“No Reservations”, Anthony Bourdain’s Travel Channel show, is wonderfully made. Witty, insightful, self-indulgent at times, educational and wistful all at once. The episodes noted below (saw them back to back this past Sunday evening) were two of my favorites.
One segment from the Emilia-Romagna episode detailed a luxurious meal at a beautiful restaurant that featured something I’d never seen or heard about: The “duck press”. A full roasted (rare) duck was brought to the table on a beautiful cart, then carved table side. The breasts were set aside while the carcass was carefully snipped apart and placed in what I can only describe as what looked to be a large silver coffee urn. This piece of equipment though had a large spoked wheel on the top and a small spout on the bottom. The carcass pieces were placed inside the urn, the lid secured, the the wheel slowly turned by hand, thus crushing/mashing the duck bones. The result was a blood red river of juice, blood and bone marrow which was then used in a sauce that had Tony salivating in anticipation. Yup, I’m sure that didn’t suck….
Who knew? And oh my, how good must that sauce have tasted spooned over the duck breast?
The episode in the Burgundy region of France was equally delectable. 100+ year old recipe books, little post card quality French towns…..and the cheese.