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Anthony Bourdain's 'Parts Unknown' visit to Pittsburgh features heavy metal, pro wrestling

Shirley McMarlin
| Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, 10:54 a.m.
Scott Smith, owner of East End Brewing Co. in Larimer, with Anthony Bourdain during filming in June 2017 of a Pittsburgh episode of 'Parts Unknown'
East End Brewing Co.
Scott Smith, owner of East End Brewing Co. in Larimer, with Anthony Bourdain during filming in June 2017 of a Pittsburgh episode of 'Parts Unknown'
Anthony Bourdain (second from left) watches Chef Justin Severino preparing meat over an open fire while filming a Pittsburgh episode of 'Parts Unknown.'
East End Brewing Co.
Anthony Bourdain (second from left) watches Chef Justin Severino preparing meat over an open fire while filming a Pittsburgh episode of 'Parts Unknown.'

Chefs/food enthusiasts Andrew Zimmern and Guy Fieri have already hit up Pittsburgh for their shows. Now it's Anthony Bourdain's turn.

The Oct. 22 episode of his "Parts Unknown," filmed in and around the 'Burgh in June, takes a look at the city's past, present and future and all that entails. As usual, food plays a big part. It airs at 9 p.m. Oct. 22 on CNN.

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Chefs Jamilka Borges of Spoon, Sonja J. Finn of Dinette, Justin Severino of Cure and Morcilla and Kevin Sousa of Superior Motors reportedly participated in the shoot.

Besides talking food, Bourdain played bocce with some old-timers in Bloomfield and conversed with local author Stewart O'Nan.

His crew also filmed an impromptu show by local heavy metal band Lady Beast at Gooski's in Polish Hill.

Lead singer Deborah Levine says Maggie Meskey, a well-known Pittsburgh bartender and friend of the band, recommended Lady Beast to the show's producers.

"They told us, 'Do a show, fill it up with all your friends, make it fun, make it wild,' " Levine says. "So that's what we did."

Family, friends and fans packed the bar, which Levine describes as "a little hole in the wall, but it's famous as an underground music place in Pittsburgh."

"We played three songs, but I don't know which one they picked," she says. "It's a great way for us to get some mainstream exposure and show that we're not just an underground band. Our music is for everyone — even my mom loves it."

The show also features a segment on Pittsburgh's independent wrestling circuit, the International Wrestling Cartel, and Britt Baker, a fourth-year student in the University of Pittsburgh's School of Dental Medicine who moonlights as a professional wrestler, according to PittWire .

In a preview clip of "Parts Unknown," Bourdain and Baker talk under the retro red lighting at Kelly's Bar and Lounge in East Liberty about her life, Pittsburgh subcultures and being a full-time student with a full-time job.

Scott Smith, owner of East End Brewing Co. in Larimer, says he was surprised to end up involved with the filming. On the brewery website , he describes being invited to a farm-to-table-style dinner for Bourdain hosted by Severino and his wife, Hilary.

With a little trepidation because he'd heard that Bourdain hates craft beer, Smith says he asked Severino if he should bring some along. He did, and everything was fine — Bourdain's take on the Pedal Pale Ale was, "Ahhh... that's nice."

"(Talking with Bourdain) was kind of like a wake-up call for me," Smith says. "Brewers get caught up on all the little parts of the process, but it made me think about the whole purpose of beer; it's communal, it's meant to be shared and enjoyed."

The dinner also made Smith reflect on "the bizarreness of celebrity, how artificial and exhausting it must be. Everybody wants to talk to the guy and nobody has anything specific to say, myself included," he says.

No doubt, Bourdain will fill in the gaps.

Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at 724-836-5750, smcmarlin@tribweb.com or via Twitter @shirley_trib.

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