On the eve of Ariane Bourdain’s first birthday, I scoured the Internet for a recent photo of her and turned up some tidbits about her dad, Anthony Bourdain. If you’re boning up for Jeopardy, here’s some Tony trivia:
Anthony Bourdain was born in Manhattan on June 25, 1956, which makes him a Cancer. He shares his birthday with writer George Orwell.
Tony grew up in Leonia, N.J. His middle name is Michael. He has one brother, Christopher, who’s 2 years younger.
Tony attended Englewood School for Boys (now the Dwight-Englewood School) and graduated in 1973. That fall, he was among the first males to attend Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. to be near his girlfriend, Nancy Putkoski. He dropped out after 2 years, but he married Nancy.
In 1975, Tony entered the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., and he graduated in 1978. His first job after college was at the Rainbow Room in Rockefeller Center.
Tony’s father was Pierre Bourdain, who hailed from Arcachon, France. A raw oyster from Arcachon has become world-famous as the one Tony tasted on a family summer vacation in 1966. It set him on his quest for new taste sensations.
Pierre worked his way up from humble jobs at places like Sam Goody’s to become an executive in the classical-music recording industry. In 1987, he died of a heart attack at his home in Manhattan at age 57. Tony’s mother wasn’t mentioned in his obituary, so it seems Tony’s parents were divorced, probably when Tony was in his 20s.
Gladys was a stay-at-home mom until Tony was a teenager, but she’s been working as a copy editor for the New York Times for more than 20 years.
Tony and Nancy split in 2004, but their divorce wasn’t final until early 2007. Nancy worked in advertising (maybe still does).
In the early 1990s, Tony’s Vassar roommate, Gordon Howard, persuaded Tony to finish his first novel, Bone in the Throat, by paying for him to take a 10-day vacation in Cozumel, Mexico. Tony finished the book 6 months later, then Gordon pitched it to Random House. It was published in 1995, but Tony’s writing career didn’t take off until Kitchen Confidential was published in 2000. Fox briefly aired Kitchen Confidential as a sitcom in 2005 starring Bradley Cooper as chef Jack Bourdain.
Between Nancy and his present wife, Ottavia, Tony dated Paula Froelich, a writer for the New York Post in her mid-30s, for about five months in 2005-06. Paula doesn’t have fond memories of their relationship.
Tony and Paula, his between-wives girlfriend.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you what I found on Ariane and Ottavia.
(Disclaimer: I verified with multiple sources whenever possible, but reached some conclusions on my own based on the facts.)