Anthony Bourdain Net Worth: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

anthony bourdain
  • Net Worth: $16 Million
  • Birthday: June 25, 1956
  • Education: Vassar College, Culinary Institute of America

Getty As of 2018, Anthony Bourdain's net worth was $16 million before his death. Here's a look at how the beloved chef and author amassed his wealth.

Anthony Bourdain, an award-winning chef, author and television host, was found dead from an apparent suicide in his hotel room in Strasbourg, France on Friday, according to CNN. The popular US television personality had worked for CNN since 2013 and was 61-years-old at the time of his death. It’s reported that Bourdain hanged himself.

“It is with extraordinary sadness we can confirm the death of our friend and colleague, Anthony Bourdain,” CNN, which hosted Bourdain’s shows, said in a statement Friday morning. “His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller. His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with his daughter and family at this incredibly difficult time.”

Throughout his career, Bourdain had traveled the world to broaden his culinary horizons, spreading his love of fine food from all corners of the world. During his travels, he built himself a $16 million empire from his adventures.

Here’s what you need to know about Bourdain’s net worth:

1. Bourdain Claims that the $16 Million Net Worth May be Slightly Overstated


Although Celebrity Net Worth reports his earnings at $16 million, Bourdain reportedly claimed that the number may have been overstated.

In an interview with WeathSimple, Bourdain said: “The reports of my net worth are about ten times overstated,” Bourdain wrote. “I think the people who calculate these things assume that I live a lot more sensibly than I do. I mean, I don’t live recklessly—I have one car. But I don’t deprive myself simple pleasures. I’m not a haggler. There’s not enough time in the world. I tend to go for the quickest, easiest, what’s comfortable. I want it now. Time’s running out.”

An outpouring of love and support has been flooding the internet after news of Bourdain’s death broke Friday morning. “Tony was an exceptional talent,” CNN President Jeff Zucker said in an email to employees. “Tony will be greatly missed not only for his work but also for the passion with which he did it.”

Fans, fellow chefs, celebrities and friends were all stunned and heartbroken over his death. “My heart breaks for Tony Bourdain,” CNN’s chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour wrote on Twitter. “May he rest in peace now.

2. Bourdain Viewed Money as a Form of Security & Claims He Wasn’t Drawn to Financial Incentives

Anthony Bourdain Eric Ripert

GettyAnthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert

Bourdain earned the majority of his money through a plethora of best-selling cookbooks, hosting cooking shows on CNN, and an exceptional amount of world-touring. Although his wealth was vast, Bourdain claimed that he “wasn’t drawn to financial incentives,” according to Newsweek. He wrote that he looked at money as a form of security.

“I’d like my daughter and her mom looked after, both while I’m alive and after,” the author wrote. “They shouldn’t have to worry if something bad happens, so my investments and savings are based on that. I’m super-conservative. Money doesn’t particularly excite or thrill me; the making of money gives me no particular satisfaction.”

While accepting the Peabody award in 2013, Bourdain described how he approached his work: “We ask very simple questions: What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook? And everywhere in the world we go and ask these very simple questions,” he said, according to CNN. “We tend to get some really astonishing answers.”

3. Bourdain’s First Book, “Kitchen Confidential,” Kick-Started His Career as a Master of the Culinary Arts

Anthony Bourdain suicide

GettyBourdain pictured in April 2017.

Bourdain started his rise to fame with the 2000 release of his first book, “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly.” The book was an instant success, and was quickly followed by “A Cook’s Tour,” in 2001. He hosted a television show by the same name, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

“Anthony Bourdain has also written the books: “The Nasty Bits,” “Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook,” “Bone in the Throat,” Gone Bamboo,” “Typhoid Mary: An Urban Historical,” “No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach,” and “Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook,” which is the sequel to “Kitchen Confidential,” reports Celebrity Net Worth.

Bourdain was in France working on an upcoming episode of his award-winning CNN series, “Parts Unknown,” when his body was found. French chef Eric Ripert, a close personal friend of Bourdain’s, found Bourdain unresponsive in his hotel room Friday morning, CNN reports.

4. He Won Numerous Primetime Emmy Awards & a Daytime Emmy for his Culinary Programs

MIAMI BEACH, FL – FEBRUARY 22: Chef Anthony Bourdain attends the Treme, The Heart Of New Orleans dinner hosted by Anthony Bourdain, Susan Spicer, Wylie Dufresne, & Emeril Lagasse during the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival at National Hotel on February 22, 2014 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Dylan Rives/Getty Images for Food Network SoBe Wine & Food Festival)

In 2005, Bourdain began hosting the Travel Channel’s culinary and cultural adventure programs “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations” and “The Layover.” His shows allowed him to travel all over the world, eat unique foods, and document his adventures. Instead of remaining a chef at just one establishment, Bourdain spread his culinary experience across the globe.

Before his death, Bourdain hosted a CNN program called “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.” He also produced and narrated the series “The Mind of a Chef,” for which he won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2014 for Outstanding Culinary Program, according to Celebrity Net Worth. He also won Primetime Emmy Awards in 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 for Outstanding Informational Series or Special for Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.

According to Good Housekeeping, Bourdain also made several guest appearances on reality shows, including Top Chef, Top Chef All Star, Miami Ink, and a brief movie cameo in Far Cry.

5. Bourdain Had Some Financial Difficulties Before His First Book Took Off

NEW YORK, NY – JULY 17: Anthony Bourdain attends the “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power” New York Screening” at the Whitby Hotel on July 17, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)

In the same interview with WealthSimple, Bourdain talked about how he dug himself out of a financial hole before he rose to fame. The food media star outlines how he lived hand-to-mouth as a line cook for decades, according to Eater.

“Money came in, money went out,“ Bourdain stated. He explained that he spent most of his spare funds on marijuana and the occasional trip to the Caribbean. However, this inevitably started digging a financial hole that Bourdain had to eventually find a way to crawl out of. So when Bourdain’s writing finally started to take off, he told WealthSimple that he made some decisions to turn his financial life around:

I think living like that made me very cautious. I held onto my job after Kitchen Confidentialcame out; I was hesitant about whether I should leave the kitchen, and I waited as long as I could. I was old enough to realize I’d been handed this incredible, lucky break and I was very unlikely to get another one. There was this weird moment where I noticed that everyone in the dining room were journalists waiting to talk to me, and I realized I’d become the sort of chef I used to despise, constantly having to leave the kitchen to deal with journalists. I didn’t want to be that guy. So I left. Once I did that risky thing, leaving the only profession I knew to become a professional writer and TV guy, I was, and continue to be, very careful about the decisions I make every day.

According to Eater, after his book took off, “Bourdain immediately paid off his debt to the IRS and the remaining balance on his Amex. He also began putting money away, and with the help of his agent, Bourdain turned his attention to practical deals where he knew he could earn money for his partners doing work he was happy with.”