Remarkable people are often linked to impressive places. Andrés lived the first five years of his life in northern Spain in a region called Asturias. On a personal level, Asturias changed my life. It is a part of the country that surprises people whose vision of Spain is populated by Hemingway, bulls, and sangria. When I first arrived in the late nineties, my vision was even more limited. The rugged mountains, rainy climate, and Celtic culture broadened my conception of the country and the years that I spent there were, as I have written about elsewhere, key to becoming who I am today.
Fortunate for us, Bourdain, Andrés, and Asturias recently came together in one of the last episodes of the food and travel show Parts Unknown. Andrés and his larger-than-life personality are host and guide as he introduces his homeland to Bourdain. Seemingly unsure at first, it feels genuine as the combination of enthusiastic guide and amazing place endear themselves to even an experienced traveler like Bourdain. Knowing that not long after this show was filmed, Bourdain would commit suicide adds poignancy to their experiences. I hope you enjoy.