The project that famously started it all, was a 1999 article published in The New Yorker called Don’t Eat Before Reading This, in which Bourdain, at the time executive chef of Brasseries Les Halles in Manhattan, spilled trade secrets about dining in New York.

Current New Yorker food writer Helen Rosner tweeted the title last Friday, urging her followers to revisit the story that “…changed everything, changed everything, for everyone. It rocked an entire industry. Maybe several industries.”

The story would lead to a 2000 bestseller Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, which likewise took readers behind the scenes of New York’s sometimes seedy, often raucous and questionably sanitary restaurant culture, with his signature black humour, wit and sharp elegance.

Here’s a look at some of the pivotal works that helped catapult Bourdain’s career and earn him a worldwide following:


(Related: Watch chefs react to their wins at the G Restaurant Awards 2018)


“A Cook’s Tour” 2002-2003 on The Food Network

“No Reservations” 2005-2012, Travel Channel

“The Layover” 2011-2013, Travel Channel

“Parts Unknown,” CNN 2013-2018

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(Related: Award-winning chefs Julien Royer and Kirk Westaway reveal how friendship got them to the top of their game)

Photo of Anthony Bourdain courtesy of Zero Point Zero