Anthony Michael ‘Tony’ Bourdain was born on June 25, 1956, in New York City, but he was raised in suburban New Jersey, where he became a huge rock and literature advocate since his teenage days. This was mostly because his mother was a book editor and his father a music executive, so he had a lot of influence from both growing up. He attended Vassar College for two years before eventually joining the Culinary Institute of America in 1978, but his self-destructive behavior and drug abuse made it quite difficult for him to find a steady job. Luckily, he got to work in places like the Supper Club, Sullivan’s, and One Fifth Avenue, until he finally became chief of cuisine at Brasserie Les Halles in 1998.
The First Book
Back in the day, The New Yorker published a Bourdain article that would end up making him famous: “Don’t eat before reading this”, a brutally honest review and history on the way restaurants actually work and how chefs deal with food in the kitchen. Bourdain made a huge name for himself after this article and it paved the way for him to get several book offers. Then, in 2000, his book Kitchen Confidential became a huge success all over the world.
Back in 2002, Bourdain made it to the little screen by joining the Food Network. There, he’d travel all around the world looking for different culinary adventures before writing a couple more New York Times best-sellers. In 2005, Bourdain starred in the Travel Challenge until 2012, winning a couple of Emmy awards for its massive success and popularity. Bourdain also was a guest judge at Bravo’s Top Chef and Top Chef All-Stars and even made a cameo on a Miami Ink episode, the Far Cry movie, and Nick Jr’s program ‘Yo Gabba Yo Gabba!’ as Dr. Tony. The chef continued his journey as a writer and all of his books were a major success both in the USA and abroad for the raw and brutally honest way, he had of telling a story and all of the crude trues about the world of the culinary industry. Also, he was the man responsible for the Bourdain Market, a place to have a life-changing culinary experience at Manhattan.
Bourdain was married for almost 20 years before marrying Ottavia Busia back in 2007, having a daughter before eventually getting a divorce. Also, he was openly dating the Italian actress Asia Argento before his death. Sadly, he was found dead in a hotel room in France on June 8, 2018, after committing suicide. He struggled with drug and alcohol abuse throughout most of his life and while he made some efforts to get his life back on track and stay clean, his addiction eventually wound up getting the best of him. Still, Bourdain will go down as one of the greatest masterminds of the culinary industry: an honest man with a fine taste for truth and nice food.