I’ve never seen Anthony Bourdain cook. Unlike many of the celeb chefs today one finds sassily sauteeing in front of an annoyingly colourful studio kitchen set, Anthony Bourdain actually is a real chef, who works at a real restaurant in NYC (also his hometown). Yes, “real” is certainly a word that comes to mind when it comes to Bourdain’s style – and his bashings of Emeril and Rachael Ray are now infamous (and funnily true).

These days Bourdain has become more of a travelling foodie and bestselling author, but you can just tell from his straight-talking, no-nonsense narrative style that he’s a a genuine cook (who considers the term chef slightly on the pretentious side) who simply appreciates good food and exotic travel.

Educated at Vassar, then at the Culinary Insitute of America, Bourdain is currently executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles, a classic French restaurant in Manhattan known for its fantastic pomme frites, escargots and steak tartar which is prepared tableside (and would probably my husband’s choice of a “last meal”).

Clad in black leather, sporting an earring and 4 tattoos, Anthony is an unashamed 2-pack-a-day smoker, past drug-user and not afraid of mild profanity on national television – but for some strange reason he still comes across as a decent, authentic guy who knows a lot about cooking and isn’t afraid to tell us the ugliest parts of it.

When I was lent a copy of “A Cook’s Tour”, I just couldn’t put it down. Bourdain definitely has a talent for quick-witted, in your-face-writing, and judging from his shows’ (“No Reservations” is his latest offering) success, the same formula works on television too.

As quoted from an interview:

“ I don’t see writing as anything more important than cooking. In fact, I’m a little queasier on the writing. There’s an element of shame, because it’s so easy. I can’t believe that people give me money for this shit. The TV, too. It’s not work. At the end of the day, the TV show is the best job in the world. I get to go anywhere I want, eat and drink whatever I want. As long as I just babble at the camera, other people will pay for it. It’s a gift. “