Anthony Bourdain, 1956-2018

June 8, 2018 | Book Buzz

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Yeah yeah yeah, I know. I’m a crank. But the word “royals” just ...will never go down easy. Only person I ever felt comfortable referring to as “Prince” came from Minneapolis.
                        Anthony Bourdain

Chef, author and media personality Anthony Bourdain was born in New York City and grew up in New Jersey. He credits an early family vacation in France for his love for food and curiosity about local culinary traditions. While attending Vassar College, he worked in restaurants and decided to pursue a career in cooking. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978. 

He documented his experiences in his memoirs Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly and Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook. In Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain discussed drug use among restaurant employees. His own heroin use began when he was 17 and continued until the 1980s. "I just like heroin, it feels really good," he told The Telegraph in 2001. "But I can't do it anymore."

He also wrote cookbooks, novels, graphic novels and a book about kitchen worker Mary Mallon, who became known to the world as Typhoid Mary. In 2011, Bourdain moved into the world of publishing with his own imprint at Ecco Press. His goal was to publish 3-5 books a year.

The sometimes abrasive, always interesting Bourdain became a success on television as well with A Cook's Tour, No Reservations, The Layover and Parts Unknown.

Bourdain never seemed to stop working, writing and moving, until June 8, 2018 when he stopped everything.

Anthony Bourdain died in Kayersberg-Vignoble, France on June 8, 2018. Initial reports indicate that he died by suicide. He was 61. Barack Obama paid tribute on Twitter saying "[Tony] taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him."

Some of his books available at the library:


Appetites by Anthony Bourdain


Anthony bourdain's les halles

Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking


Bobby gold

The Bobby Gold Stories

Bone in the throat

Bone in the Throat

Gone bamboo

Gone Bamboo

Graphic Novels:

Get jiro

Get Jiro

Get jiro blood and sushi

Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi


A Cook's Tour In Search of the Perfect Meal

A Cook's Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal

  Kitchen confidential

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Medium raw

Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People who Cook

The nasty bits

The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps and Bone


Typhoid mary

Typhoid Mary: An Urban Historical


If you are in crisis, please remember that there is help available:

The National Suicide Prevention service is available 24 hours a day by phone, text or chat:


1-866-277-3553 (in Quebec)

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