tv Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown CNN February 28, 2016 7:00pm-8:01pm PST
you hear the name, ethiopia, and you think starving children with distended bellies. you think dust and famine and despair so awful you frankly don't want to even think about it anymore. but take a look. addis ababa. capital city of ethiopia. a cool high altitude urban center that will both confirm and confound expectations. fueled largely by direct foreign investment and a returning ethiopian diaspora eager to be part of the new growth, things are changing in addis. it's one of the fastest growing economies in the world. it's not the first time the place has gone through a growth spurt. in the 1950s emperor haile selassie known as the king of
kings embarked on a similar program of massive public works. this was supposed to be the legacy of ethiopia. the future. but the next time ethiopia found itself in the headlines it was for this. and for many of us, that was the end of the story. so i'm looking forward to this week. >> i can't wait to show you ethiopia. >> i've been waiting for you. i'll tell you right now. >> couldn't have picked a better time because we have old ethiopia right here and also have new ethiopia right here. that combo is going to be so cool. >> marcus samuelsson.
maybe you know him from such shows as a lot of them or his many restaurants, bestselling memoir, his status as america's most recognizable black chef. but marcus isn't african-american. he's swedish-american or ethiopian-swedish-american. or, look, it's complicated. what is true to say is marcus samuelsson like his wife, maya, was born here in ethiopia. so when is the last time you were in ethiopia? >> four years ago, and you can tell it's changed. changed a lot. >> i'm interested in seeing an african country that was never colonized. it was never taken by europe. >> no, that sense of pride, you really hit the nail on the head. i mean, that sense of pride is also the sense of that everyone wants to come back. >> how does it feel coming back? is it weird at all? you feel like you're coming home? >> it is weird, but end of the day, i always love it. i miss it. one foot of me is, like, just ethiopian, but then the other foot is so swedish or american at this point, right? >> you do not speak the language, or any of the dialects. >> no. >> you've since come back, reconnected with family. >> yeah. >> but it must be weird to, i mean --
>> it is. >> to -- you need a translator. >> no, but -- i need a translator. my wife is now my translator in life and in culture and so many things, but i think when you're a black man, when you're an immigrant, when you're ethiopian, swedish, i've been put into so many situations that i put myself into, so i'm actually very comfortable in being uncomfortable. >> in the 1970s ethiopia was hit with a tuberculosis epidemic. marcus, his older sister, and his mom were all stricken with the disease. with no possibility of medical attention in their village, facing the almost inevitable death of both her children, marcus' mom set out on foot with her daughter at her side and 2-year-old marcus on her back walking 75 miles to the swedish hospital in addis. against all odds, they made it.
marcus and fenti recovered. their mother did not. ♪ marcus and his sister were adopted by ann marie and leonard samuelsson. and raised from that point on in sweden. ethiopia, its language, its food, its cultures was largely a mystery. marcus traveled and trained apprenticing in some of the great kitchens of europe. he moved to new york. at the remarkably young age after 23 received three stars from "the new york times" at his groundbreaking restaurant, aquavit. it's been a pretty stellar rise since then and in 2010 he opened red rooster in harlem. >> i always find it so paradox that i was born into very little food but yet sort of i made my
whole life about food. my sort of structure and pragmatism comes from being raised in sweden and my sort of vibrancy and warmth to cooking and feel-based food that i love comes definitely from here. >> weirdly enough the single aspect of ethiopian culture most westerners do know little about is ethiopian food. so maybe you've had this. oh, wow. that looks good. that -- that is exciting. what is it? >> this is typical, vegetarian, make it really nice. >> at this restaurant they do it classic. injera bread. that's ethiopian 101. >> i mean, you think about ethiopian food, right, the foundation is really the injera
bread. >> it's not just food, it's an implement. >> yeah. >> we're having beyaynetu, a selection of stews called around here. that's goma, sauteed greens, a chickpea stew. and sauteed white cabbage. many, if not most of the dishes, spiced with the magical mystical flavoring of the gods. berbere. >> can i give you one -- >> you have to. >> this stuffing of food in your fellow diners' face is called gursha, what you do to show your affection and respect. try this at the waffle house sometime and prepare for awkwardness. now, you were born here? >> i was born here. >> left what age? >> 13. i grew up in holland. after that we all went to london, germany, and i'm in new york now. >> i don't want to say it's a rootless existence, but it's -- you know, where's home? >> i think for us now, harlem is really home, but when i've been
gone for two years, i'm like, i got to go back because it's so different than what sweden can offer me and definitely what new york can offer me. >> the median age in ethiopia is under 18. that means most people here don't remember live aid or any of that. coupled with a recent economic boom, this might be the first generation in decades to enjoy a future with real hope. things are, indeed, happening. in this case, at a vacant bus stop. ♪ >> they're dog town, man, next generation dog town in africa. >> a few years back a couple ethiopians who had been living abroad returned to addis with some skateboards.
today there are a couple hundred skateboarders in ethiopia and more on the sidelines waiting for their chance, waiting for a board, waiting for a pair of sneakers. >> skater boy culture came from white southern california suburban, you can pretty much track all the skater culture back to one parking lot. >> yeah. >> what's coming out of this parking lot? there are no skateboard shops in ethiopia. none. they have to come all of them from abroad. >> woo! nice. >> little kid's good. >> little kid is amazing. >> for those lucky enough to have them, progression seems to be fast. >> this gives me hope. honestly. this can be a really cool town. not just a great town with big buildings, but a cool town, too. ♪
>> for skater boys and television hosts, alike, the thing to do in late-night addis is something called turbo and tibs. >> i feel like a college party or something like that. it's perfect. >> turbo is a mutant concoction consisting of gin, beer, wine, and sprite. what's the first rule of drinking? don't mix. abenezer temesgen, addisu hailemichael, founded ethiopia skate. the grassroots skating community that grew up in the parking lots around addis. sean stromsoe is a founding member who's been documenting the group. >> all right, man. my first turbo. cheers. >> like apple juice. >> you're right.
>> sweet. >> it is like apple juice. tibs are chunks of beef or lamb fried in oil and served in a charcoal heated clay pot called a shekla. >> i like the fat tray. i love that. they don't hide the fat. >> every tibs house has their own version, but here, it's served with a spicy dipping sauce and, of course, injera bread. yeah, that's good. that works. thank you. how did this skating community form? i mean, did people watch what other people were doing around the world? >> definitely. >> some of them, they go to the internet cafe and they just see videos. that's how i started. >> back in the days, no internet for me. i had to do it, like, the hard way, man. >> i would tell you right now if i were ethiopian, if i even lived here, i would open a skate shop tomorrow.
so what's the best thing about ethiopia right now? >> i think back in the day people want to get out from this country, just leave. but now they're like, they just want to work and their mind has changed. everybody's working together. and working for the better. we're doing this for the next generation. because the next generation is going to take this. >> did we drink all that turbo? we're terrible people, man. ♪ when my doctor told me i have age-related macular degeneration, amd we came up with a plan to help reduce my risk of progression. and everywhere i look... i'm reminded to stick to my plan. including preservision areds 2. my doctor said preservision areds 2 has the exact nutrient formula that the national eye institute recommends to help reduce the risk of progression of moderate to advanced amd...
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fermented barley and honey. it's not very alcoholic. you have to hammer back a lot of this stuff to get a buzz. basically the people around here who got a load on it, they've been working on this for a long time. >> all day. this is a working class. this is where the workers go. >> it's a cheep buzz. >> it's a cheep buzz. cheers. you just knock it back. >> all right. >> tastes good, man. you feel the funk? >> it's working, man. >> i've never seen a woman in a bar like this. >> this is sort of a guy thing? >> it's my first time. guys after work, or the farmer. >> we're breaking major rules here. >> and you have all the saint pictures and the drinking. >> drinking. >> a lot in the bars. >> last thing i want to see in the bars, the disapproving gaze
of a saint. >> in 1992, addis emerged from the stifling 17-year grip of a hard line, old school, maoist regime called the derg. since then, the town has been enjoying something of a musical renaissance. but the story of ethiopian music all the way back to the beginning has been about finding ways to skirt authority, to mock it even. to say what you want to say one way or the other. ♪ the azmari are ethiopia's original freestyle rappers. they've been around for centuries voicing criticism, dissatisfaction, dissent, even when others could not. so how old?
>> how old is azmari? i would say, what, 2,000 years? >> like the first music we had, right? >> the trick is they've always used a system of lyrical double meanings referred to as wax meaning the apparent meaning and gold which is the underlying or real meaning. poking fun at the audience is fundamental to the form. ♪ >> maya, you got to help him out.
maya, go, go, go. ♪ disadvantages of being adopted. she can move. ♪ ♪ >> the azmari influenced ethiopian popular music, too. the use of lyrical double meanings carried through into selassie's time. they called it swinging addis. a golden time between 1955 and 1974. before those fun-hating commies came and ruined everything. ♪
post-world war ii ethiopia was in the delirious thrall of swing groups like glen miller and against the backdrop of a traditional and official obsession with military marching bands who had the means and the will and the environment to make musical magic. and this man, mahmoud ahmed, has always been at the forefront. ♪ ♪ ♪
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it's where you come for what you need. what are we here to buy, by the what's the plan? >> i want to make the king of chicken dishes in ethiopia. all right. so we're going to head down here, get some good butter. smell the fermentation? the funk. >> ethiopian butter in various stages of fermentation depending on what you like. it is a primary ingredient in much of the cooking. >> there's between one that's really fermented and another one
is a medium, so she says we should use the medium one. >> right. >> for chicken soup. and you use all the spices. it is the most important thing. [ speaking foreign language ]. >> people from gurage, maya's tribal area, run the market, so she knows the language and how to negotiate. >> i can smell a frightened chicken a mile off. here we go. how many do we need? >> i just think we need three is fine. >> my mama done told me get something for dinner, in this case, chicken. fresh, please. see ya, wouldn't want to be ya. oh, that's fresh. >> i love all the sounds. like, it's like chicken there, music there. ♪ >> how did he get the skin off? >> he just, one move. he did it. >> we used to use a hot boil water after killing it. >> right, dip them in. >> that's how i grew up.
♪ >> morocco has ras el hanout. india, garam masala. ethiopia has this. the brightly colored berbere. the color is amazing and those guys who grind the stuff are covered with it, breathe it, all day long. ♪ still warm. wow. that's sort of magic, man. marcus left ethiopia at age 2, so finding and reconnecting with
his family has not been easy. tracking down a mom who died in similar circumstances on the right dates following a thread to a dusty village in the oromo region where marcus found the man he has come to accept as his biological father. he also found presumably his siblings by another mother. together, marcus and his sisters make doro wat, a classic chicken stew. >> in the '90s, go to new york to be the chef i have to be, i really need this. welcome to our family. so we start with the injera bread, right? >> besides the doro wat we have cabbage, beets, and collards. root vegetables finished with the livers and giblets of the
chicken. >> actually it looks spicier than it is. >> but very good. though a continuing bone of contention with his father, marcus and maya have sponsored the girls moving them all to the city and getting them into school. in the countryside, these girls faced the likelihood of forced marriage, even abduction and very little chance of the kind of future they might have now. so how'd that go over with the family when you said i'm going to try to help you? >> i mean, my dad was, like, absolutely not, we need them on the farm. >> right. >> it couldn't have been done without maya, really not only translate but also understands the culture. because i felt also bad coming in as the, quote/unquote, american, saying okay, everyone should move to the city. have to be gradually two by two by two. >> right. >> so when i had to pick which two, i picked the girls because
otherwise she would have been out of school by second grade if she would have followed the tradition of the country. >> second grade. that's it. >> uh-huh. >> what after that? >> you stay, you work at home. it's been very enriching and loving, you know, for us, and we have a purpose. you know, we know what our goal is. our goal is to get them through school. you're looking at a chemist in a couple of months. whatever new ethiopia you see, they're it. farmers coming in, and going to school, and now have options. ♪ ♪
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away one gets, one is reminded that, in fact, ethiopia remains one of the poorest countries in the world. ♪ marcus and maya come from two completely different tribes, two completely different regions of ethiopia with distinct languages and cultures all their own. maya comes from the gurage region, a more fertile, green agricultural area than marcus'. it's about three hours out from the city, and it's beautiful. ♪ maya, it should be noted, left home at a much later age. there's no question of identity. she's african. she's guragen. she retains close ties to her family and her village. >> welcome. >> thank you. she was here just last year.
it's been four years since they've seen marcus. maya's mother and de facto grandmother welcome us. when visitors come, everything starts with coffee. traditionally, it's served here with a bit of salt, not sugar. ♪ >> thank you. >> that's good. maya's story differs from marcus' in a lot of ways. it was not disease or famine or poverty that drove her and her brother, petros, to europe and a
new life. it was the brutal reality of politics. so who was your father? >> my dad was my hero and everyone's hero, i don't mean everyone, but my brother could explain a little bit more. >> he was a local chief, and also a member of the supreme or the highest court, you can say. during a period, he was engaged in more innovative and experimental and mechanized farm. >> yes. >> during the communist period, something unexpected happened. >> in 1974, emperor selassie was deposed in the very unpleasant general and hardline communist regime called the derg, took over the country. as in china, all agricultural property was taken over by the state and broken up into small
parcels. >> everything what my father had, the land, the property, is confiscated, and those with authority, they had the chance to work together, to cooperate, or they were enemies. >> right. >> anyone deemed an enemy of the state, and this could be a very dangerously loose definition, but usually and typically included the educated, the well off, and anyone associated with the former government were hunted down, shunned, jailed, harassed and often straight-out killed. maya's dad was all those things. an educated landowner and part of the rural tribal administration from the selassie time. most people who had the means left the country. >> i know this guy who is appointed, governor of the
region. 60 people in the region in three years' time. >> nobody knows where he's coming, so he'd just knock on our door and my mom, she gets every time he comes, he leave her bullets. he tells her, this bullet next time is yours if you don't bring your husband. so my dad always came to visit us in nighttime so he never been really home around during the daytime. >> so for most of that time your father had to live in hiding? >> yeah. >> and we all survived by the grace of god. we are blessed for this. liver damage and potentially liver cancer. but you haven't been forgotten. there's never been a better time to rethink your hep c because people like you may benefit from scientific advances that could help cure your hep c.
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>> maya and marcus' return not to mention the invasion of a big foreign television crew is reason or maybe excuse for a big party. and preparations have already begun. maya slips seamlessly from her other life as a high fashion model back into a more traditional role in village life, working with an army of other women to prepare what
looks like a massive feast. how do the ladies feel about you cooking? >> this is -- >> causing serious problems? >> no, you already crossed it because you're the first foreigner ever in that kitchen. >> a lamb, of course, must be slaughtered. actually in this case, two lambs because here as in much of ethiopia, muslims and christians live side by side. one lamb gets the halal treatment. one for the christians. it's a peculiar history of peaceful co-existence here of which ethiopians are quite proud. the christians came here during the time of the apostles from the very beginnings of christianity as a religion. [ speaking foreign language ] and the belief is that muhammad after being persecuted and driven from mecca fled to
ethiopia where he found refuge. ♪ >> dog is happy. blood in his face. >> oh, yeah. that's awesome. the production continues. women in the kitchen except for marcus who looks most comfortable there, though his presence is a befuddlement to the others. men taking care of the meat. oh, bro food traditions, you're everywhere. ♪ >> you know, none of the people who have cooked today consider themselves cooks. >> so, like, in rural communities where you kill a
couple animals, right, everybody in the village has sort of a chosen specialty, like bob over there he does the -- somebody else over there is good at scraping the fur off. somebody else -- but everybody's got a function. you know, it goes right back to the first fire. i mean, i'll bring the dip. you know? >> normally, hold it like this then you put everything you want in here. >> got it. >> you can take some and we're going to take it around. >> perfect. goman, greens, like collards, with a big hit of burbere and cheese. i like the cheese. it's like ricotta. lamb, laboriously diced. amazing. >> this is all, like, inner. >> i got some of that. that's delicious. this, i love, without reservation. barbecue.
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where exactly did he come from? who in his family had survived, was left? where were they? he was told that his father was still alive. living here in this village east of addis. for adoptees looking to return, to reconnect, the journey is complicated. for marcus each trip has always raised more questions than it's answered. this trip is no different. >> every time, that last five-minute drive, just makes me nervous. makes me really, really excited and nervous at the same time, right? it's just, take the american hat off and take the swedish hat off, it's just a different grid. >> it's not 110th street. >> it's not. i come from a dusty place. >> you're not kidding.
♪ >> they changed it. >> they changed it. they make it big. >> yes. ♪ >> i leave marcus alone with his father. this is between them. ♪ >> i like it. ♪ >> he wanted to see you. he wanted to see how you guys look alike. >> ready for this. yeah. proof. proof. >> good idea. >> he has a better foot than you do. >> he does. >> i wasn't ready for this.
♪ >> so, how's it feel to be back? i got to tell you, to be honest, seemed conflicted. >> yeah, there's a thousand thoughts going through my head. i always feel a little guilty that i got out. >> if you'd stayed, what do you think you'd be doing right now? >> i would have been a farmer or dealt with some type of cattle. >> i'm pretty sure you would have been a farmer. i can't see it. you'd be the best dressed god damn farmer, that's for sure. where's home for you, man?
where do you think, i know looking back on it all -- >> yeah, that's an eternal question for me. you know, i feel at home in new york. i feel very much at home when i'm in africa, but i also feel out of place. coming to this very place, it gives me a lot of humility. but i can't say it's home. can't say it's home. >> happiest moment in africa? >> happiest moment is i think when we had maya's village, to me, the whole village comes together. music, food. culture brings everybody together. eating together, being together, it's by far the happiest to me. ♪ ♪