This Childhood Experience Made Anthony Bourdain Vow To Try Any Food

Chef and television personality Anthony Bourdain is also known for his talent as an author, having penned numerous books, including New York Times bestsellers. Bourdain's career as a writer began with his article in The New Yorker, "Don't Eat Before Reading This," which gave readers a sneak peek into the tough kitchens of New York City. After the article found great success, he expanded it into a book: "Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly." Over the course of his career, Bourdain wrote and published more books, including "A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines," "Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking," and "The Nasty Bits" (via Biography).

It is in "Kitchen Confidential" that Bourdain recounted his childhood and how his affinity for food blossomed on a family trip to France. Bourdain initially wasn't impressed with the food, often insisting to his parents that he order steak hache with ketchup each evening for dinner. However, it was one night out that Bourdain writes about, vividly remembering how the meal (or lack thereof) inspired his taste for all kinds of cuisine (via ABC).

"And there came a time when, finally, they didn't take the kids along. I remember it well, because it was such a slap in the face. It was a wake-up call that food could be important, a challenge to my natural belligerence. By being denied, a door opened," Bourdain wrote (via ABC).

From picky eater to food connoisseur

It's early in the book, chapter one, in fact, that Bourdain revealed the moment he realized the appeal of food. While on their French vacation, his parents brought his brother and him to a restaurant called La Pyramide. Upon arriving, they handed the boys a stack of comic books and headed into the restaurant, leaving them in the car for three hours while they enjoyed their meals.

"I had plenty of time to wonder: What could be so great inside those walls?" Bourdain wrote (via ABC). "It was certainly a Big Deal; even at a witless age 9, I could recognize the nervous anticipation, the excitement, the near-reverence with which my beleaguered parents had approached this hour. ... Food, it appeared, could be important. It could be an event. It had secrets. ... First of all, I was furious. Spite, always a great motivating force in my life, caused me to become suddenly adventurous where food was concerned. I decided then and there to outdo my foodie parents."

So, Bourdain later tried his first oyster and fell in love with food. The rest, as they say, is history.