Why Part's Unknown Director Nick Brigden Compared Anthony Bourdain To A Shark

When the uber-talented and outspoken celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain died by suicide in June 2018 at the age of 61, he left behind millions of confused and heartbroken fans. He also left behind close friends, family, colleagues, and a slew of others with whom he had become acquainted over the years. Sadly for many, "knowing" Bourdain was not as satisfying as they may have hoped, as Bourdain was apparently quite adept at putting walls up around others, according to the newly released book "Bourdain: The Definitive Oral Biography" (via NY Post). 

The book comes from Bourdain's longtime assistant, Laurie Woolever, who has known and worked with Bourdain since 2002. Woolever found herself surprised to learn, pretty much as soon as she began various interviewing people he knew, that Bourdain was adept at keeping people at arms' length — including Woolever herself. Woolever interviewed around 91 people, including his ex-wife Nancy Putkoski, his daughter Ariane Bourdain, journalists Anderson Cooper and Christiane Amanpour, and Chef David Chang. One common theme, she found, was that the people in Bourdain's life said he was "always on his way somewhere." Kind of like a shark, as producer and director Nick Brigden, who worked with Bourdain multiple times over the years, pointed out to Woolever. Let's unpack that now, shall we?

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

Bourdain kept people at arms' length by being constantly on the move

"A relationship, I think, is like a shark," said Alvy Singer, the beleaguered romantic protagonist of "Annie Hall," Woody Allen's award-winning 1977 film. "It has to constantly move forward or it dies" (via IMDb). Although Singer might have been onto something there, it's not necessarily true that people who are IN relationships benefit from being always "on the move." Anthony Bourdain may be proof of that.

In a newly released biography, Bourdain's longtime assistant Laurie Woolever quotes Bourdain's frequent collaborator, filmmaker Nick Brigden, as having compared Bourdain to a shark, the New York Post notes. "He had to move to survive," said Brigden, who produced, edited, and directed multiple episodes of Bourdain's Emmy-winning series, "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" (via IMDb). Brigden was also one of the credited directors on "Parts Unknown" when the "culinary travelogue" earned a Peabody Award in 2013.

Ironically enough, Bourdain — being the incurable shark that he apparently was, according to Brigden — actually DESPISED cured shark meat. Bourdain first tried cured/fermented shark for the first and only time during a 2014 visit to Iceland for his show "No Reservations." According to Time, Icelandic fermented shark is one of the foods that Bourdain vowed never to eat again, along with "Nambian Warthog rectum and airline food."