|Anthony Bourdain Quick Info|
|Height||6 ft 4 in|
|Date of Birth||June 25, 1956|
|Eye Color||Light Brown|
Anthony Bourdain was a celebrity chef, TV personality, author, and travel documentarian from America. He died at the age of 61 as a result of suicide by hanging himself in France. He cooking style was described as French eclectic. In his career, he had authored several books (on cooking and travel) which even reached New York Times bestsellers list. As a cook, he had to taste weird dishes as well including Raw Seal Eyeball, Bull’s P*nis, and beating heart of a cobra.
Anthony Michael Bourdain
Tony, Chef Anthony Bourdain
Anthony was born on June 25, 1956.
Anthony committed suicide on June 8, 2018, by hanging himself in his hotel room in France. He was 61 years old at the time.
New York City, New York, United States
Anthony studied at the Dwight-Englewood College Preparatory School in New Jersey and graduated in 1973. He then attended Vassar College for 2 years before dropping out.
He was a student at the Culinary Institute of America and graduated with an associate degree in 1978.
Celebrity Chef, Travel Documentarian, Author
- Father – Pierre Bourdain (Executive for Columbia Records)
- Mother – Gladys Bourdain (née Sacksman) (Staff Editor for The New York Times)
- Siblings – Christopher Bourdain (Younger Brother) (Currency Analyst)
- Others – Pierre Michel Bourdain (Paternal Grandfather), Gabrielle Riousse (Paternal Grandmother), Milton Sacksman (Maternal Grandfather), Martha Weinreb (Maternal Grandmother)
Anthony was represented by the New York-based InkWell Management.
6 ft 4 in or 193 cm
86 kg or 189.5 lbs
Girlfriend / Spouse
Anthony Bourdain had dated –
- Nancy Putkoski (1985-2005) – Anthony and Nancy Putkoski were high school sweethearts who dated for a long time before getting married in 1985. Bourdain described her as a bad girl whose social circle was a ‘druggy crowd’ but that he was immensely smitten by her. He even graduated high school a year early to join Nancy, who was older than him, at Vassar College. They were married for 20 years but did not have any kids as he believed himself to not possess the qualities of a good parent. When his career on television took off, the couple’s relationship was strained as Nancy hated being in front of the camera. Also, he was traveling a lot for work commitments and the couple couldn’t spend as much time together. Therefore, in 2005, they filed for divorce amicably citing distance as the reason. After his divorce, Anthony was depressed and suicidal at a point in time.
- Ottavia Busia (2007-2016) – Ottavia Busia, who is Italian, was introduced to Bourdain through a common friend chef Eric Ripert. Their first date took place in a cigar bar and they quickly grew close to each other as they were both from the restaurant business. Although they shared an age difference of more than 20 years, they got married on April 20, 2007, and the same year, welcomed their first child Ariane Bourdain. Ottavia also got him practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu and they both engaged in the sport as a couple. However, again his busy schedule kept him away from his family most of the days in a year and the couple separated in 2016 after 9 years together. Their split was amicable and the MMA fighter even congratulated him on Instagram for his Emmy win in 2016. After his death, it was revealed that they had not finalized their divorce and Ottavia was still legally his next of kin.
- Asia Argento (2017-2018) – Italian actress Asia Argento caught Bourdain’s fancy when she appeared on the Rome episode of his popular CNN show Parts Unknown in 2017. They both shared the love for traveling and captured their moments together on Instagram. News of their relationship broke when they were seen kissing passionately in February 2017 and Bourdain confirmed the rumors a few months later in May. He seemed to be madly in love with her and was open to living together but was sure he wouldn’t marry a 3rd time after the failure of his previous marriages. They were in a happy relationship at the time of his death.
Race / Ethnicity
He was of French and Spanish ancestry on his father’ side and was Ashkenazi Jewish on his mother’s side.
However, due to his advancing years, his hair was like salt and pepper during his later years.
Several tattoos that adorned his body
Anthony Bourdain had endorsed the following brands –
- XFINITY X1 Double Play (2015)
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (2018)
- Apple Music (2017)
- The Balvenie (2017)
- Cayman Islands Department of Tourism
Bourdain had mentioned that he was raised in a household that did not follow a religious mindset.
His father was Catholic and mother was Jewish.
Best Known For
- Being one of the most influential chefs and travel documentarians in the world
- Holding the position of executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in Manhattan for many years since 1998
- His food and world-travel shows like No Reservations (2005-2012) and Parts Unknown (2013-2018) which he was filming at the time of his death. With his shows, he broke cultural barriers and painted a true depiction of the human condition while exploring it through the medium of food.
- Being a prolific author and having written many books that made the New York Times bestseller list
Anthony made his theatrical film debut as a Scientist in the adventure film Far Cry in 2008. However, his role in the movie was uncredited.
His first credited performance was in the biography film The Big Short, released in 2015, where he played himself.
First TV Show
In 2002, he made his first TV show appearance as a guest on the talk show Late Night With Conan O’Brien.
Anthony was introduced to Brazilian jiu-jitsu by his then-wife Ottavia Bourdain, who is a professional, in 2014. Jiu-Jitsu is a combat sport that builds core strength, endurance, and flexibilty. Being a chef and trying out indulgent cuisine for work meant that he was physically bent out of shape.
But with the help of the martial art form, he was able to shed 30 pounds in 9 months and transform himself completely to get a shredded body. He was a blue belt in jiu-jitsu and said that he worked out daily spending an hour and a half training.
He had also mentioned that he trained at the Renzo Gracie Academy whenever he was in New York. Sticking to his daily workout and diet plan ensured that he could sport washboard abs even at the age of 61.
Working out also influenced his eating habits as he had cut down on carbs and sugar along with consuming far less alcohol than before. He also refrained from eating during flights as it could not be digested easily.
Anthony Bourdain Favorite Things
- Travel Destination – Vietnam, Spain, Italy, Japan, Brazil, Beirut
- Restaurant – St. John in London, Barney Greengrass (Jewish deli in NYC), Sukiyabashi Jiro in Tokyo
- Movie – Goodfellas (1990)
- Vegetable – Pork
- Meal – Spaghetti pomodoro in a cracked bowl, Nova Scotia lox with bagels and scrambled eggs
- Kentucky Bourbon – Old Fitzgerald
- Fast Food Chain – Popeyes
- Street Food – Sisig (Filipino dish made from pig’s head and liver)
- New York Spots – Marea, Le Bernadin, Prune, Shake Shack, Momofuku, Russ & Daughters, Barney Greengrass
- Chinese Dish – Mapo Tofu
- Island Cocktail – Negroni
- Entrée From An Island – Roasted pig from Bali, Bull-foot soup in St. Martin
- Quentin Tarantino Film – Jackie Brown (1997)
- Comedians – Bonnie McFarlane, Doug Stanhope
- Graham Greene Novel – Quiet American
- Reggae Artist – Peter Tosh
- Hotel – Ritz-Carlton
Anthony Bourdain Facts
- Anthony began his culinary career as a dishwasher and worked hard to get promoted through the ranks from line cook, sous chef, to eventually an executive chef.
- He became known for his trademark style of using swear words and s@xual innuendos while describing food.
- While working at Brasserie Les Halles, the owner Jose Meirelles wanted him to adopt the French version of his name Antoine-Michel but Bourdain declined.
- Anthony began getting inked from the age of 44 and over time, he got many tattoos that signified important things to him. He had a skull tattooed on his right shoulder, an ouroboros tattoo on his left, and a hand-tapped tattoo on his chest. Among his other tattoos are a chef’s knife, a snake, a foreign text meaning ‘I suspend judgment’ and a blue chrysanthemum.
- His love for food began in his younger years when he tried his first oyster on a fisherman’s boat while on a family trip to France.
- His good friend and French chef Éric Ripert was the first one to find his lifeless body in his room at the Le Chambard hotel in Kaysersberg, France. He was shooting for Parts Unknown in nearby Strasbourg at the time of his death.
- Following his death, Bourdain’s mother got a memorial ‘Tony’ tattoo on the inside of her wrist in June 2018.
- He was a boy scout.
- As a kid, his dream job was to be a comic book artist.
- Anthony was a prolific writer and had written many books throughout his career. His book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2000) became a New York Times Bestseller. His other notable works included a sequel to the book titled Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook in 2010, A Cook’s Tour (2001), and The Nasty Bits in 2006.
- In 2008, his blog for the 3rd season of Top Chef was in contention for a Webby Award for the Best Blog in the Cultural/Personal category.
- Anthony also co-wrote an original graphic novel Get Jiro! with journalist Joel Ross in 2012. The artwork was created by Langdon Foss.
- Bourdain earned a blue belt in the martial arts form Brazilian jiu-jitsu in August 2015. At the International Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Federation (IBJJF) New York Spring International Open Championship in 2016, he won a gold medal in the Middleweight Master 5 (aged 56 and older) division.
- He was a heavy smoker for most of his life but kicked the habit in 2007 after the birth of his daughter Ariane Bourdain.
- In his youth, Bourdain had abused many illegal substances like LSD, cocaine, heroin, etc. He chronicled his substance abuse while working at a SoHo restaurant in 1981 in his book Kitchen Confidential.
- Bourdain was vocal about the s@xual harassment scenario in the restaurant industry. He supported his partner Asia Argento’s s@xual abuse allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Furthermore, he also accused director Quentin Tarantino of complicity in the Weinstein s@x scandal.
- Former US President Barack Obama had appeared with Bourdain in Vietnam for an episode of his series Parts Unknown in September 2016. Upon hearing of his death, the former POTUS wrote a heartfelt message about the chef on Twitter.
- He had launched his own publishing line Anthony Bourdain Books and had published a series of books since 2011. After his death, HarperCollins announced that the publishing line would shut down after fulfilling its existing contracts.
- He was nominated for an Emmy Award for appearing as a judge and mentor on the cooking-competition show The Taste for each season from 2013 to 2015.
- At the height of his nicotine addiction when he would smoke 2 packs of cigarettes a day, chef Thomas Keller once served him a 20-course tasting menu. It included a mid-meal ‘coffee and cigarette’, a coffee custard infused with tobacco, and a foie gras mousse among other things.
- In his long career as a chef and documentarian, he had tasted some very bizarre dishes like Raw Seal Eyeball in Canada, Roasted Sheep’s Testicles in a Moroccan desert, Bull’s P*nis and Testicles, Cobra’s Beating Heart, Maggot Fried Rice, and Warthog An*s in Namibia, which he described as the worst meal of his life.
- In July 2006, Anthony and his crew members ended up in the middle of the Israel-Lebanon conflict in Beirut while filming an episode for his show No Reservations. They were finally evacuated by the United States Marine Corps. The episode which documented their struggles, the heated political environment in Beirut, and their eventual escape was nominated for an Emmy award for Outstanding Informational Programming in 2007.
Featured Image by Tammy Green / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0