Mon, 06/23/2008 - 16:52
Sunday, September 14 4:50PM—5:35PMThe Role of a Chef Main Stage Presentation
BiographyAnthony Bourdain is known for his blunt, entertaining observations about the world of restaurants, chefs, and cooking, which come from 28 years spent working in professional kitchens, most recently at New York's famed bistro, Les Halles. But Bourdain is, even more than a chef, a cultural-culinary anthropologist – one that gathers his information from the trenches, whether it’s spearing pigs in the depths of the Amazon or learning from the kitchens of Mexican home cooks.
Born in New York City in 1956, Bourdain “misspent” two years at Vassar College before attending the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, after which he worked for nearly three decades in professional kitchens. His exposé of New York restaurants, “Don't Eat Before Reading This,” published in The New Yorker in 1999, attracted huge attention in the US and the UK. It formed the basis of his critically acclaimed 2001 book, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, which described, in often lurid detail, his experiences in kitchens. It became a surprise bestseller, and launched a career as a documentary historian of sorts – one that focused on adventures in eating (and quite often, drinking).
Bourdain set out to eat his way around the globe, looking for, as he put it, kicks, thrills, epiphanies, and the "perfect meal." His book, A Cook's Tour, and its companion 22-part television series chronicle his adventures and misadventures on that voyage, during which he sampled the still-beating heart of a live cobra, dined with gangsters in Russia, and returned to the tiny fishing village of La Teste, France, where he first ate an oyster as a child.
Bourdain is a contributing authority for Food Arts magazine. His novels include The Bobby Gold Stories, Bone in the Throat, and Gone Bamboo; his work has appeared in such publications as The New Yorker, Gourmet, and The New York Times. He describes his recent cookbook, Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook (2004), as "Julia Child meets Full Metal Jacket." His latest book, The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Useable Trim, Scraps and Bones, is a well-seasoned broth of candid, often outrageous stories from his worldwide (mis)adventures.