Here's How Anthony Bourdain's Former Assistant Is Keeping His Legacy Alive

There is so much in the way of lore when it comes to the late Anthony Bourdain. The New York Times put together a piece on the new travel book that Bourdain brained up, entitled "World Travel: An Irreverent Guide." The sad truth of the matter is that Bourdain had put away time to work on the book in the summer of 2018, but tragically died in June of that year. So how is this book being written and published?

Bourdain's assistant since 2009, Laurie Woolever, who Bourdain actually liked to call his "lieutenant," took the reins for this project. It wasn't the first time she'd written a book with Bourdain. In 2016, they co-published a book called "Appetites," but this time, despite Woolever's familiarity with the man and the subject matter, the almost 500 pages and near 50 countries the book covers are written solely by her. The material, of course, comes from Bourdain's archives, but as the NYT's title asks, How do you write a Bourdain book without the man himself?

This isn't the only Bourdain book she's working on

Woolover, whose job it was to both write "World Travel: An Irreverent Guide" and manage to channel the late Bourdain, wasn't simply going to approach the task with her best Anthony Bourdain impression. In an interview with Eater, she delves into the process and just about everything that led up to the publication. On top of being overly familiar with the late chef, the two had previously spoken in length about the book before his death and even recorded an hour-long brainstorming session, which Woolover later transcribed and used for framework. But that's not the only Bourdain book she's working on.

Around the same time she started work on "World Travel," Woolover was also working on what she refers to as an "oral biography" of Bourdain. Though the term seems to present itself like something more audio-related, what Woolover did was conduct somewhere around 100 Bourdain-centric interviews with different people involved in his life, and complied their memories of him into a book, due out in October. Between the scraps of recorded conversations about "World Travel" and an oral history, Woolover's making sure Bourdain's voice and legacy will endure.