5 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know About Anthony Bourdain

Legendary chef, author and TV host Anthony Bourdain has died at the age of 61. The revered figure passed on June 8th after a reported suicide. The tragic news was met with great sadness as stars, restaurant owners and chefs took to social media to share their condolences. Here are some of the little-known facts behind the larger-than-life Bourdain.

He was a college drop out
After two years spent studying at Vassar university, the globetrotting future chef dropped out to pursue a career in food. He soon continued his education at the Culinary Institute of America.

He was a recovered addict
Bourdain was always open about his struggles with alcohol, cocaine and heroin use. He eventually conquered the long-time addiction. “I understood that I got a pretty lucky break here, and that it was statistically unlikely to happen again,” he told Men’s Journal. “I’ve been pretty careful about not [screwing] up the opportunities that have come since.”

He was a New York Times Bestselling Author
The chef was known for his quick wit and sharp-tongued prose. His first autobiographical nonfiction book, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, made it onto the renowned New York Times Bestselling list. He penned two more books that also made the cut in 2001 and 2006.

He was an avid tattoo-lover
Bourdain bolstered his bad-boy image with an impressive collection of tattoos. Some of his ink included images of a chef’s knife, a snake eating its own tail and a skull on his right shoulder.

He was a friend of Barack Obama’s
During a trip to Vietnam in 2016, Obama sat down with Bourdain for his CNN travel and food show Parts Unknown. The two icons ate a meal of noodles paired with local beer which set the pair back $6. Obama shared a touching tribute to Bourdain, honoring him for his efforts to “make us a little less afraid of the unknown.”