Welcome to our collection of quotes by Anthony Bourdain. We hope you enjoy pondering them and please share widely.
Anthony Michael Bourdain (June 25, 1956 – June 8, 2018) was an American celebrity chef, author, and travel documentarian, who starred in programs focusing on the exploration of international culture, cuisine, and the human condition. Bourdain was a 1978 graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and a veteran of a number of professional kitchens during his career, which included many years spent as an executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in Manhattan. He first became known for his bestselling book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2000).
Bourdain's first food and world-travel television show A Cook's Tour ran for 35 episodes on the Food Network in 2002 and 2003. In 2005, he began hosting the Travel Channel's culinary and cultural adventure programs Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations (2005–2012) and The Layover (2011–2013). In 2013, he began a three-season run as a judge on The Taste, and consequently switched his travelogue programming to CNN to host Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. Though best known for his culinary writings and television presentations, along with several books on food and cooking and travel adventures, Bourdain also wrote both fiction and historical nonfiction. On June 8, 2018, Bourdain died by suicide via hanging himself while on location in France for Parts Unknown.
If there was such a thing as building porn, it would be this. Just looking out the window as your drive or trolley by you think, 'I want that. Who lives there? Who lived there? What's it like inside? And where did they go?'
It's beautiful here. They said that of course, that Budapest is beautiful. But it is in fact almost ludicrously beautiful.
You'd have a hard time finding anything better than Barcelona for food, as far as being a hub.
When dealing with complex transportation issues, the best thing to do is pull up with a cold beer and let somebody else figure it out.
I've long believed that good food, good eating, is all about risk. Whether we're talking about unpasteurized Stilton, raw oysters or working for organized crime associates, food, for me, has always been an adventure.
For those with restless, curious minds, fascinated by layer upon layer of things, flavors, tastes and customs, which we will never fully be able to understand, Tokyo is deliciously unknowable. I'm sure I could spend the rest of my life there, learn the language, and still die happily ignorant.
The journey is part of the experience -- an expression of the seriousness of one's intent.
I'm not looking to freak people out-eating rodents or bugs. I don't do that anymore.
There is no final resting place of the mind.
People's choice to become vegan, from people I've spoken to, seems motivated by fear.
In too much of the West, everyone wants the guarantee of safety, and never having to make any decisions.
I think that if all kids aspire to reach a point where they could feed themselves and a few of their friends, this would be good for the world surely.
Vegetarians are the enemy of everything good and decent in the human spirit, an affront to all I stand for, the pure enjoyment of food.
Your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.
Even on the Serengeti, it ain't a barbecue if there ain't some kind of beer.
If you're training in a combat sport, deliciousness takes a backseat.
I'd like to play bass like Bootsy Collins. I'm serious. That would be my dream.
It was not a pretty sight, all these pale, gangly, pimpled youths, in a frenzy of hunger and sexual frustration, shredding bread.
I think it's important if you're going to write a cookbook, it should sound like you talking -- it should be things you actually believe, otherwise I'm not interested.
The cookbooks I value the most in my collection are the ones where you hear the author's voice and point-of-view in every recipe.
Practicing your craft in expert fashion is noble, honorable, and satisfying. And I'll generally take a stand-up mercenary who takes pride in his professionalism over an artist any day.
Just because we are not Italian, does not mean we cannot appreciate Michelangelo, it is the same with cuisine.
Food, it appeared, could be important. It could be an event. It had secrets.
America's most dangerous export was, is and always will be our fast-food outlets.
I listen a lot to how people speak. I've read a great many good books in my life. I had some excellent English teachers. Surely, those things were helpful.
I won't eat in a restaurant with filthy bathrooms. This isn't a hard call. They let you see the bathrooms. If the restaurant can't be bothered to replace the puck in the urinal or keep the toilets and floors clean, then just imagine what their refrigeration and work spaces look like.
Free time is my enemy. I recognized early on I'm not a guy who should have a lot of time to contemplate the mysteries of the universe. I need to stay busy... That's just the nature of my demons.
I'm not afraid to look like an idiot on TV.
I think we should increase the minimum wage and I think $15 is a good beginning.
The whole concept of 'the perfect meal' is ludicrous.
I knew already that the best meal in the world, the perfect meal, is very rarely the most sophisticated or expensive one....Context and memory play powerful roles in all the truly great meals in one's life.
I've been really fortunate in that I guess I was hired to do A Cook's Tour, I was already a known quantity, meaning I had written a really obnoxious book and nobody expected me to be anyone that I wasn't already.
Everything was different now. Everything. I'd not only survived -- I'd enjoyed.
Good food and good eating are about risk. Every once in a while an oyster, for instance, will make you sick to your stomach. Does this mean you should stop eating oysters? No way.
I am very much enjoying the fatherhood phase of my life.
We learn as professionals by repetition, by getting it wrong, getting yelled at and doing it again.
If people are working only rice and beans for much of their diet, it says something.
My daughter takes pride in showing up with stuff that other kids envy or are freaked out by, so I send her to school with grilled octopus.
Just because I like sushi, doesn't mean I can make sushi. I've come to well understand how many years just to get sushi rice correct. It's a discipline that takes years and years and years. So, I leave that to the experts.
Really annoys me any time I see Asian fusion too. Asia is a big place; which Asian are you talking about? You notice it's never Uzbek or Tajik food. It's Thai, and it's generally insulting.
There's something not normal about you if you're writing a book about yourself, or about anything. And if you're the kind of person who can deal with being recognized by strangers and if that's tolerable or pleasing to you, and not immediately terrifying, that's not normal either.
Being on television, being recognizable, this is unnatural.
Most of the time, I'm fighting guys who are 22 years old, former college wrestlers, athletes, kids who are in much better shape than me. Often people who are much bigger and wider than me. It can be dispiriting at first.
I do not have a merchandise line. I don't sell knives or apparel. Though I have been approached to endorse various products from liquor to airlines to automobiles to pharmaceuticals dozens of times, I have managed to resist the temptation.
I'm certainly dismayed by what I'm seeing now. There's a lot of ugliness of a kind I've never seen in my lifetime, or heard in my lifetime. But, look, I'm a romantic. I'm hopeful.
Anything that improves people's expectations of a meal is good for the world. Anything that weans even one kid or one adult away from Chili's or T.G.I. Friday's is definitely a win for the good guys.
I would frankly be shocked if Donald Trump even knows how to use chopsticks or is even able to manipulate them with those tiny little fingers.
I'm a control freak. If you're going to slap my name on something, I would like to control it.
It's been about a week without alcohol of any kind. I'm enjoying my new, clean-living lifestyle.
Thinking of getting into the leg-breaking business, so I can profitably sell crutches later.
I am a delightfully evangelical guy about things I love. I am that annoying guy who sits everyone down and forces them to read some book I like. I'm looking across the full spectrum of genres.
I'm a radical environmentalist; I think the sooner we asphyxiate in our own filth, the better. The world will do better without us. Maybe some fuzzy animals will go with us, but there'll be plenty of other animals, and they'll be back.
Good food does lead to sex. As it should. And in a perfect world, good music does too.
In Italy, kids are taken to restaurants very early, they're welcome there, and they learn how to behave. You don't see a lot of screaming crying kids acting out in a restaurant in Italy. They don't put up with that.
I need the anesthetic qualities of the local fire water.
Those places I don't understand, just doing bad food. It takes some doing. Making good pasta is so much easier than making bad stuff. It actually takes quite an effort to make poor linguine pomodora.
I eat strategically. If I know I'm having a big Chinese banquet tomorrow, I'm not eating a big dinner tonight, and I'm not having breakfast.
I have the best job in the world.
I'm not going anywhere. I hope. It's been an adventure. We took some casualties over the years. Things got broken. Things got lost. But I wouldn't have missed it for the world.
A burger is something anyone can do, just follow the rules.
Cooking breakfast and brunch professionally really kind of ruined breakfast service for me for a long time.
We knew well how much these people were paying for cocaine -- and that the more coke cost, the more people wanted it. We applied the same market plan to our budding catering operation, along with a similar pricing structure, and business was suddenly very, very, good.
I think of street food as the antidote to fast food; it's the clear alternative to the king, the clown and the colonel.
If I'm training I'm cutting weight for a competition. I'm hard. I'm pretty much eating animal protein and that's it. No rice, no beans, certainly no sweets.
When do you stop to de-douche?
Where once they used to say, 'Cocaine is God's way of saying you have too much money' -- now, maybe EDM is. Come ye lords and princelings of douchedom.
The older I get, and the more I travel in particular, the less I care about what exactly is in the dish than who's cooking it and why.
Anyone who's a chef, who loves food, ultimately knows that all that matters is: Is it good? Does it give pleasure?
Look at your waiter's face. He knows. It's another reason to be polite to your waiter: he could save your life with a raised eyebrow or a sigh.
A proper saute pan should cause serious head injury if brought down hard against someone else's skull. If you have any doubts about which will dent, the victim's head or your pan, then throw that pan right in the trash.
I can't do exercises regularly because my schedule changes from day to day. I'm okay with hurting myself, like I'll lift something until it hurts, but I don't want to pass out or vomit in front of people.
I love New York. I'm a guy for whom a New York accent is a comforting thing.
I'd like to make a show with Keith Richards.
Never try to get your kid to eat anything she doesn't already want to eat. Just eat interesting stuff in front of her while completely ignoring her. Never, ever suggest try it. Never say those dreaded words try it, it's good. Or worse, It's good for you. That'll poison the well.
Cream rises. Excellence does have its rewards.
Good food and good eating are about risk.
I don't have to agree with you to like you or respect you.
Don't lie about it. You made a mistake. Admit it and move on. Just don't do it again. Ever.
Margarine? That's not food. I Can't Believe It's Not Butter? I can. If you're planning on using margarine in anything, you can stop reading now, because I won't be able to help you.
Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don't have.
I'm sure one of the frustrations of being a Western enthusiast of Japanese food and culture is you're confronted every day with the absolute certainty that you will die ignorant.
If I were trapped in one city and had to eat one nation's cuisine for the rest of my life, I would not mind eating Japanese. I adore Japanese food. I love it.
When you're training for jiu-jitsu, particularly if you're training for a competition, you have to be pretty prescribed in the variety of what you eat.
The bible of cooking. The all-time argument ender. Early in my cooking career, I wielded my Larousse like a weapon and it never let me down.
When I die, I will decidedly not be regretting missed opportunities for a good time. My regrets will be more along the lines of a sad list of people hurt, people let down, assets wasted and advantages squandered.
Naturally, I'm misanthropic. But the Negronis are helping considerably.
As Americans, we tend to look at Mexican food as nachos, which is not Mexican food really -- they don't eat them.
I, a product of the New Frontier and Great Society, honestly believed that the world pretty much owed me a living -- all I had to do was wait around in order to live better than my parents.
One of my few virtues -- I don't have a lot of them -- would be a deep sense of curiosity. I'm interested in how other people live in other places; I'm interested in other cultures.