Laurie Woolever is the author of Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography, a fantastic book about the life of Anthony Bourdain. She also worked with him on World Travel: An Irreverent Guide.
In today’s episode Laurie shares how she first met Bourdain, and how he hired her to help with recipe editing and testing for his first cookbook, Anthony Bourdain’s Le Halles Cookbook. She sheds light on what it was like to work with him, his personality, and what she’d do differently if she could go back and do it all over again.
- How Bourdain was a gifted writer who was very good at reading people and understanding what would motivate them—whether it was harsh feedback or a gentle touch
- The parts of Bourdain’s career that seemed to make him the happiest and most proud
- Laurie’s observations on the “cynical part” coming out of Bourdain’s personality —“he was deeply cynical about humanity, the human condition, how we treat each other, and how much government can help people,” she says—and yet, “he was also always looking for hope.”
- How his traveling took a physical toll on him, and how this plays into the idea of “the burden of leadership”
- How Laurie’s book evolved as an oral biography, reflecting Bourdain’s way of telling stories on television
Many people adored Anthony Bourdain. He took us to places around the world that stirred up goals and aspirations for our own lives. Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography provides a sense of closure for anyone who treasured his work.
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