Synopsis: Bourdain braves the slopes, works up a sweat, and declares this the “worst episode ever.” Then, in a fit of gastronomic frenzy on CNN’s dime, he “blows up the budget,” ordering some of the finest foods the region has to offer. We’re talking killer cuts of meat, fine wines, and—perhaps obviously—cheeses of all genres and temperatures. Bourdain waxes pensively on the nature of veal: “We wallow in blood,” he says. He also overcomes his fears and milks a cow. “Oh, that’s strangely satisfying,” he says, when he rolls up his sleeves and really gets into it.

“I have a block of cheese in my colon the size of a grapefruit. … Jesus, I’m so hung over. I just want to crawl into the bushes and die. … Worst. Episode. Everrrrrr.”

Colon contemplations

  • [To chef Eric Ripert, eating more cheese in Italy]: “We should have a camera in your colon.”
  • [To Ripert, as the meal is ending at Hotel du Buet] “You’re gonna have a big cannonball of crap lodged up your butt like a baby head. … You will understand the agony of delivery.”
  • [On Ripert’s call to eat less meat] “Bovine flatulence is a major source of carbon dioxide. … See, this is why we should eat meat. We’re saving the planet. We’ve gotta kill these things. They’re ripping a hole in the ozone layer; plus it stinks.”

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Wise words

  • “Warm feet are important. Nothing’s more demoralizing than cold, wet feet.”
  • “Prior preparation prevents piss-poor performance.”
  • [Over a plate of seared veal at La Table de Plan Joran with Ripert] “It’s humanely raised veal. Free range. Died in its sleep. … Everybody has blood on their hands, Eric, everybody. We all do. The clothes we wear, the air we breathe. Everything we do is built on the backs of suffering people and dying animals. We wallow in blood.”
  • “These mountains are majestic. And beautiful. You can walk them, take pictures of them, you can ski down them. They can also kill you.”

Joie de vivre  

  • “God bless the French. They can’t go too long—not even down a mountain—without eating well.”
  • “I am not a graceful skier, but I am an enthusiastic one. And that’s what you come here for in winter and early spring: some of the best slopes on Earth. Also cheese, apparently. Lots of cheese.”

[Over a plate of croûte aux morilles at La Crèmerie du Glacier] “That’s really good. I mean, bread and mushrooms … cheese. There’s no meat in this. I’m, like, practically like Ghandi at this point.”

  • “I’m all over the cheese course, like a one-man army.”
  • “It’s day 3 of nonstop cheese. And we haven’t even scratched the surface of the many wondrous specialties of the region.”
  • [Eating seemingly boundless melted cheese at Hotel du Buet] “Normal humans do not usually follow multiple wads of oozing cheese melted over potatoes with a molten pot of more cheese. But we are no ordinary men. We are titans. We are centurions of dairy products.”
  • “La France—I love it, and God knows I love the cheese here. But a brief respite is needed from the torrent of dairy products. Perhaps a short hop across the border to Italy would be a good idea. I want pasta.”

Bourdain burns Ripert

  • [To Ripert, cutting up a truffle] “Wow, look at that knife work; you should be a chef.”
  • “Now the milking thing: I have some concerns. I’m afraid. I’m a little afraid. I think they sense, you know, my Jersey roots, as opposed to, you know, your country ass.”
  • “Ah, nature. The rustic charms of the farm. Proximity to one’s ingredients, the smell of fresh grass, manure, livestock. I love it. No, actually, that’s Eric.”