Anthony Bourdain's death in 2018 left an unreplaceable void. Anyone even remotely related to the travel, food, or the book industry felt like they'd lost a friend, a mentor, an inspirational figure that had managed to win hearts across the globe with his honesty and gentle nature. What Anthony did leave behind were fond memories and a collection of books that share his passion for offbeat travel, adventure, and gastronomic surprises. Quintessential reads, these books by Anthony Bourdain make for engaging reads packed with wit, revelations, discoveries, and the spirit of a remarkable man that departed our lives a little too soon.
The book that put Anthony Bourdain on the culinary map, Kitchen Confidential, is a true classic, one that exposes what it is like to work in professional kitchens across the globe. Candidly speaking about his life as a chef, Bourdain goes all out, leaving no dish unturned, giving readers a revealing and, at times, shocking look into the food industry. His straightforward approach seems to work wonders, acknowledging the hard work, the sex, and the drugs, that seem to be an indispensable part of the restaurant business. Kitchen Confidential is required reading for literally anyone who eats food.
The sequel to Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain once again pulls out all the knives and goes on a chopping rampage with his words in Medium Raw. He shares opinions in his unapologetic style about individual people in the business as well as writes about iconic gastronomic moments like the time he got to eat the "illegal" ortolan bird. Bourdain's passion for cooking and eating oozes from every page of the book, but for the reader, it is his bold and no-nonsense approach towards everything food that makes Medium Raw an essential read.
If you enjoy watching Anthony Bourdain's show No Reservations, you'll love the book. A behind-the-scenes look featuring the cast and crew, No Reservation works as a companion to the popular television series. The personal stories and abundance of photographs make it an enlightening read, full of interesting facts and insight into how much fun and tiring it is to travel the planet in search of unusual food.
LA in a dystopian-like near future, ruled by two warring chef-lords, who want nothing more than to get Jiro, a sushi chef with a chequered past and a little restaurant, to join them; Get Jiro, co-written with Joel Rose, is a graphic novel that showcases Bourdain at his savage best. A plot that revolves around the desire for cooking, Bourdain's fans will find hints of his personality reflect in the pages, Jiro's love for Banh Mi, for instance, along with familiar moments you can link to his shows or books. A commentary on the self-obsessed nature of the culinary world, while simultaneously a homage to the delegate art of cookery and Japanese Manga, Bourdain's foray into graphic novels is funny, gritty, gory, Jiro beheads a client who asks for a California roll, and outright cultish.
It wouldn't be right to make a list of Anthony Bourdain's books and not include at least one cookbook. Appetites, though, is one of the best you'll ever own. Written in classic Bourdain-ian style, think in-your-face rectitude mixed with oodles of sarcasm and a pinch of foul-mouthing, Appetites is a collection of personal recipes that Bourdain, till now, had reserved only for his close family and friends. Easy to follow, and comprising of dishes that will surely impress your guests, this is Anthony Bourdain working the basics in the kitchen, where he is still a champion at what he does; cook delicious food.
Available from October 2020, World Travel - An Irreverent Guide is going to be Anthony Bourdain's last book, automatically making it a must-buy. Completed by Lauri Woolever, the book is a collection of Bourdain's favourite places with information on how to experience them like a local. World Travel also consists of heart-warming chapters by the chef’s colleagues and family who share special moments and anecdotes about the influential man and his omnipresent aura that continues to glow bright, even now.