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Anthony Bourdain’s Massive International Food Hall Finally Has a Location

Anthony Bourdain’s Massive International Food Hall Finally Has a Location

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Bourdain is in negotiations for a space in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District

Bourdain is reportedly in direct negotiations with the developers.

Anthony Bourdain’s long-awaited international food hall — which will be part hawker center, part farmers market, and feature both permanent and rotating single-concept stalls — finally has a chosen location: New York City’s Meatpacking District, at Pier 57.

Bourdain is reportedly in direct negotiations with the developers of the 100,000-square-foot terminal at Pier 57 between West 15th Street and the Hudson River in Manhattan.

Bourdain Market, as it is to be named, has been promised to include a 1,500 oyster bar, specialized butchers, a bakery, tapas bar, pastry shop, and tea shop.

The hawker center portion will be inspired by the street food markets of Singapore, where vendors in rows of semi-enclosed stalls offer an impressive variety of popular foods.

Bourdain has said previously that the street food portion will be divided into three sections, including a section highlighting Asian street food, a rotating geographic spotlight, and an area with domestic gourmet street food.

Massive food hall may come to South Bronx waterfront thanks to a controversial developer

In a move that many are criticizing as the next wave of gentrification in the South Bronx, Somerset Partners founder Keith Rubenstein recently revealed plans to turn a 16,000-square-foot warehouse into an “affordable” food hall. The real estate developer has acquired the waterfront property at 9 Bruckner Boulevard and plans to open the space as Bruckner Market within the next 12 to 18 months. The food hall will reportedly host a restaurant, food stands, and a fresh food market.

Somerset Partners reportedly bought the old warehouse for $7.5 million, according to The Real Deal. The food hall, which could be expanded to cover up to 30,000 square feet, is intended to follow the model set by other trendy dining establishments around the city. Rubenstein told The Real Deal he envisions a fresh food market, food stands, sit-down restaurants, and maybe even a beer garden. “We have a great hospitality and restaurant concept that we want to do there,” he said. “It will provide great food and beverage options at affordable prices for the existing community and new community.”

Rubenstein’s plans are controversial to many, as the developer already owns two other waterfront properties in the borough, as well as the residential property across the street from the market’s future home (which he owns with the Chetrit Group). Rubenstein is also a backer of the Mott Haven café Filtered Coffee, which opened earlier this year. With a single developer having his hands in so many real estate projects in one borough, critics fear that smaller businesses will be edged out entirely.

Elsewhere in the city, food halls have popped up in several boroughs, marking a growing trend not only for real estate, but for dining and entertainment options for residents and visitors to the city. Rubenstein envisions bringing the Bruckner Market to life quickly, opening in as little as a year. Meanwhile, at least two other major food hall concepts are planned for the South Bronx—one backed by chef Massimo Bottura and actor Robert DeNiro, and the other a renovation of the Bronx General Post Office by Youngwoo & Associates. The Bottura/DeNiro project hasn’t announced a location yet, but Rubenstein kindly informed The Real Deal that they could join him at Bruckner Market. “We’d be happy to provide a home for it,” he said.

Midtown Caters to Hungry Office Workers, Shoppers with Proliferation of Gourmet Food Courts

Come next spring, Columbus Circle will be home to a 14,750-square-foot food market lined by 10- to 20-foot-wide open storefronts just outside of the busy subway station. On the East Side, Urban Space, the food hall manager behind Mad. Sq. Eats, Broadway Bites and Dekalb Market, recently signed a long-term lease for 10,000 square feet of retail space at the Helmsley Building at 230 Park Avenue. And late last year, Gotham Organization opened Gotham West Market, a 10,000-square-foot Chelsea Market-like food hall in Hell’s Kitchen, to considerable fanfare.

Why are so many food courts—once synonymous with suburban shopping malls and dreary office atriums—not only popping up in Midtown, but luring forward-thinking chefs and adventurous diners?

“The brand recognition and free press associated with being part of a market-type concept also generate a lot of upside for vendors looking to grow,” said Karma McDermott, a partner at SKH Realty, which is working on one food court by the Port Authority Bus Terminal and another one on Madison Avenue by Grand Central Terminal.

Midtown is ideal for food courts because of its daytime population density.

A food court “brings more people in front of the restaurateur, and it’s cheaper [than a proper restaurant],” said Eastern Consolidated’s James Famularo, who has done nearly 600 food-related leases. “They’re like incubators. They [take] people who might work in a kitchen for the next 25 years and give him a stage to start his or her own thing.”

The Lansco Corporation’s Robin Abrams, who is part of the team marketing Turn-Style, the underground concourse at Columbus Circle, said that while that project benefits from being by a transportation hub, the location at the border of Midtown and the Upper West Side is another boon.

“I do believe that there is great synergy with the Time Warner/Columbus Circle project, the office buildings in near proximity, Central Park, the hotels and residential base that bring a huge commercial and residential population to the site,” she said.

A food court allows a brand that may lack the capital to open a full-service operation to set up shop in a more affordable way. At Turn-Style, the rents are $300 to $400 per square foot for five- to 10-year terms, according to the Lansco retail team marketing the space, but the spaces are much smaller—starting at 154 square feet—than if tenants opened stand-alone shops.

“Minimal marketing costs are billed to tenants, as part of additional rent, in many food court or multitenant projects it’s much less than a tenant doing its own public relations and normally effective,” Ms. Abrams said. “Food court rents may be higher per square foot, but the same or less per unit, as generally [they] are smaller spaces with common areas. [But] for a small highly trafficked space on the street, rent would likely be the same per square foot. For many street stores, the landlord delivers as is, and the tenant does work at its cost.”

Across Midtown at another transportation hub, the Urban Space food hall, which will showcase 20 to 30 chefs and food purveyors, will occupy a space atop Grand Central Terminal, with sidewalk frontage on 45th Street and Vanderbilt Avenue, when it opens early next year.

“We will revive Grand Central Terminal’s fabled dining legacy with a food hall like no other in New York City,” Anthony Westreich, the chief executive officer of Monday Properties, Urban Space’s landlord at 230 Park Avenue, said in a prepared statement.

Food courts speak to the desire for convenience, especially in the lunch-driven Midtown market. And while deli buffets and other quickie options have long abounded, contemporary Midtown food courts offer options normally found in trendier precincts downtown or in Brooklyn.

“What I think is going on is the modern urban food customer wants to have choices,” said Amira Yunis, an executive vice president in the CBRE Retail Group. Ms. Yunis represented Urban Space in the deal at 230 Park. “We’re in a world where customers are used to ordering what they want. … This gives the customers the opportunity to be social and obtain food options in one setting.”

At 230 Park, there will be a non-chef-driven concept rather than a chef-driven one, Ms. Yunis said, declining to elaborate. The space has the advantage of being on a highly visible corner across from Grand Central Terminal. “A lot of this is driven by the location,” she said.

Last November, Gotham West Market opened as a component of the 1,240-unit Gotham West residential rental building at 600 11th Avenue between 44th and 45th Streets. The food ranges from chef Ivan Orkin’s world-renowned ramen to chef Seamus Mullen’s critically acclaimed Spanish tapas. There is an additional 5,000 square feet below grade for food prep and refrigeration, said Chris Jaskiewicz, the president of the marketplace and the developer and chief operating officer of Gotham Organization, the building’s developer. The market is hoping to open a 100-seat sidewalk space this summer.

Mr. Jaskiewicz said his firm wanted to create an “unmatched amenity for our renters” and make it a culinary destination with a disparate collection of chefs. The nine businesses, which include six restaurants, two bars and a bicycle shop, collectively pay $600,000 to $800,000 in annual rent, Mr. Jaskiewicz said. That’s comparable with what the company would have gotten from leasing to a grocery store. The majority of the leases are for five years, with five-year extensions available.

For retailers at Gotham West Market, the perk is “to be part of an unprecedented marketplace and to participate in this venue, which was designed to be different,” Mr. Jaskiewicz said. “They’re part of a great design and an opportunity to work as part of a team to create this destination.” While Gotham has the ultimate right of approval on store signage, the company said it doesn’t interfere with the menus or food preparation.

Arguably the first food court to pave the way for the gourmand trend was the high-end Italian food hall Eataly, located at 200 Fifth Avenue between 23rd and 24th Streets. Opened in 2010 with the participation of longtime Downtown culinary darling Mario Batali, Eataly calls itself a “multifunctional marketplace” and sells Italian delicacies and wine (the wine shop was recently temporarily shuttered after the owners broke liquor laws), a culinary educational center and seven boutique eateries.

“Ever since Eataly opened, the market has showed that food courts no longer had to be unhealthy fast food,” said Mark Birnbaum, a partner at EMM Group, a hospitality management company. “In response to the trend of people being more health-conscious and with more innovative entrepreneurs, chefs and operators, food courts provide an inexpensive platform to show off new culinary skills. Customers are looking for way more than just another Subway.”

Indeed, arriving the same year as Eataly were the Plaza Food Hall by Todd English, which got a boost once the retail was scrapped in favor of food kiosks, and Jeffrey Chodorow’s upscale food court FoodParc, at the Eventi Hotel, at 839 Avenue of the Americas, which has since closed.

Now, there are plans cooking for on-trend food markets in the Financial District, a neighborhood until recently viewed as a culinary Sahara.

First, there’s Brookfield Office Properties’ food hall, Hudson Eats, at lower Manhattan’s Brookfield Place (formerly World Financial Center). That is expected to open to the public next month.

“The appeal to Hudson Eats is that it’s a collection of cult brands in one place, will service an area with extraordinary growth and will offer incredible exposure for each brand,” said Ed Hogan, the national director of retail leasing for Brookfield.

Nearby and opening in 2015, there’s Westfield World Trade Center, which will include a food court in a 350,000-square-foot retail shopping mall at 4 World Trade Center. The space is under construction.

In a similar vein, teen chef Greg Grossman, the executive director at restaurant consultancy Culinaria Group, is working on a gourmet food court-type place, Hudson Food Hall, with the founder of the Manhattan deli chain Bread & Butter. There will be two locations, one on Park Avenue South in the 20s and one on Hudson Street.

Finally, American chef, author and TV personality Anthony Bourdain is working on an international street food market along with entrepreneur Stephen Werther. There were rumors that it could be heading to 4 World Trade Center, butCommercial Observer confirmed that it’s not.

In general, food courts can thrive, Ms. Abrams said, if “the various food tenants offer quality, innovative and, for the most part, healthy food.”

“Food courts are a good opportunity for vendors who are priced out of standalone retail opportunities,” added Ms. McDermott, “especially in Midtown where rents can be in excess of $250 per square foot.”

11 Things You Didn’t Know About Anthony Bourdain

What do we know about Anthony Bourdain, host of the former ‘No Reservations’ and now ‘Parts Unknown’ and author of international hit Kitchen Confidential? Well, that. And that he isn’t afraid to eat a fetal duck egg live on-air.

But here are some other random tidbits you may not know about everyone’s favorite Travel Channel marathon host.

1. He has a thing about slow service.

Photo courtesy of likecroatia.com

Anthony once said, “If it takes you more than 10 seconds to describe the wine I am about to drink, you’ve kind of ruined it for me.” There goes my 20% tip.

2. Goodfellas is his favorite film, and he’s bitter about not being Italian.

Photo courtesy of businessinsider.com

If I wasn’t Italian, I would be too TBH.

3. Bourdain’s dream job as a kid was to be a comic book artist.

Photo courtesy of wallfrog.com

Wait, not someone who would eat fetal duck egg on live television?

4. He started out getting his hands dirty as a dishwasher and line cook.

Photo courtesy of @anthonybourdain on Instagram

Everyone has to start somewhere.

5. He doesn’t eat on airplanes and brings home-cooked meals instead.

Photo courtesy of @anthonybourdain on Instagram

Okay, but the real question is how does one make room in their carry-on for ribs? Have you seen the size of the overhead bins lately?

6. Despite his wild tastes, he prefers subtle dishes that aren’t “the size of your face.”

Photo courtesy of ises-msp.org

I’m assuming this sentiment doesn’t pertain to pizza.

7. Bourdain, open about his substance abuse since Kitchen Confidential, admitted to selling his record collection for drug money.

Photo courtesy of avclub.com

He’s learned from his mistakes, and that’s really all that matters.

8. During the Israel-Lebanon conflict in Beirut in 06′, the ‘No Reservations’ crew were filming, which lead to an Emmy-nominated episode of the events.

Photo courtesy of emmys.com

This definitely proves Bourdain’s ‘no directors cut’ philosophy isn’t just talk.

9. If you played Billy Joel with Chef Bourdain around, you probably didn’t walk through those kitchen doors again.

Photo courtesy of vulture.com

His kitchen, his playlist. Don’t worry “Piano Man” fans, Joel knows he hates his music, but they’re still buds.

10. Vegetarianism to him is an insult to developing countries, although he admits us Americans do eat an excessive amount of meat.

Soooo, what does he think of vegans, I wonder?

11. Finally, Bourdain admits he’s afraid of nurses’ shoes.

Photo courtesy of thenerdynurse.com

Beware of the Great White… clunky shoe.

Anthony Bourdain is the total gourmand package: fearless, down-to-earth, a little crazy, and not afraid to admit past mistakes. From author to host to eating noodles in Vietnam with POTUS, Bourdain is a guy with a lot more up his sleeve, which will lead to many other unknown facts about this unpredictable entertainer.


Anthony Michael Bourdain was born in New York City on June 25, 1956, the oldest of two sons of Gladys (née Sacksman) and Pierre Bourdain. [4] [5] Although he was not raised in a specified religion, his father was Catholic, while his mother was Jewish. Bourdain stated that, though he was considered Jewish by Judaism's definition, "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." His family was not religious either. [6] [7] At the time of Bourdain's birth, Pierre was a salesman at a New York City camera store, as well as a floor manager at a record store. He later became an executive for Columbia Records, [8] [9] and Gladys was a staff editor at The New York Times. [10] [11] [12] [13] [14] Bourdain's paternal grandparents were French his paternal grandfather emigrated from Arcachon to New York following World War I. [15] [16] Bourdain's father spent summers in France as a boy and grew up speaking French. [17] Bourdain spent most of his childhood in Leonia, New Jersey. [4] [18] In a 2014 interview, Bourdain talked about how in the 1960s, after seeing films, he would go to a restaurant afterwards with friends to discuss the film. [19] In his youth, Bourdain was a member of the Boy Scouts of America. [20]

Bourdain's love of food was kindled in his youth while on a family vacation in France when he tried his first oyster on a fisherman's boat. [21] He graduated from the Dwight-Englewood School—an independent coeducational college-preparatory day school in Englewood, New Jersey—in 1973, [5] then enrolled at Vassar College, but dropped out after two years. [22] He worked in seafood restaurants in Provincetown, Massachusetts, while attending Vassar, which inspired his decision to pursue cooking as a career. [23] [24]

Bourdain attended The Culinary Institute of America, graduating in 1978. [25] [26] From there he went on to run various restaurant kitchens in New York City, including the Supper Club, [27] One Fifth Avenue, and Sullivan's. [27]

In 1998, Bourdain became an executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles. Based in Manhattan, at the time the brand had additional restaurants in Miami, Washington, D.C., and Tokyo. [27] Bourdain remained an executive chef there for many years, and, even when no longer formally employed at Les Halles, maintained a relationship with the restaurant, which described him in January 2014 as their "chef at large". [28] Les Halles closed in 2017, after filing for bankruptcy. [29]

Writing Edit

In the mid-1980s, Bourdain began submitting unsolicited work for publication to Between C & D, a literary magazine of the Lower East Side. The magazine eventually published a piece that Bourdain had written about a chef who was trying to purchase heroin in the Lower East Side. In 1985, Bourdain signed up for a writing workshop with Gordon Lish. In 1990, Bourdain received a small book advance from Random House, after meeting a Random House editor. His first book, a culinary mystery Bone in the Throat, was published in 1995. [27] He paid for his own book tour, but he did not find success. His second mystery book, Gone Bamboo, also performed poorly in sales. [30]

He wrote two more bestselling nonfiction books: A Cook's Tour (2001), [35] an account of his food and travel exploits around the world, written in conjunction with his first television series of the same title, [35] and The Nasty Bits (2006), another collection of essays centered on food. [34] His additional books include Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook, [27] a hypothetical historical investigation Typhoid Mary: An Urban Historical, [36] and No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach. [37]

His articles and essays appeared in many publications, including in The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Times of London, the Los Angeles Times, The Observer, Gourmet, Maxim, and Esquire (UK) magazines Scotland on Sunday, The Face, Food Arts, Limb by Limb, BlackBook, The Independent, Best Life, the Financial Times, and Town & Country. His blog for the third season of Top Chef [38] was nominated for a Webby Award for Best Blog (in the Cultural/Personal category) in 2008. [39]

In 2012, Bourdain co-wrote the original graphic novel Get Jiro! along with Joel Rose its art was by Langdon Foss. [40] [41]

In 2015, Bourdain joined the travel, food, and politics publication Roads & Kingdoms as the site's sole investor and editor-at-large. [42] Over the next several years, Bourdain contributed to the site and edited the Dispatched By Bourdain series. Bourdain and Roads & Kingdoms also partnered on the digital series Explore Parts Unknown, which launched in 2017 and won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction or Reality Series in 2018. [43] [44]

Television Edit

As series host Edit

Bourdain's principal occupation between 2002 until his death in 2018 was a series of food and travel shows. Bourdain described the concept as, "I travel around the world, eat a lot of shit, and basically do whatever the fuck I want". [45] Nigella Lawson noted that Bourdain had an, "incredibly beautiful style when he talks that ranges from erudite to brilliantly slangy". [45]

A Cook's Tour (2002–2003) Edit

The acclaim surrounding Bourdain's memoir Kitchen Confidential led to an offer by the Food Network for him to host his own food and world-travel show, A Cook's Tour, which premiered in January 2002. It ran for 35 episodes, through 2003. [46]

No Reservations (2005–2012) Edit

In July 2005, he premiered a new, somewhat similar television series, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, on the Travel Channel. As a further result of the immense popularity of Kitchen Confidential, the Fox sitcom Kitchen Confidential aired in 2005, in which the character Jack Bourdain is based loosely on Anthony Bourdain's biography and persona.

In July 2006, he and his crew were in Beirut filming an episode of No Reservations when the Israel-Lebanon conflict broke out unexpectedly after the crew had filmed only a few hours of footage for the food and travel show. [47] His producers compiled behind-the-scenes footage of him and his production staff, including not only their initial attempts to film the episode, but also their firsthand encounters with Hezbollah supporters, their days of waiting for news with other expatriates in a Beirut hotel, and their eventual escape aided by a fixer (unseen in the footage), whom Bourdain dubbed Mr. Wolf after Harvey Keitel's character in Pulp Fiction. Bourdain and his crew were finally evacuated with other American citizens, on the morning of July 20, by the United States Marine Corps. The Beirut No Reservations episode, which aired on August 21, 2006, was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2007. [48]

The Layover (2011–2013) Edit

The Travel Channel announced in July 2011 that it would be adding a second one-hour, 10-episode Bourdain show to be titled The Layover, which premiered November 21, 2011. [49] Each episode featured an exploration of a city that can be undertaken within an air travel layover of 24 to 48 hours. The series ran for 20 episodes, through February 2013. Bourdain executive produced a similar show hosted by celebrities called The Getaway, which lasted two seasons on Esquire Network.

Parts Unknown (2013–2018) Edit

In May 2012, Bourdain announced that he would be leaving the Travel Channel. In December, he explained on his blog that his departure was due to his frustration with the channel's new ownership using his voice and image to make it seem as if he were endorsing a car brand, and the channel's creating three "special episodes" consisting solely of clips from the seven official episodes of that season. [50] He went on to host Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown for CNN. The program focuses on other cuisines, cultures and politics and premiered April 14, 2013. [51]

President Barack Obama was featured on the program in an episode filmed in Vietnam that aired in September 2016. The two talked over a beer at a local Vietnamese restaurant. [52] The show was filmed and is set in places as diverse as Libya, Tokyo, the Punjab region, [53] Jamaica, [54] Turkey, [55] Ethiopia, [56] Nigeria, [57] Far West Texas [58] and Armenia. [59]

Top Chef and other guest appearances Edit

Food programs Edit

Between 2012 and 2017, he served as narrator and executive producer for several episodes of the award-winning PBS series The Mind of a Chef. [60] The series moved from PBS to Facebook Watch in 2017. From 2013 to 2015 he was an executive producer and appeared as a judge and mentor in ABC's cooking-competition show The Taste. [61] He earned an Emmy nomination for each season.

Bourdain appeared five times as guest judge on Bravo's Top Chef reality cooking competition program: first in the November 2006 "Thanksgiving" episode of Season 2, and again in June 2007 in the first episode of Season 3, judging the "exotic surf and turf" competition that featured ingredients including abalone, alligator, black chicken, geoduck and eel. His third appearance was also in Season 3, as an expert on air travel, judging the competitors' airplane meals. He also wrote weekly blog commentaries for many of the Season 3 episodes, filling in as a guest blogger while Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio was busy opening a new restaurant. He next appeared as a guest judge for the opening episode of Season 4, in which pairs of chefs competed head-to-head in the preparation of various classic dishes, and again in the Season 4 Restaurant Wars episode, temporarily taking the place of head judge Tom Colicchio, who was at a charity event. He appeared as a guest judge in episode 12 of Top Chef: D.C. (Season 7), where he judged the cheftestants' meals they made for NASA. He was also one of the main judges on Top Chef All-Stars (Top Chef, Season 8). He made a guest appearance on the August 6, 2007 New York City episode of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, and Zimmern himself appeared as a guest on the New York City episode of Bourdain's No Reservations airing the same day. On October 20, 2008 Bourdain hosted a special, At the Table with Anthony Bourdain, on the Travel Channel.

Other series Edit

Bourdain appeared in an episode of TLC's reality show Miami Ink, aired on August 28, 2006, in which artist Chris Garver tattooed a skull on his right shoulder. Bourdain, who noted it was his fourth tattoo, said that one reason for the skull was that he wished to balance the ouroboros tattoo he had inked on his opposite shoulder in Malaysia, while filming Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. He was a consultant and writer for the television series Treme. [62] [63]

In 2010, he appeared on Nick Jr.'s Yo Gabba Gabba! as Dr. Tony. In 2011, he voiced himself in a cameo on an episode of The Simpsons titled "The Food Wife", in which Marge, Lisa, and Bart start a food blog called The Three Mouthkateers. [64] He appeared in a 2013 episode of the animated series Archer (S04E07), voicing chef Lance Casteau, a parody of himself. [65] In 2015, he voiced a fictionalized version of himself on an episode of Sanjay and Craig titled "Snake Parts Unknown". [66]

From 2015 to 2017, Bourdain hosted Raw Craft, a series of short videos released on YouTube. The series followed Bourdain as he visited various artisans who produce various craft items by hand, including iron skillets, suits, saxophones, and kitchen knives. The series was produced by William Grant & Sons to promote their Balvenie distillery's products. [67]

Publishing Edit

Ecco Press announced in September 2011 that Bourdain would have his own publishing line, Anthony Bourdain Books, which would include acquiring between three and five titles per year that "reflect his remarkably eclectic tastes". [68] The first books that the imprint published, released in 2013, include L.A. Son: My Life, My City, My Food by Roy Choi, Tien Nguyen, and Natasha Phan, [69] Prophets of Smoked Meat by Daniel Vaughn, and Pain Don't Hurt by Mark Miller. [70] Bourdain also announced plans to publish a book by Marilyn Hagerty. [71]

In describing the line, he said, "This will be a line of books for people with strong voices who are good at something—who speak with authority. Discern nothing from this initial list—other than a general affection for people who cook food and like food. The ability to kick people in the head is just as compelling to us—as long as that's coupled with an ability to vividly describe the experience. We are just as intent on crossing genres as we are enthusiastic about our first three authors. It only gets weirder from here." [72]

Shortly after Bourdain's death, HarperCollins announced the publishing line would shut down after the remaining works under contract are published. [73]

Film Edit

Bourdain appeared as himself in the 2015 film The Big Short, in which he used seafood stew as an analogy for a collateralized debt obligation. [74] He also produced and starred in Wasted! The Story of Food Waste. [75] [76]

Drew Magary, in a column for GQ published on the day of Bourdain's death, reflected that Bourdain was heir in spirit to Hunter S. Thompson. [77] Smithsonian Magazine declared Bourdain "the original rock star" of the culinary world, [78] while his public persona was characterized by Gothamist as "culinary bad boy". [79] Due to his liberal use of profanity and sexual references in his television show No Reservations, the network added viewer-discretion advisories to each episode. [80]

Bourdain was known for consuming exotic local specialty dishes, having eaten black-colored blood sausages called mustamakkara (direct translation: Black Sausage) in Finland [81] [82] and also "sheep testicles in Morocco, ant eggs in Puebla, Mexico, a raw seal eyeball as part of a traditional Inuit seal hunt, and an entire cobra—beating heart, blood, bile, and meat—in Vietnam". [83] Bourdain was quoted as saying that a Chicken McNugget was the most disgusting thing he ever ate, [84] despite his fondness for Popeyes chicken. [85] He also declared that the unwashed warthog rectum he ate in Namibia [86] was "the worst meal of [his] life", [87] along with the fermented shark he ate in Iceland. [88] [89]

Bourdain was noted for his put-downs of celebrity chefs, such as Paula Deen, Bobby Flay, Guy Fieri, Sandra Lee, and Rachael Ray, [90] [91] and appeared irritated by both the overt commercialism of the celebrity cooking industry and its lack of culinary authenticity. He voiced a "serious disdain for food demigods like Alan Richman, Alice Waters, and Alain Ducasse." [92] Bourdain recognized the irony of his transformation into a celebrity chef and began to qualify his insults in the 2007 New Orleans episode of No Reservations, he reconciled with Emeril Lagasse. [93] He was outspoken in his praise for chefs he admired, particularly Ferran Adrià, Juan Mari Arzak, Fergus Henderson, José Andrés, Thomas Keller, Martin Picard, Éric Ripert, and Marco Pierre White, [94] as well as his former protégé and colleagues at Brasserie Les Halles. [95] He spoke very highly of Julia Child's influence on him. [96]

Bourdain was known for his sarcastic comments about vegan and vegetarian activists, considering their lifestyle "rude" to the inhabitants of many countries he visited. He considered vegetarianism, except in the case of religious exemptions, a "First World luxury". [97] However, he also believed that Americans eat too much meat, and admired vegetarians and vegans who put aside their beliefs when visiting different cultures in order to be respectful of their hosts. [92]

Bourdain's book, The Nasty Bits, is dedicated to "Joey, Johnny, and Dee Dee" of the Ramones. He declared fond appreciation for their music, as well that of other early punk bands such as Dead Boys, and The Voidoids. [98] He said that the playing of music by Billy Joel, Elton John, or the Grateful Dead in his kitchen was grounds for firing. [98] Joel was a fan of Bourdain's, and visited the restaurant. [99]

On No Reservations and Parts Unknown, he dined with and interviewed many musicians, both in the U.S. and elsewhere, with a special focus on glam and punk rockers such as Alice Cooper, David Johansen, Marky Ramone and Iggy Pop. [100] [101] He featured contemporary band Queens of the Stone Age on No Reservations several times, and they composed and performed the theme song for Parts Unknown. [102]

Bourdain married his high school girlfriend, Nancy Putkoski, in 1985, and they remained together for two decades, divorcing in 2005. [103] On April 20, 2007, he married Ottavia Busia, a mixed martial artist. [104] [105] [106] The couple's daughter, Ariane, was born in 2007. [105] Bourdain said having to be away from his family for 250 days a year working on his television shows was a strain. [107] Busia appeared in several episodes of No Reservations, notably the ones in her birthplace of Sardinia, Tuscany, Rome, Rio de Janeiro and Naples. The couple separated in 2016. [108] [109] In 2017, Bourdain began a relationship with the Italian actress Asia Argento, whom he met when she appeared on the Rome episode of Parts Unknown. [110] [111] [112]

Bourdain practiced the martial art Brazilian jiu-jitsu, earning a blue belt in August 2015. [113] He won gold at the IBJJF New York Spring International Open Championship in 2016, in the Middleweight Master 5 (age 51 and older) division. [114]

Bourdain was known to be a heavy smoker. In a nod to Bourdain's two-pack-a-day cigarette habit, Thomas Keller once served him a 20-course tasting menu which included a mid-meal "coffee and cigarette", a coffee custard infused with tobacco, with a foie gras mousse. [115] Bourdain stopped smoking in 2007 for his daughter, [116] but restarted towards the end of his life. [117]

A former user of cocaine, heroin, and LSD, Bourdain wrote in Kitchen Confidential of his experience in a trendy SoHo restaurant in 1981, where he and his friends were often high. Bourdain said drugs influenced his decisions, and that he sent a busboy to Alphabet City to obtain cannabis, methaqualone, cocaine, LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, secobarbital, tuinal, amphetamine, codeine and heroin. [118]

In early June 2018, Bourdain was working on an episode of Parts Unknown in Strasbourg, with his frequent collaborator and friend Éric Ripert. [119] [120] On June 8, Ripert became worried when Bourdain had missed dinner and breakfast. He subsequently found Bourdain [121] dead of an apparent suicide by hanging in his room at Le Chambard hotel in Kaysersberg near Colmar. [122] [123] [124]

Christian de Rocquigny du Fayel, the public prosecutor for Colmar, said Bourdain's body bore no signs of violence [125] [126] and the suicide appeared to be an impulsive act. [125] Rocquigny du Fayel disclosed that Bourdain's toxicology results were negative for narcotics, showing only a trace of a therapeutic non-narcotic medication. [127] Bourdain's body was cremated in France on June 13, 2018, and his ashes were returned to the United States two days later. [128]

Reactions and tributes Edit

Bourdain's mother, Gladys Bourdain, told The New York Times: "He is absolutely the last person in the world I would have ever dreamed would do something like this." [129]

Following the news of Bourdain's death, various celebrity chefs and other public figures expressed sentiments of condolence. Among them were fellow chefs Andrew Zimmern and Gordon Ramsay, and former astronaut Scott Kelly. [78] [130] CNN issued a statement, saying that Bourdain's "talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much." [131] Former U.S. President Barack Obama, who dined with Bourdain in Vietnam on an episode of Parts Unknown, wrote on Twitter: "He taught us about food—but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown." [78] [132] Then-U.S. President Donald Trump said that he enjoyed Bourdain's show, described him as "quite a character" and expressed his condolences to Bourdain's family. [133] [134] On June 8, 2018, CNN aired Remembering Anthony Bourdain, a tribute program. [135]

In the days following Bourdain's death, fans paid tribute to him outside his now-closed former place of employment, Brasserie Les Halles. [136] Cooks and restaurant owners gathered together and held tribute dinners and memorials and donated net sales to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. [137]

In August 2018, CNN announced that it would broadcast a final, posthumous season of Parts Unknown, completing its remaining episodes using narration and additional interviews from featured guests, and two retrospective episodes paying tribute to the series and Bourdain's legacy. [138] [139] [140]

In June 2019, Éric Ripert and José Andrés announced the first Bourdain Day as a tribute to Bourdain. [141] In the same month, the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) established a scholarship in Bourdain's honor. [142]

A collection of Bourdain's personal items were sold at auction in October 2019, raising $1.8 million, part of which is to support the Anthony Bourdain Legacy Scholarship at his alma mater, The Culinary Institute of America. The most expensive item sold was his custom Bob Kramer Steel and Meteorite Chef's knife, selling at a record $231,250. [143]

In October 2019, a documentary film about Bourdain to be directed by Morgan Neville and produced by CNN Films and HBO Max was announced. [144] The film, titled Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain, is scheduled to have its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 11, 2021 [145] and released by Focus Features on July 16, 2021. [146]

In an assessment of Bourdain's life for The Nation, David Klion wrote that, "Bourdain understood that the point of journalism is to tell the truth, to challenge the powerful, to expose wrongdoing. But his unique gift was to make doing all that look fun rather than grim or tedious." [147] According to Klion, Bourdain's shows "made it possible to believe that social justice and earthly delights weren't mutually exclusive, and he pursued both with the same earnest reverence." [147]

Bourdain advocated for communicating the value of traditional or "peasant" foods, including all of the varietal bits and unused animal parts not usually eaten by affluent, 21st-century Americans. [148] He also praised the quality of freshly prepared street food in other countries—especially developing countries—compared to fast-food chains in the U.S. [149] Regarding Western moral criticism of cuisine in developing countries, Bourdain stated: "Let's call this criticism what it is: racism. There are a lot of practices from the developing world that I find personally repellent, from my privileged Western point of view. But I don't feel like I have such a moral high ground that I can walk around lecturing people in developing nations on how they should live their lives." [150]

With regard to criticism of the Chinese, Bourdain stated: "The way in which people dismiss whole centuries-old cultures–often older than their own and usually non-white–with just utter contempt aggravates me. People who suggest I shouldn't go to a country like China, look at or film it, because some people eat dog there, I find that racist, frankly. Understand people first: their economic, living situation." [150] Regarding the myth that monosodium glutamate in Chinese food is unhealthy, Bourdain said: "It's a lie. You know what causes Chinese restaurant syndrome? Racism. 'Ooh I have a headache it must have been the Chinese guy.'" [151] [152]

He championed industrious Spanish-speaking immigrants—from Mexico, Ecuador, and other Central and South American countries—who are cooks and chefs in many U.S. restaurants, including upscale establishments, regardless of cuisine. [153] [154] He considered them talented chefs and invaluable cooks, underpaid and unrecognized even though they have become the backbone of the U.S. restaurant industry. [155] [156]

In 2017, Bourdain became a vocal advocate against sexual harassment in the restaurant industry, speaking out about celebrity chefs Mario Batali and John Besh, [157] [158] and in Hollywood, [159] particularly following his then girlfriend Asia Argento's sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein. [160] Bourdain accused Hollywood director Quentin Tarantino of "complicity" in the Weinstein sex scandal. [161]

  • Bourdain was named Food Writer of the Year in 2001 by Bon Appétit magazine for Kitchen Confidential. [162]
  • A Cook's Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal was named Food Book of the Year in 2002 by the British Guild of Food Writers. [163]
  • The Beirut episode of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, which documented the experiences of Bourdain and his crew during the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Programming in 2007. [48]
  • Bourdain's blog for the reality competition show Top Chef[38] was nominated for a Webby Award for best Blog – Culture/Personal in 2008. [39]
  • In 2008, Bourdain was inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food and Beverage in America. [164]
  • In 2009 and 2011, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations won a Creative Arts Emmy Award for Outstanding Cinematography for Nonfiction Programming. [165]
  • In 2010, Bourdain was nominated for a Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Writing for Nonfiction Programming. [165]
  • In 2012, Bourdain was awarded an Honorary Clio Award, which is given to individuals who are changing the world by encouraging people to think differently. [166]
  • In 2012, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations won the Critics' Choice Best Reality Series award. [167]
  • In 2013, 2014 and 2015, Bourdain was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Program for The Taste. [168]
  • Each year from 2013 to 2016 & 2018, Bourdain won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Informational Series or Special for Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. [169][170]
  • In 2014, the 2013 season of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown won a Peabody Award, which was accepted by Bourdain. [171][172]
  • In December 2017, the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters in Culinary Arts honoris causa to Bourdain, who graduated from the CIA with an associate degree in 1978. [173]
  • Bourdain posthumously won a 2018 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Short Form Nonfiction or Reality Series in partnership with Roads & Kingdoms. [44]
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  • Typhoid Mary: An Urban Historical. New York: Bloomsbury. 2001. ISBN978-1-58234-133-0 .
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  • The Nasty Bits. New York: Bloomsbury. 2006. ISBN978-1-59691-360-8 .
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  • Get Jiro: Blood and Sushi. DC Comics. 2015. ISBN978-1401252267 . with Joel Rose and Alé Garza
  • Hungry Ghosts. Berger Books. 2018. 978-1506706696. with Joel Rose, Alberto Ponticelli, Irene Koh, Paul Pope
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    • In 2018, Explore Parts Unknown
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The Restaurant Where Obama, Bourdain And I Ate A Meal – Bun Cha Huong Lien, Hanoi

If there is one interesting moment that grasped the attention of the shutterbugs in 2016 it was Barack Obama and Anthony Bourdain eating the Bun Cha in Hanoi. After all, it’s not every day that the President of the USA enters a nondescript restaurant with a swashbuckling celebrity chef to enjoy a bowl of the dish. Tucked in the south of Old Quarter, Hanoi, the Bun Cha Huong Lien, a family run restaurant works arduously to make this iconic Vietnamese wonder day after day. It’s gotten used to the attention and swells with pride at being the chosen one. The restaurant is on every traveler’s list and highly recommended for first-timers in Hanoi. After all, if two famous international personalities, Barack Obama and Anthony Bourdain chose this place to have a meal, then undoubtedly, it has to be the best.

The entrance to the restaurant is nothing out of the ordinary but the former President did eat here.

An unforgettable moment captured with the former President of the USA.

Traveling in Hanoi is never an issue. There are Xe Om (motorcycle taxis), Cyclos ( bicycle rickshaws ) and taxis. Haggling before stepping into either one of them is, however, one big issue. It’s annoying and cumbersome. Much like Ola and Uber are an answer to the Indian commuters, Grab is the first phone app that any tourist must download in Vietnam. They have a wide coverage from urban to suburban areas and give a cost estimation before you take a ride. On our trip, this was our savior and we practically used it all the time. We used it this evening too when we headed off to the restaurant.

Extremely popular, the restaurant is always packed with customers.

For the ignorant, Bun Cha Huong Lien can easily be missed. There’s nothing fancy about it. In fact, it looks more like a canteen, rather drab with long aluminum tables and blue plastic stools. It’s the beaming photos on the wall that grab attention instantly. President Barack Obama and Anthony Bourdain in the midst of their conversation, President Obama with Nguyen Thi Lien, one of two proud owners of Bun Cha Huong Lien and more. The restaurant definitely had its ‘crowning glory’ moment with that visit, how long it sustains the reputation lies in its food. Or as they say “The proof of the pudding lies in its eating.”

Photographs of the eventful day adorn the walls.

Despite years since Obama visited the restaurant, it continues to draw media who want to know the reason behind its popularity.

A laminated menu stuck on the wall makes it easier to glance over the meals in offing. There’s the ever-popular “Combo Obama” which is basically a bowl of traditional Bun Cha paired with some deep-fried Hanoi-style spring rolls and a bottle of Hanoi beer. One can order the Nem Hai San (Fried Seafood Roll), Bun Cha, Thit Xien (Pork Skewers) and Nem Cua Be (Fried Crab Roll ) separately as well. The “Combo Obama” is a good choice to try out all the dishes and we ordered that.

The Bun Cha is the most popular dish of the restaurant.

The menu in Bun Cha Huong Lien, Hanoi


The word “Bun” basically means Noodles and “Cha” means pork – the two essential ingredients of the dish. The Bun Cha is a Vietnamese dish of squiggly rice noodle, grilled fatty pork, pork meatballs, fresh herbs, and a meticulously balanced dipping broth. Supplemented by a plate topped with fresh green leafy herbs that lend their own distinct flavor, it is one of those dishes with a smoky, lingering scent and varying levels of textures and color.

All the main components of the Bun Cha are served in separate bowls.

Served in separate bowls, the Bun Cha looks rather simple to make but it’s the intricacies involved in making each component that make it an intense dish. For one, the noodles are freshly made in the kitchens every day. Using a packaged noodle would be an inferior substitute and compromising on the taste. The dipping broth uses vinegar, sugar, chili and fish sauce primarily and the trick to making a perfect one lies in the fine proportion of these ingredients. The recipe for making the savory dipping broth is held close within families and each restaurant has their own special way of making it. The glistening, tender pork that lies in a bowl has its own story too. After a marination of salt, black pepper, and fish sauce the pork is skewered and dipped in caramelized sugar before it reaches the smoldering fire coals to sizzle.


Freshly chopped garlic and red chilies are served with Bun Cha. The way to eat the Bun Cha is pretty simple. Add the garlic and red chilies as desired. Throw in the noodles and the spring rolls. Finally, tear the herbs and dunk them in the broth and you’re ready to go.

Add the noodles, spring rolls and herbs into the broth to enjoy Bun Cha.

In Huong Lien, eating the Bun Cha is a happy experience. Enjoy the harmony of the flavors – the tender sweet pork, the saltiness of the fish sauce, the crunchiness of the herbs and the aroma of this bowl in its entirety. This is a healthy bowl of textures, color, and flavors. When there don’t give it a miss. And if you forget the name of the restaurant don’t worry. Just say “Bun Cha Obama”. Everyone knows it.

( Disclaimer: Featured image courtesy – Mashable. )


This post is a part of #MyFriendAlexa challenge. It’s an endeavor to bring interesting stories, places, food and places to the readers. I am taking my Alexa rank to the next level with blogchatter.

Photograph Courtesy of Neir’s Tavern

The next stop in the episode is Neir’s Tavern, located on 87-48 78th St. in Woodhaven. It’s described as the “most famous place you’ve never heard of,” with a history dating back to the 1820s, when Queens was still mostly farmland. At that time, the manager of a race track (the Union Course) opened the first iteration of the tavern, “The Blue Pump Room,” to accommodate guests who visited his track.

In later years, the tavern was renamed “The Old Abbey” and “The Union Course Tavern.” Following the race track’s closure in 1898, the Neir family spruced up the establishment by adding a bowling alley, a ball room and a hotel it was then renamed “Neir’s Social Hall.”

Despite its long history (and the fact that “Goodfellas” was shot here), Neir’s Tavern’s tucked away location still makes it a hidden gem.

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I had a checkered, even tortured relationship with Denver before I came this last time. Even though Denver's always been great to me, in 2002 I came through here on my book tour and found myself hungry, wandering around the city center looking for good food. What I saw was not inspiring &mdash and I said so, repeatedly, frankly insulting the city long after the world had moved on and things had changed.

Seven years later, Denverites recommended that he try Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs, then nothing more than a street cart on the 16th Street Mall serving outlandish game sausages grilled up by founder Jim Pittenger. In the episode, Bourdain tells Pittenger, "Thank you for all your good work in making Denver a wonderful place to be."

At least Bourdain had the good sense to recognize what we already knew not long after, Pittenger went on to open a storefront version of Biker Jim's on Larimer Street, quickly becoming one of the country's most buzzed- about hot dog slingers.

In that 2010 episode, Bourdain also visited Mizuna, owned by chef/restaurateur Frank Bonanno, whom he called the "big dog in town." Proof of that pronouncement has been growing over the past several years as Bonanno has built up his restaurant empire, culminating in Denver Milk Market, the massive undertaking that launched at the beginning of this month. At one point, Bourdain had planned to open his own international food hall in New York City, but those plans were put on hold last year &mdash and now will never happen.

"I wish he could have waited &rsquotil tomorrow," Pittenger says. "Things might be different then. He took a permanent solution to what I can only imagine is a temporary problem."

When Bourdain came to Denver in 2016 on a publicity-tour stop for his last book, Appetites, he acknowledged legalized marijuana as a draw for the city's chefs and disparaged craft beer during his on-stage monologue.

Anthony Bourdain's lust for adventure, food and drink, as well as his engaging storytelling, had always made us feel as if we knew the man, but as with so many celebrities, his private life and emotions weren't part of the lively picture portrayed in his TV shows or by the media.

But in the little time we had to get to know him here, at least he finally gave Denver his blessing.

Keep Westword Free. Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.


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Street Food Hall to Open in New York Thanks to Anthony Bourdain

Imagine an emporium of food stalls that offer snacks and bites from the most well respected chefs in the world.

Think of a place where you can get the delights of Malaysia, a selection of gourmet street food from Singapore and a nibble from a chef whose family has passed down the recipe for generations – all in one massive hall.

It sounds like a foodie-paradise that will become a reality thanks to Anthony Bourdain.

While Bourdain himself can be an acquired taste, you cannot deny the idea of 󈬘 to 50 single-concept stalls” offering just a few perfected dishes from some of the elite names in cooking sounds amazing.

The chef turned TV star and his business partner, Stephen Werthen, are working on this concept to be anchored in New York.

The project is still in its infancy, but the promise is there. “I am indeed working on this project—carefully assembling a dream list of chefs, operators, street food and hawker legends from around the world—in hopes of bringing them together in one New York City space,” he told Eater. “As the greatest city in the world, I’ve long felt that we should have the kind of delicious, diverse food centers that Singapore ( for instance) enjoys. And, in fact, it is my hope that an important component of this project will be representatives of Straits hawker masters.”

The team has a strict vision and they plan on making it a truly unique experience. “We are not interested in the usual suspects…We want you to be able to enjoy expertly sliced Iberico ham and some Cava or Kuching-style laksa, Chinese lamb noodles, Vietnamese pho or a decent barbecue brisket all in one place.” Bourdain confirmed. “And, most importantly, made by the very best people in each specialized area.

The concept will divide the vendors into three major sections – Asian street food, a rotating “geographic spotlight” and a wedge of gourmet street food open to both international and domestic chefs. The location hasn’t been named, but the theory is that this massive hall will likely find a home in part of 3 World Trade Center or Hudson Yards.

As for the rest of us non-New Yorkers…if the project is successful, you could see the concept expand to your city.



Location: 1351 H Street NE, Atlas District
Projected opening: Early Spring 2015
Vendors: Vigilante Coffee, Frenchie's Bakery

Chef-owner Erik Bruner-Yang of ramen hot spot Toki Underground is collaborating with Will Sharp, the creative director of DC-based streetwear brand DURKL, on this highly anticipated project. Maketto will be a two-level southeast Asian street food restaurant and market that will also include retail, food stalls, and a coffee shop. The project has been a long time coming, but Maketto is finally slated to make its debut in the coming months.

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