Rediscover: Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain's sudden death last Friday marked a tragic end to a life that inspired and touched the many people who read his bestselling books and watched his engaging TV series. Although we ran an item about his career here recently, we want again to pay tribute to one of our favorite authors.

Just last month, Anthony Bourdain's food travelogue Parts Unknown returned for its 11th season on CNN. It was Bourdain's fourth such series, after the Travel Channel's No Reservations (2005-2012) and The Layover (2011-2013), and the Food Network's A Cook's Tour (2002-2003). Prior to TV stardom, Bourdain earned his chops as the bestselling author of Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (Bloomsbury), his darkly funny memoir about life behind the stove. With scalding wit and honesty, he relates his road to becoming a chef and his hectic, often drug-fueled work in high-end New York City kitchens during the 1980s as well as shares inside restaurateur tips, like not to order fish on Monday (it's leftover from the weekend) and never order steak well done (overcooking masks low-quality cuts).

In 2011, Bourdain peeled his celebrity chefdom into his own imprint under Ecco, which has published books by chefs, musicians, athletes and others. Bourdain's own literary career continued after Kitchen Confidential with A Cook's Tour (2001), The Nasty Bits (2006), No Reservations (2007), Medium Raw (2010) and Appetites: A Cookbook (2016). Bourdain wrote several fiction books in the 1990s prior to Kitchen Confidential and returned to that genre in 2012 as co-author of the graphic novel Get Jiro! for DC Comics/Vertigo. Another co-authored comic, Hungry Ghosts, comes out this October. An updated edition of Kitchen Confidential was last published in 2007 by Ecco ($16.99, 9780060899226).

Ecco president and publisher Daniel Halpern paid tribute to Bourdain, saying, "I've known Tony as an author and friend for many years. He not only revolutionized the memoir genre with his groundbreaking and iconic work Kitchen Confidential, he supported emerging voices and chefs with his imprint Anthony Bourdain Books. His death is a great personal tragedy. Our thoughts are with his daughter and family at this difficult time." --Tobias Mutter

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