Anthony Bourdain

Culinary Articles » Famous Chefs

Born June 25, 1956
New York City
Cooking Style French (currently)
Education CIA
Restaurants Les Halles (New York City)
TV Show(s) Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations

Anthony Michael Bourdain (born June 25, 1956 in New York City) is an American author and executive chef of Brasserie Les Halles in New York City. His love of food began at a young age, during a trip to France with his family. He was on an oyster fisherman's boat and tried his first oyster; ever since, he has traveled the world in search of food good and bad, and has shared his results with a fascinated public.

Bourdain gained popularity from his New York Times bestselling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. Anthony Bourdain is somewhat of a legend in the working class of cooks. Kitchen Confidential exposes the darker side of the culinary world. Bourdain has written other books including Gone Bamboo, Bone in the Throat, Typhoid Mary (An Urban Historical), Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook, and A Cook's Tour which was made in conjunction with a TV series of the same name on the Food Network. In July 2005, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations premiered on the Travel Channel.

He is the executive chef at Les Halles, a French brasserie in New York City. He is a noted fan of chefs Eric Ripert, Scott Bryan, and Thomas Keller, while he has been critical of celebrity chefs such as Emeril Lagasse, Bobby Flay and Rachael Ray.

Among his many epicurean exploits, Bourdain is famous for consuming Sheep testicles in Iceland, 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. On September 19, 2005, a sitcom adaptation of Kitchen Confidential premiered on the FOX Network. The character Jack Bourdain is based loosely on the biography and persona of Anthony Bourdain.

Bourdain is noted for being a bit racy and hardcore. He is an unrepentant smoker and drinker, and a former user of both cocaine and heroin. In a nod to Bourdain's two-pack-a-day cigarette habit, renowned chef Thomas Keller once served him a 20-course tasting menu including a mid-meal "coffee and cigarettes" dish of foie gras with tobacco-infused custard. His liberal use of light profanity and sexual references in No Reservations has netted the show a viewer discretion advisory shown in the beginning and every time it returns from commercial breaks.

Bourdain is famous for his not so subtle put downs of celebrity chefs like Emeril Lagasse, whom he calls a "Shlockmeister with a catchphrase" (Kitchen Confidential) and Rachael Ray, who is the butt of many jokes on No Reservations. Bourdain recognizes the irony of his transformation into a celebrity chef and has, to some extent, began to qualify his insults. In any event, he is consistently outspoken in his praise for chefs he admires, particularly Thomas Keller, Eric Ripert, and Gordon Ramsay.

His most recent book, 'The Nasty Bits', is dedicated to "Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee" of the Ramones. Bourdain has declared fond appreciation for their music, as well as other early New York City punk bands such as Television and The Voidoids.


  • Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, ISBN 158234082X
  • Cook's Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal, ISBN 1582341400
  • Gone Bamboo, ISBN 1582341036
  • Bone in the Throat, ISBN 1582341028
  • Typhoid Mary (An Urban Historical), ISBN 1582341338
  • Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook, ISBN 158234180X
  • The Bobby Gold Stories, ISBN 1582342334
  • The Nasty Bits, ISBN 1582344515


"Bad food is made without pride, by cooks who have no pride, and no love. Bad food is made by chefs who are indifferent, or who are trying to be everything to everybody, who are trying to please everyone ... Bad food is fake food ... food that shows fear and lack of confidence in people’s ability to discern or to make decisions about their lives. Food that’s too safe, too pasteurised, too healthy – it’s bad! There should be some risk, like unpasteurised cheese. Food is about rot, and decay, and fermentation….as much as it is also about freshness."

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