and even had a chance to eat at Les Halles several times while you were cooking on the line…” to which he raised his eyebrows and wanted to know more asking “where did you go to grad school and what did you take up?” and I replied “I got my MBA at Columbia, worked for over a dozen years in strategy consulting before retiring and moving home…” and he smiled brilliantly and said… “wow, a lechonero with an Ivy-league MBA, that’s a first for us, definitely…” and we laughed so, so deeply. He was a good man, and will be sorely missed.



  1. NielGQ says:

    Rewatching this episode of No Reservations now. I laughed out loud when you said you burned that shirt, hahaha…

    Mr. B will, indeed, be sorely missed.

    Jun 10, 2018 | 6:42 am


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  3. marilen rodriguez says:

    Thank you, MM. These are wonderful reminiscences of a great encounter with a gracious man and an equally gracious host. Anthony Bourdain was a unique authentic voice. once in a lifetime.

    Jun 10, 2018 | 6:56 am

  4. Thel from Florida says:

    The last two photos are the best ever! As soon as I learned he passed, the first thing came to mind was your connection with him.

    Jun 10, 2018 | 8:31 am

  5. Lee says:

    I am saddened by his passing but it will be quite memorable that I will have an infinitesimal connection with Anthony Bourdain in a way because I have enjoyed two great feasts in that same venue and have been present in the launch of Zubuchon, the restaurant who in a way was inspired by his experience. I am now binge watching CNN’s tribute showing Parts Unknown episodes. Cheers Anthony Bourdain, MM, MGM, MarketManila!

    Jun 10, 2018 | 2:41 pm

  6. bearhug0127 says:

    Thank you MM for posting this. Mr. A. Bourdain will be sorely missed!

    Jun 10, 2018 | 5:49 pm

  7. Zerho says:

    He will be sorely missed. A great human being and a great inspiration. Cant believe the way he passed away.

    P.S. That shirt though, haha. Made me smile in every pic it is in.

    Jun 10, 2018 | 6:28 pm

  8. kulasa says:

    I remember eagerly waiting for that episode to air.

    He will be sorely missed. You are so lucky to have met him.

    Jun 10, 2018 | 10:01 pm

  9. ami says:

    Sad news indeed. Such a nice, kind, intelligent man. He will be sorely missed.

    Jun 11, 2018 | 10:22 am

  10. Amor says:

    When I saw the news of his passing in my feed, you were the first person I thought about.
    I look up your IG account right away and indeed you posted something to honor him.
    He will be missed.

    Jun 11, 2018 | 11:37 am

  11. Mon Yadao says:

    His daughter’s yaya is a good family friend. She has many, many good things to say about Mr. B., all good. He will be missed.

    Jun 11, 2018 | 11:51 am

  12. Gayle says:

    This post gives me goosebumps all over. You’re a lucky man! And also an intelligent one – well, except for the shirt choice! hahaha.

    Jun 11, 2018 | 2:28 pm

  13. sallyt says:

    You are one lucky fellow MM to have met and worked closely with such a legend, humble, authentic and gracious man Anthony Bourdain. How i wish he had a loved one whom he can confide with whatever inner battle or srugle he was going through. Such a tragic loss specially since he left behind a daughter. I hope that with the mercy of GOD he now have the peace which may have elude him here on earth. Rest in peace Anthony may JESUS’ eternal light shine on you.

    Jun 13, 2018 | 11:14 am

  14. La Emperor says:

    Great tribute, MM! Thank you for sharing us your ” lechon moments” with him. It is thru this specific AB event that I ended up bookmarking your blog, following it thru the years up to this very day. The whole world is saddened by this tragic loss.

    Jun 19, 2018 | 7:25 am

  15. peg says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these photos…

    Jun 19, 2018 | 6:08 pm

  16. joyyy says:

    That shirt! hahaha I have read more than once about your feelings on that shirt! hahahah

    Jun 21, 2018 | 9:31 am

  17. cecile says:

    Thanks for the posts on ABourdain! Yup! I love this post! Your statements on “the shirt” made reading this post better! ;)

    Jun 21, 2018 | 9:59 am

  18. Shalimar Orlanes says:

    had to post this link on my FB wall. A chef I worked with before , have known him as well in NYC.

    Jul 4, 2018 | 4:12 am

  19. Sleepless in Seattle says:

    One lucky day in Incheon Intl.on a layover..My hubby spotted Anthony Bourdain ..he turn to me and asked me,Is that your boyfriend getting coffe at a cafe ,so I turn around and of course it’s Tony..I had follow him since his show on a Cook’s tour ,watch all his shows he produces on PBS,my fave Mind of a chef,and on Netflix watch all his No reservations and Parts Unknown,I mean ,I am a big fan and follower on Instagram.Approached him..Wow! He was gracious,humble ,tall ,good looking .He ask me to seat on a table while he sips his coffe,he appear that he was alone,He said that he his on his way to Hanoi..he treat me like a person he knew,by then my hubby ask him ,if he can take a picture of me and him,Yes he said ,I would never ask him,I really am a big fan,but I kept my cool..It seems like it’ was a dream..I treasure the picture with him and I posted it on my FB page the min.it was shot..A layover with Anthony,I did admire him more,a very decent,nice man.It breaks my heart that he is gone ..A very nice,decent guy.

    Aug 2, 2018 | 10:53 pm

  20. Thelma Fujimoto says:

    Thanks for sharing your photos with Tony Bourdain…

    Jan 14, 2019 | 5:16 am


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