Born 1956, New York. Bourdain made a name for himself by writing two popular culinary-themed crime novels (Bone In The Throat and Gone Bamboo) while ruling as the executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles, a Michelin-rated restaurant in Manhattan.
While Bourdain's crime novels drew heavily from his 25 years in the restaurant business to tell compelling and suspenseful stories, his next book, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly was nothing but the ugly truth. Kitchen Confidential evolved from an April 2000 article he wrote for The New Yorker magazine titled Don't Eat Before Reading This. By revealing some of the darker secrets of what goes on behind kitchen doors (scraps of used table butter are often melted down and reused, the oldest fish is usually served on Mondays, well-done orders get the worst cuts of meat) he pulls the reader into an intriguing secret society while simultaneously thumbing his nose at its members. By the time you finish reading Kitchen Confidential, you will most likely abandon your dream of ever becoming a chef.
Bourdain's family vacations to France shaped his childhood appetite for gourmet food, the grosser the better. His career picked up after attending the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. It's no surprise that Bourdain's youthful ramblings with a rogue's gallery of Manhattan chefs and restaurateurs in the 1970s led to a nasty heroin addiction, but he eventually shook it by drawing from the same discipline that he had to have in order to wake up before 6am and work until midnight.
Although well-known for mocking The Food Network and its gallery of prancing celebrity chefs, Bourdain finally surrendered in 2001 launched his own show for the network. A Cook's Tour, which was based on his newly-released book of the same name. As a gangly, jaded, foul-mouthed, chain-smoking cook who bumbles his taste buds through nearly every type of cuisine the world has to offer, one would expect him to be an insufferable snob, but he actually as grateful and reverent. While he's not afraid to admit on-air that he has just tasted something truly horrid, he is just as open with the compliments, claiming that someone is "doing God's work", or even better, "...
a good cook".
When Bourdain's honeymoon with the Food Network ended in 2005, he jumped over to the Travel Channel to continue his television career with Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, another
series about travel and cuisine.
Books (incomplete list)
Forewords and Introductions (incomplete list)
Editor's note: Anthony Bourdain died on June 8, 2018, in Grenoble, France, at age 61. He committed suicide by hanging.