Best of Anthony Bourdain: 10 Must-Read Books

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Anthony Bourdain’s fearless attitude and candid demeanor immediately drew me in and instantly made me a fan of the highly popular “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” TV show on CNN. I found myself equally intrigued by Bourdain’s eagerness for adventure as I did for his refreshing take on the culinary industry. Through the screen, the chef emphasized and celebrated cultural immersion and inclusion, with food as a common bond. This same passion and zest for life is also apparent in his writing, from best-selling cookbooks to his lesser-known comics and novels. Whether you’re a fan of Bourdain or you know someone who is, you can remember the celebrated chef through his best books.

Bourdain’s charisma, passion and unwavering mission to tell the truth about his industry makes his books a must, whether you’re an aspiring chef or simply a fan. While he is best known for Kitchen Confidential, the wildly popular New York Times best-seller, Bourdain also made a name for himself as a fiction writer, drawing on experiences climbing up rankings in the culinary world and his natural gift for storytelling.

You’ll find many of the chef’s books in multiple formats, including paperback, hard cover and Kindle. In many cases, his books are free to read in the Kindle app. If you don’t yet own a Kindle, you can find an assortment of devices in Amazon’s Kindle Store. In some cases, Bourdain’s books are available in CD format.


1. Kitchen Confidential Updated Edition: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain (2007)

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Although Bourdain has published several books, this New York Times best seller, Kitchen Confidential Updated Edition: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, is the one that helped catapult him to celebrity status. The memoir details the chef’s adventures throughout his journey towards working as a chef at a popular Manhattan restaurant, giving a behind-the-scenes look at the industry along the way. The updated version includes revisions and updates, along with new content. It’s also available in paperback, hardcover, Kindle, audio CD and audiobook formats.

Price: $6.41 (Paperback)

Buy Kitchen Confidential Updated Edition: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly here.


2. Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook by Anthony Bourdain (2011)

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In Medium Raw, a follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Kitchen Confidential, Bourdain imparts gems of wisdom to his audience, including why you should avoid ordering fish on a Monday, and basic cooking skills that people of all ages should master. Bourdain discusses his adventures and travels within the foodie world, yet doesn’t shy away from sharing some less-than-glamorous bits of the industry. This book is also available in paperback, hardcover, Kindle, audio CD and audiobook versions.

Price: $11.23 (Paperback)

Buy Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook  here.


3. Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghosts by Anthony Bourdain & Joel Rose (2018)

anthony bourdain new book

Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghosts is a departure from Bourdain’s previous books. This book is available for pre-order and will be released on October 2, 2018. The duo has teamed up to provide new recipes from Bourdain along with the haunting tales behind them. If the Bourdain and Rose duo sounds familiar, you might remember their collaboration from Get Jiro!.

Price: $9.83 (Hardcover)

Buy Anthony Bourdain’s Hungry Ghosts  here.


4. Appetites: A Cookbook by Anthony Bourdain & Laurie Woolever (2016)

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Appetites: A Cookbook, a collaboration between Bourdain and Laurie Woolever, gives readers a glimpse into the Bourdain household with an array of recipes for home cooking and entertaining. While Bourdain includes dishes from his travels around the world, he also fills the pages with his favorite home-cooked comfort dishes. You can find this book in Kindle and hardcover versions.

Price: $10.99 (Kindle)

Buy Appetites: A Cookbook here.


5. Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking by Anthony Bourdain (2004)

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From steak frites to roasted veal short ribs, Bourdain dishes out tips and advice for classic French bistro cooking. Whether you’re a huge fan or a chef, this book blends practicality and entertainment in an approachable style. Bourdain draws on years spent dabbling in New York’s French culinary scene to deliver tips and guidance for each dish. This cookbook is available in hardcover and paperback formats.

Price: $24.00 (Hardcover)

Buy Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking  here.


6. A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines  by Anthony Bourdain (2002)

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In A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines, Bourdain sets out on a quest to find the best meal. His adventures take him from familiar Napa Valley in California to excursions into the Moroccan desert, a kitchen in St. Petersburg, and various homes and establishments around the world. This book is available in hardcover and paperback formats, as well as Kindle and audio CD versions.

Price: $10.41 (Paperback)

Buy A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines here.


7. Get Jiro! by Anthony Bourdain (2013)

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Get Jiro! by Anthony Bourdain and Joel Rose is a fun graphic novel with illustrations by Langdon Foss. Bourdain and co-writer, Joel Rose, take readers through a futuristic Los Angeles, where Jiro, a traditional sushi chef, battles opposing food thug gangs. In addition to paperback, this New York Times bestseller is available in Kindle formatting.

Price: $13.49 (Paperback)

Buy  Get Jiro!  here.


8. No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach (2007)

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If you’re looking for a book to go along with Bourdain’s highly popular TV show, “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown,” consider No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach. The book, available in hardcover and paperback formats, delivers a mix of photos and commentary from the chef’s global adventures. Bourdain fans and aspiring chefs will appreciate the mix of food writing, journalism and storytelling. Unlike some of his previous text-heavy books, this one showcases the chef’s photographs and primarily tells his stories through images.

Price: $39.32 (Hardcover)

Buy No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach here.


9. The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones by Anthony Bourdain (2006)

the nasty bits

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Bourdain’s life isn’t all glamour, and he makes that very clear in The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones. As he recalls his global adventures and misadventures, the popular chef reveals material published for the first time about his worldwide adventures. In this book, Bourdain caters to the robust yet humorous foodie who doesn’t mind some celebrity chef criticism, not to mention some of the most unusual, and even downright revolting, dishes in the country.

Price: $1.99 (Kindle)

Buy The Nasty Bits: Collected Varietal Cuts, Usable Trim, Scraps, and Bones  here.


10. Bone in the Throat by Anthony Bourdain (2008)

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Bone in the Throat is Bourdain’s first novel, and showcases his witty and entertaining nonfiction style. The author depicts the main character, a chef in Manhattan, as an entertaining cook who finds himself sandwiched between opposing sides during a murder investigation. On one side is mafia-type characters, with law enforcement on the other. This book is available in Kindle format, along with paperback and hardcover.

Price: $9.99 (Kindle)

Buy Bone in the Throat  here.

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