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Anthony Bourdain was the New York Times-bestselling author of Kitchen Confidential, which sold over a million copies, Medium Raw, A Cook's Tour and The Nasty Bits, the cookbooks Appetites and Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook, and the novels Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo. His work appeared in the New York Times and The New Yorker. He was the host of the popular television shows No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Bourdain died in June 2018. Laurie Woolever is a writer and editor, and spent nearly a decade assisting Anthony Bourdain, with whom she coauthored the cookbook Appetites in 2016. She's written about food and travel for the New York Times, GQ, Food & Wine, Lucky Peach, Saveur, Dissent, Roads & Kingdoms, and others, and has worked as an editor at Art Culinaire and Wine Spectator.
Conceived a year before his tragic death as “an atlas of the world through his eyes”, Anthony’s Bourdain’s World Travel is a glorious testament to the unique wit and worldview of a chef, food writer and travel documentarian who was, above all else, a brilliant storyteller. Put together by his long-time assistant Laurie Woolever, with contributions from friends, family and colleagues in place of Tony being around to write some of the planned pieces himself, this is a travel guide like no other - unsurprising given that Bourdain was a character like no other. From Argentina to Vietnam, Australia to Uruguay, this A-Z travelogue includes information you’d expect to find in a conventional guidebook (how to get there, where to eat, where to stay) but beyond these basics, it dishes up Bourdain’s distinctly personal take on the many places he’s explored. His words are always incisive; always a brutal blend of raw candour and decadent description. There are thoughts on food, history and culture, sometimes contextualised by Tony’s companions, while at other times all it takes is a straight-talking, straight-from-the-horse’s-mouth quote from the man himself, like these words of caution for first-time tasters of Brazil’s potent dendê oil: “You know, it takes some getting used to. The first time I was here, you eat it, you shit like a mink for hours afterwards. But now, no problems! Lovin’ it.” There’s passionate political commentary too, notably when he talks about Cambodia (“Once you’ve been to Cambodia, you’ll never stop wanting to beat Henry Kissinger to death with your bare hands”) and Mozambique, a beautiful nation that has, to Tony’s anger, been “relentlessly screwed by history”. Honest, insightful and salty, this is a delicious antidote to formulaic travel writing; a rejuvenating blast of anti-blandness that stirs an urge to explore the world with even a soupçon of Bourdain’s fearless, flamboyant spirit.