To say that it’s impossible to watch David Chang’s Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner without seeing what it owes to the television shows created by Anthony Bourdain—and in particular, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown—is neither dismissal nor complaint. To have been influenced by a masterful work of art is not a flaw; it’s at times even unavoidable. Bourdain was not the first person to travel the world and eat food on camera, but his invention, ambition, and especially his skill as a writer made Parts Unknown feel groundbreaking and new. Bourdain had his debts, and Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner has some too. But one result of such clear influences is that comparisons are inevitable.
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