We already knew that Anthony Bourdain was a huge fan of The Wire; he frequently references the show in his Top Chef blog, once memorably drawing an extended comparison between an eliminated contestant and the show's iconic stickup artist Omar Little. (Spoiler warnings aplenty there if you haven't treated yourself to The Wire.) (Also, you should watch The Wire. I know, I know.)
Now Bourdain will apparently be contributing to Wire creator David Simon's follow-up show, the New Orleans-set Treme. The show's new season will feature a major plotline about a struggling restaurant. This apparently will be Bourdain's exclusive beat; Simon offered him a general staff position but Bourdain decided he'd prefer to write what he knows. All in all, this sounds good for several reasons; one, Bourdain clearly loves Simon's work; two, his restaurant stories are famously colorful; and three, he's a fine writer himself, although Medium Raw was a little heavy on the bitterness and self-loathing for me.
Said bitterness actually makes Bourdain's enthusiasm about his new job extra-sweet; he says getting the call from Simon was "like being a lifelong Yankees fan and having Joe DiMaggio call up and say, 'How about we throw the ball around in the back yard.'" This is a lot of warmth for a man who's very capable of doling out contempt when he feels like it. In fact, he's already written a scene for restaurant critic Alan Richman, who's the unwilling star of a Bourdain GQ article (and later Medium Raw chapter) entitled "Alan Richman Is A Douchebag." At the time, Richman responded that Bourdain was "beneath contempt," but he's apparently agreed to play himself in the episode. This sounds juicy. Treme's second season premieres on April 24; here's another reason to check it out.