American celebrity chef, author and travel documentarian Anthony Michael Bourdain was known for his shows that delved into the intersection of global cuisine, culture and the human experience. Bourdain worked as the executive chef at Manhattan’s Brasserie Les Halles for several years after graduating from The Culinary Institute of America in 1978.
The book “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly” was the first thing that brought him to prominence. In 2002 and 2003, the Culinary Network aired Bourdain’s first food and travel show, A Cook’s Tour, which featured 35 episodes. In 2005, he started hosting the travel shows Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (2005–2012) and The Layover, which were about food and culture.
He started a 3-season run as a judge on The Taste in 2013. After that, he moved his travel show, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, to CNN. Despite his prominence as a cuisine writer and TV host, Bourdain also published works of fiction and historical nonfiction. Sadly, Bourdain took his own life on June 8, 2018, while filming in France for his show Parts Unknown.
How Did Anthony Bourdain’s Childhood and Early Years Go?
In Manhattan on June 25, 1956 was born Anthony Michael Bourdain. Father Pierre Bourdain and mother Gladys (née Sacksman) gave birth to him. Christopher, his younger sibling, was born a few years later. Anthony grew up living with both of his parents and he wrote about his childhood in one of his books: “I did not want love or attention.
My parents loved me. Neither of them drank to excess. Nobody beat me. God was never mentioned so I was annoyed by neither church nor any notion of sin or damnation.” His parents’ religious backgrounds differed his dad was Catholic and mom was Jewish.
Bourdain stated that, although he was considered Jewish by definition, halacha’s “I’ve never been in a synagogue. I don’t believe in a higher power. But that doesn’t make me any less Jewish I don’t think.” Neither he nor any member of his family practiced any religion.
Pierre worked as a salesman at a camera store and as a floor manager at a record store in New York City when Bourdain was born. Later, he worked for Columbia Records as an executive and Gladys was a staff editor at The New York Times.
His great-grandfather Aurelien Bourdain was born to French parents in Brazil, Bourdain’s grandfather Pierre Michel Bourdain moved from Arcachon to New York after the First World War. In his youth, Bourdain’s father spent his summers in France, where he learned the language and became fluent. Most of Bourdain’s formative years were spent in the New Jersey town of Leonia.
It made him envious that his peers had so much freedom at home and so little parental oversight. Bourdain recalled going to a restaurant with friends to discuss movies they had just seen in the 1960s during an interview in 2014. While growing up, Bourdain participated in the Boy Scouts of America.
Anthony Bourdain Death
Parts Unknown episode filming began in early June of 2018 and Bourdain was there with longtime friend and colleague Éric Ripert to do their thing. When Bourdain didn’t show up for dinner or breakfast on June 8, Ripert started to get concerned. He later discovered Bourdain dead in his room at the Le Chambard hotel in Kaysersberg, not far from Colmar.
Public prosecutor for Colmar Christian de Rocquigny du Fayel stated there was no evidence of violence on Bourdain’s body and that the suicide appeared to be an act of impulse. Toxicology findings for Bourdain were negative for narcotics, with only a trace of a medicinal, non-narcotic medication detected, as revealed by Rocquigny du Fayel.
On June 13, 2018 Bourdain’s body was cremated in France. Two days later, his ashes were sent back to the United States.
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