In the season premiere of Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown, the host dives into the ever-changing state of Punjab with a trip to Amritsar, sampling cuisine at the dhabas (roadside restaurants), a gurpurb festival (Sikh celebration), and a free community vegetarian restaurant, while meeting with local residents who give their perspectives on life in this sometimes contentious region of India, bordering Pakistan.
Bourdain travels to Las Vegas, a city known for over-indulgence, with food author Michael Ruhlman and visits locales that include Huntridge Tavern (in the shadow of the strip), and famed restaurant é by Jose Andres. Also featured in the episode are Penn Jillette, and former mayor Oscar Goodman.
In this food-centric episode, Bourdain accompanies world-renowned chef/restaurateur Daniel Boulud as they travel back to Boulud's hometown of Lyon, France for a "once-in-a-lifetime" pilgrimage to the city's rich food culture and legendary chefs, with a focus on Nouvelle Cuisine innovator Paul Bocuse.
Bourdain travels to Mexico City, Oaxaca, and Cuernavaca to commune with local residents who express their passion through food, art, and the struggle for an improved quality of life. Addressing the latter issue, Bourdain talks with journalist Anabel Hernandez on the impact of the area's drug trade-related violence.
Bourdain goes off the beaten path and explores the food and history of the Mississippi Delta including downtown Jackson's Big Apple Inn, known for its "Pig's Ear Sandwich" and as a the Civil Rights era gathering place, and Po' Monkey's Social Club, located on a farm in an old sharecropper structure.
On the eve of the Olympic games in Sochi, Bourdain takes his first trip in nearly 10 years to Russia, accompanied by his longtime traveling partner Zamir Gotta. Looking through the lens of a now Putin-controlled Russia, Bourdain confers with prominent locals, visits Moscow's historic Metropol Hotel, takes the Grand Express train to St. Petersburg, and explores the drinking and dining scene.
Bourdain and his crew head to the Chiang Mai province of Northern Thailand along with celebrated chef and Thai food specialist Andy Ricker (Pok Pok restaurants) to explore the country's distinctive eating and drinking scene that varies by region and season.
Parts Unknown tours Bahia, known as the "African heart of Brazil" and internationally recognized for its Afro-Brazilian music, art, design and food. A look at the dance/martial art of Capoeira, the region's legendary food vendors, Salvadoran fishing neighborhoods, and a BBQ on the beach are featured.