From the very first time we watched No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain, we were obsessed. There is something truly intriguing about this author, chef and TV personality that has us hooked on his TV shows and reading all of his books. Perhaps it is the fact that he says it like it is (sometimes with a foul mouth), or the way that he is always up to try something new, but we can’t stop watching him and we know we’re not alone. He comes from a culinary background, studying at the world-renowned Culinary Institute of America and ultimately serving as the executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in New York City (we’ve dined there, it’s delicious). He later left his post in the kitchen “to become a bestselling author and TV personality, gaining wider fame with his unique culinary worldview.”
Bourdain is a jack-of-all-trades—he’s been on TV shows, he has written cookbooks, travel journals, crime novels and a graphic novel, and he even served on the writing staff for HBO’s Treme in 2011. Not many people can boast that same lengthy resume. He offers a unique view of food and cultures around the world, and that’s just one of the many reasons we want to hang out with him. Here are 7 reasons you’ll also want to marry Anthony Bourdain (but you can’t have him, because he’s ours).
1. He’s Brutally Honest (and Hysterical)
In a world where most people on TV are fake, it’s refreshing to experience someone who says it like it is…no sugarcoating his opinions. Bourdain is famous for having feuds with other celebrity chefs, and he isn’t afraid to share his insults and opinions with the world. Sure, not everything he has to say is nice, but nice can be boring. And Bourdain is certainly NEVER boring. He once referred to Rachael Ray as a “bobblehead who couldn’t cook” (ha), and who could forget that he once said, “The worst, most dangerous person to America is clearly Paula Deen. She revels in unholy connections with evil corporations and she’s proud of the fact that her food is f*cking bad for you. Plus, her food sucks.” Yikes. But also, we love the honesty.
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2. He is Adventurous
According to Bourdain’s friend and fellow celebrity chef, Eric Ripert (chef of New York institution Le Bernardin), Bourdain is “the Indiana Jones of the food world. He is the smart guy who knows food and is going to take us with him on an adventure.” And that’s exactly what it feels like when you watch episodes of No Reservations or Parts Unknown. You don’t just watch a chef preparing food or eating food, you witness a journalist exploring a new culture, and you get to live vicariously through his experiences.
3. He has exposed some pretty ugly aspects of the culinary world.
As someone who dines out a lot, we don’t really want to know all the less-than-perfect things that happen in a restaurant kitchen. But thank to Bourdain’s best-selling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, we know the dirty details. He exposes some secrets and offers tips to help consumers act smart when it comes to their orders. For example, he suggests you don’t order fish on a Monday since it will probably be leftover from the prior week’s supply. He also warns against ordering meat well done, since chefs often use their tough, poor quality meat and “serve it to some rube who prefers his meat or fish incinerated into a flavorless, leathery hunk of carbon.”
4. He Has a Potty Mouth, and He’s not Afraid to Use It
Just read his books, articles, or any interview and try to count how many f bombs he drops. Trust us, it’s a lot. And we kind of love it.
5. He is an Emmy Winner
Bourdain’s show No Reservations won 2 Emmy Awards and received several other nominations over the years it was produced (2004-2012). His show Parts Unknown on CNN has been nominated for 11 Emmy Awards to date and has won 3, including a Peabody Award in 2014.
6. He’s a True Foodie
Bourdain loves food, and he will eat anything. And it’s amazing to watch him talk about the food he is trying. He has a way of making you feel like you’re also digging in. His love of food starting at a young age when he tried escargot and oysters during an early summer in France with his family. We have kids and we can promise you, they do not eat oysters.
7. He Challenges Cultural Assumptions
In his new show on CNN, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, Bourdain ditches the comforts of luxury hotels or the cushy atmosphere of a gourmet chef’s kitchen and instead explores the world by exposing culinary and cultural aspects of foreign countries that most journalists (and definitely most chefs) don’t see. According to an article in Fast Company, Bourdain is “on a mission to illuminate under-appreciated and misunderstood cultures, whether it’s Myanmar or Detroit…Bourdain does all of this with vivid narrative reporting, stunning visuals, palpable empathy, and a relentlessly open mind.”