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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Friday's Connector: Anthony Bourdain

June 22nd, 2010
01:27 PM ET

If you're even the slightest bit into cuisine and cooking, then you have probably heard of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/22/bourdain.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="Anthony Bourdain is your Connector of the Day."]

The 53-year-old American chef specializes in French cuisine and has been a regular on both the television cooking circuit as well as in famed restaurants around the world.

Born in New York City, Bourdain found an early fascination with food and graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1978.

Although Bourdain is best known for his French cooking inside the kitchen, he has also earned himself a bit of a reputation as a daring eater.

Known for consuming wild and often weird ethnic foods, Bourdain is famous for eating everything from sheep testicles, a raw seal eyeball and even a whole cobra.

Bourdain, who is currently the executive chef of Brasserie Les Halles, is also a hugely successful author.

In 2000, Bourdain published his best-selling memoir "Kitchen Confidential" which offered an inside look at some of the more secret and unknown aspects of the culinary world.

The book led to an offer by the Food Network in the United States for Bourdain to have his own cooking and travel show, which was eventually called "A Cook's Tour."

Bourdain went on to host another show called "Anthony Bourdain: No Reservation" on the Travel channel.

Today, Bourdain is out with a new book called "Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook," which is a follow-up to the successful "Kitchen Confidential."

soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Keira


    I would like to know, what is the strangest thing he's ever eaten and what has he liked the most?



    June 22, 2010 at 1:57 pm | Reply
  2. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Anthony Michael "Tony" Bourdain and CNN friends,

    What message do you want to give to the world through the book “Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook”? What is your opinion on the Food Calories on the menus of restaurants?

    Jurgen R. Brul
    Paramaribo, Suriname

    June 22, 2010 at 2:52 pm | Reply
  3. Laura

    Hi Tony! I'm a big fan of yours and I particularly enjoyed your shows set on Sardegna and in Venezia! I'm curious if there was a particular dish on Sardegna that stood out as being unique to the island – something you have never seen before in your vast culinary travels? Thanks in advance! Laura aka Ciao Laura USA

    June 22, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Reply
  4. titi

    Hi Tony, Big fan(love your show). I hear that you plan to live in Vietnam for a year. Why do you like Vietnam & the food so much? Thanks

    June 22, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Reply
  5. gabi Patel

    Love your show and how you travel throughout the world trying NEW foods and NEW experiences. THANK YOU FOR YOUR OPEN MIND.

    Great show & your sexy looks DON'T hurt either! !

    June 22, 2010 at 5:05 pm | Reply
  6. Sheri

    I really enjoy your show and sense of humor, and some of the best moments of the show are when things don't go according to "plan". My question is, when the cameras stop rolling and you are home and tired, what is your go-to comfort food?

    June 22, 2010 at 8:37 pm | Reply
  7. Bill Orvis White

    Hi Anthony-If I ever go out for a meal, I only pick my favorite: Hardee's. What do you think about Hardee's a good All-American chain restaurants like Hardee's?

    June 22, 2010 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  8. Christine Hughey

    I've read both Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw and have tickets to see Tony speak in Omaha, Nebraska later this summer. I'm really curious to know more about how Tony balances his personal life with his work life. It's something everyone struggles with, but I imagine it's even more difficult when your job requires you to travel so frequently. I'm writing from Omaha, Nebraska.

    June 22, 2010 at 9:55 pm | Reply
  9. Michael

    Hello Anthony,

    I was wondering what the #1 tip you would give to a soon to be culinary student such as myself to brace them for the onslaught of the world of professional cooking?

    June 22, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Reply
  10. Henry Tong

    Tony! I'm huge fan and follower of your show! Where I come from (hint: Southeast Asia), eating dishes ranging from normal to very exotic while drinking and socializing is a national pastime. What was the best dish that you've ever had (paired with an ice cold beer)?

    June 22, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Reply
  11. Kathy Sliskevics

    LOVE your show and your travels! But my question in not food related but music related. What is your "connection" to Queens of the Stone Age? Great band! Just curious.

    June 22, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Reply
  12. Andy

    Hey Tony,
    From your vast journeys around the world, what have you found to be the perfect compliment to have along side a pint of beer? And please don't say another pint of beer.

    Andy K. Los Angeles, CA.

    June 23, 2010 at 12:43 am | Reply
  13. Tammy K. Firmbach

    My nephew graduated from the CIA. You were the guest speaker at the graduation and said what everybody who has ever worked in a kitchen already knows, including myself. "You think your all Chefs now with your big toques and all your knowledge don't you"? "Well, I'll tell you who runs the kitchens, the mexicans do. You will be wise to learn from them because you may have a fancy degree but they know how to cook"! I thought the esteemed members of the Faculty, and the President of the CIA and press were going to fall of their chairs. That moment was priceless. My question is "Was there any fall out after the ceremony from the CIA elite that we didn't see? By the way I am looking forward to seeing you at the Bardavon in Poughkeepsie in Nov. Keep on Rockin"!

    June 23, 2010 at 1:40 am | Reply
  14. Chi Smith

    Hi Anthony! I love your shows on Vietnam. I am a Vietnamese-American who has never visited. Can you tell me your favorite things about being in Vietnam and some tips on traveling there for the first time? Thanks!

    June 23, 2010 at 3:17 am | Reply
  15. Calvin C

    How many countries have you visited so far and what was your most memorable experience in all your travels?

    June 23, 2010 at 7:30 am | Reply
  16. Brandi

    Hi there – my husband and I are big fans and love watching your crazy travels and food experiences.

    Aside from the new and exciting foods you try on all your trips, and leaving out the meals you can get in restaurants here, what do you eat when you're at home, cooking for yourself? What's the breakfast you could have a million times and still want it the next day, too? Do you get into food ruts like the rest of us?

    June 23, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  17. Patricia

    What's your latest "death row meal" and what or where have you eaten lately that you're excited about?

    Washington, DC

    June 23, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Reply
  18. Chris

    Hi Tony,

    Love your show, and enjoy seeing the world through your filter ... but I've also really enjoyed the shows you've done in America, particularly the Cleveland the the "rust belt" episodes, showing off parts of America that many people overlook. Are there plans to do more shows in America, maybe highlighting cities off the beaten path? And also, would you ever do a show on Cape Cod, showing where you got your start and seeing how things have changed?

    June 23, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  19. Jessica

    Hi Tony,I noticed a while ago you are the Chase spokesperson. You sold out!!! How much money did they pay you!?!

    June 23, 2010 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  20. Torrin Kim

    Why aren't there more female celebrity chefs?

    Torrin Kim

    June 23, 2010 at 3:02 pm | Reply
  21. Frank V

    When will Someone reinvent food in a way that makes paletable to masses like a Lady Gaga of food-esq type of cook

    June 23, 2010 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  22. julia

    Hi tony, if you were stuck on a deserted island and could open only one restaurant...what cuisine would you serve?

    June 23, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Reply
  23. Lindsey

    Let's say you invited the perfect woman into your home for a date-night. What type of romantic dinner would you prepare for her?

    June 23, 2010 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  24. Lindsey

    If you could invite any three people (living or dead) to dinner anywhere in the world, who would you choose and where would you take them?

    June 23, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Reply
  25. Lindsey

    If you could come back to earth reincarnated as someone or something else after you die, who or what would it be and why?

    June 23, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  26. Lindsey

    When it's time for you to kick back and relax or blow off some steam, is there anything you do to relieve stress that your viewers or fans would never expect you to do?

    June 23, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Reply
  27. Lindsey

    Do you watch anything on TV others would consider strange or unusual, or just plain not expect you to watch?

    June 23, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Reply
  28. Lindsey

    If you HAD to choose, what would you say is the most attractive feature about your personality?

    June 23, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Reply
  29. MJ Vasko

    I recently read a "Q" review book which had a quote I loved: "If your particular barbecue choice isn't on the list, don't despair. It could have been having a bad day when we passed through. A good barbecue joint can have a bad day. But we have confidence in our selections because we don't think the converse is true: A good place can have a bad day, but a bad place can never have a good day." So what do you think? True of any genre of food? Do even the creme de la creme have (or deserve?) mulligans? I can think of a pretty good handful of amazing meals that had one course mulligans that marred what would have otherwise been a near perfect experience.

    June 24, 2010 at 5:30 am | Reply
  30. Michelle

    I'm a really big fan of your show "No Reservation" and it has made me realize that eating food from other countries is a great way to get to know that country. What do you think of people picky with food and just stick to the food they're used to eating? Are they missing out on a lot?

    Jakarta, Indonesia

    June 25, 2010 at 3:47 am | Reply
  31. Bridgette, Philippines

    I was so elated when you chose my country to have the best "Lechon" in the world. As you said, "The Philippines is the Prince of Pigs".

    Thank You so much for this valuable compliment! I shared this story to The Culinary Schools here in the Philippines and I challenged them to create exciting dishes with the use of our best "Lechon".

    I greatly appreciate your acknowledgment to our food specialty. Once again we Filipinos are proud.


    June 28, 2010 at 10:22 am | Reply
  32. Amy

    I am at the Louisiana Culinary Institute and have two questions for you. 1-what is your favorite Louisiana dish 2-if you could teach a student anything about this industry what would it be.

    July 28, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Reply
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