Anthony Bourdain Biography & Facts
Anthony Michael Bourdain (; June 25, 1956 – June 8, 2018) was an American celebrity chef, author, and travel documentarian who starred in programs focusing on the exploration of international culture, cuisine, and the human condition. Bourdain was a 1978 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and a veteran of many professional kitchens during his career, which included several years spent as an executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in Manhattan. He first became known for his bestselling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2000).
Bourdain's first food and world-travel television show A Cook's Tour ran for 35 episodes on the Food Network in 2002 and 2003. In 2005, he began hosting the Travel Channel's culinary and cultural adventure programs Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (2005–2012) and The Layover (2011–2013). In 2013, he began a three-season run as a judge on The Taste and consequently switched his travelogue programming to CNN to host Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. Although best known for his culinary writings and television presentations, along with several books on food and cooking and travel adventures, Bourdain also wrote both fiction and historical nonfiction. On June 8, 2018, Bourdain died by suicide while on location in France, filming for Parts Unknown.
Anthony Michael Bourdain was born in Manhattan on June 25, 1956. His mother was Gladys (née Sacksman), and his father was Pierre Bourdain (1929–1987). His younger brother, Christopher, was born a few years later. Anthony grew up living with both of his parents and described his childhood in one of his books: "I did not want for love or attention. My parents loved me. Neither of them drank to excess. Nobody beat me. God was never mentioned so I was annoyed by neither church nor any notion of sin or damnation." His father was Catholic and his mother Jewish. Bourdain stated that, although he was considered Jewish by halacha's definition, "I've never been in a synagogue. I don't believe in a higher power. But that doesn't make me any less Jewish I don't think." His family was not religious either. At the time of Bourdain's birth, Pierre was a salesman at a New York City camera store, as well as a floor manager at a record store. He later became an executive for Columbia Records, and Gladys was a staff editor at The New York Times.Bourdain's paternal grandparents were French (his great grandfather Aurelien Bourdain was born in Brazil to French parents); his paternal grandfather Pierre Michel Bourdain (1905-1932) emigrated from Arcachon to New York following World War I. Bourdain's father spent summers in France as a boy and grew up speaking French. Bourdain spent most of his childhood in Leonia, New Jersey. He felt jealous of the lack of parental supervision of his classmates and the freedom they had in their homes. In his youth, Bourdain was a member of the Boy Scouts of America.
Culinary training and career
Bourdain's love of food was kindled in his youth while on a family vacation in France when he tried his first oyster from a fisherman's boat. He graduated from the Dwight-Englewood School—an independent coeducational college-preparatory day school in Englewood, New Jersey—in 1973, then enrolled at Vassar College but dropped out after two years. He worked at seafood restaurants in Provincetown, Massachusetts, while attending Vassar, which inspired his decision to pursue cooking as a career.Bourdain attended The Culinary Institute of America, graduating in 1978. From there he went on to run various restaurant kitchens in New York City, including the Supper Club, One Fifth Avenue and Sullivan's.In 1998, Bourdain became an executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles. Based in Manhattan, at the time the brand had additional restaurants in Miami, Washington, D.C. and Tokyo. Bourdain remained an executive chef there for many years and even when no longer formally employed at Les Halles, he maintained a relationship with the restaurant, which described him in January 2014 as their "chef at large". Les Halles closed in 2017 after filing for bankruptcy.
In the mid-1980s, Bourdain began submitting unsolicited work for publication to Between C & D, a literary magazine of the Lower East Side. The magazine eventually published a piece that Bourdain had written about a chef who was trying to purchase heroin in the Lower East Side. In 1985, Bourdain signed up for a writing workshop with Gordon Lish. In 1990, Bourdain received a small book advance from Random House, after meeting a Random House editor.
His first book, a culinary mystery Bone in the Throat, was published in 1995. He paid for his own book tour, but he did not find success. His second mystery book, Gone Bamboo, also performed poorly in sales.
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly is a 2000 New York Times bestseller, was an expansion of his 1999 New Yorker article "Don't Eat Before Reading This".
Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook
In 2010 he published Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, a memoir and follow-up to the book Kitchen Confidential.
A Cook's Tour
He wrote two more bestselling nonfiction books: A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines (2001), an account of his food and travel exploits around the world, written in conjunction with his first television series of the same title.
The Nasty Bits
In 2006, Bourdain published The Nasty Bits, a collection of 37 exotic, provocative, and humorous anecdotes and essays, many of them centered around food, and organized into sections named for each of the five traditional flavors, followed by a 30-page fiction piece ("A Chef's Christmas").
Typhoid Mary: An Urban Historical
Bourdain published a hypothetical historical investigation, Typhoid Mary: An Urban Historical, about Mary Mallon, an Irish-born cook believed to have infected 53 people with typhoid fever between 1907 and 1938.
No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach
In 2007, Bourdain published No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach, covering the experiences of filming and photographs of the three first seasons of the show and his crew at work while filming the series.
His articles and essays appeared in many publications, including in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Times of the Los Angeles Times, The Observer, Gourmet, Maxim, and Esquire. Scotland on Sunday, The Face, Food Arts, Limb by Limb, BlackBook, The Independent, Best Life, the Financial Times, and Town & Country. His blog for the third season of Top Chef was nominated for a Webby Award for Best Blog (in the Cultural/Personal category) in 2008.In 2012, Bourdain co-wrote the original graphic novel Get Jiro! along with Joel Rose, with art by Langdon Foss.In 2015, Bourdain joined the travel, food, .... Discover the Anthony Bourdain popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Anthony Bourdain books.