Sometimes books come to me in clumps. I noticed the first book in a bookstore when I was in DC, so I put a hold on it when I got back home. Then, the second book popped up on my radar, and somehow I ended up checking both of them out at the same, which worked out nicely for this post.
As I mentioned, I first spotted this in Washington, DC, which is kind of ironic considering I’m not much of a traveller. Bourdain started working on it with his assistant before his untimely death in 2018. Basically, this a compilation of all the places that Tony travelled across his myriad TV shows and what he learned. If you have any desire to travel like Anthony Bourdain, this is the book for you. I’ll admit that it did not make me want to leave my house, but it did make me want to sit down and watch his TV shows (see the "You Might Also Like" section). Plus, it was enjoyable to travel vicariously with Bourdain.
Assistant Laura Woolever sat down with basically everybody who ever knew Tony and chatted. I was never an uberfan – Tony was always a little too rowdy for me, but after reading Kitchen Confidential, I definitely respected his opinion on all things food. I also had no idea that he had worked with so many different people.
If the first book is what Tony did, the second book is who he was. I actually read these two as a set – reading 50 pages in one and then reading 50 pages in the other. It gave a fairly complete overview, and I highly recommend this method.
While I working on reading these two books, my hold came in for this recent release. This documentary reminded me of Bourdain’s other TV shows, except this time it featured his visibly upset friends discussing his untimely death. Lots of excellent footage of Bourdain over the years that unfortunately ended in tragedy. Glad I watched it. Wished it would have ended differently.
If you were any kind of Bourdain fan, don’t miss these. They excellently convey what his life was like over the years.