WASHINGTON, December 28, 2014 — Many Americans envy Anthony Bourdain. The chef turned travel and food celebrity jets around the world to ‘Parts Unknown’ and eats and drinks his way through both the fabulous and the fantastically unassuming. Along the way, he meets interesting people, provides glimpses of his own world view, and leaves viewers thinking about more than succulent brisket or street-meat kabobs.
Bourdain is anything buy shy, and readily reveals both his passions and his opinions. He is the quintessential straight-shooter, unapologetically calling it like he sees it. Bourdain is insightful, funny, intelligent and – while you might hesitate to introduce him to your mother – immensely likeable. He has attracted a cult-like following, with viewers asking, “What would Anthony do?” or, in bracelet form, WWAD?
Yet Bourdain recently revealed “25 Things You Don’t Know About Me” to US Weekly, providing still more information to Bourdain groupies.
It’s hard to imagine there is anything not-yet-known about Bourdain. Every episode contains hints – some subtle and some not-so-subtle – about how Tony views the world and the history that made him who he is today.
In Episode 7 of Season Four of ‘Parts Unknown’, Bourdain revisited several Massachusetts locations, where Bourdain grew up. Bourdain remembers the summer fondly, saying “There were no happier stupider times.” Although the episode is full of the mouth-watering foods that are the staple of Bourdain’s shows, it also is intensely personal for Bourdain. He talks about his heroin addiction, which he kicked, and about the exploding problem of drugs in America’s suburbs.
Tony’s wife Ottavia has appeared in episodes of ‘No Reservations,’ including Brazil and Italy. The trips showed the dynamic between the two and gave viewers a glimpse of Tony-as-husband.
Ottavia has also provided information on Tony, through interviews and her Twitter account.
Bourdain’s memoir, Kitchen Confidential, is raw and honest – like Bourdain – and gives honest insight into both Bourdain and the culinary industry.
If all that isn’t enough, Bourdain participates in social media. His Tumblr account is a well-written blog of all things Bourdain. He addresses increasingly complex questions, such as free speech in Iran or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict or who owns paradise. Bourdain writes his own Twitter feed, and frequently posts on Facebook.
Despite all this Bourdain information, the list of 25 has drawn considerable attention from followers. Fans already knew Bourdain and his wife are Brazilian jujitsu aficionados and that “runny, smelly cheese is one of life’s great joys.” Likewise, he has foreshadowed “If I had to eat in only one country for the rest of my life, it would be Japan” on episodes of his television shows.
But there is some new news here as well. Surprisingly, Bourdain is “more of a cat person than a dog person.” And before he was a chef, “I wanted to be a comic book artist. I can draw pretty well.”
He also gives away some more views on family, noting, “I haven’t worn an earring or thumb ring since my daughter was born. Dads shouldn’t have earrings. Or thumb rings.” Bourdain also quit smoking in 2007 when his daughter was born. In the same vein, Bourdain reveals, “I don’t actually drink that much anymore.”
Fears? “I am afraid of clowns, nurse’s shoes and pressure cookers.”
You can read the whole list here.
CNN has renewed “Parts Unknown” for a fifth season, so there is plenty more of Bourdain still to come.