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Anthony Bourdain, who was born in New York in 1956, began his culinary career as a dishwasher. He needed money, and dishwashing helped pay the bills. Bourdain did not decide to become a chef until a wedding reception, which moved him greatly, took place at his first restaurant. Originally he attended Vasser College for two “misspent” years, but it was his training at the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) that began Bourdain’s career as a chef. After working for more than two decades in professional kitchens, Bourdain is currently the executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles in New York City.

However, Bourdain is perhaps best known for his somewhat controversial memoir Kitchen Confidential. The novel stemmed from an article Bourdain had written for The New Yorker magazine about life behind the scenes in restaurant kitchens. Bourdain holds nothing back in this novel and it’s not for the squeamish or faint-of-heart. Bourdain begins his story by cautioning: "There will be horror stories. Heavy drinking, drugs, screwing in the dry-goods area, unappetizing industry-wide practices. Talking about why you probably shouldn't order fish on a Monday, why those who favor well-done get the scrapings from the bottom of the barrel, and why seafood frittata is not a wise brunch selection.... But I'm simply not going to deceive anybody about the life as I've seen it."
Kitchen Confidential, however, is not Bourdain’s only work. While not in the kitchen at Les Halles, Bourdain has found the time to write two satirical thrillers, Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo, as well as the urban historical, Typhoid Mary. Bourdain has even tackled television in the Food Network series A Cook’s Tour. In late 2000, Bourdain set off to eat his way across the globe in an attempt to find, “kicks, thrills, epiphanies” and the “perfect meal.” This book and its companion Food Network show chronicle Bourdain’s experiences, good and bad, on his journey—the most famous of which involves the chef eating the live beating heart of a cobra.
Anthony Bourdain doesn’t shy away from the spotlight, even though he isn’t too fond of fame. According to Bourdain, chefs are not the best people to make into celebrities. Nevertheless, when asked about his plans for the future, Bourdain states that he will continue cooking and writing; he says, “It’s as simple as that.” He lives in New York City with his wife, Nancy, and he's a proud fan of the New York Yankees.

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