Kitchen Confidential (Bourdain)

Author Bio
Birth—June 25, 1956
Raised—New York City, New York, USA
Education—Vassar College (2 years); Culinary Institute of America
Awards—(see below)
Currently—lives in New York City, New York

Anthony Michael Bourdain is an American chef, author, and television personality. He is known for his 2000 book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, and in 2005 he began hosting the Travel Channel's culinary and cultural adventure programs Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and The Layover. In 2013, he joined CNN to host Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.

Bourdain is a 1978 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a veteran of numerous professional kitchens. Though Bourdain is no longer formally employed as a chef, he maintains a relationship with Brasserie Les Halles in New York, where he was executive chef for many years. He is described by Les Halles as their "chef-at-large".

Early life and family
Bourdain was born in New York City, to Gladys Bourdain (nee Sacksman) and Pierre Bourdain (d. 1987). His father was an executive for Columbia Records in the classical music recording industry Bourdain's paternal grandparents were French: his paternal grandfather emigrated from Arcachon to New York following World War I, and his father grew up speaking French and spent many summers in France. Bourdain's mother worked for the New York Times as a staff editor. Bourdain has said he was raised without religion, and that his ancestors were Catholic on his father's side and Jewish on his mother's side.

He grew up in Leonia, New Jersey, and graduated from the Dwight-Englewood School in 1973. He attended Vassar College before dropping out after two years, but then enrolled in the Culinary Institute of America, from which he graduated in 1978.

Bourdain married his high-school girlfriend, Nancy Putkoski, in the 1980s, and they remained together for two decades before divorcing; Bourdain has cited the inevitable changes that come from traveling widely as the cause of the split. He currently lives with his second wife, Ottavia Busia, whom we married in 2007. Together, they have a daughter, Ariane. Busia has appeared in several episodes of No Reservations—notably the ones in Sardinia (her birthplace), Tuscany (in which she plays a disgruntled Italian diner), Rome, Rio, and Naples.

Culinary training and career
In Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain describes how his love of food was kindled in France, when he tried his first oyster on an oyster fisherman's boat as a youth, while on a family vacation. Later, while attending Vassar College, he worked in the seafood restaurants of Provincetown, Massachusetts, which sparked his decision to pursue cooking as a career. Bourdain graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978, and went on to run various restaurant kitchens in New York City—including the Supper Club, One Fifth Avenue, and Sullivan's—culminating in the position of executive chef at Manhatttan's Brasserie Les Halles, beginning in 1998.

Bourdain gained immediate popularity from his 2000 New York Times bestselling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, an outgrowth of his article in The New Yorker called "Don't Eat Before Reading This." The book is a witty and rambunctious expose of the hidden and darker side of the culinary world, as well as a memoir of Bourdain's professional life.

Bourdain subsequently wrote two more New York Times bestselling nonfiction books: A Cook's Tour (2001), an account of his food and travel exploits across the world, written in conjunction with his first television series of the same title, and The Nasty Bits (2006), another collection of essays mainly centered on food. Bourdain's additional books include Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook, the culinary mystery novels Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo, a hypothetical historical investigation Typhoid Mary: An Urban Historical, and No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach. His latest book, Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook, the sequel to Kitchen Confidential, was published in 2010.

Bourdain's articles and essays have appeared many places, including in The New Yorker, New York Times, The (London) Times, Los Angeles Times, Observer, Gourmet, Maxim, Esquire (UK), Scotland on Sunday, The Face, Food Arts, Limb by Limb, BlackBook, The Independent, Best Life, Financial Times, and Town & Country. On the Internet, Bourdain's blog for Season 3 of Top Chef was nominated for a Webby Award for best Blog-Cultural/Personal in 2008. In 2012, Bourdain co-wrote the original graphic novel Get Jiro! for DC Comics/Vertigo along with Joel Rose, with art by Langdon Foss.

The acclaim surrounding Bourdain's memoir, Kitchen Confidential, led to an offer by the Food Network to host his own food and world-travel show, A Cook's Tour, which premiered in January 2002. In July 2005, he premiered a new, somewhat similar television series, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, on the Travel Channel. As a further result of the immense popularity of Kitchen Confidential, the Fox sitcom Kitchen Confidential aired in 2005, in which the character "Jack Bourdain" is based loosely on the biography and persona of Anthony Bourdain.

In July 2006, Bourdain was in Beirut filming an episode of No Reservations when the Israel-Lebanon conflict broke out. The crew had filmed only a few hours of footage, but the producers compiled behind-the-scenes footage of Bourdain and his production staff, including their eventual escape on July 20, by the United States Marines. The Beirut episode aired on August 21, 2006, and was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2007.

Travel Channel announced in July 2011 that it would be adding a second one-hour ten-episode Bourdain show to be titled The Layover, which premiered November 21, 2011. Each episode features an exploration of a city that can be undertaken within an air travel layover of 24 to 48 hours.

Bourdain has since left the Travel Channel to host a show titled Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown for CNN, focusing on other cuisines and cultures; the new show premiered April 14, 2013.

Public personae
Bourdain has labeled by Gothamist as "culinary bad boy." Because of his liberal use of profanity and sexual references in his television show No Reservations, the network placed viewer discretion advisories on each segment of each episode.

He has been known for being an unrepentant drinker and smoker. In a nod to Bourdain's (at the time) two-pack-a-day cigarette habit, renowned chef Thomas Keller once served him a 20-course tasting menu which included a mid-meal "coffee and cigarette": a coffee custard infused with tobacco, together with a foie gras mousse. Bourdain stopped cigarette smoking in the summer of 2007 because of the birth of his daughter.

He is also a former user of cocaine, heroin, and LSD. In Kitchen Confidential he writes of his experience in a trendy SoHo restaurant in 1981:

We were high all the time, sneaking off to the walk-in refrigerator at every opportunity to "conceptualize." Hardly a decision was made without drugs. Cannabis, methaqualone, cocaine, LSD, psilocybin mushrooms soaked in honey and used to sweeten tea, secobarbital, tuinal, amphetamine, codeine and, increasingly, heroin, which we'd send a Spanish-speaking busboy over to Alphabet City to get.

In the same book, Bourdain frankly describes his former addiction, including how he once resorted to selling his record collection on the street in order to raise enough money to purchase drugs.

Bourdain is also noted for his put-downs of celebrity chefs, such as Paula Deen, Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri, Sandra Lee, and Rachael Ray, and appears to be irritated by both the overt commercialism of the celebrity cooking industry and its lack of culinary authenticity. He has voiced a "serious disdain for food demigods like Alan Richman, Alice Waters, and Alain Ducasse."

At the same time, he has recognized the irony of his own transformation into a celebrity chef and has, to some extent, begun to qualify his insults; in the 2007 New Orleans episode of No Reservations, he reconciled with Emeril Lagasse. He has been consistently outspoken in his praise for chefs he admires, particularly Ferran Adria, Juan Mari Arzak, Mario Batali, Fergus Henderson, Jose Andres, Thomas Keller, Martin Picard, Eric Ripert, and Marco Pierre White, as well as his former protege and colleagues at Brasserie Les Halles. Bourdain has also spoken very highly of Julia Child, saying that she "influenced the way I grew up and my entire value system."

Bourdain is also known for his sarcastic comments about vegan and vegetarian activists, saying that their lifestyle is rude to the inhabitants of many countries he visits. Bourdain says he considers vegetarianism, except in the case of religious strictures as in India, a "First World luxury." He has since said that he believes Americans eat too much meat, and admires vegetarians who allow themselves to put aside their vegetarianism when they travel in order to be respectful of their hosts.

Known for consuming exotic local specialty dishes, Bourdain has eaten sheep testicles in Morocco, ant eggs in Puebla, Mexico, a raw seal eyeball as part of a traditional Inuit seal hunt, and a whole cobra—beating heart, blood, bile, and meat—in Vietnam. According to Bourdain, the most disgusting thing he has ever eaten is a Chicken McNugget, though he has also declared that the unwashed warthog rectum he ate in Namibia and the fermented shark he ate in Iceland are among "the worst meals of [his] life.

Bourdain is an advocate for communicating the value and tastiness of traditional or "peasant" foods, including specifically all of the varietal bits and unused animal parts not usually eaten by affluent, 21st-century U.S. citizens. He also consistently notes and champions the high quality and deliciousness of freshly prepared street food in other countries—especially developing countries – as compared to fast food chains in the U.S.

Bourdain frequently champions the industrious Spanish-speaking immigrants—often from Mexico or Ecuador—who are chefs and cooks in many U.S. restaurants, including upscale restaurants, regardless of cuisine. Bourdain considers them to be talented chefs and invaluable cooks, underpaid and unrecognized even though they have become the backbone of the U.S. restaurant industry.

2001 - Bon Appetit, Food Writer of the Year (Kitchen Confidential)
2002 - British Guild of Food Writers, Food Book of the Year (A Cook's Tour)
2008 - Induction, James Beard Foundation’s Who’s Who
2009 - Creative Arts Emmy Award, Outstanding Cinematography (No Reservations)
2011 - Creative Arts Emmy Award, Outstanding Cinematography (No Reservations)
2010 - Honorary CLIO Award
2012 - Critics' Choice, Best Reality Series Award (No Reservations)
2013 - Emmy Award, Outstanding Informational Series (Parts Uknown)
2014 - Emmy Award, Outstanding Informational Series (Parts Unknown)
2014 - Peabody Award (Parts Unknown)
(Bio adapted from Wikipedia. Retrieved 9/1/2014.)

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