Anthony Bourdain

Presenting himself as a hard-living, coarse-talking guy's guy willing to try anything at least once, Anthony Bourdain distinguished himself as the unabashed black sheep of America's contemporary clique of "celebrity chefs" as an author and host of the Travel Channel series "No Reservations" (2005-2013) as well as an occasional - and terrifying - judge on the extremely popular competition series "Top Chef" (Bravo, 2006- ). Earning some renown as executive chef of New York City's Brasserie Les Halles, Bourdain made a splash in popular culture with his tell-all memoir Kitchen Confidential (2000). The book shocked and amused readers with frank tales of the ribald, dog-eat-dog world of haute cuisine and admissions of the chef's own self-destructive heroin and cocaine habits. It went on to spawn a short-lived sitcom of the same name and earned him the Travel Channel stint traveling the U.S. and the world as a culinary anthropologist for the hugely successful "No Reservations." Known as the TV chef who taped his show from within a war-zone, eaten a Namibian warthog anus, fried scorpion and the still-beating heart of a just-slaughtered cobra, and routinely lambasted chain restaurants, corporate food production and other celebrity chefs - most especially Paula Deen and Rachael Ray - for selling out or shooting for the lowest common denominator, the outspoken yet self-deprecating Bourdain established a unique rep as a culinary hybrid of Indiana Jones, Bill Hicks and Hunter S. Thompson. Bourdain mellowed a bit as he grew older, shifting from culinary bad boy to an elder statesman of culture on his travel-oriented series "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" (CNN 2013-18). Anthony Bourdain was found dead by suicide in a hotel room in France on June 8, 2018. He was 61.