For all intents and purposes, Anthony Bourdain’s life is the stuff of fantasy. He’s revered for traveling the globe, embedding himself in daring and occasionally downright hedonistic situations as the host of CNN’s Parts Unknown. He’s also a best-selling author -- a lesser known facet of his repertoire that’s sometimes eclipsed by his TV show.
So how do you become Anthony Bourdain, the salt-and-pepper-haired sophisticate that lives a life of intrigue? Do a lot of drugs, and generally be a self-destructive jerk for a long time, then succeed later. That’s what Bourdain told a crowd in Boston earlier this week, as he answered questions as part of his “The Hunger” speaking tour in promotion of his new cookbook. When asked “How do I get your job?” by an audience member, Bourdain replied: “Fuck up. Drop out of college. Don’t concentrate. Do a lot of cocaine and heroin.”
The answer makes sense if you know Bourdain’s past. His memoir Kitchen Confidential -- a lurid tell-all about being a grimy, drug addict chef in a grimier, drug-infested New York City -- will give you solid indication of his improbable path to success.
If it were only that easy, Anthony Bourdain.
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Sam Blum is a News Staff Writer for Thrillist. He's also a martial arts and music nerd who appreciates a fine sandwich and cute dogs. Find his clips in The Guardian, Rolling Stone, The A.V. Club and Vice. He's on Twitter @Blumnessmonster.