Anthony Bourdain

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ZIMMERN: …The other day I saw on Eater that someone was saying that they thought you were the next Julia Child.

BOURDAIN: It’s flattering but wrong‑headed. I mean, Julia Child changed the f***ing world. I am not a particle of dust compared to her. I am flattered to even be mentioned in postironic jest in the same paragraph. But to be actually compared? No. Absolutely not. She was such an important figure, a pioneer out there …

BOURDAIN: And I don’t care if my mom approves. … Look, if I’ve learned anything—I wrote Kitchen Confidential because I didn’t think anyone would read it. That was a liberating moment. You know, writing every morning before I went to work with absolute certainty that no one other than a few cooks would read it was a truly liberating place to write a book. That was a lesson I learned in the bone, meaning the instinct to think about what do they want—What do they expect? What do my biggest fans want me to do next? How will they receive it? Who’s watching? Who’s reading?—this is a lethal, lethal instinct. I have to not think that. We all want to be loved, but I’m not going to even ask what people want, because that will …

ZIMMERN: Kill your process.

BOURDAIN: I just can’t. That’s the road to madness. … Like any other job, you show up, you do the best you can, you do the things that keep you safe and happy. And happy is important, because we both know very well what happens when life is either too easy or too unpleasant. I work very hard to not hate myself, and worrying about what people want or expect—I would hate myself. I would say that a very large proportion of my fans would much prefer for me to be chain smoking and drinking heavily all the time. I may well do that again, who knows? But I’m not going to do it for them. You know, there’s no earring. There ain’t no thumb ring. The leather jacket is long, long ago gone. I’m a daddy. I’m aware of my place in this f***ing world.

ZIMMERN: Is fatherhood the best thing that has happened in your life?

BOURDAIN: Every cliché is true. Everything is true. It’s the best thing that ever happens to you. It completely changes your life. Every minute since the first second that we even suspected that Ottavia was pregnant, every minute of pregnancy, delivery, infancy, every minute, every second has been an unimagined joy. It is constantly amazing to me. It’s so great to not be number one in your own universe anymore, you know. It’s all about the girl now. And that is just a deeply, deeply gratifying thing. My father used to read to me from a hard‑cover copy of Doctor Dolittle. And I remember well as a little boy how I looked forward to that every night, my father sitting down and reading another chapter from Doctor Dolittle. Finally I’m going to go home tonight and read another chapter from Doctor Dolittle to my daughter.

~ Guts, Glory and Growing Up: Excerpts from Delta Sky Magazine


Anthony Michael “Tony” Bourdain is an American chef, author, and television personality. He is well known for his 2000 book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, and hosts the Travel Channel’s culinary and cultural adventure programs Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and The Layover. In 2013, he joined CNN to host Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.  He is a 1978 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and a veteran of numerous professional kitchens.


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Comments

  1. I read this on my last Delta flight. Loved it! He’s brilliant because he does it from his ‘f**king’ instincts. He blazes the trail – mixing cooking, people, grit and adventure. Inspiring.

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  2. OneHotMess says:

    Glorious! As a cook and a mother, this is so glorious! I am reading Dearie now. Julia certainly changed my mother’s cooking, and while my kids say I am the best—better than restaurants—I have a child or two who are besting me. That is as it should be! Thank you!

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  3. OneHotMess says:

    Oh, and it IS all about instinct. I never measure or anything else. I just *know* by smell, by look, by texture. It drives me kids nuts when they want recipes!

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  4. I, too, am a “Kitchen Confidential” fan–really opened my eyes to what goes on behind the scenes in a professional kitchen…wow! My takeaway line from this post: “I work very hard to not hate myself, and worrying about what people want or expect—I would hate myself.” Word….

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  5. Love this man. Met him in Boston in 2006, real as can be.

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  6. Write like no one wilk read it.. Cant think of better advice 😉

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  7. Been a Bourdain follower for a long time.

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  8. http://kalabalu.wordpress.com/2013/21/2013/WordPress Family-award/
    Hi . I nominate you for Word Press Family Award, please accept. Thank you.

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  9. I have no idea who this guy is, but I’m in love.

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  10. lkanigan says:

    Love watching him. Loved his old show but have not seen new one as of yet. Not much time to watch tv.

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