In the Anthony Bourdain No Reservations episode where he eats his way through Egypt, I found his tourist gaze to be quite unique. Throughout the entire show he makes references to the pyramids and other famous tourist destinations, yet also includes that he will not be visiting because they are touristy. A common theme among “travelers” but he seems to be unfit of this categorization as well. While he is the host of a television show, so his itinerary is most likely created for him, the way he goes about his Egyptian travels is more along the lines of Iyer than one fully immersed in the tourist gaze.
A few things led me to this conclusion. First, was his way of talking about delving into the consumption of local delicacies even if they seemed unappealing at first. The pigeon eating, I found to be closer along the “rats with wings” description he gave yet once they showed the preparations my thoughts changed. It looked delicious with all of the spices and rice and even his own description (visual rhetoric at work). The second was the way he went through all walks of life and their consumption of food. He went to the city to eat with businessmen and city folk, then to the rural areas to try local foods from a different Egyptian region, and even to the desert to eat with the Bedouins. All three were very different styles of food, and even more different to the way food is served and eaten in America.