Roads&Kingdoms co-founder Nathan Thornburgh tells Travel + Leisure about the new project.
On Wednesday, Bourdain launched Explore Parts Unknown, a site that takes a deep dive into some of the places — including Istanbul, Madagascar, Punjab, and Los Angeles’ Koreatown — featured on “Parts Unknown.”
Explore Parts Unknown is a collaboration between Bourdain, CNN, and Roads&Kingdoms — an independent, travel journal and site where Bourdain is a partner, investor, and contributing editor.
Roads&Kingdoms co-founder Nathan Thornburgh told Travel + Leisure that both sites “use food to talk about more interesting things,” a category he credits Bourdain with helping to create.
Each destination provides Bourdain’s field notes, short video clips, and features on what to eat, drink, where to go, and what to know. There are even short bits on lingo (el tejo, in Colombia, is a traditional sport requiring players to hurl metal discs) and favorite local haunts.
Visitors to the site will immediately recognize the “Parts Unknown” aesthetic but it’s definitely not a site about the television series.
“[Parts Unknown] is still a television show that runs 44 minutes or so,” Thornburgh said. “Bourdain does a lot of things, and brings up a lot of conversations, but isn’t able to complete them full-stop.”
Thornburgh added that the site “builds and expands upon” what happens in the show.
Highlights from the site include an exclusive seven-episode video series (featuring Bourdain traveling around Spain with Roads&Kingdoms co-founder, Matt Goulding) and a photo essay, “Where Fishermen are Greek Relics,” by photographer Christopher Stemper.
“They’re not people Tony met, but they were certainly a large part of his conversations while in Paros,” said Thornburgh.
Perhaps most notable are The Perfect Day In itineraries crafted for each destinations, which include interactive, hour-by-hour recommendations. Readers will discover places the way Bourdain does in “Parts Unknown,” led by experts to lesser known museums, unassuming delis, spice markets, and social clubs.
Every week, Explore Parts Unknown will reveal a new destination (you can see what’s coming in the main navigation). And down the road, fans can look forward to more original video content from Bourdain and his partners at Roads&Kingdoms.