Grumpy, sarcastic, a vegetarian hater. That’s how many know him to be. He made eyes pop out and jaws drop by devouring the most bizarre food in the world (sheep testicles, cobra heart and warthog rectum to name some), he once admitted he can eat a human being, and his critics believe he serves profanities on TV shows as an, Am I shocking you enough?, tactic. But now, celebrated American chef, author and TV presenter Anthony Bourdain, 56, is a changed man. Or so he claims, talking to us on phone from Singapore where he is shooting for the second season of his TV show for CNN, Parts Unknown, through which he explores food and dining rituals of little known global places.
“I am just not into shocking people anymore. I am kind of done with the bizarre and weird stuff,” says Bourdain who is known for swearing on his shows. Should his six-year-old daughter Ariane get the credit for mellowing him down? “As clichéd as it may sound, nothing ever remains the same when you become a father of a little girl,” says Bourdain, who has never shied away from talking about his tough fight against drug addiction. Now, cartoons have replaced cocaine in his life. “Ariane loves to cook with me. Whenever I am cooking, she always joins in. Together, we make some nice food at home – pasta, and omelettes.”
What’s also keeping Bourdain busy is travelling to strife-ridden places such as Congo and Libya for his show. He always longed to visit Congo, drawn by Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness, which was set there. “We explored places that no other Western cameraman ever did before. It was so hot, and the security situation was bad, yet we had the best time,” he says. India is on his map, too. “I long to go back to Kerela, I love the place, the spicy fish head curry I had there. I also want to go to Pondicherry, Goa and East India,” he says.
Who’s that guy?
Anthony Bourdain is a world famous American chef, TV host and author. He shot to fame with his book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. He made his TV debut with A Cook's Tour in 2002. His show, Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations won a Creative Arts Emmy Award.
... but his wife’s a vegan!
While Anthony is a meat lover and has lashed out at vegetarians (though he says Indian veg food is delicious), his martial-art fighter wife Ottavia Busia is experimenting with veganism, and is taking him to vegan restaurants with her! At a vegan joint, he jokingly told her they were close to divorce.