Bourdain contributed to the first season, acting as a consultant for the restaurant scenes. For this season, though, writers have been sending him notes on the restaurant-related storylines, and he's sending back completed script pages.
Bourdain needed very little arm-twisting from Treme's co-creator David Simon, formerly of The Wire, to agree to sign on. As he told NOLA.com:
"I've said many times, and believe it absolutely, that 'The Wire' was the single greatest achievement of the television medium," said Bourdain, of Simon's previous HBO series. "So when suddenly I get a phone call from David Simon inviting me to lunch and asking me if I'd be interested in working on the show, it really 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.' It was really that out of the blue, that seismic of an event for me."
And Simon was just as giddy. He said of Bourdain:
"I think he's a great writer,"..."If you've experienced the narration of his show, if you've read his books, this is a guy who can write in prose, who can write for the page."
Bourdain is said to be calling in his own consultants now:
"I'm in a very fortunate position," he said. "If I have a technical question, if I need to know how to describe what would happen in a certain situation, there are a lot of really hot chefs I can call up who will help.
And some of those chefs may even show up on screen, as Tom Colicchio, David Chang, Wylie Dufresne and Eric Ripert all did last year.
Treme returns with new episodes beginning April 24th.