Anthony Bourdain took his CNN show, after many years of trying, to Iran:
Our crew explored Tehran and Isfahan, eating some spectacularly delicious and sophisticated food. We were welcomed with open arms at every restaurant we visited. (The proprietors of our hotel in downtown Tehran must have found out from our visas that it was my producer’s birthday, because they invited us all down to the office, where they surprised us with a cake.) It was at one of these long lunches where I met The Washington Post’s correspondent, Jason Rezaian, and his wife, Yeganeh Salehi. They were well-known and liked in Tehran and were referred by mutual friends who knew that experienced English-speakers — with a unique perspective from straddling both worlds — would be helpful to our production.
A few weeks later, they were mysteriously arrested and detained. Based on what they told me, I cannot possibly understand why.
I’m a fan of Tony’s. Over the last ten or 11 years I’ve read his books, watched his shows, and made some amazing dinners from his Les Halles cookbook. I know he’s too travelled, too experienced, for him to have a failure of understanding regarding a regime like Iran’s.
But you’ll still want to read the whole thing.