Anthony Bourdain loves Beirut, that much is clear.
The award-winning American celebrity chef and host of CNN's " Parts Unknown " was recently interviewed by Bon Appétit Magazine and he didn't exactly hide his love for Lebanon's capital city. In the interview that was published Monday, Bourdain was asked the simple question "Where should I travel now?" and his response is certain to make every Beiruti feel a sense of pride.
"Beirut. The food’s delicious, the people are awesome. It’s a party town. And everything wrong with the world is there. Hopefully, you will come back smarter about the world. You’ll understand a little more about how uninformed people are when they talk about that part of the world. You’ll come back as I did: changed and cautiously hopeful and confused in the best possible way. Travel at its best defies expectations. Yes, it’s divided. There are Shia neighborhoods, Christian areas—but they all go to the same restaurants. You can go from bikinis by the pool to Hezbollah in an 8-minute cab ride. They all coexist in a weird way. That’s part of the thing that makes Beirut so interesting."
Following up the question, the interviewer asked, "What should I do there?" to which Bourdain highlighted one of Lebanon's highest points of pride: the food.
"The food, the food, the food. The seafood restaurants by the shore. Fast-food shwarma. Smoke some shisha. Go to a nightclub. It’s a crazy kooky town."
When your national cuisine and your city is praised so highly by one of the most famous chefs in the world, it's certain to make you feel a tinge of pride. And this is certainly not the first time that Bourdain has voiced his love for Lebanon.
In June of last year, Lebanese were excited to see Bourdain once again showcase Beirut on his television program. At the time, Bourdain wrote that he even briefly considered naming his daughter after the city. The inspiration came from his previous visit to Beirut with his Travel Channel program "No Reservations." The filming of that episode took place in 2006 during the Israel-Hezbollah War and it was later nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Programming in 2007.
Of course, Lebanese hospitality won't be lost on Bourdain whenever he decides to come back for a visit, with or without his film crew.