President Barack Obama appeared on Anthony Bourdain‘s Parts Unknown on Sunday night.


The premiere of the show was last night and featured Obama and Bourdain sitting down to dinner at a local spot in Hanoi, Vietnam. Unlike many other show with a “host” and a “guest,” Parts Unknown did not become political when Bourdain sat down with the President.

“We were given no guidance at all from the White House as far as what to talk about,” Bourdain told Decider. “They never asked us what I would want to ask or talk about.”

The show had been in communications with the White House for about a year, and Bourdain jumped at the opportunity to shoot in Vietnam when he heard Obama would be there as part of his Southeast Asia tour. Obama had recently met with Vietnamese President Trần Đại Quang and lifted the decades-long arms embargo.


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“It’s one of the most beautiful places on earth,” Bourdain says of Vietnam. “I can tell you that the response in Hanoi was unbelievable… As long as I’ve been going there – about 16 years now – the Vietnamese have been very welcoming.”

Bourdain spent most of the time speaking to Obama father to father. “I’m a father of a young girl, and he has two daughters. I talked to him as a dad and as a Southeast Asia enthusiast,” the chef said. “The closest I got to politics was when I asked if the intelligence briefings he got about what’s going on in the world, I said as a father, “Is it gonna be ok?” He assured me that, on balance, things are gonna be ok.”

See a clip about the meal below.

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