Ottavia Bourdain: Found

By Karen

The hunt for Ottavia Busia Bourdain is over – and my eyes are still burning.

She’s been right under our noses for some time. Anthony Bourdain cleverly concealed her out in the open, like in Casablanca, when Rick stashed the letters of transit in Sam’s piano.

Web-surfing, I found a casual comment mentioning she was in Tuscany and on Miami Ink with him. The Ink segment’s on YouTube.

In the Tuscany episode of No Reservations, the same woman’s mysteriously sitting at the table to Tony’s right when he cooks Sicilian for his difficult director, and she declares his caponata “disgusting.” Then she’s standing by in a low-cut sundress while he learns to make pasta, and she partakes of the feast in the final scene.

Ottavia’s cute, stacked, and about half his age.

I think Bourdain’s having a mid-life crisis. After finding somewhat belated celebrity, he split from a wife who stuck by him for 30 years and tolerated loads of crap to fall for someone young enough to be his daughter. You can’t blame Ottavia for being eager to step in and enjoy the perks of his success, and she had the foresight to cement her place in his life by making him a father.

He must be thrilled now to have an adoring spouse who’s unafraid to display her cleavage and navel jewelry, and just grins like a fool while her 50-something husband has a hideous skull tattooed onto his shoulder.

I doubt Wife No. 1 could have pulled it off.

As Ottavia matures into her prime, she’ll be there to comfort Tony when his inevitable descent down the other side of the hill starts, which I hope won’t be for many years.

On the other hand, he may wake up canceled and sober one morning and realize they have almost nothing in common but a daughter. They say divorce gets easier the more you do it.

For a man so brilliant and untamed, I’m surprised he let the brain below his belt take over. When he’s pushing 70 and Ariane’s in high school, I wonder how he’ll deal with being mistaken for her grandfather?

396 Responses to Ottavia Bourdain: Found

  1. Denise says:

    I totally agree with you. This is so disappointing that he decided after 30 years of marriage that he’d get this little pre-schooler to be his wife. In the Miami Ink episode, she looks like she needed a brain because she just sat there smiling with her boobs hanging out….hardly the smart woman I would have thought Anthony would have married.

  2. catsworking says:

    Denise, if you think she was hanging out on Miami Ink, check out her sundress in the Tuscany episode when you get a chance. She could hide a meat cleaver in her cleavage.

    I guess he felt the need to sow some wild oats after his marriage ended. And at his age and upbringing, he probably felt compelled to make an honest woman of Ottavia once she got pregnant, but I doubt it really was Plan A.

    Like Tony snarkily said about Andrew Zimmern when he guested on “Bizarre Foods,” I give them one season. He IS too bright to settle for eye candy for too long, unless early senility is setting in. And as an Italian woman myself, I know what a short hop it is from “young and voluptuous” to “fat and dumpy.”

  3. RVA Foodie says:

    This is a sad side of one of my favorite people. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. But… he spent too much time idolizing rock stars and coveting the lifestyle as a hack chef to resist the temptations of stardom now that he’s got so many luxuries at his disposal.

  4. catsworking says:

    I’m sure you’re right, Foodie. Next thing you know, he’ll sell out and be hawking some line of crap. With his love of all things Asian, I’m predicting it will be ramen noodles.

    Even so, I still love the guy.

  5. lystra says:

    Still love his work regardless of his personal life!

  6. mosse zidane says:

    If only I can sense his relationship through my crystal ball earlier, I would have casted him a spell turning him into a zombie when he was filming in a remote area somewhere in a thick jungle of BORNEO.

  7. Bourbon Girl says:

    I *knew* it! I *knew* he had fallen for some sweet young thing – I just had the episode wrong – I was convinced it was the cute Brazilian chickie in the teeny bikini that he was sharing caiparinhas with (excuse spelling, love ’em, just can’t spell ’em). Grrrr……..Tony, Tony, Tony. You are just a guy after all 😉

  8. catsworking says:

    I think the quick baby was the giveaway that Tony had succumbed to the charms of a much younger woman. I don’t know if he went to Sicily before or after he met Ottavia, but I’m taping the episode this week and will be watching it again with a microscope to see if she’s anywhere in it. Her cover is blown.

  9. CheshierCat says:

    Stumbled onto your blog and thouroughly enjoy your Bourdain posts – I even see Burbon Girl is here too. I have also been searching for an image to help banish my un-healthy thoughts of Bourdain now that he is married with baby. Seeing his wife in that Miami-Ink bit did it! Of course if I had know it was THAT easy, I would have thrown myself into his path.

    It’s a shame too. On his last post he mentioned the wife taking boxing and martial arts and I thought “Cool, maybe she sounds like a good fiesty match” Now I suspect her beating on Reulman was just the immature action of a bratty-kid being teased. Sigh – at least I still have the FoodNetwork shows (when he was still single) to dream about.

  10. catsworking says:

    I’m sorry to burst your bubble, CheshierCat, but Anthony Bourdain has been married virtually the whole time we’ve been aware of him. He was married to his first wife, Nancy, for 30 years, even following her to Vassar and becoming one, if not THE, first guy to attend school there.

    From what I’ve read, their marriage fell apart after he’d done quite a bit of traveling for his shows and felt as if it had fundamentally changed him. Either she didn’t change along with him, or she didn’t like what he had changed into, and that was that. Leaving him free to fall like bricks for a spicy little meatball.

  11. CheshierCat says:

    I’ve read the book and would have thought any change was good! I was wondering if Nancy was the one he followed to Vassar and if so when did he screw around with the waitresses? Oh well, wife #2 doesn’t look like she’ll be willing to move to Saigon either.

  12. catsworking says:

    I think Bourdain would be the first one to admit that Wife No. 1 put up with a ton of crap because he’s always said he was a total mess during his cooking days.

    Ottavia undoubtedly harbors secret plans to rule the roost, like a good domineering, Italian mother, once she has him where she wants him. Oh, sure, she’s letting him think he can do as he pleases now (like getting a ridiculous skull tattooed on his shoulder. Did he ever stop to consider how it’s going to look in a few years, all wrinkled?), but those days are numbered.

    And one day soon he’ll be waking up beside someone who looks like a domineering Italian mother and the scream will be heard ’round the world.

    When the tables turn, he’ll be back out on the prowl looking for No. 3, and it will get increasingly pathetic. Like when Yul Brynner, Fred Astaire, and Gene Kelly were in their dotage and married much younger women who made out like bandits on the inheritances.

    I adore Bourdain as a brilliant writer, but in this he’s so common.

  13. N says:

    I hate to say it, but how closed minded can you possibly be? We should all marry people our same exact age, it seems to work completely — hell, look at the divorce rate! You are all coming across as middle aged woman who haven’t been laid in very long time and are probably relating to poor Nancy who could be much happier for all we know. He’s a father, seems happy — give him a break.

  14. catsworking says:

    Ha, ha, N. You are so right!! I can’t speak for the “getting laid” part, but middle-aged women do sympathize with Nancy, who got thrown over for a woman probably half her age after she sank 30 years into the piece of work that is Anthony Bourdain.

    I just hope she got a generous divorce settlement.

    We’re jealous of Ottavia, too. She’s pretty, voluptuous, and her parts haven’t started heading south yet. It’s no wonder Tony’s smitten. But what are women our age supposed to do when men his age are running off with girls young enough to be their daughters? As long as he’s got money, he’ll never want for cute young things looking for a Sugar Daddy.

    Hell, yes, we’re bitter. We can’t even begin to compete!

  15. You watch his show, you read his books, who knows if you all wouldn’t want him to cook for you, then when he does what is absolutely normal bohemian behaviour, ditch and catch a fresher fish to make roe, your claws come out. You should offer him nothing but happiness and peace, a solid future for that little girl, and admit that this lady by his side is old enough to choose an intense, vital, imaginative, frank man, with a big penis..

  16. CheshierCat says:

    I’m 29, getting laid and I still don’t like the looks of her. I hope Nancy IS much better off, but it’s still gotta hurt and I’m with Catsworking on this one – no well thought out marriage occurs with a tour guide 11 days after the baby. I sure he is happy, I wish him well, but history is not on his side

    It’s not just the Sugar Daddy aspect either, one would hope that men as talented and interesting as him choose fascinating women of what-ever age. Ottavia might be intelligent, she might be fascinating, I don’t know that she isn’t, but the scene of her smiling dumbly at the tattoo parlor in even less than I would wear (and nothing on me has headed south yet) doesn’t speak well of his choice. I would have hoped for a writer, a musician or even an organic farmer. Even as an interesting woman of HER age I am jealous.

  17. harley says:

    sooo disapointed!! I totally agree with cheshierCat. thought he would not fall for such an obvious cliche!!

  18. N says:

    Why I Want to Screw Anthony Bourdain And Think You Should Too:

    Check out post above!

  19. Ellen says:

    Maybe she was “smiling dumbly” because she is Italian and her English isn’t very good. Or she had very interesting things to say but they were edited out because the show wasn’t about her; it was about that great looking tattoo that Chris Garver gave Tony. Also, she is wearing a lot more than many of the young ladies that walk in that shop, some only wearing bikinis.

  20. catsworking says:

    Nice try, but there’s nothing wrong with her English. If you watch the Tuscany episode, she does some talking and seems to have good command of the language. And I read somewhere that she was managing a restaurant in New York before she met Tony, so I assume she’s been in the States a while.

    I’m willing to give Ottavia the benefit of the doubt, but I’d be surprised if anything too brilliant came out of her mouth during Miami Ink. It just doesn’t seem like a show for the highly articulate.

  21. 29 Palms says:

    “Kitchen Assassin” has got to be Bourdain. Who else would say he’s got a giant penis but the man himself?

  22. catsworking says:

    29 Palms, I’d say you’re on to something, but the writing style just doesn’t fit. Kitchen Assassin doesn’t measure up to Bourdain’s literary standard, even on a bad day with a pounding hangover.

    I recently saw an episode (Sicily maybe?) where Tony noted that some of the classic statues were “hung like hamsters.” So instead of just proclaiming he’s got a big penis, I think he’d find a more vivid way to describe it.

    If anyone in the Bourdain camp is the Kitchen Assassin, I’d say it’s Ottavia herself. Read the comment again and see if it doesn’t make sense.

  23. Naranja says:

    If I were vulgar, I’d call you a bunch of pathetic jealous bitches. Since I’m a sensible, well-behaved young woman (uh-oh, enemy camp!) I simply suspect you need to get laid really urgently.
    My humble opinion:
    1)Mrs. Bourdain looks lovely. Maybe to you it makes sense to hide such a gorgeous figure in a turtle-neck burka (which is obviously what you wish for), to me it doesn’t. Especially not in Florida.
    2) She has to be clever; stupid peole don’t run restaurants. Do you think you could do it? I can’t even handle a dinner for more than five. Okay, four.
    I really hope you change your attitude; it’s a disgrace to bitch PUBLICLY about people you have never even met. Keep on ranting in a private forum, where the possibility of hurting the respective gossip victims’ feelings is not as high. Oh, by the way: intelligent people don’t have to be instructed about morally correct behaviour…got it?
    Thanks and over.

  24. catsworking says:

    Well, Naranja, I guess you are vulgar because you just did call me and my readers a bunch of “pathetic jealous bitches.” Doesn’t hurt my feelings. Yes, I’ve received some feedback on my post that’s critical of Mrs. Bourdain, but I happen to think she’s a voluptuously attractive, smart woman who seized a great opportunity when it came along. Can’t blame her for that.

    I think the disappointment lies mainly with Tony. Maybe when you’re in your 50s and you look around at all the pot-bellied, bald, multiply divorced losers with deeply disturbed and broke adult children who keep moving back home, you’ll realize why women Tony’s age don’t appreciate it when a great, unencumbered man like him falls for a MUCH younger woman. Our pickings are slim enough as it is. We may be middle-aged, but we’re still entitled to our fantasies, aren’t we? He was one of them for many women.

    So your suggestion that we all “get laid” more is moot. Too many eligible 50-something men we’d be happy to pair up with are looking for women young enough to be their daughters.

  25. Naranja says:

    Suggestion: do the Demi and get a hot young guy yourselves! Why bother about Tony anyway, since most of you obviously despise tattoos???
    I was simply really angry the other day; not only because it’s unfair to slag off the Bourdains, but also because this kind of public bitching is so undignified and not at all what I expect from grown-up women. By the way, if you read my former post carefully, you will notice that I explicitly did NOT call you a bunch of bitches; artful rhetoric, eh?
    Still, I apologize if my critisicm was perceived as an insult; it was merely meant to be a moral harangue. Generalizations along the lines of “typically male” are poison for a woman’s personal development; but that’s just my opinion. Right, I’ll stop preaching now; the cat wants food. Have a good day and don’t feel bitter!

  26. catsworking says:

    Hiding behind the “IF I were vulgar” statement is pathetic. You made your point, and I let it see the light of cyberspace because such comments have a way of coming back to haunt. Remember, you read it here first.

    If you think we are seriously disturbed about Bourdain’s choice of wife, then YOU are seriously disturbed. Do you know what “satire” is? This blog is mostly for fun (except on health insurance – I’m deadly serious about that). You seriously need to lighten up or you will never live to be my age.

    I’m very pleased to get comments of any sort, and I’m finding that most women of my age tend to agree with me on this topic. Call it validation.

    I take it that you are relatively young. When you’ve been around a few more decades, you will indeed discover that there is such a thing as stereotypical male behavior.

    I think the reason that many of us don’t do a Demi and get a hot young guy is that so many of them have rooms to rent upstairs. I’d rather be alone than with an idiot.

  27. CheshierCat says:

    If you think the selection of 50-something men is bad, let me assure you – it’s not much better down here near 30. You don’t have to be old, or bitter or any number of nasty adjectives used here to feel a twinge of jealousy when an intriguing guy is nabbed.

    If Naranja or any one else reads OUR posts carefully she would see we do not say personally mean to her. We admit we do not know her, do not blame her and are judging her the portrayal in several scenes. Besides I doubt making our thoughts public would hurt her feelings: Um – OK, call me hot and say I married a guy others wanted – I won’t mind.

    Perhaps if she reads this she could make an effort to improve her otherwise dull media portrayal. She has the opportunity: co-host an episode – show us we are wrong! I for one would feel much better knowing she was ‘worthy’. Until then, I’m still ‘mad’ at Tony. The image portrayed is one we’ve all seen before and the end isn’t pretty.

    Lighten up your criticism of US. No one here truly expected to have a shot at him – it’s just fun to share in our wistful dissapointment. If you don’t share it then find her fan blog to post your well wishes and give her my green-eyed best too!

  28. catsworking says:

    I watched Tony’s interview with Google the other day, and he says that Ottavia was in the bad Sicilian meal scene in the Tuscany episode. So now we have proof right from the horse’s mouth we’re talking about the right woman.

    If she’s the pistol he says she is, I’d like to see them have a joint adventure. She could only add to the merriment if she’s as clever as he is.

    On the other hand, it might ring hollow knowing they’re both parents with an infant back at the hotel. I guess his snarky loner schtick does work better as a single. And I have no doubt he realizes what an idol he is to a lot of woman, although he probably thinks it’s pretty ridiculous. Would ratings drop if he regularly trotted out the little missus? Would he and the Travel Channel be willing to take that chance? I’m thinking not.

    I’m sorry to hear the 30-something pickings are slim, too. I’ve been telling myself the grass is always greener on the other side of menopause. I stand corrected!

  29. Melanie says:

    ” but middle-aged women do sympathize with Nancy, who got thrown over for a woman probably half her age after she sank 30 years into the piece of work that is Anthony Bourdain.”

    He said in an interview their break up was a direct result of the Traveling and his years of womanizing. She wanted out… ! She left him!!! He wanted to move to Vietnam for a year with her, and she works for an Advertising firm in NY, she does have her degree from Vassar. She is a career woman with her own life.

    Frankly who the hell would want to live in a 3rd world country, with heron all around? She spent years with him, drugs and other one night stands. Maybe he did not look so hot to her anymore. Also Tony dated and or lived with a columnist from Page Six of the New York Post, Paula Froelich for at least a year after the end of his marriage. Paula ALSO dumped him!!! So Tony never “Tossed over Nancy” for Ottavia. That relationship was long over with.
    In the end it’s his life, I’m sure he fell in love with her and she makes him happy.

    I’m glad he quit smoking for his daughter, but as it was stated so earlier. He’ll be taken as her grandpa when she is in high school. Even quitting I’m sure he’ll come down with emphysema or some other fun filled disease. When he took his shirt off his chest was a bit on the con-caved side, not a good sign. As well we all know he is a functioning alcoholic, I’m sure his liver is enlarged now. And his father Pierre died at 57 from a heart attack I’m sure he’ll be checking out soon. Then we’ll just have his reruns to dissect him in.

  30. catsworking says:

    Melanie, Thanks very much for that additional insight. I haven’t see the interview you’re referring to, but it all makes perfect sense. I give Nancy three cheers for giving HIM the heave-ho after putting up with him all those years. It vindicates middle-aged women everywhere.

    I’m really happy to see the whole story coming out here. This posting has brought the most traffic to my site by far, so many people are obviously curious and we’re putting all the pieces of the puzzle into place.

    Now it will remain to be seen if he carries out his intention to move to Southeast Asia, if Ottavia will follow him. I tend to think not, but maybe she’ll humor him and go for a while, anyway.

    I also agree with you that, given his history of smoking and drinking, he’s headed for a bad end. I just hope he’s around to see his daughter in high school.

    I guess we can agree that he’s a brilliant, but flawed, man and enjoy his books and TV travels while we can.

  31. New Yorker says:

    Nancy was an heavy drugs users for years and she possibly still is. Nancy left her career in advertising about 20 years ago and NEVER got back to work. Tony had to support her for no good reason for years while he was still working 14 hours a day as a cook paid minimum wage. Is this the Nancy you all feel bad for?

  32. catsworking says:

    New Yorker, if what you say is true, then I’m confused. Someone else here has commented that Tony admitted Nancy dumped HIM. If he was her gravy train, why would she do that?

    He himself has said that travel changed him in a fundamental way so his old life doesn’t quite fit anymore. Are you saying that he got tired of supporting a stay-at-home drug addict? It doesn’t seem to fit.

    If you’re correct about Nancy, it would put everything in a new light, but doesn’t change the fact that Tony didn’t choose an intelligent, sober, age-appropriate woman to be Wife #2. Ottavia may turn out to be an amazing influence in his life and someone all Tony’s female fans will admire. Only time will tell.

    In the meantime, we can only go by what we see.

  33. John says:

    Sorry ladies but any man wanting a healthy child will have it with a young woman….this is just nature. Needs to make sure that the woman is capable of feeding the fetus and properly taking care of the child way into adolescence, things that unfortunately the looks and money of contemporary emancipated feminist Manhattanites can’t ensure. I’m not sure about Bourdain’s past but if he wanted a child he just chose the right woman to have it with. Like any decent american wanting a family he chose a non-american/European wife.

  34. catsworking says:

    John, most women Bourdain’s age are either past child-bearing, or sensibly prefer not to start a family when they’ll be mistaken for their kid’s grandmother.

    If all “decent” American men chose non-American wives, illegal immigration would go off the charts and the economy would go down the toilet supporting so many stay-at-home, subservient mommies and their litters. You can chalk up at least half o this country’s strength to the work ethic of American women.

  35. John says:

    Without discussing american women’s work ethic, I need to point to the fact that work ethic has a very small contribution in creating and maintaining a happy and healthy family life. Much more important are dedication to the family goals, parenting skills, respect for the head of the family, respect for Bible and traditional family values, culture, education and lot less passion for shopping. If women contribute half to the ungodly divorce rate in the US (46% after the last statistics) wouldn’t be a good time to reassess their views, skills and contribution to a healthy marriage and family ?

  36. catsworking says:

    “Respect for the HEAD of the family?” And just who would that be? Always the MAN, I take it.

    I agree with you that families are in a mess in today because they’re stretched too far in all directions and consumerism is out of control. But you’re never going to convince this single woman who’s NEVER had a man support her (even WHILE I was married) that your notion of “family values” is the only way to live. I know better.

  37. meg says:

    Ottavia and Anthony at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival this past Sunday, and

  38. catsworking says:

    Meg. thanks for the photo! It’s really tiny in every way I tried to view it, but it’s undoubtedly Ottavia and they look happy. It just made me wonder who was babysitting Ariane.

  39. barb says:

    What I find interesting in that Miami Ink video is how repressed he seems–there’s something pyschologically weird going on here–I think he married a version of his mother (who, sorry to say, has often been a bitch on wheels–not unlike Nancy). To me the marriage does not bode well…His first marriage was pretty much bullshit–she was on drugs, like he was and they seemed to stay together out of some mutual dependence–she put up with his screwing around for a long time and they didn’t treat each other well..he’s exceptionally narcissistic, vain and I think incapable of fidelity but maybe Ottavia is a smart gold digger and will put up with this for the money, travel, and fame that rubs off on her…

  40. catsworking says:

    You’re not the first person who has commented who seems to know Bourdain personally. I know nothing about his first marriage except that he seemed to go to exceptional lengths to marry Nancy and it lasted 30 years. But Tony himself has admitted the cheating and drug use, he was working long, crazy hours, they never had any children, then sudden fame turned his world upside down. It all points to dysfunctionality, even without knowing anything about Nancy.

    His second marriage seems to be a knee-jerk reaction to mid-life crisis, second childhood, unplanned parenthood, whatever. Chances of it lasting are probably slim, given that Ottavia is so young with so much living ahead of her, especially now that she’s propelled herself into the big leagues as celebrity arm candy. As he ages, if all the character flaws you mentioned don’t subside, I don’t see her sticking around.

    But the bottom line is that I think Anthony Bourdain is a fascinating men, for all of his faults. I just hope he doesn’t go off the deep end and destroy himself.

    I saw him on Letterman the other night. He seemed markedly subdued and on good behavior. I wonder what that was all about?

  41. food lover says:

    he was with Paula in late 2005 and Ottavia was pregnant in July 2006. Seems like a definite unplanned baby. In a London newspaper in March 2006 he reaffirmed his lack of desire to ever have kids. Sounds like she trapped him with a pregnancy.

  42. catsworking says:

    Thanks for that additional info, food lover. Given the age difference, it might turn out to be one of those “watch out what you wish for’s” for the current Mrs. Bourdain.

    The fact that he waited until 11 days after the baby was born to marry her would indicate that marriage wasn’t Plan A. It wasn’t until he saw the consequences of his fling and accepted responsibility for it that he decided to make an “honest woman” of his baby’s mother. Happens all the time, and I give him credit for stepping up to the plate.

    But given the age difference, how long the union will last is still to be revealed. I wish them both well.

  43. Deb says:

    He seemed very un-snarky like as a judge on the new season of Top Chef….very disappointing!

  44. barb says:

    Don’t forget the mouthful Paula had to say right after he announced he was “expecting”–she said [deleted]–sounds like a delight, huh?

  45. catsworking says:

    Barb, I’ve never seen the comments by Paula you quoted, and since they were the raunchiest thing I’ve ever seen written about Anthony Bourdain, I deleted them as possibly defamatory. Could you possibly supply a link or tell us where you saw this so we can verify?

  46. barb says:

    Go to–she made her remarks at an event called Team Party Crash: Svedka Erotica–November 29, 2006–you could put “Paula Froelich” into the search engine and scroll down–they printed her remarks verbatim–I’m not making this up.

  47. catsworking says:

    Barb, you’re right, it’s here: -gramercy-park-hotel-218025.php, but she doesn’t name Tony specifically. But I guess you can infer it’s him by the being “spit-roasted” by a TV personality remark, and ASSUME he’s the guy who got totally wasted on their first date. She says they then dated for 5 months, which sounds about right, and she aired this dirty laundry when Ottavia was in mid-pregnancy, so there may be a little sour grapes thrown in. Thanks for the dirt. There’s just no end to his fascinating life, is there?

  48. wishful__sinful says:

    I’m 18 years old and I have to say that Anthony Bourdain is extremely attractive. His charisma and writing is what really gets me though. I don’t care that he smokes, dates younger women (in fact, I encourage it) because he is a celebrity. In order for one to gain celebrity status, one must do something otu of the ordinary. Bourdain’s whole personality is out of the ordinary. His celebrity is an asset to his personality, however who he dates, marries, etc. has nothing to do with his attractiveness.
    I have a boyfriend who KNOWS that I would leave him for Bourdain in a heartbeat. It wouldn’t be a “relationship ruiner.” It would simply be the end or a temporary fix. I know he would do the same for a different celebrity. So a pass is a pass.

    Also, his wife is GORGEOUS. So is he.
    Get over it.

  49. catsworking says:

    I was totally with you until the “Get over it” comment. I’ve never said that Ottavia isn’t gorgeous. She is. And I think Bourdain could do a lot worse. Thanks to her and the baby, he seems to be cleaning up his act. But if he goes too far with that, he runs the risk of becoming dull because his fans love him for his “bad boy” personna.

    We don’t need another Andrew Zimmern.

    Maybe when you’ve lived another 30 years, if you’re single or divorced, and you find all the men you’d like to date treating you like stale bread and hooking up with 18-year-olds, you’ll understand where the women Bourdain’s age are coming from.

    I don’t think there’s anyone who’s posted here who doesn’t ultimately wish the guy well. What’s not to love about his wit and his writing? That you “get” him is a big point in your favor, your rudeness notwithstanding.

  50. cherie says:

    Sorry, but she’s gorgeous? I just don’t see it. With those teeth she looks horsey and the haircut is like something from a bad Raquel Welch movie. He’s definitely good-lloking but man has he aged!
    Plus, did you know Andrew Zimmern was also hooked on drugs? He doesn’t look like a bad boy but I guess he was one…

  51. catsworking says:

    Ottavia’s got youth going for her. But in the future, will she turn into the next Sophia Loren, or another dumpy little Italian woman? I’d say the odds are stacked against the first choice. Only time will tell.

    Tony does seem to be aging fast. I’ve been watching some of his episodes from only a year or two ago, and he had a lot less gray hair. In fact, last night I was watching the Beirut special and realized he was there just about the time Ottavia got pregnant. Coincidence? Or did he get home and decide he needed to produce an heir pronto?

    I think Tony has said that Andrew Zimmern doesn’t drink at all now, so if he was a wild man before, he’s done a complete 180.

  52. Lana says:

    Tony and Ottavia were already engaged when she was pregnant. They were married as soon as his divorce was finalized.

  53. Linda Gene Goldstein says:

    First of all, none of us know what really went on in Tony’s marriage. Just because he is a “celeb” doesn’t mean he is at fault. Perhaps Nancy wasn’t so great to him and may have fooled around.

    And I don’t think Ottavia took him away from Nancy. It seems there were quite a few ladies before her.

    So he married a younger woman. And perhaps he really wanted a family. Why pick out an “evil-doer” in all this?

    All we know is what we see and what we read. Can’t we give him and his beautiful wife a chance…And by the way….all our parts turn south sooner or later.

  54. catsworking says:

    I never cease to be amazed by the myriad ways people interpret what they read here.

    I don’t think Bourdain’s celebrity status makes him any better or worse than any other man who goes through a mid-life crisis and hooks up with a much younger woman. So he had something to prove to himself about his own attractiveness, virility, whatever. He’s human.

    If he “really wanted a family,” it happened rather suddenly because he’d always said before he wasn’t into having children. Even his mother was surprised by his change of heart.

    And I don’t think anyone accused Ottavia of being a home-wrecker. He’d apparently been split up from Nancy for several years before he started seeing Ottavia. His divorce just wasn’t final yet.

    And I think we all know that it takes 2 to wreck a marriage. Nobody’s saying Nancy was a saint. Most of the women here are just expressing disappointment that one more middle-aged man traded in his age-appropriate wife for a much younger model, whatever the reason. It’s just one more sign that many men our age consider us washed up and unattractive. That’s all we’re saying.

  55. brownb1985 says:

    To wishful_sinful:
    Padma Lakshmi is gorgeous. This woman Ottavia, while attractive, is failry ordinary looking–that goes for her body too. Just a thought–is wishful_sinful really Ottavia herself posting?

  56. barb says:

    No, Nancy is not a saint. But I think a lot of the problems many of Tony’s fans had with him splitting with her was that it made them kind of realize the guy is pretty phony–all that bs about how “devoted” he was to her, how he “adored” her–he pretty much made her a character in his very exaggerated account of himself and his life. People took that brutally honest description of him for real when the truth isn’t really close to that–although KC did have some honest moments, the guy is a self-promotion machine–I don’t have much doubt that this need to have a kid and a new marriage has more to do with his self image than anything else.

  57. brownb says:

    Hey, where’d my comment go??

  58. catsworking says:

    I find it a stretch that Bourdain appeals sexually to 18-year-old girls unless they’ve got some kind of Daddy complex. I don’t think wishful_sinful is really Ottavia because the writing style is too brainless.

    I didn’t hear that Tony had split from Nancy until LONG after the fact. In the meantime, I’d been reading his novels and Kitchen Confidential and thought he was a very happily married man who adored his wife. Her alto-ego in his novels is one fantastic woman.

    So I was really stunned to learn they’d broken up, but such things are not uncommon once one spouse gets famous. Patrick Stewart and Emeril Lagasse are just two who spring to mind who traded in their wives for newer models (Emeril twice) after they hit it big.

    Now that Bourdain is sort of still a newlywed and a first-time parent, he’s got to be feeling some incongruity with his well-honed “bad boy” image. How does he reconcile being the carefree world traveler who doesn’t give a f**k about anything and will try anything once with scurrying home to the wife and baby every night? Sooner or later, something’s got to give, and I’m afraid it will be No Reservations.

  59. Linda Gene Goldstein says:

    catsworking…I wasn’t interperting anything….just commenting on some of the comments I read.

    As far as “incongruity,” he is a bit of an actor and he knows where his bread…or sweetbreads, are buttered.

  60. Linda Gene Goldstein says:

    I read somewhere that there was a photo of ÅB and his daughter on some sort of calendar. Does anyone know about this?

  61. catsworking says:

    Yeah, you can read all about it in my post “Happy 1st Birthday, Ariane Bourdain.” It was a calendar for the Gourmet Institute (, but when I went to their Web site, I didn’t find it anywhere and the links weren’t working. However, there was a picture of Tony on the home page, which would indicate he’s involved in some big “do” they’re having October 17-19 in NYC.

  62. Linda Gene Goldstein says:

    Thanks catsworking. Will try to pick up a copy. Who does Ariane look like?

  63. catsworking says:

    It’s kind of hard to tell from the photos we have, so I can only speak from experience. I’m half Italian (on my mother’s side) and I was born with a full head of black hair, just like Ariane. I’ve always been told that I look just like my mother. So I’m guessing that Ariane favors Ottavia.

    I just hope she inherits some of her father’s height, because to have those Italian genes kick in with gusto in middle age is the pits. I used to be thin and what they call “stacked,” but today I look like someone pasted my head on my Italian grandmother’s short, dumpy body.

  64. Linda Gene Goldstein says:

    Found the photo on the internet…don’t remember where.

    I am Jewish, so I know what you mean because when those genes kick in in middle age, it sucks. Am thinking of having breast reduction surgery so I can see my knees…But I was once adorable…short, dark and stacked.

  65. catsworking says:

    My mother recently had a breast reduction because she couldn’t stand it anymore, and she’s 70. Even though her chest is covered with disgusting scars, I can’t help envying her. I just got fitted for bras – DDD. Bra design is so bad, the only way I can keep the top of the cups filled is to stand on my head or fill in with Kleenex. DDD and I need Kleenex. How screwed up is that? And stupid women are paying good money to have their breasts enlarged? They don’t know when they’re lucky to have a blouse button. I recently told my gynocologist that I see breast cancer as a mixed blessing, if it could relieve me of these freakish basketballs that I’m doomed to carry through life.

    Ottavia’s cute and voluptuous now, but she’s destined to have basketballs hanging around her knees in the future.

  66. Linda Gene Goldstein says:

    I am in my 60s….but never to old to have breast reduction. My gyne said it was the singular best cosmetic surgery…His wife was built like me…and is so carefree now. My goal is to button a blouse without having to put an extra snap on it.

    Kudos to your mother! And I am not interested in scars….Who is going to see them anyway?

    Have to have back surgery first…wish I could have them done at the same time!

    And I must agree with you. I don’t want breast cancer, but do not fear it because of losing my breasts.

  67. catsworking says:

    Fortunately, I’ve never had any serious back problems, but I’ve never serious considered breast reduction mainly because of the cost. If I diet obsessively, I can knock a good 8″ off them and still have a rack that’s considered huge. In addition to not being able to wear many blouses, or anything with a belt for that matter because I’m short-waisted and they take up my entire front from neck to waist, what I really hate is how many men are never able to look me in the eye. Some women might find that a turn-on, but I think it’s just a sign of the guy’s immaturity.

  68. Linda Gene Goldstein says:

    I can’t diet enough to lose these! Surgery is the only answer for me. But first…back surgery!

  69. Melissa says:

    I don’t think Octavia is that attractive, and she doesn’t look THAT young — maybe 35?

  70. catsworking says:

    Melissa, I did extensive digging around and I think found accurate ages on Ottavia and Nancy on census-type, people-finder sites. If so, Ottavia’s 29, or 30 tops.

    I agree with you she’s not a supermodel, but we know Tony doesn’t exactly need to hook up with any dogs, either. What surprises me is that she jumped in and got pregnant so soon after meeting him. It must have been an accident, she was out to trap herself a celebrity, or he sold her a line about suddenly needing fatherhood that would make any other outrageous thing he’s ever written pale in comparison.

    But was it love at first sight and do they have a passion for each other that will endure for the rest of their lives? Somehow I just don’t get that vibe off him from the interviews I’ve seen and read since they got married. He displays a lot of warmth for Ariane, but I’ve never heard him say anything loving about Ottavia. And he dedicated his latest book to Ariane, not his new wife. Why not both, since they both entered his life at nearly the same time?

  71. brownb1985 says:

    I agree with you that TB doesn’t exhibit a lot of warmth towards his wife–maybe they have some kind of arrangement so that he could have a kid. And as for not hooking up with dogs, sorry, but that Paula Froelich was FUGLY.

  72. catsworking says:

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I guess.

    I said Tony doesn’t NEED to hook up with any dogs, not that he DOESN’T. I think the only thing really ugly about Paula is her mouth. Those comments she seemed to be making about Tony without actually naming him were really over the top. Sad thing is, they had the ring of truth. I can see how he may have been feeling insecure about his life and his age when he was between wives, and it all came out when he got really drunk.

    If anything, I hope Ottavia is giving him a chance to slow down and regroup before he totally burns out. But with the personal appearance schedule he seems to be on lately, it’s almost as if he wants to be anywhere but at home. I’m actually worried about the guy.

  73. April says:

    I wish he would have had his mid life crisis with me…LOL.

  74. April says:

    Ok after reading all of these posts and not knowing at all what his new wife looks like I had to take a break and look at the pic’s…..Now my opinion might come from the fact that I secrectly wish it was me but I don’t think she is very pretty… she looks like a brunette version of Victoria Beckam ( is that her name??) Any ways I am enoying ready all of these…I kinda feel like a weird celebrity stalker…But he is a hot older man so I don’t give a darn! LOL!

  75. Natalia says:

    Shit! All this time I swore the guy was a queer. LOL!!!

    First time my gay-dar was wrong. XP

    In any case, I’m married to a guy twice my age, and lemme say this:

    As much as I can feel for wife #1, theres probably nothing she could
    have done to save their marriage in terms of Anthony “changing”
    IF that was truly the cause of their discord. Its a shame she got the boot after having to put up with his bullcrap– and all the behaviors and mannerism that came with the ‘rise to fame’.

    I adore my man to bits, but clearly he is in the midst of mid-life.
    Despite the two master degrees in sciences, he’s opted for two seater sports car, sharp dress, and gropies in public– something
    he probably would never had caught himself doing if he were in his 30s again.

    Bourdain simply is going thru the motions. He is a guy afterall.
    Doesnt matter whether or not he is “smart” or a brainless cad.
    At this stage in his life, he wants to enjoy it not worry about what
    people think of him or if they will call the wife “is this your daughter?”

    Wife #2, dont think is hot at all. She looks like an average chick to me.
    (Am I looking at the right clips?? Why is she being called stacked? o>O
    If a A-B cup is stacked most of America must be ripping the seams off their shirts)

    Its all about the young flesh, ladies. Hate to say it.
    Simple as that. 😛

  76. Linda Gene Goldstein says:

    Natalie, y ou are preaching to the chior. AMEN.

  77. MorganLF says:

    Ladies…ladies…I came late to the cult of Bourdain but I am totally all about it now. At first I noticed him then got to adore him and really FANCY him. Hell I even posted a mash note on the Travel Chanel Blog!! (one of miliions I might add) I am Bourdain’s age and from the same area as he. The east villiage where he lived was my stomping grounds for years. I’m pretty sure we must have croseed paths at the Mudd Club, GBGB’s, Hurrah or some of the local watering holes (one notable one was owned by my then boyfriend.)

    It’s been years since I found an age appropriate guy so hot. The fact that he is sardonically funny, a brilliant writer and not hard on the eyes and tall has got me fascinated. Co workers think I’m crazy …He is my screen savaer…I quote him chapter and verse. So having just discovered this the next great love of my life to find out he’s married…WELL!

    So I checked her out and in all objectivity..faccia brute. Ho hum…not choice quality if you ask me. But that’s Tony and I’m sure when this marriage fails there’s a tall age apropriate redhead in his future 🙂

  78. catsworking says:

    One day, Tony will be very grateful for the 50-something women he thinks he’s too hot for right now. He’ll never look “over the hill” to us, as he inevitably will to his much younger wife, probably in the not-too-distant future. Our loyalty and devotion may end up saving his career.

    The Bourdains seem to have celebrated Ariane’s first birthday and their first anniversary with no fanfare. I’m wondering if Tony was even at home, since he seems to be all over the map lately making appearances.

    MorganLF, when he’s out there looking for #3, I hope your paths finally cross. You’d have our full support because it sounds like you’d treat him right and not stick him with any more bambinos to be raising in his dotage.

  79. MorganLF says:

    Mrs. Morgan Bourdain….sighhhhh. Oooops! Just day dreaming. We’d have so much in common me being a Jersey Tomato and all. Cat you’ll be invited.

  80. Barb says:

    FYI Morgani, Tony didn’t live in the East Village–he lived way uptown on Riverside Drive.

  81. catsworking says:

    I think Barb’s right. During my research, I found a Riverside Drive address for Tony and Nancy Bourdain. Apartment 6B.

  82. MorganLF says:

    If you read The Nasty Bits he refers to ordering in and getting a DVD from Kim’s Video which he states is around the corner it’s pretty well known place. One is on St. Marks place and the other (newer one) is on Christopher St. Could this have been post Nancy or in the very early days?

  83. catsworking says:

    Morgan, maybe Barb will come back and let you know. I’m not familiar with NYC. I think Tony and Nancy split sometime in 2004. I think they were married nearly 30 years, getting hitched either while he was at Vassar or sometime soon after he left (he only stayed 2 years).

  84. Barb says:

    There was (is?) a branch of Kim’s Video around 113th Street -has been since 2001.

  85. MorganLF says:

    Barb that’s it he was on Riverside near 114th across from the park. For some reson I thought he lived in the East Village..guess he just partied there. Bad as I feel for Nancy she HAD to have issues herself. Look they were married as kids so all of his junkie antics:squatting on a blanket in the snow on upper Broadway selling off precious mementos for drug money what about the Christmas tree moldering in the apartment’s empty dining room for months, that they were too embarrased to throw away? Does not sound like she was much of a home maker. Much as I love the guy all those years of abusing and cheating would havae done me in a looooong time ago. As for the Froelich dame…she is distubing on many levels and unatractive. Looks like our boy gets his beer goggles on quite regularly. And it occurs to me that the pregnancy could not have been that much of a mistake. If he was not prepared to get caught he could have had a snip…or at the very least not raw dog it!

  86. catsworking says:

    I don’t think the pregnancy was a mistake on Ottavia’s part. Tony had managed to get along for nearly 50 years without getting anybody pregnant, so he was probably feeling pretty complacent.

    But once the deed was done, he stepped up to the plate and made an “honest woman” of his child’s mother. So you’ve got to give him credit for that.

    Some nasty stuff has been said about Nancy here, none of which I can confirm, but I think we have to assume there was something weird about that relationship because he’s been very up-front about the wild ways of restaurant workers, and she lived with it for over 2 decades. She probably did have her own issues.

  87. Mel says:

    Please gals, give the man a break, he’s 51! about time he had a kid! i was wandering how he dealt with family doing all that traveling. A younger second wife? so? i mean think about it, how long was he with his first wife? 10? 20 yrs? and no kids!? hmm they must’ve gone through a lot of obstacles as a couple, no one really knows the story. The truth is that he is being responsible for his little girl:)

  88. Barb says:

    I think the issue here is that for a lot of posters, they bought into the idea that he was unique, not your typical guy, and then he turns around and does (possibly) a classic mid-life crisis kind of thing. Why is it “about time” he had a kid? Don’t understand that one at all–having a child is not mandatory–many people are not good parent-types. And if his relationship with Nancy sucked, what does that say about him? Especially since he gave a very different impression in his books–what does it say about his level of pretense? I know people here have their fantasies about him–and that’s just what they are–fantasies. The image of his marriage was more important to him, obviously, than the truth of that relationship. This equation hasn’t changed just because he married someone else and had a kid. Part of the equation for sure is his “image”–all his cool chef-club friends (Batali, Ripert) have kids so he has to fit in with them. Not saying this is the only reason, but it’s definitely part of it. To think otherwise is to live in a fantasy world.

  89. catsworking says:

    Barb, that was very insightful. I think you nailed it.

    Personally, I believe he would have been better off without a child, since he keeps saying that he loves his current globetrotting lifestyle and hopes it lasts as long as possible. Why would he have deliberately tied himself down?

    On the other hand, he’s aware that he’s not getting any younger and some small part of him probably craves the stability of a home and family. And he may be seeing things he admires in the lifestyle of the other celebrity chefs.

    I’ve been watching “A Cook’s Tour” on Food Network, and was struck when he says in the opening that he’s “got nothing to lose,” even though I think he was married to Nancy when he made those shows, and was wearing his wedding ring. I wonder how that comment made HER feel?

    Now he probably does feel like he’s got something to lose, if only Ariane. I just don’t get the vibe that he’s that smitten with Ottavia. She’s still around because she’s the mother of his child. There was a very small window between his breakup with Paula Froelich and Ottavia’s pregnancy, so I think if Ottavia hadn’t stuck the ultimate fork in him, he’d have moved on by now, too. From what little I’ve seen and read of her, she seems like she could be bossy and annoying, which I’m sure wouldn’t sit well with Tony, the free spirit.

    Isn’t it nice that his personal life is such a mystery so we can endlessly speculate on it?

  90. MorganLF says:

    Actually he is 52 born in June 1956 and Nancy is 53 born April 1955. They were married a long time (25+ years) and separated in 2005 when he started dating/ living with Paula Froelich (ugggh!) He the typical guy that can’t be alone. There is evidence in postings and articles all over the internet that he stated over and over – no kids. Well I propose that since he knows the birds and the bees and was too lazy to insure against the obvious outcome…duh…it was not as chance an incident as we wish it were.

    Face it we can’t reconcile ourselves to his new wife cause she does not pass muster. She is neither strikingly gorgeous nor as far as we can determine as funny, urbane, and wry as Tony is. That he is handsome is a given, but the fact that his prose is compelling and off the cuff one liners and eye rolls are so screamingly funny is all the more reson why we had such high expectations.

    Its like when Howard Stern devoted husband and father divorced his long time wife and went straight for the dame 25 years younger…dude its so cliche. Trophy wife, young new trim? What a bore. Especially for a bad boy. Guess we had no right to expect anything elsse and to try to hold our boy to a higher standard…he’s justa guy.

  91. catsworking says:

    Good detective work, Morgan! Actually, he’ll be 52 in June.

    I believe I read an interview somewhere not long before Ottavia got pregnant where he was still saying “no kids.”

    But when I realized that Ottavia got pregnant right around the time he got trapped in Beirut, I wondered if that whole experience made him start thinking about his own mortality and he came home hot to produce an heir. And there she was, waiting, her young ovaries all aquiver.

    With his history of drinking and drug use, they’re just lucky Ariane turned out OK.

    I guess it could be worse. If she’s really no match for him in the wit and sarcasm department, I guess it’s better that he just trot her out occasionally as his silent arm candy.

  92. Barb says:

    I just have to put in my 2 cents after seeing that picture of him with his daughter. First of all, the shot is for a calendar of chefs, a commercial item promoting Mr. B. I think it underscores how much of his private life is meant for self-promotion. The baby looks all of about ten days old. He’s dangling her off to the side like an afterthought as he looks lovingly into the camera. You are supposed to support a baby’s head carefully, not just hang them off to one side as he’s doing. He’s not even looking at her! Could it be more screamingly obvious who Tony’s real love is? Himself, as reflected in the eyes of fans/cameras.

  93. catsworking says:

    There were more pictures from that photo shoot in the CBS interview. I’ve got a link to it in one of my other Bourdain posts and tell you exactly where to look. When I saw this picture was the one they apparently picked for the calendar, I was surprised. There were others that made him look much more loving. In this one, he makes Ariane look like she’s a roast he just pulled out of the fridge. I think it’s the picture she will never forgive him for.

    At times he comes across so humble during his travels, I have a hard time seeing him as the crazy egomaniac Paula Froelich described, but I admit it does peek through here and there in what I’ve seen of his public appearances on the Net. But I guess once you achieve a certain level of celebrity, it’s hard to stay humble.

    Similarly, there are people who can’t stand Oprah Winfrey because they think she’s totally full of herself 24/7.

  94. MorganLF says:

    I think the shot is cute I like the juxstaposition of big man tiny baby…kinda gets to me. Cat I would like the link for the other photos. BTW saw Paula Froehlich on TV last night on the Insider TV show..horrifying! No was she threw him over.

  95. Linda Gene Goldstein says:

    Cat, I would also like the link…Hell…I would love the link!

  96. catsworking says:

    Go to my post, “Ariane Bourdain, in Person”, under Top Posts and you will find the link and instructions on exactly where in the video to find the other photos. It’s the CBS 60 Minutes interview.

  97. Linda Gene Goldstein says:

    Thank you so much.

  98. MorganLF says:

    Looved it how did I miss that 60 minutes episode the first time out? In fact how is it I just got inot him and the show a few months ago? I watch food network and never recll seing a Cook’s Tour,baffling especially since we were rasied about 16 miles apart.. Noticed him on Top Chef but it took a minute for me to get how cool the guy is. Well good news about the new books I’ll be reading…

  99. anonymous says:

    I see AB has gone back to his New Jersey roots in his choice of women. I’m 30 & I’ve managed in the food industry for about 10 years in NYC, and know that you can get the person out of NJ, but rarely get the NJ out of the person – case in point

    Yikes! The least he could do is buy his honey a better wig. It’s painfully obvious and an awful cut. She might be sweet as pie, but she’s tacky as all get-go. Belly piercing? Do they vacation in Wildwood, NJ every summer, too?

    I’m still a big fan of AB and watch No Reservations religiously, but I’ll admit that my admiration has now wavered a bit. He’s not as sexy to me anymore. Nothing to keep a woman guessing, wanting more, it’s all an obvious picture now, and that picture is , well – I’ll stop there.

    As for the smoke,drink, drug use. It’s a big part of the F&B world. I don’t think it will shorten his life, personally – and if it does, that’s his choice. Foodies are hedonists, they live for the taste and feeling and essence (sorry, I hate using that silly Emeril reference) of life. Part of that sometimes means doing other a-typical foodie things like drugs and overdoing it with the drink. If your spouse is ok with it and knows what the consequences are (if any), who cares.

    I guess I just wish him luck. But man, I used to think he was so much more hot.

  100. catsworking says:

    Julia Child loved her butter and she lived to be about 157, so I’m hoping Tony will do likewise.

    I think the fact that he’s committed himself to producing 3 new books indicates that he realizes his TV days are numbered, but I could be wrong. Perhaps he’s seeing that the demands of family life won’t allow him to continue traveling the globe at his former pace, or maybe he no longer wants to.

    Most celebrities can only be as hot as he has been for just so long, then their stars inevitably begin to wane. I don’t think marrying the Italian hottie (yeah, I know, some of you think she’s a dog, but I think she’s attractive in that coarse way Italians are so good at) and becoming a dad in middle age has helped him. It just wasn’t what fans of the bad-boy chef wanted to see.

    On the other hand, he’d have to do a lot worse to make me switch my allegiance to Andrew Zimmern or Samantha Brown.

  101. RH says:

    Yes, I agree with anonymous, my admiration has wavered as well. Tony is not any where near as hot as he used to be to me. But, I am still a huge fan and will always support his shows and books and I wish him continued health and much happiness in his life.

  102. Nicola says:

    hehe I just saw a picture of her rockin a pair of sweet Louboutin boots, a nice LV bag, and some old guy with an ‘oh shit’ look on his face. Oh wait – thats Anthony Bourdain?! Poor sucker. Hope she has a great personality/sense of humor or hes Fu&^ed. . . . Shes cute though dude – midlife crisis dos not look good on him.

  103. catsworking says:

    Nicola, I think you nailed it. Mid-life crisis DOESN’T look good on him. As long as we see him globe-trotting alone, we can suspend belief and enjoy all his exploits, which are often more appropriate for a much younger man. But when we see him trying to hold on to his youth with someone young enough to be his daughter, we start to wonder what he’s really trying to prove – to himself or to his fans.

    I guess he’s just hoping all his parts keep working so he can keep up with her, but with an age difference that great and his history of physical self-abuse, it’s not looking too promising. I hope he proves me wrong because I really do admire the guy for his observational and writing talent.

  104. Lucy says:

    speriamo almeno che siano innamorati, altrimenti con una siciliana accanto sarà dura!!!

  105. catsworking says:

    Translation on Lucy’s comment, courtesy of iGoogle:

    “We hope at least that they are in love, otherwise with a Sicilian next will be tough!”

    But I think Ottavia is from northern Italy, not Sicily.

  106. Lucy says:

    no, no, Ottavia è siciliana!

  107. Lucy says:

    Scusa se rispondo in italiano, ma purtroppo non conosco molto bene l’inglese e quindi preferisco non sbagliare nell’esprimermi.
    ciao ciao

  108. catsworking says:

    Lucy, are you a friend of Ottavia? If yes, can you tell us about her? Where did she go to school? When did she come to the U.S.? Why did she come?

    We only see pictures, and we want to know more. You can write in Italian and I will try to translate.

    Translation of Lucy’s last comment:

    Sorry if I answer in English, but unfortunately I do not know very well English and therefore prefer not nell’esprimermi mistakes.

  109. Lucy says:

    diciamo che non la conosco, ma so che lei inizialmente lavorava nel settore dei vini….. anche per il Les Halles..

  110. catsworking says:

    Lucy translation:

    we do not know, but I know that she initially worked in the field of vini⠀ | .. even for the Les Halles ..

    I take it “vinia” is wine? And she was doing something with wine for Les Halles? Perhaps helping them with their wine list?

  111. Lucy says:

    i try….
    She works with wine, yes, and she has worked for Geisha Restaurant in NY and also for Les Halles -Banquet…
    i’m so bad in english version 😦

  112. catsworking says:

    Thank you, Lucy. You did very good. Your English is much better than my Italian! And I am half Italian. My great-grandparents came to America from SICILY. So maybe Ottavia is my cousin!

  113. Lucy says:

    great! But i don’t have understand your nome… sorry,
    Now i live in tuscany, but in August I’ll come back in NY.
    A big BACIONE

  114. catsworking says:

    Bacione (big kisses) back to you, Lucy! Thank you for writing.

    If you see Tony and Ottavia in August when you come back to NY, come back to Cats Working and let me know.


  115. Lucy says:

    …will be done!

  116. […] have written nasty comments here about Tony’s former wife, Nancy. But I wish she were still around. Married to Nancy, he wrote the […]

  117. Interloper says:

    Wow…you guys sure know a LOT about Tony! I’m so glad I found this blog, AB doesn’t seem to have many other like-minded(heheh) female fans where I come from(Singapore)… =)
    Did you know that Tony once had a fling/short-lived relationship with Asha Gill?? (If you’ve never heard the name, she’s this absolutely gorgeous TV presenter and host of Lonely Planet Six Degrees)
    AND, he also brought her along when he went to get a tattoo (just like with Ottavia!) in the Malaysia(Borneo) episode of No Reservations. Hmmmm… I wonder who he’ll take with him to get his NEXT tattoo?..
    Here’s a pic of them together at an event
    I wonder what happened with them…I think if anyone was the perfect physical and intellectual match for Tony, it would be Asha. Their break-up might’ve had something to do with the fact that she’s a vegetarian =P

  118. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Interloper. I bet you don’t hear that a lot. 😉

    Thanks for the information on Asha Gill and the photo link. I didn’t know any of this, but I will be watching for her now when I rewatch the Malaysia episode.

    I don’t quite know how this blog became so Bourdain-centric, except that I got curious and Googled him when I read he had a new wife and daughter and posted my findings here. They really took off. My “Ottavia Bourdain: Found” post continues to be the most popular by far. So now whenever I come up with any new insight on our boy, I add it to the pile. And readers like you have graciously followed suit, making Cats Working a good stop for Tony Trivia.

    I’ve received some mean comments about Tony, his family, me, and my readers, but I’ve let some of them through in the hope that they’ll make the truth surface. I’m in awe of the man as an intrepid traveler and brilliant writer, and my interest in his life is nothing more than attempt to get a well-rounded picture of someone I greatly admire.

    Personally, I hope he’s done with the tattooing…

  119. Linda Gene Goldstein says:

    Hi Interloper…
    Thanks so much for the photo She is beautiful and he looked so young and adorable.

    Catsworking…I don’t know who could possible be mean to you re this blog. You are doing a terrific job…and you are about the only game in town…and a dang good one.

  120. catsworking says:

    I’ve gotten some raunchy comments on this post about older women. I let some of them through, but a few were too filthy. I imagine every blogger gets some of that. The Internet is crawling with pervs.

    On the whole, it’s been positive.

    And now I’m wondering where today’s post on the Sex & the City movie has gone. It was here a minute ago, and now it’s missing. WordPress seems to be acting up.

  121. Deb says:

    I stumbled upon this post while searching for info on Bourdain and No Reservations. In watchng his show, I always thought that there would be no way a marriage could remain intact with a lifestyle like that, and order seems to be restored to my universe now that I know it hasn’t. What a beyond perfect man he would have been if he could have traveled around the world and remained faithful to his wife of 30 years.

    Cynical as it may sound, celebs are illusions. I can’t wait to read the book Shiloh and Maddox are going to write about their “perfect parents.”

    Well written post Cats. I shall check out the non-Bourdain part of your blog.

  122. catsworking says:

    I’m waiting for OJ’s kids to collaborate on a book, “Growing Up with the Dad Who Did It.”

    Yes, it’s true. Tony’s marriage couldn’t withstand the pressures of fame, apparently. But lately he seems to be settling in to married life with Ottavia and their baby in a way that’s startling people in the other direction. While researching my latest post on his first wife (Bourdain research has become something of a hobby, since my readers seem to love whatever I can find), I found a lot of postings on message boards about how he seems to be losing his edge, particularly in some of the latest episodes of No Reservations (Romania and Hawaii, specifically) and on Top Chef.

    If it’s true, I hope he embraces his writing (which he can do at home with a baby) and uses that medium to continue sharing his snarky, quirky insights with the world.

  123. Shebunny says:


    You are doing a great job! Keep it up!

    I in my late 30’s and find Tony very sexy, maybe because my own husband is 14 years older than me and some what of a bad boy also. I admit a night with AB is the ultimate dream date, but only a dream…

    I love finding out about Tony trivia. I religiously watch No Reservations much like many on this post.

    I truly hope he is not being taken by his 2nd wife however only time will tell.

    At least he is not washed up for now since Travel Channel is launching his new summer series beginning on Monday July 7th. I can’t wait.

  124. Linda Gene says:

    Your site is incredible. It’s the only place I go to find out about AB.

    Saw a pomo that Tony’s new season begins July 7. Wonder if he is going to go to Disneyland and check out the food there!

  125. catsworking says:

    Thank you, Linda. I haven’t been watching much Travel Channel lately, so I haven’t seen any promos for his new season, and I won’t be here for the first episode. I hope my father remembers to tape it for me.

    As someone pointed out elsewhere, today is Tony’s 52nd birthday, and a few days ago he was seen flying to Rome with his family, so I guess he’s celebrating it with Ottavia’s folks. Lucky guy!

  126. Linda Gene says:

    Guess he has the total family he wanted. Hope he is happy…but he could be happy with me also.

  127. anna says:

    I opened this link thinking I might find something interesting….oh, woe is me! The bulk of these comments are so scathingly inappropriate. Ottavia is a beautiful woman. Two people fell in love, created life and took a vow. I hope they share many happy years together. The age remarks are so offensive I can’t even start to comment. An to surmise that she will be unattractive as she ages is just mean. I’m a 46 year old female, and quite comfortable withe the fact I’m dating a 3o year old man. Do I think with the area belwo my belt? Definitely. Is this the foudnation for a long term realtionship. No. Advice. Stop being such jealous cows. Perhaps someone will take interest in you. Congratulations to the Bourdains.

  128. catsworking says:

    Opinions of Ottavia do run the gamut, with those in trans-generational relationships themselves generally most supportive. I guess it all depends on your perspective.

    I don’t think anyone has predicted with certainty that she will get more unattractive with age, but all you have to do is look around to see that the odds are stacked against her – and the rest of the human race.

    I’m reading Fran Drescher’s book, “Cancer Schmancer,” where she agonizes over dating a man 16 years younger, particularly wondering what he’s going to think of her when he’s 60 and she’s 76. She pointed out that Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin had the same age spread and managed to make it work, so Anna, I hope you are one of the lucky few who can make time stand still and your current relationship lasts forever.

    Oh, it will help if you lighten up and stop getting bent out of shape if your peers have a little fun fantasizing. We all wish the Bourdains the best.

  129. Petunia says:

    Hi! I just saw a promo for the new season of NR-the one where TB talks about hot peppers and scotch broth–and maybe I’m imagining things but Tony seems sad to me -or seriously depressed–anyone else get this? Of course, maybe he is tired after so many season of NR and Cook Tour–but still, it must be a great job–but with all the new stuff in his life (wife, baby), he doesn’t come across as a happy man. Hope I’m wrong!

  130. catsworking says:

    I’ve got to tune in to Travel Channel to see this promo people keep telling me about. Tony has said that he’s feeling less “angry” these days, so did that take all the wind out of his sails? I guess the new episodes will reveal more about his current attitude. I can’t wait!

    The other night I managed to capture on tape 2 episodes of Cook’s Tour I’d never seen (Oaxaca, Mexico and LA), but when I went to watch them, the tape got stuck and BROKE. I was fuming.

  131. rh says:

    Posted 6/23/2008
    From our new favorite iPhone-carrying tipster:

    Saturday. 8 am Rome time. At Fiumincino, Anthony Bourdain gets his and his family’s luggage. The stars are just like us. Flew Continental from Newark, my flight, saw him on it.

  132. catsworking says:

    Thanks for the link. It means Tony spent his 52nd birthday in Italy. Lucky guy.

    That blogger mentioned seeing Bourdain on his flight, but I wish he’d have mentioned if he saw Ottavia and Ariane as well. Here at Cats Working, we always appreciate a confirmed sighting!

  133. Ichigo says:

    Howdy all! Super glad I stumbled upon this site! I am currently watching the first new episode of No Reservations; Laos. Unfortunaly, since I was reading all the comments I missed most of the episode. It seems though he’s really cleaned up; not as unkempt as usual. I kind of miss the cigarette hanging out of his mouth every other frame, and I think he’s made atleast 3 ‘My Wife’ comments thus far (kind of irritating actually). He wasn’t as lovingly sarcastic either, though he did say it was due to the fact that America bombed the crap outta Laos. I just hope he doesn’t keep it up, I love his satiracal humor. Ho hum.

    I have to say, I really do love the man. I may be young (probably alot younger than most here) but I do this he’s utterly attractive; a mix of looks, attitude and behavior. Maybe I have a thing for older men. Scratch that, I know I do. It’s alittle unhealthy I guess but whatchya gonna do? I do have a severe Johnny Depp fetish after all…

    But anyway, Tony made a reference to an unknown wife (unknown to me anyway) during the Laos episode and I scratched my head. I didn’t really know alot about him so I jumped on the computer to find out. I then proceeded to stumble across your site and read every single comment (instead of doing my college work) to expand my knowledge. As for the Ottavia incident, I’m alittle disappointed. As many have mentioned, seems like a mid-life crisis to me. Some men buy a boat, maybe even a motorcycle; Anthony Bourdain marries a 20-something Italian girl. Hey, no one said he was normal. But I do think she’s quite pretty and a nice piece of eye candy, and she definatly makes me jealous. Having a baby girl though? Mmm, I don’t know if that little girl is in the best environment for raising. I have pretty firm outlook on child-rearing so…..I just wish them happiness, even though I have my doubts on how long this will last. His track record isn’t that clean, but a child may make all the difference. Then agian, having a child hasn’t stopped most men.

  134. Nancy says:

    I just found these pics of Tony and Octavia at Letterman. I think they look good together. She doesn’t look that young to me, but she is pretty.,_Adam_Duritz,_Anthony_Bourdain

  135. catsworking says:

    I posted links to these pictures in another one of my Bourdain postings a while ago. I think it was “A Portrait.”

    When I was researching, I found Ottavia listed in some directory under her maiden name, and it listed her age as 28 or 29 – can’t remember which.

  136. Annika says:

    I found these two videos with Bourdain talking about the planned fatherhood…

    Maybe somebody understands everything he is talking about? I have my problems.

  137. catsworking says:

    Annika, Thanks for those 2 links. He confirmed what I thought. Ariane was conceived the day he got home from Beirut and Ottavia was behind it (with his blessing, I assume).

    But what surprised me was that he said he may want ANOTHER child in a few years.

  138. Treeven says:

    wow. wow. wow. so many thoughts are firing off right now hard to get them down and hopefully in a cohesive order. so here goes my stream of conciousness…

    i am 36, pushing out of the young and cute and starting the downhill slump of premenopause “i will no longer be cute and young again ever!” stage of my life. happily married for 15 years and with two boys ages 6 & 3.

    love bourdain. my husband is his spitting image and shares his somewhat “snarky” point of view. i get it, i get where AB is coming from and i get his lifestyle. so i am interested in the backstory and do the requiste internet reserach stalk.

    i find you guys. holy cow, where have you been all my life. a group of like minded crazy will spend all this time on the internet searching and seeking information on as well as sharing our thoughts of a dude we will never meet. ok, writing that makes me feel really creepy and more strange than i am comfortable admitting. let’s edit that to say that we are a group of very detail oriented people. eek!

    i digress… back on track. ok, so i dig AB. read the book and watch the show. love him him on top chef and first became aware of him back when they wrote that article about him going to mexico with his kitchen staff for Gourmet magazine. so i dig him and i really dig that he seems like a stand up guy, with a wife of 30 years. then he goes off the rails with the chippie.

    so i find you all and agree with pretty much the consensus here. he gets money, gets fat , realizes time is short, finds a young girl, has the kid and marries the mom. typical. routine. basic. still love AB but it would have been so cool to have had him be the snarky pirate chef version of paul newman and joanne woodward.

  139. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Treeven. This whole Bourdain thing started with my idle curiosity when I learned not that long ago that he’d married a much younger woman. I had no idea his first marriage (to Nancy) had broken up. From all I’d read by him and of him, I thought they were solid.

    So I was naturally curious to see the new wife, and discovered that photos of the people in his life are scarce, and even although he lets them appear on his shows, because they’re unidentified and no one knows what they look like, they pass unnoticed.

    Until now. I was able to find photos of both wives and the baby and shared them here, tapping into a deep vein of curiosity about the man.

    His persona has been obviously one of the rootless traveler “with nothing to lose” as he ironically said in the intro to “A Cook’s Tour.” Turns out what all his traveling led him to lose was his first wife.

    It’s going to be interesting to see how his new, kinder, gentler image goes over with his fans. I’ve only seen the Colombia episode of the new season of “No Reservations” so far, and he was very mellow.

    Interestingly enough, I’ve just met a man who could be Bourdain’s cousin – tall, thin, gray hair, constant traveler, and a real wise guy. It’s as close as I ever expect to come to the real deal.

  140. CuriousKitty says:

    I just saw the video of him and his wife at the tattoo parlour, my what big teeth she has. I’m sorry, she looks like a washed up porn star. I adore him and am so disappointed.

  141. elizabeth says:

    A relationship is between two people.As long as hes happy and she is too who cares who he married.He has to live with that person and no one else.I dont know either of them personally and I dont get why anyone would be so opiniated about someones life choices whose not even a personal friend.Just my thoughts……

  142. petunia says:

    Catsworking, I love your detective work! Here are a few more “clues”–I was watching an episode of NR in Indonesia, where Tony seems positively giddy over how beautiful the place is and starts making comments about living there instead of in the US. He has a segment with an American chef who moved to Indonesia like 12 years ago. The guy is saying how great it is, he’s not homesick and makes a particular point about the beautiful Indonesian women, sort of implying numerous relationships. Maybe I’m reading into things but it seems to me that Tony is really looking forward to liasons with beautiful Asian women as he contemplates living in Southeast Asia. By looking at the timeline of this show, I think it was filmed right before Tony went to Beirut. So how weird is it that in a matter of weeks he is getting someone pregnant and settling down? Something just doesn’t fit here–maybe the danger in beirut made a huge impact on him but c’mon, it’s not really like he was in mortal danger–I have a friend who lives in beirut and the bombing was all in the southern part of the city.
    Anyway, I find it hard to believe that a guy who seesm to know what he wants would go against everything he’s said and start a family…and so fast too. This is a bad thought I know, but is it possible the child is not even his? One day is pretty fast to conceive for an older guy who’s lived a bad lifestyle. Anyway, my 2 cents for what its worth.

  143. rh says:

    So much for his “planned pregnancy” story. He should figure out what he wants the public to know and stick to his stories. We, the fans, knew all along that his planned pregnancy story was bogus and a cover up. It’s obvious that he completely adores his daughter because he talks about her every chance he gets but he does not mention his wife very often. I think she probably would not be his “wife” had she not gotten pregnant.

  144. catsworking says:

    Petunia, I totally agree with you. I think he started saying “I meant to do that” to avoid Ottavia looking like a schemer who trapped him with a surprise pregnancy. I never believed it was a well-planned event simply because he hadn’t been seeing Ottavia for more than a few months before it happened.

    If you check out the video Annika linked to a few comments back, you’ll see him admitting that Ottavia dragged him home as soon as he returned from Beirut and got herself pregnant. Even more surprisingly, he says they may try AGAIN in a few years.

    Yet he is besotted with all things Asian. I recently saw that Indonesia NR myself again. He also adored Malaysia so much he got another tattoo there. He’s gone from declaring he’d like to live in Asia forever, to committing to write a book about spending only one year in Vietnam.

    Methinks I smell a big compromise with Ottavia in this. Whether she’ll be able to last a year going bamboo, or he’ll love it so much he refuses to return to Western life, remains to be seen.

  145. AC says:

    Just adding my 2 cents. My boyfriend used to work with Anthony Bourdain. He brought me along to Bourdain’s 50th birthday party 2 years ago. I had no idea back then how long Anthony and Ottavia had been dating, but they seemed madly in love and were happy to announce to their friends their decision to have a baby. That was about a month before Beirut.

  146. catsworking says:

    Welcome AC! Always pleased to hear from someone with first-hand knowledge. OK, then it sounds like they DID plan on starting a family and his Beirut experience just made them realize how fragile life is and they hopped to it.

    All of us who believed it was a spur-of-the-moment thing stand corrected.

    I’ve only seen one episode of the new season so far, but fatherhood does seem to be agreeing with him because he’s nowhere near as snarky as he used to be. I just hope he can muster some of his attitude for his upcoming books.

  147. Merrida says:

    My two cents,- my disgust over Bourdain’s behavior is not coming from a middle aged woman who hasn’t gotten laid and is therefore seething with jealousy and anger. I’d have no problem with him dating a girl young enough to be his daugher IF: He wasn’t already married while screwing around with Ottavia. Ottavia was pregnant while Bourdain and Nancy were still married, and Bourdain married Ottavia within 2 weeks of the divorce and birth of their daughter. If he divorced his wife (because the marriage didn’t work). Tried life on his own (after ending a 30 year marriage, let’s make sure you did the right thing). THEN date women (plural),…a lot of them. When one strikes your fancy, THEN you settle down and make babies (marriage or not).

    My issue isn’t about her age. It’s about how disrespectfully Bourdain went about it. And yes, it does make me look at him differently and it makes me less interested in what he has to say. I guess it goes to show I’m interested in people who have a sense of ethics, strong character, will power, and sincerity. They can have all those characteristics and still be a chain smoking drunk lush with a sardonic attitude (ie: good ole Tony).

    PS: I still opt for midlife crisis because recent pictures of him show he’s had a very obvious face lift to better match his dewy young bride. Too many signs.

  148. Nickole says:

    Interesting “blind item” up at today.

    Here it is: “Say a certain contestant had had a little tryst with a rakish new york rock star chef who is known to be a guest judge on the show. How does this affect his/her decision making ability when the celeb chef has to judged the contestant’s food?

    Could that be none other than Anthony Bourdain? All the adjectives seem to fit. By the way, Eater’s website is tracking every move of Top Chef 5 that just started filming in NYC this week.

  149. catsworking says:

    Merrida, Tony had been separated from Nancy for quite a while before he hooked up with Ottavia. He lived with Paula Froelich for 4 or 5 months between Nancy and Ottavia. I think he split with Nancy in 2005. They may not have filed for divorce immediately because they’d been married so long, they may not have seen another wedding coming down the pike so soon, or maybe thought they might end up back together.

    I don’t know divorce law in NY, but here in VA I think it takes 6 months to get a divorce if there are no children. So it seems to me that he was coasting along, separated but not divorced, planning to live with Ottavia until WHAM! she got pregnant.

    Then he filed for divorce ASAP to do the right thing and give the baby his name, and it came through on April 5, 2007. Ariane was born on April 9.

    But even with that generous scenario, it still points to mid-life crisis.

    PS: FACE LIFT!!!??? Could it be true? I’m going to watch the Saudi Arabia episode of NR tonight and now I will be looking VERY closely for signs of nip and tuck.

    Nickole, thanks for that lead on Eater! Now I’ll be tuning in to the next season of Top Chef with renewed interest. The description certainly does point to our boy – maybe when he was at loose ends between Paula and Ottavia.

  150. AC says:

    Thank you Catsworking. I hear that Bourdain was devastated (and impossible to work with) for several months after the breakup with Nancy. I would’t be surprised to find out Nancy was the one who did the dumping.

  151. catsworking says:

    AC, I think I read somewhere (or someone posted it here) that Nancy did indeed initiate the separation.

  152. Nickole says:


    There’s quite a comment discussion going on at that Eater tip that I sent you on their website. Lots of people discussing whether or not it’s Bourdain on the blind item.

  153. Annette says:

    I am so glad my 53 year husband is not famous and rich. Hmmm. What did I just say? Me being 52, I’m way too old for that A list drop em stuff. However, I imagine Nancy has plenty of dough and connections to keep her happy.

  154. HOLLY says:


  155. catsworking says:

    Holly, thanks for the link to the picture of Tony and Ottavia. Do you know who the other people are?

    I don’t know why you’re comments needed moderation unless you’re new here.

  156. Nickole says:

    That’s Mario Batali on the left.

  157. Carver says:

    Ok, you seem really mad, but his wife and him were only married for 21 years, not 30. And while marry someone younger then himself, while not the best move is not that uncommon for men. He never pretended to be a teddy bear so don’t expect him to do the normal life.

  158. catsworking says:

    Carver, nobody here is really “mad” at Bourdain. This is all in fun.

    Thank you for the correction on his marriage to Nancy. I actually found dates on it that were 9/5/85 to 4/5/07, so that would put them right at about 21 1/2 years, but then they split up around 2004 or ’05, so they weren’t a couple all that time.

    I don’t think anybody expects him to “do the normal life.” He’s obviously not built for it, and that’s what we admire about him.

  159. LisaLisa says:

    I’m new, but have thoroughly enjoyed reading everybody’s comments. For my contribution, I came across the Tuscany episode featuring the gracious Ottavia. Look at 4:35 through 7:18.

  160. LisaLisa says:

    Sorry, here’s the link!

  161. Strega says:

    I stumbled upon this blog when searching out information on Anthony B. I just love his show and thought he was quite the “bad boy” of foodies everywhere. Now I’m not so sure…
    for Anthony to take the cliche`d Now-that-I’m-REALLY-famous-I-need-a-trophy-wife route is very very disappointing. But hey, maybe they will both be blissfully happy and more power to them.
    I do think, however, that this marriage and child/ren will undoubtedly change Tony. He’s going to be soft as a pussy cat in no time flat. There goes about 75% of his appeal.

    By the way, in his (and allegedly Nancy’s) defense… not ALL people who USE drugs ABUSE drugs. Just because some folks may smoke a little, or do this or that now and then socially amongst friends, doesn’t mean they are falling-down, drooling, babbling crackhead idiots….
    Just like people who drink a glass or two of wine with their dinner everyday are not blabbering, pants peeing alcoholics.

    Great Blog, BTW!

  162. catsworking says:

    Strega, good point about the drug use. I’ve never really commented on the drug use because I know nothing about it except what he’s said himself. But even as a user, he managed to hold down kitchen jobs, so he couldn’t have been incapacitating himself. Nancy’s involvement is heresay from various comments that have been posted at Cats Working, so I have no idea about her whatsoever.

    And on TV, we’ve seen his capacity for alcohol. He can drink himself under the table and still manages to function. Whether all this substance use has already done irreparable damage to him in the long run is between Tony and his doctor. We can only hope he’s OK.

  163. Strega says:

    I agree Catsworking- we really don’t know for sure about a lot of things that went on (or didn’t go on) between AB and Nancy. It’s all pretty much speculation, eh?

    As for his on air drinking, well yeah, he can toss em back, can’t he?
    However I have often wondered how much was reality and how much was ‘voice-over embellishment’ for entertainment purposes.
    After all, how bad is a bad boy if they are obvious about counting drinks and stopping at 3, right?
    He *talks* a good game about having “3 too many” and drinking “long into the night” with his hosts and guides… but is it really TRUE?
    I can’t imagine the Travel Channel would continue their contract into new seasons if the “star’ of the show was an irresponsible alcoholic, can you?

    Well, wherever the truth lies – between fact and entertainment fiction – I still love AB and his show. I’m glad to see so many other people (here) appreciate his wit and humanity, his charm and that bad-ass ‘tude, as well!

  164. catsworking says:

    I think we’ve seen enough episodes where he’s been in situations where the toasts go on and on to believe that he knows where to put his liquor. I can’t see him cutting himself off because he doesn’t want to offend his hosts and he enjoys drinking.

    And he’s written about how much restaurant people tend to drink, which leads me to think he has built up quite a tolerance over many years of practice.

    He’s just lucky that he’s able to work through hangovers so it hasn’t become an issue for the Travel Channel. However, I suspect with his new family, he’s slowed down a lot in that area, too.

    Now, as for the food. When we see him tucking into huge plates for 3 meals a day, with snacks in between, I think that’s where the judicious film editing comes in and he’s really not eating as much as he seems to. No way could he pack in so many calories and stay so thin. I’ve never read that he attends a gym or works out in any way. For some reason, exercise seems like something he might sneer at.

    But the bottom line is that you’re right – the truth is out there somewhere, and I think we get a little closer to it through his books and blogs when he embellishes on what happened during his location shoots.

  165. Linda Gene says:

    Annika, thanks so much for posting the videos! He is just adorable in the one where he talks about conception!
    I was surprised he wants more kids too. Maybe he could adopt me.

  166. MeghanHope says:

    This is a great site. I have been fascinated with Anthony Bourdain for a while now. Of late fantisizing about somehow running into him and running off to…(insert exotic locale and erotic happenings here). Imagine my surprise to see I am one of an army of fellow AB lovers and admirers. I agree with many opinions here. AB is SO smart and begs to be recoginized as edgy an dark. I saw an episode of No Reservations lately where he traveled to South America with his brother and he seemed very contemplative and almost caring. Maybe his subsequent marriage and baby has softened him. Don’t know if this makes him more appealing or less.
    As a Jersey girl I take exception to the comments made by “Anonymous” on or around May 13. Just because he has roots in NJ make him seek out navel piercing, daft hussies??First off, I think Ottavia is very beautiful. Just because you have worked in F& B for 10 years does not make you an expert on any thing or anyone. Some of us in New Jersey are in fact, college educated. I submit that there are stereotypical gals around in NJ or in ANY state bidding for their role on a “Girls Gone Wild” video. Perhaps you should not make such a small minded statement.
    Ahem, back to AB. I know not why he has made the choices he has. What I do know is he is smart and funny and very gorgeous. Will I ever get to meet him and travel to the other 88% of the world he hasn’t seen? Doubtful. The fact is I am 33 years old, happily married with 2 healthy,beautiful children and I enjoy dreaming about AB when I can. My hope for him and his family is health and happiness-wherever and however they may find it. I can certainly ponder the reasons why he fooled/fools around, why he chose Ottavia instead of a gal that matches his wit and wisdom a bit better… Who am I to judge? Best of luck to you Mr. and Mrs. Bourdain and you as well Ariane.
    I love that name BTW. Thanks for the great site Catsworking. You are amazing!

  167. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Meghan. Bourdain recently traveled to Uruguay with his brother because they had discovered they had some ancestors there. His second marriage definitely does seem to be agreeing with him. He has been disarmingly mellow in the new episodes of No Reservations. But his writing still seems to have its bite, which is a good thing, I think.

    My coverage of all things Bourdain began innocently enough with a few idle references because I was reading his books. Those posts quickly became my most popular, and I realized I might be able to fill some kind of need for information about the man, even though I’ve never met him and know nothing beyond what I find in his writings and through Internet research. Cats Working tries to present a well-rounded picture of the man, warts and all, although we and our readers have been accused of being fawning “sewer rats” who love him unconditionally.

    I do try to keep it real and present sides of him that aren’t necessarily covered elsewhere.

  168. jc says:

    He seems to have so much respect for almost all of the strange/unusual people that he has met in his travels. For which most it seems, he really barely even knows. Yet he would, from all appearances, trade his wife of 30 years in for a woman just because she is younger. How disrespectful! I thought he was intelligent. But his judgment here proved me wrong. Before men go doing such a stupid thing, they should try to visualize how they are going to look with this person. Tony definitely should have imagined himself with this broad first. He looks so out of place with her. What a mismatch. I hope he gets the rude awakening he deserves when the little brain finally gives control back to the big brain!

  169. catsworking says:

    JC, I think Bourdain did picture himself with Ottavia, but his “little brain” could only imagine an hour into the future, at most.

    Overall, she seems to be a calming influence on him, which is good for his longevity, but not so good for fans who prefer him as a snark machine. I was disappointed to see how she was pushed into the background on his recent visit to Spain, exactly as first wife Nancy was on “A Cook’s Tour.”

    If you have read or seen any interviews with him he married Ottavia, he never refers to her by name, nor shows any affection for her, other than an admiration for her toughness. How this will play out in the long run is anybody’s guess.

  170. Toni says:

    You go man life is for living and who are all this people anyway talking B___S____
    I hope your happy and getting healthier now that your not smoking and experience will make you a wonderful husband and father and if not well that’s life.

    From an Italian

  171. Keith says:

    I see some negative comments about Bordain being 70 when his child is 18. I too am a recent father at age 52 and although I am sure I’m a little defensive, I honestly feel I will be a better father to my newborn than I was to my first two children. Not that I was bad father but I know how to handle things much better now. I do realize that I may not get to spend as much time on earth with this child as if I were 20 or 30 but I do think they will be quality years. At any rate, it’s none of our business what Bordain does!

  172. Loren says:

    I was convinced that AB was gay. I googled his name after watching some of his episodes on tv tonight, and discovered this site. His behavior, comments made, and his look had me convinced. I’m disappointed in a way. He is really hot, and crazy, so marrying a cute, young girl is not out of character for him. He’s so irreverent, which I have come to appreciate as I have gotten older. Who cares what he does? It’s his life, and we love him because he’s out there.

  173. catsworking says:

    Keith, I agree with you that a child definitely benefits from a mature parent and I know a lot of men who started new families after their first batch of kids reached adulthood. The only downside for the new child is that his/her siblings are often all old enough to be parents themselves. On the other hand, a child raised with nothing but adults around often grows up showing maturity far beyond his or her years.

    I hope you and Bourdain live long and healthy lives so you can dance at their weddings!

    Loren, I’m surprised that you got gay vibes off Bourdain, but in hindsight I guess I can see where you’re coming from.

  174. Jessica says:

    I think Tony Bourdain is, underneath it all, a man who has a lot of emotional depth, brokenness, and sensitivity. He strikes me as the kind of guy that was once shy, geeky, and awkward, with an untapped passion for life he didn’t know what to do with. The drugs, the edginess, the womanizing, and the rock star/ embittered attitude is both a product of an ingrained, jaded New York attitude and a protective cover/ defense mechanism. It’s not fake or put on, it’s just his way of bridging the man he feels he is with who he would love to be. He’s trying to fill a hole. You can see this in his self-deprecation, and in the boyish, awkward, and starry-eyed expression he sometimes gets over things.

    I think he loved his first wife. I think she was the love of his life. But that doesn’t make her a good fit for him. I get the feeling that, rather than bringing out his best side, she reinforced his cynicism and bitterness. She may have been devoted, but I get the idea that she was tough, and snarky, and edgy herself, “New York to the core”, and not really a warm place to fall. I think there’s a side of him that craves the warmth of a “family experience.” That’s why he seeks out comunity and family gatherings everywhere he goes. He respects it and admires it. I just don’t think he’s experienced it much. He even mentions a longing for it in the Uruguay episode.

    I think his decision to never have children came from his cynicism and self-doubt. I think he in no way believed he would be a good father.

    I also think that, although Ottavia is “tough”, that she’s probably tough in a warm, passionate way. Bourdain didn’t have much of a youth. He didn’t have that fresh, hopeful beginning, complete with the support of loving parents that a lot of us do. Most of his youth was misspent on drugs, mindless pleasure-seeking, and misery. Maybe he sees in Ottavia something very different from the women he’s used to; something unspoiled, unjaded, and full of life and possibility (which, by the way, has much more to do with attitude than age). Maybe she’s open, and easy to be with, and uncomplicated, but strong and fiery just the same. Maybe, for the first time, he’s trying to bridge the gap in a positive way. Maybe she’s exactly what he needs.

    He was already broken up with his wife. He didn’t “trade her in” for the nanny or anything. If Ottavia was “arm candy”, he’d show up with her everywhere, decked out in fashionable clothes. And the idea that just because she’s young and attractive, she must have set up a “man trap”, and he must be going through a “mid-life crisis”, although humorous to speculate, is cynical in and of itself.

    I don’t know if he loves her. Only he knows. He very well may. He is, at least, committed to her so far. I don’t know if it will last. History, his potential wandering eye, probability, and his job demands sadly say no. Even if it doesn’t last, he got to be a father, which, as I’m sure he is finding but, is nothing like the bitter scenario he imagined, and the most fantastic, positive, incredible experience in the world. He got to be with someone that was vivacious, energetic, and attractive. He got to create a legacy for himself that has nothing to do with his career accomplishments or his “rock star” persona, put down roots somewhere, and be a part of a family. And maybe he’ll get it right this time, and it will last a lifetime.

    Sometimes the things we think we don’t want are the things that make us the happiest in the end, only because we never learned to look at life in a different way. I believe that Tony Bourdain is not, in his heart, a jaded cynic; that a combination of hard knocks, personality traits, and bad choices makes him so. And I think that the idea that he’s secured a little piece of happiness for himself, and experienced how great the little pleasures of a more domestic life can be, is no bad thing, even if it means he loses a little of his edge.

  175. catsworking says:

    Jessica, I think you have Tony pegged.

    I just reread “Kitchen Confidential,” and he mentions that his relationship with Nancy before they were married was stormy and on-again-off-again. I do think she may have been the love of his life, but when his horizons began to expand after he saw more of the world, hers didn’t, and they grew apart.

    I agree with everything you said, and I’ve come to believe that he is finding contentment in his new life with Ottavia. Whether or not it lasts, only time will tell.

    Thanks so much for writing. That was a quite an insightful analysis of our boy.

  176. freddie says:

    Hey, I liked that piece by Jessica–it showed a lot of insight, I think. Re Ottavia–a friend of mine knows her well and says she is pretty spoiled and demanding, sort of immature (but so is he, so maybe it’ll work out!) But she probably is better than that Nancy chick! Good luck to them!

  177. linda gene says:

    Jessica, you have done a great job in figuring out Tony. I agree with you 100% and not only loved what you wrote, but how you wrote it.

  178. Carla says:

    first of all thanks for finally allowing me to see tony’s wife…ive been wondering for a while now how she would look like… and yeah i agree she does look stupid but hey, i wouldnt mind to be stupid for a couple night to b with tony 😀 hahaha neways he must have found something in her that makes him happy even if it does last for a couple months, years or whatever, its his life and he can do with it whatever the heck he wants, and i dont think we have any idea what really happened between him and his first wife, a marriage is between 2 ppl and u never get to know both sides of the story, so whatever… I LOVE U TONY! ❤ id give u a kid any day!

  179. Claudia says:

    Ottavia is extremely smart, funny, fiesty, and down-to-earth, and more than a match for Bourdain. She is a perfect foil for him.

    Ottavia lived in New York for several years before she met Tony, and met Tony long after his separation from Nancy. She is neither a trophy wife, a mid-life crisis or a mail order bride, as posters on the TC site have insinuated.

  180. catsworking says:

    Claudia, you sound like you know Ottavia personally. We always welcome first-hand information. Going by the dates that are public record, Cats Working has never said that Ottavia had anything whatsoever to do with the breakup of Bourdain’s marriage to Nancy, and we knew that she was a working woman with a job at the Geisha Restaurant before she met him.

    Haven’t read the Travel Channel boards lately, but anyone who might have said Ottavia was a “mail-order” bride is obviously NOT one of our readers. We don’t consider a trophy wife either, but do stand by our supposition that a mid-life crisis did have at least a little something to do with the attraction.

    Nothing wrong with that if they go on to live happily ever after. I sincerely hope she does turn out to be the love of the second half of Tony’s life.

  181. Bob Brown says:

    I would take Claudia’s statement with a grain of salt–she verges on being a Tony stalker and is most certainly a brown noser.

  182. catsworking says:

    Who knows, Bob. Maybe Claudia is really Ottavia herself! We have gotten comments from several people who claim to know the Bourdains personally, but somehow never substantiate the relationship with any facts. I guess that’s the beauty of anonymity in cyberspace – the ability to stir the pot.

    However, not knowing anything about Ottavia myself except what little we’ve seen her on film, I’m open. She undoubtedly has her good and bad points like all of us, and Tony seems to be into the family thing in a big way, so she seems to be doing him more good than harm.

  183. Some of you guys are really mean. Seriously. Haven’t you noticed a change in Bourdain over the last few years? I think he needed someone like Ottavia. I’m interested in knowing more about her. I don’t know the Bourdains, but, look at Tony. Look at him now, compared to 2005. He looks healthy and happy. He didn’t look happy before. He looked almost on the verge of suicide…or at least, just *not happy*…so what if she is half his age? I mean, it isn’t like she’s 19. She’s in her 30s, apparently, and she’s doing a good job with him. He’s a father now, for the first time in his life, and that is grounding. He deserves to be happy. DESERVES IT. Leave Ottavia alone. You guys are haters. Stop the hate. She’s lovely.

  184. cpt.bustamamte says:

    hi cats working I read some of the blogs on this page and found them excellently illustrated. I am glad to find a site were the average jane/joe can express their thoughts on the bad boy chef/awesome tv host Anthony Bourdain. I have the utmost respect for you and all the Bourdain bloggers. And of course Anthony Bourdain. Congrats Anthony to you and your new family.

  185. catsworking says:

    Amber, you’ve been reading a lot of pretty old comments here. Yes, I’ll admit I was shocked when I first saw Ottavia on that Miami Ink episode. I don’t know when her birthday is, but she can be no more than 30 today.

    However, watching Tony in the episodes of NR he’s filmed since he met Ottavia, I agree with you totally. I think the man is genuinely happy and she has been the stabilizing influence on him that he needed, no matter how she accomplished it.

    In fact, I’m now a little annoyed that Tony seems to push her into the background like he did his first wife, Nancy, when Ottavia appears on NR. There’s a more recent post here about how Ottavia appeared on the fringes of his latest episode shot in Spain, with pictures to prove it. Check it out.

  186. I don’t think this is his choice, to push Ottavia to the background. I think the producers probably think the viewers don’t want to see Tony attached. People are going to judge the Bourdains for whatever reason, it doesn’t matter. If she were blond and American, people would have something to say. If she were his age, people would say he could do better by finding some hot young chick. They’re already judging him for becoming a father at 50. People will find fault with everything. Someone had to step in and give him a certain amount of stability. It was necessary for his survival…and I’m glad he did find her because, yeah, I was worried about him for a while, there. He was doing all those crazy stunts and then Steve Erwin died, and the last thing I wanted to see or hear was that Bourdain died doing something totally f-ing stupid. Now that he’s got a little girl, he probably won’t be driving up verticle sand-dunes in an ATV. So, it’s good. He lives to write more books. We’re saved from THAT “very special episode” that no one wants to see.

  187. catsworking says:

    From what I’ve read about him, Bourdain’s ego swings both ways. We’ve seen him totally humbled by things he sees in his travels, but there’s also that cocky, arrogant side. I do agree that his handlers may be still clinging to his image of the devil-may-care solo traveler, and that may work with brand-new fans. But anyone who reads his books or who has been watching NR for a while knows his lifestyle now, so to have Ottavia on the show and pretend she isn’t there isn’t being true to who he is today.

    I’m also glad he’s taking it easier, if only to be around to see Ariane graduate from high school. He quit smoking, and the worst thing we’ve seen him do lately is crawl down into those bat caves in Jamaica.

  188. CR says:

    so true…
    funny but I could never imagine that woman from the tattoo episode was his wife…
    best of luck to them though…
    if i could pick someone for him it would never be her or her looks…
    i guess to say “oh, by the way my wife is Italian” is his way to justify something.
    Tony, we’re smarter than this, please! Happy life!

  189. Linda Gene says:

    Tony’s new show starts Monday at 10 est. It is going to be a talk show set around a dining room table.

  190. catsworking says:

    Linda, do you know if it’s a new series or just one special? From what I read, Monday night’s show was shot in a restaurant, while Bourdain is in NYC for some big food-related event whose name escapes me.

  191. suenewjersey says:

    I think Jessica IS Tony…..I’ve been watching and reading for years, saw him in Atlantic City on Sunday, Oct. 12th… during the Qand A portion, he quoted directly from his first and last books, sadly no new comments or snarkiness…and yeah, his marriage and fatherhood have taken ALOT of his edginess away, but he is still the guy I’ve come to know and love, even if he did cook fish on Sunday, with Hollandaise sauce. WTF was that? I look forward to a new book, and many more shows, as I’m highly entertained by him. As for his personal life, I leave it to him. I was in the restaurant biz for 25 years, I was a cook, bartender and waitress. I never bonked the cook, maybe I should have. I hump books for a living now at Band N, and hope to meet the illustrious Bourdain at a signing soon. His good friend Pino Luongo is coming out with a tell-all in December, complete with an introduction from our bad boy himself. I saw a clip from the food and wine fest in NYC on youtube, and he is still bashing Sandra Lee for the cheese wiz-triscuit thing. Me thinks it’s time to find someone new to pick on. By the way, I hope I’m the 50 year old redhead he takes up with next….ya never know…..

  192. catsworking says:

    Sue, very interesting theory. I went back and reread that comment and I can see what you’re saying, but I don’t see Tony’s style there, even camouflaged as a woman.

    But perhaps someday he will find Cats Working and check in. Hasn’t happened yet, but I hope he deems us basically supportive, which we are, even while discussing his warts.

    He has committed to write 3 more books. The first one is called “Cooks,” and it’s about the food scene. Not sure about the order the other two will take, but one of them will be about his spending a year living in Vietnam, which he has yet to start. And the third is another novel. There’s a post about them later here, if you search on “Bourdain.”

  193. Jennifer says:

    I am not sure where the criticism of his beautiful, young, sexy wife is coming from aside from…jealousy? I think she is right around my age, and quite honestly if I were not married and Tony came a knockin… you can bet your ass I would be on that in a second. He is hot, smart, funny and interesting! Why wouldn’t he want a young, hot wife? I am sure she is no idiot either. I doubt he would have much interest in just an arm charm. I am sure she has enough upstairs to match the bod.

    Many women I know would prefer an older man. Once you get to your thirties you realize that older is often better when it comes to men 😉

    I say good for him. I still kinda wish I were her though! 🙂

  194. catsworking says:

    Jennifer, you read a really old post. When I first found Ottavia on Miami Ink, few people knew what she looked like or anything else about her, so it was a shock to many of his fans. Those are the comments you’re reading here.

    I done many more recent posts on the Bourdains and the consensus seems to be that Ottavia has been very good for/to him. It’s cost him much of his snarkiness, which made him famous, but if he lives a longer and healthier life as a result, then that’s a good thing.

    I think I speak on behalf of Cats Working readers when I say we wish them both the best.

    But, yeah, married or single, we still think he’s hot!

  195. Cindy says:

    Referencing AC’s 07-21-08 post about Tony’s 50th birthday party:
    on the old site for 06/26/06 Michael Ruhlman guest blogs about this party. His reference to Ott shows obvious affection for her, it didn’t sound like she was a brand new friend. This was a month before he went to Beireut. (Be sure to read her comment which sounds like it was written by Tony.)

  196. catsworking says:

    Cindy, thanks for that lead. I read that account of the party somewhere, but it didn’t seem to be at because I don’t remember seeing Ottavia’s comment.

    I have no verification, but just from my reading about Bourdain, I’m guessing he and Ottavia hooked up around April 2006 after he broke up with Paula Froelich. But I think he may have been acquainted with Ottavia well before that professionally because she was in the restaurant business, too.

  197. MorganLF says:

    Hey SueNewJersey …I believe I staked out the red headed Jersey gal claim to Bourdain months ago see my post #77 from April! (:D) Anywho, I also saw him in AC and snuck into the wings of the VIP event. Pics and description posted elsewhere in this blog. As anyone who reads my earlier comments can see I totally reversed myself on him and Ottavia. She is really cute and they actually walked thru the casino holding hands sans entourage! Looked like the real deal to me.

  198. DB says:

    Well, after 30 years of marriage odds are she was as sick of him as he was of her. Moreover, after 30 years of marriage Nancy is getting a big fat cut. Does not matter if Bourdains new wife popped out a kid ASAP, Nancy is set for life.

    I would like to give Tony the benefit of the doubt, maybe he wanted to have kids but Nancy did not want too. Ladies, let us be honest – if a woman wants to have a child she will have a child even if her husband / boyfriend does not want too. Hence I have to believe that they would have had kids if she saw him fit to be a dad, which clearly he was not.

    I just do not want to believe that men are that freaking stupid to get “caught” at such an old age. COME ON! Condoms, vasectomy I dont care do something to protect yourself from the obvious.

    Do men in these situations ever sit back and wonder “did she have the kid for the $$” or do they refuse to let themselves go there because it is too late? Did they even have a chance to get to know one another before having a kid, probably not.

    Yeah, she’ll be paid for the next 18 years as the kid grows up but I doubt that this marriage will last. At his age the one thing he may have discovered about himself is not putting up with crap – and she looks like she is going to serve up heft shovels full as time goes on. The age difference will be the downfall.

  199. DB says:

    And how old is this new gal of his? She truly does not appear “young”, are we talking early to mid 30’s – as that is what it appears in the pictures.

  200. catsworking says:

    DB, Ottavia may be 30 now. I don’t know when her birthday is. Italian women typically don’t age that well, especially the short, voluptuous ones. It’s a short hop from petite and stacked to dumpy when things head South. (I speak from experience.)

    Nobody knows what really went on in the first Bourdain marriage, but Tony has said that travel changed him profoundly, and I believe him. Either he didn’t want to take Nancy along on the journey or, for reasons of her own, she chose not to change with him. So they drifted apart and split. If you read Kitchen Confidential, they had a long and stormy courtship before they ever got married, and he freely admits he put her through a lot of crap for years, so his being on the road a lot (and attracting female groupies) may have been the final straw for her.

    He was firmly on the record saying he never wanted children. Even his mother was shocked when Ottavia got pregnant.

    He did an interview (there may be a link to it somewhere here) where he said Ariane was conceived as soon as he got out of Beirut in 2006, after being trapped there for a week with his crew when Israel attacked. Ottavia must have been worried sick about him, even though they’d only been an item a few months, and he said she led him off to the bedroom as soon as she got her hands on him again.

    I agree with you that it was supremely dumb of him to become a father at his age with a woman young enough to be his daughter, but he has handled it admirably and it seems to be working out so far. Whether it ultimately lasts, only time will tell.

  201. Italian Girl says:

    Why doesn’t Tony’s marriage to a girl half his age surprise me?
    He has always struck me as a Peter Pan, the bad boy refusing to grow up, as he travelied the world eating animal’s penis and guts, getting tats, sucking down booze, smoking like a chimney — he’s far from conventional, so why would you expect his choice in a galpal turned wife/mother to be mainstream? I must say that he gave hints during his travels that he wanted to start putting money away and I believe his turning 50 had been an epiphany of sorts for him.
    I suspect his wife makes him feel “young” again and she’s probably good in the hay LOL. He’s your typical badboy trying to be tamed a la’ Michael Douglas and so many like him in Hollywod.
    Ciao y’all.

  202. Italian Girl says:

    cats – please spare us your offensivenstereotype of how Italian women age.

  203. catsworking says:

    I’m a half-Italian woman who comes from a long line of 100% Italian women, aunts, cousins, and I know first-hand how they age. It’s not a stereotype. It’s a fact.

    We all don’t end up looking like Sophia Loren, not by a long shot.

    Nor do most women of every other background on the planet, for that matter.

    If you’re breathtakingly ravishing when you’re 80, good for you!!

  204. MorganLF says:

    Ok I’m getting a bit annoyed now; check this out from a recent interview posted on a blog Cats Working linked to on another page:

    “What is the most absurd offer you got in exchange for an interview with you? Food? Or sex maybe? Because an attractive artist friend of mine fantasizes of a one-night-stand with you.

    (Laughs out loud) Hmmm, no. I like that, but no. Hey, come to think of it, no one has come up to me with such an offer.

    What would you cook to seduce a woman?
    My wife does martial arts every day for two hours, so I am not seducing anybody. And she is really very good, you know, even without gloves she can hit really well.”

    Oh brother! Is he turning into a douche! He’s fifty two years old and gone goofy. I said they looked cute together..but this is stomach churning.

    Man she bust be a bioch on wheels ..does this guy seem whipped or what? No one has ever come up to him with such an offer? WTF? This guy gets mash notes posted to his Travel channel blog!

    Don’t tell me hot as he is that no-one ever propositioned him at an event? Oh please he’s probably hit everything from his female producers and fixers to Padma Lashki! I mean the one thing that is universal about the guy is that he has a very sexy appeal to women. Ottavia must have known that.

    It’s just weird to me that he has to reference her all then time as if he’s afraid she’ll get mad. This May-December romance thing is starting to look pretty Sunset Boulevard…when she’s a randy fifty year old (martial arts hardened) cougar is he going to be sporting diapers, saggy tats, and primping for his close-up with Mr. De Mille?

  205. catsworking says:

    Morgan, you always brighten my day!

    I believe the woman who interviewed him is the wife of the owner of the restaurant I wrote about but was asked to delete, so I’m sure Tony was trying to be demure since HER husband was probably right there and some of her questions sounded like she was hitting on Tony.

    I agree with you that he’s probably been fighting women off with a stick ever since he started getting famous – or sometimes not, if you know what I mean.

    I do continue to find the way he talks about Ottavia kind of strange. It’s always about how tough and bossy she is. Even though you saw them yourself looking all lovey-dovey, it really doesn’t come through in his comments. She seems more like a dominatrix.

    And yeah, if he doesn’t hold up well (which indications are he may not), when she’s just hitting her no-baby stride at menopause, he’s going to be in his mid-70s. Will he still be able to keep (it) up? Stay tuned…

  206. RH says:

    OH MY GOD……if we hear “My northern Italian born wife…….does martial arts two hours a day” one more time….OMG, drives me nuts to hear this repeatedly from bourdain. He’s a strange man. Then his comment about moving to Italy because they have free healthcare and there he has a full time babysitter with the grandparents. I don’t think he thinks before he talks anymore. I used to be a die hard fan of his but not anymore.

  207. Linda says:

    ….le cure dentistiche gratis in Italia te le puoi scordare!!!… inoltre le nonne, qui in Italia, molte volte sono costrette a guardare i nipoti perchè ormai non ci possiamo più permettere le babysitter, e oltretutto dobbiamo lavorare anche noi donne!!!
    questa è l’Italia oggi!!!! e non dico altro.
    ciao a tutti

  208. catsworking says:

    Translating Linda as closely as I can, with Google’s help:

    Italy’s free dental care you can forget! Also grandmothers, here in Italy, often are forced to watch the grandchildren, because now we can not afford more the babysitter, and moreover we have we women also work!

    This is India today! and I will not say more.

    hello world

  209. catsworking says:

    RH, I’d like to hear Bourdain come out with some new factoids about Ottavia. He makes her sound like a bully.

    I just read an interview he did in the Philippines where he said Ottavia doesn’t let him in the kitchen because she hates his cooking.

    If he really does move to Italy for a while, the seat of her power, surrounded by her family, I don’t think he’s going to find it the warm, cozy environment he’s probably experienced on visits. He’s going to be outnumbered and outgunned by domineering Italian women who all know what’s best, and those 10 months a year he says he spends on the road will become blessed relief. 😉

  210. Linda says:

    no, non ho detto in UK, ma in ITALIA!
    ciao ciao

  211. Linda says:

    scusate, ma nella traduzione è sbagliato anche India, ho detto “Questa è l’ITALIA oggi”!!
    ciao di nuovo a tutti

  212. catsworking says:

    Linda, thank you for correcting. I think I fixed it. As for your second comment in Italian, this is what Google said:

    sorry, but the translation is wrong even India, I said ⠀ œQuesta is l⠀ ™ € India today!
    hello again to all

    I have no idea what this means, but here it is.

  213. Annika says:

    Cats, you translated “l’Italia” with “India”. That’s what she said: Sorry, but the translation with “India” is wrong. I said “This is the Italy of today”. Bye again to everyone.

  214. catsworking says:

    If my Italian grandmother were still alive, she’d have helped me out. Google translation is useless.

    I’m so confused now, I have no idea what Linda was trying to say about Italy or India. I give up.

  215. The Muse says:

    Hello everyone, my written english is not as good as I wish to, but hey, I don’t get this banging head over Italian’s health care and about the grandmas/nannys issue. I’m sure that Arianne will be spoiled by his famous father either in Italy or in America, the girl will grow up healthy and happy. I find this Italian women domineering thing really cute, because I would love to be an italian woman too, and with a caring mother even if bossy.
    Love all the posts here because they are so funny, but the most witted I think was Jessica’s take on A.B on an erlier comment. I think the choice he did was truly out of what anyone else could have expected, picking that lady but the guy has never been one of the pack. It was about time that he decided, for he’s own sake, to settle down a little. And for Good, yeap, that he will leave descendents on earth. I really dreamed once on being his wife and having his children, so I congrat Ottavia for that excellent catch.
    Best wishes to everyone here!

  216. The Muse says:

    By the way, I was trying so hard to see how she looks like and finally arrive to this site. She is attractive in a sexy way, not in a cute way. She really looks tough. And they make a really “sui generis” couple, one of a kind. I am into older men also, I’m going 30’s and I can tell ya, they are better husbands, boyfriends and lovers than “young” guys our age. They really know how to take care of a woman and all that experience you can count in everything makes them great for us! I read “Kitchen Confidential” and I want to read “A Cook’s Tour” Nancy was his first love and his longlife time significant other. I’d never seen how she looks like before, but I bet she was also cute and intelligent, and really into him. This new wifey has to be intelligent also to be with such a magnificent guy. And to understand his way of life, something really hard to put up with I guess, because he must be hitted everywhere by attractive and interesting flirtatious women. Including myself if only I had a chance…

  217. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Muse! It took me a while, but I finally found both of Bourdain’s wives on film. They both seem kind of domineering in their own ways. I have no doubt that both are very smart. They’d have to be, to keep up with him.

  218. The Muse says:

    Thanks Cats, I gotta see those films. I heard in one of NR episodes that Bourdain claims he is very rescentfull cause his not an italian american. that’s why I guess, he went head over heals with Ottavia 😉

  219. linda gene goldstein says:

    Sorry catsworking….it was a one time only deal…which I missed. Sorry I didn’t post this sooner but was busy working for Obama…and then caught the flu (shot didn’t work)….
    Great to be back and catching up on the posts.

  220. June says:

    Hi Cats & Everyone,

    I just discoverd your delightful blog and got interested in the guy eating the warthog anus. I enjoyed all the comments & have had several good laughs reading this post.

    I just wanted to add, in my youth I was always the girl the older men wanted to date. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, I was never attracted to the wealthy old geezers. I tended to fall for the handsome bad boys who I ended up supporting through their drug addictions or affairs. I found it quite amusing that after I turned 40, I suddenly became too old for the same guys who were 20 or 30 years too old for me only a couple of years earlier. Ahhh, such is life. 😉

    The time has come for me to leave the Anthony Bourdains of the world to the younger ladies. George Burns isn’t still alive, is he? 😉

  221. catsworking says:

    June, funny you should mention that warthog. I just saw that episode again last night!

    I know what you mean about dating older men. I did it. But if I stuck to that age gap today, I’d be dating geezers pushing 80. And you’re right. Now even all the geezers look right through me to the cute young 20- or 30-something standing behind me.

  222. globalgourmand says:

    Wow, this blog thread is AMAZING!! There’s so much stuff here and I came about it the same as everyone else– digging for dirt on Anthony Bourdain!

    I’ve got my opinions and everyone deserves theirs. What I’d really like to say is no one is “mean” for posting their opinions. This is gossip and, ultimately, its harmless. Anyone with the tenacity to make it as a celebrity can probably handle this much judgement or should look the other way.

    So here’s a vote with the people who tend to go skeptic on Tony’s new relationship. It seems a questionable choice for a seasoned man but we can only speculate the reasons which is EXACTLY what many of you have already done (and that is OK!) Stating, however, that they are “in love” as if it were fact however, is not! Haha! Only time can prove love, not gossip. Right?

    P.S. For the record, I’m 25 and getting laid. 😛

  223. catsworking says:

    Welcome Gourmand! And thank you for not whaling on us middle-aged types for being skeptical about Bourdain’s choice of mate. On another thread we have an eyewitness account of Tony and Ottavia strolling through a casino recently in Atlantic City looking very much in love, and we are genuinely happy about this – if he is.

    But as you said, only time will tell if this is a match made in heaven.

  224. misslindagene says:

    May I ask what thread that was on?

  225. Nancy says:

    No, I’m not THAT Nancy 😉

    I am Bourdain’s age and, while I regret that good looking, intelligent men with full heads of hair are hard to come by over, say, 45, I recognize Bourdain as the Peter Pan syndrome cad I was always attracted to as a younger woman. Except that I dated the younger version of him until I learned my lesson. Now that I’m older, I avoid guys like him like the plague. He’d be a great and fun person to have for a friend, and a fun fling, but I bet anything he’d be a horrible boyfriend/husband after the “honeymoon” period was over. Not that I’ll ever get to find out, but even if I did, his warning label is pretty visible to me.

    Fun site, I read this thread after finishing Kitchen Confidential and wanting to know what happened with his first wife. I now suspect she is the one who left him. I wish him the best but I do get the vibe that he’s trying to reinvent himself for this new young trophy wife. But I wonder how long it will be before he’s sitting around with three day stubble, suffering a hangover in a wrinkled t-shirt and boxers, scratching his crotch and lighting up a cigarette before 8 a.m. before spending the day hanging out and talking trash with his degenerate buddies so he doesn’t have to listen to his wife nagging that she never gets to see him anymore, or that he’s always unhappy. I just get that feeling.

  226. catsworking says:

    Nancy, thanks for clarifying. For a minute there I thought I’d hit pay dirt!

    You’ve made some great observations. I agree with you that Nancy probably was the one to call it quits. Why would he do it, when she was holding down home base for him? She probably tired of being left home alone all the time because she wasn’t into playing invisible on his travels. And he said travel changed him, which was probably the last straw for her.

    He seemed depressed and a little lost after the split, moving in with Paula Froelich for a few months until she tossed him out.

    In Ottavia he found a feisty young woman who went along with anything he wanted (the skull tattoo on Miami Ink for example), undoubtedly recognizing his potential to raise her status. She wasted little time getting pregnant to ensure her hold over him. I think they were acquainted, but didn’t become an item until April 2006 and Ariane was conceived in July, right after he returned from Beirut.

    If he’d been dating an age-appropriate woman at the time, I doubt she would have been itching for a baby after dating him 3 months.

    That he will never revert to his old habits seems unlikely. That Ottavia would put up with him as tolerantly as Nancy did all those years seems equally unlikely. But maybe having a child in the mix changes everything and he will stick to his mellower, cleaner lifestyle.

    But underneath it all, there’s that layer of snark that still comes through in some of his interviews and virtually all of his writing. I think it may win out in the end, because I can’t see him giving up every aspect of his career except the writing to veg in some house in Italy for the rest of his life, having all the shots called by bossy Italian mother types (no stereotype complaints, please – they exist. I grew up surrounded by them).

    But only time will tell.

  227. Nancy says:

    I think he has this fantasy that they can home base out of Italy, leave the kid with the grandparents whenever wanderlust takes over and then just take off anywhere. I suspect Ottavia will get bored living in primitive conditions instead of nice hotels and she won’t want to be away from the baby for months at a time. So he goes alone and the cycle just repeats itself.

    I think one of the most revealing things I’ve read is that she doesn’t like his cooking. I’m a musician and my ex husband didn’t like my music. Needless to say, it didn’t last very long, even though he was cocky and smart and handsome and sexy.

    I give it 3-5 years. But then again, I was wrong (apparently) about Jerry Seinfeld and his trophy wife, so who knows?

  228. catsworking says:

    Nancy, I’m sure you’re right about his fantasy of leaving Ariane with her grandparents while he and Ottavia globe-trot. However, if he does pull the plug on NR in 2 years, who’s going to finance that? He has said he doesn’t make anywhere near the $1.5 million reported, and even mentioned on one show that his wife would like to see him make more money.

    And when he travels with NR, I think he stays at nice hotels and only slums it while the camera is rolling, so Ottavia wouldn’t suffer.

    If he continues writing, which I assume he will, his audience is primarily American I believe, so he’ll have to spend considerable time here making appearances to sell books, like he does now.

    I agree with you that a wife who sneers at his former livelihood which still brings in money from demonstrations doesn’t sound like the ideal partner.

    I’ve got a situation right now where this guy I’ve known for ages is suddenly acting all interested now that he’s fat and bald and no longer attracting flight attendants, but he’s dyslexic and hates to read. I’m a writer. I don’t see a match there.

    The bottom line is that I think he just throws out all these ideas to appease his interviewers, and he really doesn’t know what’s next – except for that year in Vietnam. He’s committed to a publisher to write a book about it.

  229. Nancy says:

    “He has said he doesn’t make anywhere near the $1.5 million reported, and even mentioned on one show that his wife would like to see him make more money.”

    Wow, now see, that would be a red flag for me right there. That kind of pressure doesn’t work long term with guys like him. I hate to keep ragging on AB but I’ve known a few guys like him and I believe that ultimately, no matter what, he will screw-up and set himself up to fail. He’s talented and he’s vain and he’s a hedonist, but scratch the surface and I detect a lot of self-loathing and insecurity under it all. I hope this doesn’t come across as too negative and cynical because I find him entertaining and fascinating, but I do think his demons run deep and that fame has spoiled him in a way that is not going to be a healthy thing long-term for a stable and monogamous personal life. It’s just a sense I get. Saying he wanted to find a girlfriend because he was lonely and wanted someone to have sex with..yeah, that sounds about right.

  230. catsworking says:

    Nancy, Bourdain has been dissected every which way here, so don’t feel bad. I’m getting a kick out of your observations. I, too, used to be drawn to men just like him when I was younger, thinner, and could get their attention. Good-looking, charming, witty, sophisticated bastards to whom “monogomy” was a 4-letter word.

    And he’s got the fame thing to contend with. Think he’s bad now? How will he be if NR ends its run and no viable new offers come through?

    He’s shown himself uncomfortable with a talk show format (although he could be trained and might get good at that). It’s unlikely a third network will offer him yet another travel show. He’s expressed nothing but contempt for chefs with cooking shows. What else could he do?

    Endorsements maybe, as long as the public remembers who he is.

    One of his ex-girlfriends, Paula Froelich, without naming him, talked about a former boyfriend who could only make love doggy style while watching himself on TV. Now how many boyfriends did she have who were regularly on TV? You’ll find a link to that here somewhere if you search on “Bourdain.”

    Yes, there seems to be an ego there, which is fine as long as he’s riding high. But lose his show and he’ll have nothing but the books. He’ll be challenged to top the success of Kitchen Confidential to stay in the literary top tier.

    And as he ages and the gap between him and Ottavia becomes more apparent, that’s got to put a strain on things. I’m very happy for him that life seems to be going so well now and I hope he enjoys every minute of it while it lasts but, unfortunately, the odds aren’t stacked in his favor.

  231. antoinette says:

    Wow, I stumbled on this site-it’s pretty amazing. I actually worked with Tony in the West Village back in the day, along with a girlfriend who dated him for a while. So I guess I have a lot of inside information. Nancy, you really hit the nail on the head. Tony has always been charismatic, he is very, very smart and has a vulnerable core which he doesn’t often show. But he was/is(?) full of self-loathing and insecurity as you say. I haven’t seen him in a long, long time and perhaps his success has helped with some of the bad feelings about himself that made it very difficult for him to deal with other people. But I’ve also noted that it brought a lot of vanity and an inflated sense of self-importance to the surface as well. So who knows? He’s a unique individual and deserves the success that has come as a result of his talent, especially after so many years of being addicted to drugs.
    As for his relationships with women, well, you have to start with his mother–apparently a real piece of work who may have had a lot to do with why Tony seems drawn to women who belittle him, which is what Nancy the first wife did and it sounds like the new wife is doing to a certain extent as well. When I knew him, being in that kind of subservient position made him extremely angry and not too dependable in relationships. I think part of the reason his first marriage lasted so long was that Nancy didn’t really ask too much of him so he was kind of free to do what he wanted. (Although when he left her to start seeing my friend, she really lost it-this was pre-marriage, by the way) Also, he didn’t have to lift a finger to get women to come on to him. If you think he’s good looking now, you should have seen him when he was in his early twenties! So, kind of a fatal combination right there. in terms of having to work through your issues. I hope things are different with his new wife, but the age difference together with her demands and his problems with intimacy don’t auger well for the future. I really can’t imagine him as an attentive father but having a child has changed a lot of hard core cases, so who knows? I certainly hope so. Well, I’m being overcome with guilt for gossiping, so I’ll sign off now.

  232. catsworking says:

    Antoinette, welcome! This site has unintentionally become a clearing house for whatever bits I scrounge up on Bourdain, since there seems to be a great demand for it. The cats aren’t too happy about that, but they tolerate me because I pay for the modem.

    Thank you so much for your personal insights. We don’t often hear from someone who actually knew him. Enough of us have seen his “type” before to recognize a lot of the signs of what makes him tick. You just verified some of our theories.

    I think my readers are just trying to understand the man behind the TV personality, and you’ve given us some valuable food for thought. We don’t call it “gossip” here. 😉

  233. MorganLF says:

    Antoinette, thank you for your post, fascinating! I have always maintained that the guy must have got plenty of trim. The self loathing is pretty interesting, I guess the drugs speak to that. Was Nancy a druggie too? We have had posts here that say she was also very bad and he alludes to it in his book. Come back tell us more, no matter what is said here we adore the boy!

  234. catsworking says:

    What we’re learning here would seem to indicate that as Ariane gets older, less adorable in a baby way, and more self-sufficient, Dad will be free to slip back into old patterns and Ottavia will have her work cut out keeping him in line. Maybe that’s why she boning up on the martial arts now!

  235. Nancy says:

    Antoinette, did you work for “Bigfoot” in the West Village?

    Thanks for your post and for reinforcing some of the things I sensed from watching him for several years and reading his writings. When you said, “But I’ve also noted that it brought a lot of vanity and an inflated sense of self-importance to the surface as well,” I saw that also and it was one of the clues I had to what I sensed was going on under the surface. I can imagine that as he travels around the world and is treated like a king by most of the people who host him, that it would be easy to have attention like this go to one’s head. I like him best when he’s snarky and I’m sure he’ll continue to be entertaining to me for a long time, unless he gets too pretentious. There have been a few times in the last year that I felt he was going over that line.

  236. Luisa says:

    Happy thanksgivin day!!!!
    I hope AB come back in Italy…..
    Ciao Luisa

  237. catsworking says:

    Bourdain says he’s more popular in Southeast Asia than he is in the U.S., so do you think a year in Vietnam being hailed as a god will spell his total ruin?

  238. Nancy says:

    I’d just like to see him get rid of that stupid thumb ring.

  239. Luisa says:

    Nancy, I find it, very intriguing 🙂

  240. catsworking says:

    Yes, Nancy. Do you know what’s up with that thumb ring? The first time I noticed it, I believe it was the only ring he wore, so I assumed it was his wedding ring for Nancy, but he’d switched fingers so he’d look single.

    Now he wears both the thumb ring and a proper wedding band, so I guess the Nancy connection was an incorrect assumption.

  241. Nickole says:

    I read somewhere that the ring on his thumb is a tribute/shout out to the cooks he used to work with. It’s some type of “chef thing.” If I find where I saw that, I’ll post it here.

  242. Nancy says:

    Yeah, if it’s a chef thing, then I don’t think I’ve seen Eric Ripert or Daniel Bouloud wearing one. It just seems one more immature trapping of an adolescent 50-something year old.

    I watched him getting tattooed in the Marquesas on the marathon today. The other thing that galled me is when he spent several thousands on a singlem vintage Hawaiian shirt. Believe me, I’m all into vintage clothing and tropical decor (you have no idea) but even I thought that was silly. I guess he really does fancy himself a rock star.

  243. catsworking says:

    I’m sure he’s so used to it now that he doesn’t even feel it, but a thumb ring seems like it would be very uncomfortable.

    I was surprised he paid such big bucks for the Hawaiian shirt myself. He’s not usually into such ostentation, but he can’t be doing too badly if he could afford to blow thousands on a shirt with limited wearing potential. Of course, he does love the Caribbean, so maybe he really does see himself retiring there some day. Can’t see Ottavia doing that, though.

  244. Nickole says:

    Thumb ring solved:,,20009248,00.html

  245. catsworking says:

    Good sleuthing, Nickole!!

    So, it is a man-friend kind of thing. I kind of thought so, because if it had any feminine associations, I’d assume Ottavia would have had him remove it as soon as he put his new wedding ring on. Many women would.

  246. antoinette says:

    In answer to Nancy’s question – I didn’t personally work for “Bigfoot” aka Andy Menschel but he started the restaurant where I worked in the West Village and ran a lot more downtown–the Buffalo Roadhouse, the Riviera, Formerly Joe’s. I was hired by his assistant who became the manager – known as “Dr. Death.” But everyone knew Andy, he came in all the time–he was pretty much a fixture/legend in Village restaurants.
    Morgan-yes, Nancy was also a junkie and not a very nice person from all accounts–I never really dealt with her, but she was supposedly a real piece of work.

  247. catsworking says:

    Antionette, other people have commented that Nancy was heavily into drugs, too. When I recently reread “Kitchen Confidential,” my radar was highly sensitive to any mentions of Nancy, and Bourdain did allude to a long and stormy dating relationship that suddenly turned into marriage without any explanation. It gave the impression that she put him through flaming hoops for years before they ever got married.

    Unless he someday writes a tell-all, which I can’t see him doing, I guess we’ll never know.

  248. MorganLF says:

    Antoinette, I knew it and have long maintained on this blog Nancy was a big druggie and yes others here have confirmed that. When he describes squatting on a blanket on upper Broadway during a snowstorm selling off precious possessions like rare books etc. for drugs, that speaks volumes, as does the story of the Christmas tree molting in the dining room in July they were married during these events. Then there’s the “sea lawyering” and how contentious she is in housing court due to all their evictions. Clearly we’re talking about a couple of junkies and he was pretty frank about all that without being overly melodramatic, which I appreciate , cause junkies are a bore.

    Did he work at the Riviera? Than was one of my stomping grounds. Do you remember Phebe’s downtown at Fourth & Bowery? That was my boyfriends joint and also a hang of mine in the early to mid- eighties.

  249. antoinette says:

    Hi Morgan,
    Yes, I remember Phoebe’s (or Phebe’s) well! There was another cool place near there–I think it was called Marion’s. Tony worked at Montana Eve on 7th Avenue South and later the guys who bought M Eve opened WPA in Soho where Tony worked with another chef from M Eve. WPA is also mentioned in KC and is the setting for much of Bone in the Throat.

  250. MorganLF says:

    It was Phebe’s (named after the original owners dog). My boyfriend was a partner/manager. What a scene. It was a block down from CBGB’s so you can imagine the cast of characters that came thru like the Ramones and Richard Hell and many of Bourdain’s favorites. At any given time the bar had musicians, actors, an old drunk from the mens shelter or even Hells Angels who’s HQ was on Third.

    It fancied itself a restaurant/cafe for a minute but it was the grungy bar scene that made it. Sitting at the bar on a Sunday afternoon I’d see punk kids with blue mowhaks, stumble bums, Dee Dee Ramone and Frank Infante (Blondie’s guitatist and boyfriend of Debby Harry)and lots of Cops from the 4th precint. When I read Kitchen Confidential it was so evocative that I was sure I must have crossed paths with Bourdain more than a few times at Phebe’s or CBGB’s. It was a gritty wasteland but man we had some times and parties there.

    Sometimes I wonder if Bourdain and I ever did a line together upstairs at the Mudd Club, but then again who can remember all the details of those addled years? This I do remember, it was fun!

  251. Maria S. says:

    Uhh I thoroughly enjoy Anthony’Tony’ Bourdain’s mind he’s a pretty damn cool guy..I could care less about his past(did he murder anyone?) and his new wife..He must have something ‘good’ with her..because as much as I hate 2 be insulting..she doesn’t appear to be ..’all that’ at all to me…she must be hot in the sack..God bless us Mediterranean women(I’m mixed actually)assuming that’s wha she is..I didn’t bother to research…I also have wondered if Ant swings a lil anyways? Or has tried uhh non-women..Not that it matters at all..I would Love that guys mind regardless if I never stood a chance if…

  252. catsworking says:

    Maria, it’s so funny you should say that about Bourdain swinging both ways. You’re far from the first. I think the earring might foster that impression.

    I’ve never seen anything in his writings, nor gotten that vibe from his personality myself, that he’s anything but a red-blooded man.

    But people used to think Rock Hudson was straight, too…

  253. MorganLF says:

    Defacto-bona fide all man. NO ABSOLUTE DOUBT. None. NONE!!!!

  254. marie says:

    I found a very clear foto of her on his facebook fan page

    she is pretty

  255. catsworking says:

    Marie, thanks for that link! Best picture we have found of Ottavia yet!

    For readers on AOL, I tried to access Marie’s link and had no luck, even after joining PhotoBucket. It refused to recognize my password. But I just tried again from Firefox and the photo opened right up with no login required.

    But back to Mrs. Bourdain. She doesn’t look Italian to me. If I didn’t know better, I’d say she’s Asian. Very interesting woman…

  256. calivoter says:

    Busia is a popular West African surname…ottavia looks to me to be of (clearly) African descent (though her hair is also obviously straightened). Could that be a reason for all the cattiness??? hmmmm….

    I love Anthony’s show. I just wish he’d show more people of African descent when he’s in heavily African-influenced locales (the Brazil episode being a HUGE disappointment!). The irony…

  257. catsworking says:

    Calivoter, that’s an interesting point. I didn’t realize Busia is African. Maybe that’s where her family came from many years ago, but they’re living in Italy now.

    I must admit I’ve never noticed a lack of the local people on No Reservations, but I’ve never been looking for representatives of my own culture, either. If he reads this comment, I think it will surprise him because I’m sure he thinks he’s all about experiencing local food and customs.

  258. MorganLF says:

    I’ve seen her up close not African…tho they say that anyone with Sicilian blood has some mix and she definitely has some Sigie goin on. No way to figure, me I’m half Irish half Italian and my father (first generation Italian) was the fair one! So my red hair comes from that side of the family. My Irish relatives including my mom were all real dark.

  259. DaianaTee says:

    LOL…Ok! so for days I have taken hrs of my workday to read this blog that I absolutly LOVE…so juicy! I have to say like many of you I do find Wifey very annoying to the eye… I find myself feeling bad for him=( I guess I just had a dose of reality… )I assumed him to be someone that his not!!.. The AB that I have made up in my mind would never go that route…..( I guess at least in my head he didn’t)!!
    Oh well!!! I’m taking a break from AB.. I just found out he had a wife and kids… Im heart broken.. Thank YOU!!

  260. Mshenna says:

    OK, I admit it, I came for the gossip … & have ended up with nostalgia instead. Thanks Antoinette & MorganLF for reminding me of Phebe’s & Montana Eve/Formerly Joe’s. Montana Eve was where I took friends or family who found my usual places (Phebe’s, Eileen’s Reno Bar (both locations), Kelly’s etc.) a bit unnerving (lived in the EV from my grad student days until I got priced out in the mid-90s — not sorry to go, since it had changed so by then, but in the early 80s it did scare the citizens). Sooner or later, if you sat in the glassed-in bit at Montana Eve, you saw everyone you knew in the WV or Chelsea stroll by. Unfortunately, we once took my mother there when she visited. She was (& is) one of those women who, while charming, do not possess the censoring filter most people develop after the age of 2 or so — think Katharine Helmond in “Soap,” right down to the wide-eyed expression. Open mind but unfortunately open mouth, you might say. She had plenty to look at & was enjoying herself when to my horror I spotted a group of leather guys swaggering along in full regalia. Friend & I tried to distract her but too late, she’d seen them. In her clear piercing voice (& in a sudden silence — this always happened), she said “Ooh, look at the policemen! And don’t they look cute in their little outfits!” Some poor soul at the next table snorted whatever she was drinking right up into her sinuses, from the sound of it . . . .

    Anyhow, totally OT but thanks for the memories.

    Re AB: photo in 10/10/2008 post (linked above, 11/25/2008) does look suspiciously smooth in the forehead, esp. between the eyes, but not lifted at all (look at his eyes & jawline) — maybe the angle & lighting? And even if he is arrogant/snarky/losing his edge or what have you, look at the length of this thread: some people may be exasperated but no one sounds bored. How many 52-year-old men have that effect?

    Good fun, great blog, catsworking, thanks!

  261. catsworking says:

    Daiana and Mshenna, welcome to Cats Working! So glad you have enjoyed my posts. Thanks to the power of the Internet, I somehow attracted a group of Bourdain watchers that virtually compelled me to step up my own efforts and report my findings, and the result has become quite a cornucopia of tidbits about Bourdain.

    The cats who share this blog with me resented all the attention the Bourdain posts were getting, but since Tony revealed to us at Christmas that he has a cat himself, named Lupetto, they have grudgingly expressed gratitude that he has attracted so many readers to Cats Working.

    The posts about Nancy, his first wife, have outpulled Ottavia, but I think that’s because I wrote several devoted strictly to Nancy so she’s got triple exposure. I am AMAZED by the amount of curiosity I’m seen about his wives, but it speaks volumes about how he’s attracting fans. The man’s got charisma that won’t quit.

  262. Nancy (not THAT Nancy) says:

    Oh good grief. Watch, I bet she grows up craving Ho Hos and Cheetos.

    I’m sorry, but this is the Bourdain that makes me want to yack up my gomasio-seasoned brown rice.

  263. catsworking says:

    Nickole, Horse meat baby food! Eeeeewwwww!!!

  264. catsworking says:

    Nancy, he says in that bit on Serious Eats (see Nickole’s link above) that Ariane will never know what a McNugget tastes like. I just hope she doesn’t grow up like a preacher’s daughter. Those girls can react to all the early pew time by becoming wild and promiscuous teenagers.

    If Dad insists Ariane eat nothing but exotic food when she’s seeing all the other kids eating bologna on Wonder Bread at school, she may eventually rebel, start pigging out on Fritos, Big Macs, and Twinkies, and balloon up to 200 lbs.

  265. Nickole says:

    Yeah, I’m with ya. The whole video is a little pretentious. I don’t think kids should be someone’s own foodie experiment. A diet of junk food isn’t good either, but it’s going to be very tough for her to relate to other kids. Eating pb and j sandwiches is a part of growing up, just like watching Seseame Street.

  266. catsworking says:

    Nickole, you just reminded me of my own humiliations in the cafeteria. My mother used to fix me things like salami on pita or Italian bread when the other kids were eating bologna and PB&J’s on Wonder. The kids would look at my lunch and go, “Eeeewwww! What’s THAT? (bread)” and they’d complain that the salami stank. (I agreed with them there. I could never get the smell out of my lunchbox.)

    I don’t think we ever had a loaf of Wonder Bread in the house, but that’s all I ever wanted in my lunch. When I’d ask for it, she’d just say, “Why? Your sandwiches are BETTER than theirs!”

    And I never got Twinkies or Hostess Cupcakes or any of the GOOD desserts. And forget Oreos. No way. If I got a snack, it was some cheesy off-brand.

    So if Ariane stays on her exotic diet, Bourdain had better be prepared for her to take some serious heat for it.

  267. misslindgene says:

    Catsworking…thanks for giving me the site I asked for in Nov. You did it right away and then I haven’t been on the site for a while.

    Hope evereyone had a nice holiday.

  268. misslindagene says:

    Marie, great photo of the two of them. Thank y ou.

  269. misslindagene says:

    A child should be allowed to be a child. Wild board my wild —

  270. Nickole says:

    I think this might be the first photo I’ve seen of Ariane’s face. She’s a cutie!

  271. catsworking says:

    Nickole, thanks for that link! The picture looks kind of old, since Ariane’s almost 2, but it’s the first one I’ve seen of her face since she was a new-born.

  272. The Muse says:

    Well, I’m a very curious person and what Antoinette said made me wonder how did he looked like when he was in his early 20’s. So, she said, “if you think he’s hot now, you should have seen him at that time” It amazes me more… I can imagine him with his kinda hippy looks, long hair and gorgeous than ever. And the insights of his personality were interesting too, since I’m one of his biggest fans, I know he has billions of fans though. But I got this crush on him since I saw him in “A cooks tour” and until this days, he is the TV person, and the person I would mostly like to meet. But that’s only a dream. By the way, the pictures of baby Ariane are as cute as can be. She is so gorgeous, like his dad! I would love to meet him someday at a food and wine festival,hahaha, just daydreaming. LOL!

  273. catsworking says:

    Muse, there are pictures, or links to pictures, of Bourdain in his younger days in other threads. He had hair like Tiny Tim. But tall, trim, with those soulful eyes, he probably had no problem getting girls when he and Nancy were taking breaks from each other.

  274. The Muse says:

    Tiny Tim, what a turn off, he’s ugly as hell! Well, Tony B actually had long hair like his. By the way, I meant before, it was about time he left descendants, cause he is an amazing person. I wish Ariane to get the best of his genes, not the addictions or anything like that, but his intelligence, talents, and gorgeousness!

  275. catsworking says:

    Muse, I agree that the Tiny Tim hair was not his best look. But if you could see beyond it, Bourdain was much handsomer, even as a kid. He doesn’t have the TT nose.

    If Ariane grows up to be half the rebel he is, he’s going to have his hands full very soon. That adventurous culinary spirit he wants to instill in her may carry over into everything else and she’ll end up spending her teens grounded most of the time.

  276. catsworking says:

    Hmmm…. After all the nasty things she’s said about Tony, Paula seemed to be enjoying that kiss.

    I guess I must be a pervert, Morgan, but I don’t mind seeing him kissing anyone. He never gets to do love scenes on No Reservations.

  277. MorganLF says:

    I’ve already photo-shopped my head onto her picture, it’s on my nightstand as I type. LMAO!!

  278. catsworking says:

    Morgan, you are beginning to scare me! 😉

  279. The Muse says:

    Am I getting a little bit jealous of that Froelich chick? Jajajaja. I never saw him kissing anyone before. Why is he so intriguing?

  280. catsworking says:

    No need to be jealous, Muse. She just broke Tony in for Ottavia and ended up with none of the perks.

  281. MorganLF says:

    Just kidding! Of course I’m jealous

  282. Linda Gene says:

    Thanks so much for the great family photo. Arriana (sp?) is adorable. They look like a normal, happy family.

  283. dyanne says:

    I think that we should all be happy for Anthony. He’s a hard working, amazing man and he deserves to be happy with Ottavia. If Anthony is with her it is because she is a good woman and that is it! And so what if Ottavia is younger than Anthony? I myself am dating a gentleman that is nine years my senior and i could be happier!!! Good luck to their marriage and their new family!

  284. catsworking says:

    Dyanne, we all reached the same conclusion you did about Ottavia. The post you just read represents everyone’s initial shock when we discovered who she was. We’ve all calmed down now and think she’s the best thing that ever happened to Tony. (OK, maybe the second best thing. His first wife Nancy was probably the best thing for him way back when they were both very young.)

  285. dyanne says:

    Catsworking,I must admit that this was the first time I had ever read any of these blogs and really didn’t notice how old some of them were. haha I apologize! So, how did you all have a change of heart?

  286. catsworking says:

    Dyanne, if you read through the Bourdain posts here, particularly the ones that describe my direct contacts with him, you’ll find that as I kept learning more about Ottavia, well beyond what you can see in a photo or in a YouTube blip, and it was all good. She may be young (compared to us), but she’s obviously got the stuff to tame our Tony.

    Also, you can see for yourself the changes in Tony since they got married and had Ariane. He has become a much kinder and gentler man, and even gave up smoking. In the past year he’s shown amazing kindness to nobodies like Augusto, that addled fan who got him to go the the Philippines, and even to me.

    Ottavia seems to have been the positive influence on his life that really helped him grow up.

  287. anon says:

    Karen, you sound BITTER.

  288. catsworking says:

    Ha, ha, ha, ha! 🙂 If you read the many, many posts that were written after this one, you’d know that Ottavia and I have almost become buddies, although I’ve only met Tony himself.

    She has been watching his back and reading Cats Working, and through Tony I have learned that Ottavia is a funny, kind, and gracious lady and he’s lucky to have her.

    All the comments you see here are really out of date. Yes, we were pretty shocked when we first discovered that he’d fallen for a woman so much younger, but in the long run it has proven to be the best thing he could have done and they seem to be extremely happy together, so we are all happy for them.

  289. Linda says:

    Eccon una foto al Bar Pitti e Da Silvano in Greenwich Village.
    Ciao ciao a tutti

  290. catsworking says:

    Linda, thank you for the photo! Tony really looks like he’s in love.

  291. marilyn says:

    Really? I think he looks like he’s totally drunk.

  292. Olive says:

    That is not fair to make the judgment on Anthony and Ottavia based on stereotypical relationships of a younger woman with an older man. Maybe they are truly in love. We don’t know them. They look like a great physical match, and I’m sure that the physical attraction goes both ways. If she is funny and great fun to be around, then wow, that sounds like a good match. Some women are attracted to older men for reasons other than money, but for some women, being with someone successful is a turn on. Who wants to be with a boring couch potato? Is that a turn on? It takes intelligence and ambition to be successful, and those are very attractive traits.

  293. anon says:

    Anthony Bourdain is sexy, virile, fun, and respectful to the people he encounters on his travels. I think this and he is 18 years older than me. What is wrong with that? What is wrong if anyone younger thinks that, including Ottavia?

  294. catsworking says:

    Olive, you’re reading a really old post, and we’re way ahead of you. Readers of Cats Working have come around to accepting Ottavia as the best thing that could have happened to Tony, and we wish them nothing but the best.

    You make some great points about how they got together, and everything seems to be working out for them because, after 2 years of marriage, they still seem to be wildly in love.

    This post was written when I first got interested in learning more about Anthony Bourdain and believed he was still married to his high school sweetheart, Nancy.

    By the way, searches on Nancy STILL outnumber searches on Ottavia in the total hits this blog gets. Apparently, there is a LOT of curiosity about the woman who helped Tony achieve success as a writer and TV host for the first 5 years.

  295. catsworking says:

    Anon, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that you think. When I attended a presentation Anthony Bourdain gave in Durham, NC, a few months ago (you’ll find out all about it if you check the February archive), the audience was full of young people.

    For the record, when I was about 5 years old, my first crush was on a French actor named Maurice Chevalier, who was about FIFTY years older than me. He sang a song in the movie Gigi that seemed directly aimed at me. It went…

    “Each time I see a little girl
    of five, or six, or seven,
    I can’t resist the joyous urge
    to smile and say
    ‘Thank heaven for little girls…'”

  296. MorganLF says:

    Cats…Maurice Chevalier, frenchie collaborator, ewwwwww!
    At least my first crush was cute, Ricky Nelson…sighh

    Anyway Gigi is a favorite film and I watch it annually, I so love the thought that she is being trained as a “cocotte” or a courtesan, so practical these French!!

  297. catsworking says:

    At least Chevalier (or Boyer for that matter) didn’t turn out to be closet gays when their story was told. I just hate when you worship somebody for eons and they turn out not to like you back. Fortunately, I don’t think we’ll ever have to worry about that with Bourdain.

    Not implying that Ricky Nelson is/was gay. Is he still around? I thought one of them passed. I was just always into older men for some reason. I think it must be tied to a past life, because WHY would a 5-year-old get a crush on a guy in his 50s or 60s?

  298. Adele says:

    Sadly, Ricky Nelson died in a plane crash many years ago. I liked Gigi, but I never liked Maurice Chevalier. There were always rumors of his being a Nazi collaborator during WW II, and minimally of his being an anti-Semite. I guess you hear these things when you’re a half-breed, living in Jewish neighborhoods. But my first crush was pretty embarassing — John Kerr in South Pacific; I think I was about 9.

  299. catsworking says:

    Thanks, Adele. I thought it was Ricky who died young.

    I never knew anything about Chevalier’s politics. I’m just a sucker for French men.

    Ah, John Kerr. Remember that scene where he was shirtless singing “Younger Than Springtime”?

    I loved him in Tea & Sympathy with Deborah Kerr, too.

  300. MorganLF says:

    I know what you mean about closet gays ’cause my next love was Dr. Kildare (Richard Chamberlain) I had the Dr. shirt and the one weak 45 he released ( “A kiss to build a dream on”) my cheeks burn with shame. But at least I was only 10-11. I have a friend that was actually mad for Neil Diamond when she was a freshman in high school, talk about embarrassing!!

    Chevalier was a known collaborator and anti-Semite, I speeet on him Cochon!

    John Kerr..interesting the sensitive type I guess we have all aged into liking the bad boys.

    Oh by the way Gigi is on TCM today around 2, I’ll be watching. I love the rich former courtesan Aunt who teaches the young Gigi how to appreciate a real emerald and how to discern “dipped” pearls from real.

  301. catsworking says:

    Yup, same with me and Barnabas from Dark Shadows. In his 80s today, I still don’t think he’s ever come out.

    Gigi is such a gorgeous jewel of a movie, I never tire of watching it. Paris, the Cecil Beaton gowns, the brilliant Lerner & Loewe score. Leslie Caron was beautiful. Did you know she was pregnant making that movie? They said the opening scenes of her in the park in her little plaid dress were some of the last ones shot and they really had a time hiding her baby bump. Notice how chubby she looks. But for the age she was playing, it actually worked.

    I like Aunt Alicia, too. Isabel Jeans, I think, was the actress. And Hermione Gingold singing “I Remember it Well” at Deauville with that cochon Chevalier…

    And let us not forget the gorgeous Louis Jourdan. I saw him in person in Richmond touring in Gigi, but he’d graduated to Chevalier’s part, and Betsy Palmer was in Gingold’s.

  302. Adele says:

    Had a power outage in the first half hour of Gigi, and by the time the power came back on, Gigi was over. I did like Louis Jourdan and Hermione Gingold, and Leslie Caron was beautiful — she still occasionally appears in films, and she’s lovely; she looks her age, has had no work done, and I still think she’s lovely.

    Morgan, I had a crush on Richard Chamberlain, too, and I confess to having bought that odious 45 — and I’m older that you; I should have known better.

    Every time I see South Pacific and watch John Kerr singing “Younger Than Springtime” there are echoes of my juvenile crush. I would love to see the new Broadway production.

    I think the sensitve types are less threatening to young girls, and that accounts for those early crushes.

  303. MorganLF says:

    Louis Jourdain was impossible handsome in that movie. When it was over I googled him he’s still alive and married over 60 years to the same woman!! He played the bored, droll, libertine so perfectly! Leslie Caron is a favorite she was lovely.

    Adele, I did not know anyone else even knew about that record. I think my mom bought it for me because the cover was a picture of him and she knew I fancied him. I can still her the off key noted…how mortifying!

  304. the domestic goddess says:

    Though greatly disappointed that he gave up the ghost and got hitched … sigh … I don’t really care about what he chooses to do in his personal life – I love this guy for who “he” is …

  305. catsworking says:

    Hi, Goddess! Your disinterest in Bourdain’s personal life is exactly what he wants, I’m sure. This post was written a long time ago, when we were all just trying to learn more about the man behind the TV personality. Eventually, he became aware of Cats Working through Ottavia’s Web surfing, and made first contact with a Christmas card, which shocked me to my core.

    I have since met him and had a very brief conversation at a book signing, and now, since I’ve been following his activities for my Cats Working readers, I’ve come to think of him more as a distant cousin I really like but never get together with. Knowing that Ottavia found me, we share Italian roots, and she’s been such a good sport about what’s been written about her, I feel close to her as well, and Ariane by extension.

    Once my readers absorbed the shock of Tony marrying a much younger woman, and have subsequently seen what a good influence she has been on him, probably adding many years to his life, we now admire her tremendously, and you’ll see that reflected in the more recent posts.

  306. rob says:

    Why all the hate? Tony Bourdain can do whatever the fuck he wants…Marriages don’t always work out even after 30 years…

  307. catsworking says:

    Rob, you’re very late coming to the party. This is a very old post. Ottavia has turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to Tony.

  308. gpol says:

    “Age-appropriate” — what does this mean? 100+ years ago in the central USA, marriages were between 45 year old males and 14 year old females. 150+ years ago, this same age difference was common among the top political leaders of the country, e.g. James Madison. I could go on and on…
    For those who desire Mr. Bourdain as you watch him on television, my opinion is that you never had a chance to begin a relationship with someone you have never met. And you should not lust after those you don’t know on a personal level. What is the point of being angry about his/their relationship? It never could have been you with Tony, regardless of your age.

  309. catsworking says:

    gpol, I never cease to be amazed at how many people continue to find this very old post and don’t read any of the more recent stuff. This was my initial reaction to seeing Tony’s new wife and my opinion has since done a complete 180. Ottavia Bourdain is a lovely woman and a good influence on him, and I believe Bourdain has proved that to the world with his latest episode of No Reservations, which he shot in Sardinia among his in-laws.

  310. Zoe says:

    Because apparently it’s your business who he marries? I suppose you can easily develop an opinion based on age and looks – congratulations! Amazing factor for judging character. And Bourdain pushing 70?! He’s freshly 53!

    Based on your blog name and your photo, your bitterness is painfully obvious. Your jealousy and childish comments are very sad

  311. catsworking says:

    Zoe, why are you so incensed over this old post? Is it about a family member of yours? Or do you always go ballistic over people you’ve never met?

    For the record, there is INFINITELY MORE good about Bourdain here than bad, if you bothered to read it. But perhaps you just enjoy digging around in people’s archives looking for dirt to throw in their face.

    My blog name is a spin-off of a BOOK I had published called “How to Work Like a CAT.” How you draw a parallel to “jealousy” and “childishness” from that defies logic. Should we infer that you hate cats, too?

    The blog is tongue-in-cheek and for fun only, but obviously, there are those who take everything they read on the Internet as hard fact because they can’t tell the difference.

    I’m only publishing this last comment of yours (it is your last here, I promise) because I realize I can’t please all the people all the time. But my suggestion to you would be, if Cats Working is so upsetting for you, don’t come back.

  312. gpol says:

    cats, you can stop being amazed… You, and many others, were interested in Mr. Bourdain’s personal life before I was. I have read your “late to the party” posts to others who were late like I was and all I can say is, “We’re here now. Don’t resent us for being late, OK.”

    After I posted (my post was meant to express that age-difference couples were less scandalous in certain other eras), I read most of the posts following the attacks on naranja. I watched your opinion evolve as well as the opinion of some others. I was pleased to find greater restraint from most of the naysayers than I had expected.

    So, I have enjoyed your blog quite a lot, but most of the posts were conjecture. I did get to watch the “Miami Ink” segment, learn a little about his first wife, Nancy, and even a bit about Ottavia. My opinion is that 53-30(?) is not so great an age difference. Of course that all depends on the two individuals involved. My guess is that it’s a whole lot closer on the road to self-actualization than, say, 17 – 14 or 19 – 15, which seem to be common and even accepted by many.

    The ponderous term from the last paragraph brings me to the thing that irked me more that the schoolyard taunts of certain posters. I can’t help to find it truly weird that there are so many amateur psychologists out there. “Daddy complex,” “Mid-Life crisis,” etc. are things that are mental defects. They have been so thrown around over the past half-century, that they have lost a bit of their meaning through overuse, sure. Regardless, the general direction of the posts was “let’s analyze Tony and Ottavia and pronounce them [sane, insane, healthy, in denial, psychotic, neurotic, co-dependent]” <– fill in your mental health declaration here.

    It's hard enough to play psychologist with your family. It's futile and pointless to play pychologist with acquaintances or people we see on television. Maybe Anna Nicole really did find the love of her life and maybe Ashton actually is straight. None of us will ever know what's going on in their minds.

  313. catsworking says:

    gpol, I’m happy to welcome anybody to the party whenever they show up. What annoys me is when they get vicious and personally attack me with a very incomplete understanding of how this blog has evolved.

    I got hooked on No Reservations several years ago, and out of curiosity about its fascinating host, have read EVERY BOOK Bourdain has written (except the cookbook), as well as a ton of interviews in print and on the Internet. When I uncover interesting facts, I share them. Sometimes I just wonder out loud about what I learn, so yes, some of it is just speculation. But when it comes to Bourdain, because of my ongoing research for the blog, I like to think I’m more well-informed than a typical fan.

    The “regulars” and I like to sit around and chat about one of our favorite TV shows and personalities. I see no sin in that. And neither does he. When we got off the track about Ottavia because we had nothing to go on but her looks, Tony personally set me straight, and I set the record straight here. I really appreciated that he bothered to do it. Who am I?

    As time has gone on, I think this blog has accumulated more hard facts about Bourdain than you’ll find anywhere else on the Net. In fact, the Travel Channel even had a change of heart about muzzling bloggers after trying it in the Philippines. I cried foul after being asked to take a post down by a Filipino blogger who’d been censored by TC, and next thing we knew, TC hired Ingrid at Room214 to send bloggers weekly previews of each episode, and now the TC Web site displays Bourdain’s complete itinerary for his shoots — in advance of episodes airing.

    On the latest Sardinia episode, even if it was planned long before Tony ever heard of Cats Working and I had nothing to do with the idea, what he DID learn from Cats Working was that he has lots of fans who would be interested in seeing more of his new family, and we are very pleased that he obliged.

    What this blog provides that his own blog doesn’t is the honest buzz. I read a lot of the comments on his blog posts, and there’s very little criticism. It’s a fan site. Here, we discuss the good and bad, and I always try to be fair.

    Good point about everybody being an amateur psychiatrist, by the way. I have always dated older men. My last long-term “boyfriend” was 72 when I was 50. That’s almost the spread between Ottavia and Tony. I understand where she’s coming from. I just hope Tony holds up in his 70s as well as my guy did, if you know what I mean! 😉

  314. boscodagama says:

    Children! It’s only a blog!

  315. catsworking says:

    Bosco, you’re so right. I may be the only human among all these cats, but they’ve taught me a thing or two about cattiness! 😉

  316. Matteo says:

    Yeah, damn him for being happy with a beautiful woman and a wonderful baby daughter! DAMN HIM!

  317. catsworking says:

    Matteo, 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Read forward. Ottavia turns out to be the good guy in the end and they live happily ever after.

  318. Pierre says:

    O Cats, what a sneaky and clever plot!

    To cause the google to fill with these terrible things about the man’s wife so that he will be obliged to contact you!

    And now you have celebrity acquaintance and the official redolence of a primary source-citing blog!

    The secret plan was not of Mlle Busia to become a bearer of Tony’s offspring and wearer of the wedding ring – but of Blogger Cats to receive the recognition of the TV star and also greeting cards and friendly fellowship.

    And this was all done successfully and so I laud you for making such clever utilization of the internet!

    Ha-Ha-Ha! It is you who enjoy the triumphant last laughs!

  319. catsworking says:

    Pierre, you give us too much credit (although it seems tongue in cheek). Cats Working never had any intention of forming any sort of relationship with the Bourdains at all. It was an idle post about finding this little Miami Ink video of Tony and Ottavia that started everything. Suddenly, the blog had big traffic, revealing a curiosity that existed and was not being satisfied anywhere else. We simply write for our audience.

    I will tell you that the cats are not at all happy about the attention my Bourdain posts get. They were not his fans until they learned he has a black cat named Lupetto who came from a shelter, like them.

    Meeting Bourdain in person occurred only because he happened to be within driving distance. And he will be within my range again in November.

    I will tell you that Bourdain seemed not entirely pleased with what I was doing at first. But I hope, over time, he has realized I am supplying harmless information (available to anyone who wants to scour the Internet) that might sometimes be unseemly coming straight from him. And I give his fans a place to air their opinions, good and bad, so that he may read them if he chooses. His own blog comments tend to be fawning, as in, “Oh, Tony, you’re so hot! I LOVE YOU!”

    While pleasant to read, they aren’t exactly edifying.

    Personally, I hope Bourdain moves to Vietnam so I can take a rest and the cats can do more of the heavy lifting around here.

  320. MorganLF says:

    I just wonder if “Pierre” may not be a nome de plume?

    The post is certainly clever enough.

  321. catsworking says:

    Morgan, who do you think Pierre could possibly be? I get the flavor of someone who speaks English as a second language. But maybe that’s part of his disguise.

    As long-time readers know, it was never my plan to meet Bourdain even once. I would have been content to attend a book-signing or a personal appearance if he ever passed through Richmond.

    It was this blog that sucked me in so deep. Once I started writing about him, it was like eating chips. I couldn’t stop because the demand was there.

    Then when Bourdain put himself within reach, I just HAD TO go check him out to validate all the time I’ve spent on research.

    For reasons which are still unknown to me, I think our paths were meant to cross. No one’s more surprised about that than I am. Well, maybe HE is. 😉

  322. MorganLF says:

    Karen, put on your thinking hat. If someone wanted to post but remain in the shadows maybe they would disguise their “voice” with an accent and the name Pierre? think hard.

    The more I read the tongue in cheek aspect of the post the more I suspect. Hmmm.. now who do we know who is a snappy writer, inherently funny, quite sarcastic and able to lob a left handed swipe so deftly?

  323. catsworking says:

    And possibly use his father’s name as a nom de plume? But why now? And why on that old post? He refers to the whole chain of events, so he’s obviously up-to-date.

    On the other hand… I do see what you’re saying. Now I can re-read that comment and hear the voice behind it. He’s used it on the show.

    Maybe you’re right. It’s very weird, but possible.

  324. Alicia says:

    I’m sitting here watching an episode of no reservations and I randomly stumbled upon these posts. Unlike most of the people up there I understand that you like Ottavia now. I’d just like to say that Anthony Bourdain is old enough to be my father (and is actually 2 years older than my father) but I find Anthony Bourdain extremely attractive. Not because he’s some famous chef but because he is the epitome of a genius to me. I’m not going to lie when I say i’m not jealous of ottavia because honestly she’s very lucky to be Mrs. Bourdain 🙂

  325. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Alicia! Thank you for reading enough of the posts to get the full story.

    It’s true that when I first found out about Ottavia, I was kind of shocked and felt very sorry for the first Mrs. Bourdain, who is my age. No matter who she is, I’ve reached the age where I hate to see a woman get thrown over for someone young enough to be her daughter, even though I myself sometimes played the role of the “younger woman” in my youth!

    I’ve met Ottavia and talked to her at length, and she is very charming. She handles the whole “wife of a celebrity” thing with more maturity than I would have shown at her age. If we’re grateful to her for nothing else, it should be that she has most certainly added years onto Bourdain’s life by slowing him down a bit, helping him quit smoking, and giving him something to live for — their daughter, Ariane.

    And I share your jealousy, although not for Tony personally. WHO wouldn’t want to be lucky enough to find any man as good-looking and brilliant as Anthony Bourdain?

  326. Alicia says:

    Whoa, totally love that you reply to comments so quickly! ahah I’ve always watched No Reservation episodes occasionally but recently I’ve been completely obsessed. Quick question, did the first Mrs. Bourdain ever have children with Anthony for the 30 years of marriage? and also how did you manage to meet Anthony and Ottavia?

  327. catsworking says:

    Alicia, it happened the same way with me and No Res. One night I was flipping channels and stumbled upon this handsome, snarky guy in some place that interested me, and before I knew it, I was trying to catch EVERY episode I’d missed. Then I stumbled upon a BOOK at some remaindered book sale (didn’t even know he was a writer) called A Cook’s Tour. LOVED IT and had to read everything he’d ever written.

    How does he DO that?

    To answer your questions. No, Bourdain and his first wife Nancy never had children. In fact, he always said he’d NEVER have children because he didn’t think he’d be a good father. It was Ottavia who turned him all broody and now their daughter is about 2 1/2.

    I first met Tony last February when I found out he was speaking in Durham, NC, which is only about a 3-hour drive for me. He’d apparently been reading Cats Working (because Ottavia found it and told him), so he knew I was coming and arranged a VIP pass for me to get backstage for his book signing after his talk. We only had a few minutes together while he was signing my book, but he was very cordial, and I gave him a copy of my book. I didn’t know of him when I wrote it, but he embodies the philosophy of working like a cat.

    Then in November he was within range again at the Capital Food Fight in Washington DC, and 2 readers convinced me to meet them there. We hoped, but didn’t know, if Ottavia would be there. Again, the Bourdains knew we’d be there from reading Cats Working. As it turned out, not only was Ottavia there, but she seemed to be LOOKING FOR US, and she and Tony came right over to us when we found each other. Then she sat with us through the event while he was on stage (but you probably read about that).

    She seemed to feel like she knew me (and Morgan and Cindy) very well from reading Cats Working, and now I feel that she and Tony are my friends. When I was around them, I didn’t think of him as this big TV celebrity, but as a fellow writer who has made it (whereas I have yet to snag my big break). They’ve both been incredibly gracious to me, even though I wasn’t always kind in the beginning.

    But at Cats Working, we try to keep it real and not be drooling fans. He’s got his own blog for that. For example, if I think his next book stinks, I’ll say so. (I don’t think I will, by the way. Just making up a “what if…”)

    Welcome to the group!

  328. cj says:

    As a Chef I appreciate people who say yes and do what you want, I can see the appeal of a happy shiny bride that does –appear to be an angel. Good for Tony, life’s a bitch, need the wife be one too?

  329. catsworking says:

    Welcome, cj! This is a very old post from the time Tony and Ottavia were dating. But they eventually got married and Ottavia does seem to be the angel he needed — well, maybe except when it comes to her opinion of his cooking. 😉

  330. stopagismNOW says:

    Wow! so many agists!

    One day you will realize that we are all 18 year olds in our soul, and the old body you see, is not really us.

    I can go into a nursing home, an find an old lady, and in a half hour of talking to her about when she was young, I can find the little girl inside her.

    I hope Tony and Ottavia have a great life together, I dont care what the haters say!

  331. catsworking says:

    Welcome, stopagismNOW. You’ve read a very old post, and if you’d kept reading, you would have seen that the last thing Cats Working and its readers could be called is Bourdain “haters.”

    Last year several of us met Tony and Ottavia together and they are a lovely couple. Ottavia even said she understood how we formed the wrong impression over the way she was shown on Miami Ink, and laughed about it. She never intended to be on camera and they cut most of what she said.

    Time has proven that she ‘s probably the best thing that ever happened to him. He’s nuts about her and their daughter.

    But you’re absolutely right that we all still have a child inside of us and it doesn’t take much for many people to get it to come out and play, which is a blessing.

  332. Marina says:

    Hmmmmm… rather catty post, no? One thing Ottavia does not strike me as is dumb. And as she is Sardinian/Italian, I can guarantee you she is no push-over!!! I think she’s gorgeous, and obviously he’s nuts about her. What’s wrong with that? It’s cliched to say he dumped #1 and fell for some cookie. I think he and Nancy grew apart, as they seemed to want different things in life, from what I’ve read. Not bashing Nancy either… I’m sure she’s a great lady and she was there with him for many years. But that doesn’t mean it stays good forever… and yeah, the Nancy years were often difficult and painful too, by the sound of it. I definitely noticed Ottavia in the Tuscany episode and thought she was very interesting… I even speculated a bit, not knowing anything at the time, of course. She was feisty, though, which I like in a person!

    Anyway, none of us know them personally, so we can only speculate… and we could all be wrong all around. One thing I’ve learned… you *never* know what is going on in someone else’s marriage! Not even close friends know… let alone strangers/fans. I just wish them a happy life, Tony and Ottavia and precious little Ariane, and Nancy in her new, and very private, life too.

  333. Marina says:

    I’ve read some of the more recent posts… and that the original was from an earlier time. I’m glad you’ve met Tony and Ottavia in the meantime and have had the opportunity to form another opinion. I was so charmed by Ottavia in the Sardinia episode I saw for the first time last night, I just couldn’t imagine her being the bimbo some seemed to feel she was. Anyway, glad all has ended well… thanks for the great blog, Karen and cats! :~)

  334. catsworking says:

    Marina, thank you for continuing to read and get up to speed. When I first wrote his post, I was coming out of left field. I knew NOTHING except what I saw in that Miami Ink clip. Ottavia has since told me that she agrees they cut it to make her look like a “grinning idiot.”

    Nothing could be further from the truth.

    I was just catching up with a long-lost girlfriend the other day and telling her about the Bourdain phenomenon at Cats Working, and I described Ottavia to her as the daughter I would have liked to have if I’d ever had any children.

    I think it’s indisputable that she’s the best thing to happen to Bourdain since Kitchen Confidential gave him career options other than dropping dead prematurely in front of a stove in a hot restaurant kitchen.

  335. Marina says:

    Haha… I like your humor, Karen. Yeah, he’s come a long way, I’m glad he’s obviously so happy and mellow, and his wife and little one will hopefully keep him healthy a lot longer. I worry about him a bit…

    Thanks for the prompt reply!

  336. catsworking says:

    Marina, I don’t know how mellow his daughter will keep him as she grows up. If she’s anything like Dad, she should have him worrying 24/7 about what she’ll do next.

  337. Marina says:

    Yeah, I’d have to agree… being half Tony and half feisty Ottavia, I can see some wild ways emerging! Payback time, no? Hahaha!

  338. carol says:

    It’s unfortunate Ottavia looked so odd in the Miami Ink episode. The bare midriff, which she probably doesn’t do so much post baby, looked odd on camera. Otherwise, she pulled off her part quite well. Except she might have advised a more artful tattoo, even for a skull. I’m glad to see Bourdain is finally putting on some weight around his middle and looking his age. He looked suspiciously gaunt for years, even if his metabolism is high.

  339. catsworking says:

    carol, you are digging deep into the archives I see. Ottavia and Tony were just dating when Miami Ink was filmed, and on vacation there, I believe. Ottavia told me that she had no idea she would be appearing on camera, so she was dressed for bumming around Miami. And it was pre-baby. The scenes weren’t cut to flatter her. She came off like the dumb, grinning girlfriend, which we have since learned she was anything BUT. And I’m betting once Bourdain sets his sights on etching a skull permanently into his body, there’s little anyone can do to dissuade him.

    As for his gaunt look, I guess that came from years of smoking and drugs. Since he’s been slowing down on the hardcore carousing, he’s definitely filling out, although he’s so tall he could carry a good bit of extra weight and not look pudgy.

  340. Justin L says:

    I hope this doesn’t come off as mean spirited, or malicious, but do you not find it a little unsettling that you’ve kept responding to this for years, that you think the Bourdain family is sitting around reading your blog, looking for you at events, that you consider them “friends” after having only a couple cursory encounters with them? None of this, even if viewed through the lens of a middle age jaded cat lady, sounds logical or reasonable or even entertaining. You’re detatched from reality it seems. Cosmic forces at play? Giving him your book? Dogging up every detail about a strangers life to showcase your biased and.resentful opinions of the other gender and then.going back.on them after a smile and conversation with his wife?

    Wouldn’t surprise me if your name was on a list somewhere. Doubtful its labeled “VIP”…

  341. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Justin. Some interesting points you made…

    As a courtesy, I respond to comments as they come in, regardless of which post they’re attached to. It seems that many people find Cats Working by searching for information on Anthony Bourdain’s wife, and I guess this old post still comes up high in the rankings because people keep finding it and responding to it.

    I don’t presume a “friendship” with the Bourdains, but they are acquaintances, and I don’t feel compelled to share here the extent of what that entails.

    It was the Bourdains who initially made contact with me and let me know they were aware of this blog. They looked up my home address to do it. Does that make them stalkers?

    I don’t flatter myself that they are glued to Cats Working, but they know I continue to follow Tony’s career and understand that it’s a component of my niche in the blogosphere. I have no doubt they occasionally check in. It’s a good place to find out what fans think, apart from the fawning comments his own blog posts usually generate.

    A few years ago, the Travel Channel found Cats Working and contacted me, and I think maybe they still give it an occasional look for the same reason. I’ve also been contacted by the BBC over a post on another topic. I don’t think they’d have done it if they considered me a nut job.

    I gave Bourdain a copy of my book because it’s a courtesy authors often extend and because I know Ottavia is a cat person. Its contents also happen to describe his work ethic to a T and it’s a quick read, so I thought he might check it out. That’s what writers do. They try to gain readers.

    The post you found was written when I knew every little about Bourdain. As I’ve learned more him and Ottavia, my opinions have changed. Admitting it is what I consider being honest, not two-faced.

    I continue to post weekly updates because they attract readers (like you, apparently). Since a new season of No Res is starting next week, there’s been another spike in hits. It always happens. People can find a lot of fresh and archival information in one place here. I view it as a job, not an emotional attachment. My role is chronicler and reviewer (positive or negative) of Bourdain’s work. Nothing more. As a professional writer, I’ve been blogging since 2007 to build a readership for future projects. Having the ability to say, “I have a blog with over a million hits,” provides an edge with agents and publishers.

    In your view, this may all qualify me as crazy. If you don’t like what you see here, nobody’s twisting your arm to keep reading, but thanks for letting me know what you think.

  342. MorganLF says:

    Actually Justin, let me butt in. Without letting the “cat out of the bag”, I can assure you Mr. & Mrs. Bourdain are well aware of this blog and Karen’s efforts. She won’t toot her own horn, but let me. I think at first there was genuine resentment at the speculation here and an effort was made to set the record straight.

    Tony is thick skinned about himself but gets a bit tweaked if someone picks on something he loves; witness “Allan Richman is a Douchebag”. When we figured out we had it wrong, it was set right. Karen was always equitable, some others of us a bit more opinionated. I admit freely I did a 180, it’s called evolving.

    As for the contact between the Bourdain’s and Catsworking nothing chance about it, you’ll just have to take my word for it. I am not at liberty to reveal Karen’s unimpeachable source on some posts but, well draw your own conclusions.

    I won’t take any further space since I suspect who you really are, and that is a very bitter person of limited intellect and writing ability who is genuine frustrated at being unable to garner any attention on your own.

  343. catsworking says:

    Morgan, thanks for the vote of confidence.

    I don’t know if you’re right about the true identity of Justin, but if he thinks popping in only to call me deluded and crazy isn’t “mean-spirited or malicious,” he needs a new dictionary.

  344. adele says:

    Karen and Morgan, I just got around to reading Justin’s comment, and I must admit that I, too, wondered, whether he was, or was an agent of, a former commenter from North of the Border.

    I’ve noticed the spike in Cats Working hits as well, Justin; lots of people seem to want updates on Bourdain, and Karen is simply playing to her audience. And whether she would admit it or not, I think the fair treatment she’s given both Bourdains in Cats Working has helped make them a little more accessible to the blogosphere. And BTW, all one has to do is read Ottavia’s tweets to know how funny and unassuming she is.

  345. Jersey Girl says:

    Just googled AB b/c I am reading one of his books and stumbled on this site.

    I’m in one of those ‘inappropriate’ age difference relationships and, I have been for 13 years. We actually have a THIRTY year age difference, but spend 15 minutes with us and I promise u, you’ll find us as boring as you.

  346. HEXE says:

    Once upon a time there was an old Washington senator who, after dumping his wife was asked why he did it, to which he replied,”At night, in bed, perfume smells better than linament”. Ottavia can now purchase the most expensive and grandest smelling fragrances, but will it help keep Tony at home? As they say in the tabloids, only time will tell. Anyhow, it will be Tony who smells up the bedroom with BenGay long before she will.

    Sweet little Ariane is not the first progeny to spring from Tony’s loins. He has a son who, years ago was introduced at a Thnksgiving get-together that was shot in a suburban home. At that time I knew not who Tony was, nor how he got to where he was, nor from whence he came. All I remember is that I was channel surfing and stopped to watch the show. Tony cooked. His son was there and Tony introduced him – saying, “many years ago I had a son out of wedlock”. I don’t remember the son’s name, but I do recall that he was a teenager who was a member of a rock band, the members of which were also in attendance. I think they played a bit, and when it was over sonny boy scooted back into obscurity. By now, he must be in his thirties. I don’t remeber the name of the show or on which network it aired. But I do very well remember watching it. Am I the ONLY person who saw this???

    I hope that Tony doesn’t turn into a horse’s ass I have seen this happen sooo many times. A geezer turned into an old fool by his younger than springtime girl friend or wife. I tought that after the experiences he has had in his life he might have acquired a modicum of gravitas, and was somewhat above consorting with girl friends who bared their navels in public (except for the beach), and who wear belly button bling in order to call attention to themselves and who opt to have a snake tatto matching her boy friend’s. How high school.(!) Except for belly dancers, no self secure woman, sure of her own beauty would dream of doing these things.

    Tony admonishes us to stay away from retaurants that have dirty bathrooms. I agree. But what about sex in the linen supply room? Did the Great One, after he was finished with Miss Roundheels and after flipping out his dick and guiding it to its target wash his hands? What about Miss Roundheels? Did she wash her hands? WHAT ABOUT THE LINENS? Think about it! Tony says that his daughter will never eat Chicken McNuggets at Mickey D,but will she, someday dine at a snooty hash house where the chef “gets his” in the linen room and somehow, in the grand scheme of things, Ariane pats her lips with THE napkin that – need I say more?

    For a while I didn’t watch NR because I cringed at the places where the inhabitants lived such poor and hard lives. I don’t watch TV to cringe! When I tuned in again I was astounded at how badly Tony had aged. It was frightening – the bloated face, the skin sagging beneath his eyes, the quivering jowls. Booze catching up with him?

    Did Ottavia scheme to turn up pregnant and snooker the guy into marrying her? Or was it a truly an unplanned pregnancy? After all, she is no new-shoes to New York life and probably has been around the block a bit. Weren’t we all when we were single? Was she uninformed about contraceptives when confroned by Big Boy Boudain, or did she conveniently forget about them? I was VERY SAVVY about contraception and wanted no “I should haves” or “maybe it wasn’t the smart thing to do”, no matter how nuts I was about the guy. Surprise pregnancy is the oldest trick in the book. There are other cleaner – nicer ways!

    Enough sarcasm. After all the above, it matters not that you think Ottavia is a gargoyle, or a scheming bitch, or a gold digger or that her Med genes will turn her into a dumpy Italian housewife. (Tony has the wherewithal to pay ANY first class plastic surgeon for the nips, tucks and lifts.) Nor does it matter if Tony turns into a hose’s ass – the laughing will get so loud that he will eventually hear it, if indeed it does. Of paramount imprtance in their lives now is that they love one another, have good health and great happines. I truly – truly wish them an enchanted life – for however long it takes for that life to live out.

    Ottavia – Oh for heaven’s sake, lose the helmet!

  347. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Hexe! Wow! What a dissertation! Your point’s well taken on the relative healthiness/cleanliness of all eating establishments, given what goes on in the backrooms.

    The Bourdains are coming up on their 4th wedding anniversary in April and, so far, all seems to be well, given the recent “renewal of vows” of the matching snake tats, although I think they both need to have their heads examined on that one. I was thinking of photos of Ottavia in beautiful strapless evening gowns at various awards ceremonies over the years. Now when she turns around, the elegant look goes down the drain with the bloody knife and hissing snake on her shoulders.

    The TV show you describe sounds like the first holiday special of No Reservations. That wasn’t Tony’s son, but his nephew. If he claimed the kid was his child, it was only in jest, because in those days he told everyone he’d never make a good father.

    Tony had 2 novels published in the mid-to-late 1990s that languished, and Kitchen Confidential was published in 2000, so he’s only been famous for 11 years. There’s absolutely NO WAY he did TV before then because he was a nobody. It’s accepted knowledge that he and his first wife were childless. Given his personality, it’s inconceivable to me that he’d have an unacknowledged adult child hidden away somewhere. For one thing, when the kid was born, Bourdain wasn’t famous, so there was no need to keep it a secret.

    Yes, he does seem to be aging fas, but aren’t we all. I had some head shots of myself taken yesterday and found the results painful to look at. Where did all those wrinkles come from? Where did my LIPS go? And jowls… don’t get me started!

    Since I wrote this post, I’ve met and talked to Ottavia about the pregnancy, and they’d definitely committed to each other when it happened. I don’t know how much of Cats Working you’ve read, but the whole story is in the archives under November 2009, and I don’t think she was making it up. Yes, there was speculation about her motives, but we were wrong. They’re just lucky as hell that, given his age and drug use, Ariane was born perfectly healthy.

    And Ottavia is wearing her hair longer these days, and it’s perfectly straight and shiny. Personally, I thought the bob was tres chic and suited her well.

  348. MorganLF says:

    Actually Hexe it was a Christmas “special” featuring the “Queens of Stone Age” a heavy rock band. The bassist was once arrested for performing naked with nothing but his guitar.

    On that episode they were ironically dressed in goofy Christmas sweaters and Tony indicated one of the band members was a son born out of wedlock, I think we can safely assume he was making a joke relating to a hard partying, badass that reminded him of a younger self.

    As for Ottavia the younger wife syndrome after a man gets successful is not a new one, but at least she is smart and funny and pretty good counterbalance to Tony.

    As for aging, to repat a phrase from my youth, “It sucks the root”.

  349. adele says:

    Ah, Morgan, another delightfully descriptive phrase from your lexicon. I’ll be trying to fit it in soon.

  350. catsworking says:

    Morgan, good catch! Yes, it was the first Christmas special. Now I vaguely remember a scene where they were dragging a Christmas tree into the house.

  351. Lilavati says:

    I did hear a rumor that Tony was the father of Asha Gill’s baby – any thoughts on that? She has a son, I think about the same age as Tony’s daughter, is raising him as a single mother and won’t say who the father is. Maybe he was so keen on having a child, he was hedging his bets with Asha?

  352. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Lilavati! I didn’t realize that Asha Gill has baby. Interesting rumor, but I’d say the timing is off. It would have had to happen when Tony and Ottavia were solidly an item. If I hadn’t personally seen them together with my own eyes and witnessed how nuts about Ottavia he is, I might say it could be a possibility, but no.

  353. Lilavati says:

    But I think he had a fling with Asha at some point and I believe he’s known as a serial cheater – at least on his first wife. People like that don’t change!

  354. catsworking says:

    Lilavati, you’re right about the fling. Somebody sent me a link to an interview Asha did with Tony, and I included it in this old post:

    I think at one time I thought Asha might be a possibility for him, but she must have turned out to be a flake. I don’t remember the details now. He was also hooked up with Paula Froelich for a few months before Ottavia, and she had nothing but terrible things to say about him.

    And Bourdain himself makes no bones about the fact that he strayed during his first marriage. But this time around he has everything to lose, including custody of his daughter, which would kill him. Not to mention the fact that Ottavia studies martial arts and would beat the living sh** out of him if she ever caught him fooling around. Not to mention disgusting her whole family (whom he loves being part of) and with his BFF, Eric Ripert, whose wife facilitated Tony’s meeting Ottavia.

    No, these days I think he’s on the straight and narrow, and has been since he got serious with Ottavia.

  355. stillgotit says:

    Look im 43 and am currently living with a 33 year old sexy turkish man, live in turkey and have traveled the world. I havent eaten dog but have tasted many of the same foods as anthony. I do not need to get laid, am getting enough hot sex to rock a teenagers world, but my sexy younger man does not sit behind me smiling dumbly for any reason. Tonys wife did not exhibit any form of “smarts” that I could see and i too think its a pity that such an interesting man would get himself hooked to this woman. Nancy my dear, i hope you took him for all you could get because i am positive youre strength and support put his skinny butt where it is today!
    I hate that people always think if a woman over 25 expresses an opinion then she needs to get laid. Please, i give this marriage a year, max, look out tony cause miss sexy second will no doubt turn out to be the cat that gets the cream!

  356. catsworking says:

    Welcome, stillgotit. Tony’s second marriage just passed the 4-year mark and still seems to be going strong.

  357. Lazarus Long says:

    Wow. Catsworking, you have the patience of a saint. I won’t bore you with the details of how I found your blog except to say that 2 of your 2008 blog entries showed up as 2nd and 3rd options in my google search. I have mightily enjoyed reading the years’-long evolution of this thread and I admire your gracious responses to all who either respond without realizing it’s old news, or, who seem to be trying to deliberately provoke you and other regulars. I look foreward to many happy hours of reading archival and present day posts.

  358. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Lazarus! I will confess to an eye roll when I saw another comment had come in on this particular post. All I seem to get now are the noobs who accuse me and my readers of being jealous old crones, without reading all that transpired later to set us straight.

    I began taking a hiatus from the Bourdain posts a few weeks ago because Tony and his crew have taken the Internet by storm, particularly Twitter, and don’t need me adding my 2 cents. But for the time being, I believe Cats Working is still the premier repository for Bourdainia. will eventually claim the title because they post about him regularly, have direct access to him, and he’s happy to cooperate.

    I’ve had 3 face-to-face encounters with him, and one long one with Ottavia. If you poke around, you’ll find them all well-documented here.

  359. MeME says:

    Anthony Bourdain is way too hot for her , and I don’t think she’s half his age. She looks well into her forties. Just another lucky plain jane.

  360. catsworking says:

    MeME, Ottavia is in her early 30s. I’ve lost track now… 33 or 34. He’s 55. In person, she does look her age — a LOT younger than him AND me!

  361. Kcuf Uoy Lla says:

    Wow what a bunch of fucking assholes you are! Ottavia is a sweet,funny woman and Tony deserves to be happy. What the fuck is wrong with you people? AND why the fuck is it any of your business????

  362. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Kcuf Uoy Lla, whatever that means. I love getting these nasty comments out of the blue, YEARS LATER.

    If you’d bothered to read anything else here, you’d see that I and several of my readers have met Ottavia, love her, and think she’s the best thing that ever happened to Tony. We freely admit that our first impression was totally wrong.

    But I’m sure she appreciates you springing to her defense — 3 years too late. Thanks for stopping by to take a dump. Real classy.

  363. MorganLF says:

    kcuf you are correct we were assholes, stress were. We agree Ottavia mad funny, and vey sweet in spite of being the resident badass of la famiglia Bourdain.

  364. Tom F. says:

    Oh give me a break, Kcuf Uoy Lla! Tony Bourdain has pimped out his entire life for the benefit of fame and fortune! I doubt the guy could stand to exist if people weren’t paying attention to him. And his wife is right behind him with her Twitter accounts of getting drunk and fighting people…please – you are the asshole! And as for Bourdain “deserving” happiness – might be a few people who know him better who would disagree with you.

  365. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Tom F. I happen to agree with you that the drive-by troll Kcuf Uoy Lla was an asshole. But for someone who seems to have such disdain for the Bourdains, I wonder why you are following Ottavia’s tweets?

    And here we go again with the veiled implication that someone personally knows Bourdain and think he’s an asshole. I happen to be certain that someone who really DOES know Tony from way back has dropped in from time to time to take a dump on him here, but doing it anonymously is pretty childish. Either enlighten us with some facts or keep moving…

  366. Tom F. says:

    No, you are making the assumption that I know him, and I never said I did. But I’m sure there are more than a few people who don’t have a high opinion of him and know him much better than those who have met him at a booksigning or two – like his ex-wife, for instance. As for the other comment about following Ottavia’s tweets, I was curious but was turned off by the content. So what’s for you to wonder? there isn’t an inherent contradition there.

  367. catsworking says:

    Tom F., I apologize for misunderstanding. I thought “might be a few people who know him better who would disagree with you” meant that you know him. And that would justify your assertion that “Bourdain has pimped out his entire life for the benefit of fame and fortune.” Seems like the kind of comment that someone who went to grade school with him would say, since none of his fans (99% of whom only discovered him after Kitchen Confidential hit in 2000 and he went on TV) would have a clue about that.

    The cats tweet, and they pick up and lose followers all the time. Mostly porn people, it seems. We can only figure they “follow” because they think Cats Working has something to do with “pussy,” but then they quickly realize, no, it’s REALLY cats!

  368. Tom F. says:

    Well, all you have to do is read his books, watch his show and look at a couple of interviews to see how totally self-involved this guy is..I did like Kitchen Confidential b/c it did seem to have some authentic feeling to it and I liked his early tv shows but he has gone steadily downhill…if you are familiar with a particular location, you can see how the shows are all just about him and not really where he is or who he ‘s dealing with – (although I do prefer him to Andrew Zimmerern (?) who I would never spend time watching) – a show like Globe Trekker gives much more of a feeling about the place visited, I find. Anyway, Happy Thanksgiving!

  369. catsworking says:

    Welcome, FLT. When this video was made, Ottavia was 28. I believe she’s now 33 or 34 (or soon to be 34).

  370. nanamama says:

    just another sad pathetic older man trying to recapture his youth by marrying a girl the age of the daughter he never had…wonder how’d he’d feel if his daughter married an old geezer like him in 25yrs…sadsadaad

  371. Incredulous Reader says:

    Geez, what a bunch of jealous C-U-Nex-Tuesday’s! Put yer claws back in, you old biddies and worry about your own pathetic lives!

  372. Incredulous Reader says:

    The blog title alone says it all. It speaks volumes of the type of person the author is.

  373. Incredulous Reader says:

    Although I’m sure the author doesn’t have the guts to leave all my comments up.

  374. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Incredulous. Got to wonder who’s really the “clueless” one here, since you’re spewing vitriol on a VERY OLD post. Have since met Ottavia Bourdain, found her to be a lovely person, and she is now Cats Working’s patron saint.

    But from your comment on a more recent post, you sound like one of those people who doesn’t see the value in gathering more facts and changing your mind to acknowledge reality. Fortunately, your ilk wasn’t in the majority in the recent presidential election. Talk about a “soulless fool.”

  375. Jay says:

    Jeebus! I can’t believe the Bourdains would be crazy enough to give facetime to a blogger who, along with her followers, constantly makes assumptions about them, insults them, and attempts to psycho analyze both of them. I found this blog by accident after googling Ottavia and ju-jit-su (I know that’s misspelled) to see how long she’s been doing it because a friend of mine has recently started training.

    You are not just doing a chronicle of his career as you claim, but rather are making these ridiculous statements as if you know him personally – things like, and I paraphrase, “He would never cheat on Ottavia, he has too much to lose and it would kill him to lose custody of his daughter, let alone his friendship with E. Rippert, whose wife introduced them.”

    You have absolutely no basis for knowing whether he would ever cheat, whether cheating would indeed cost him custody, or whether Eric R. would de-friend him if he cheated. (I seriously doubt it; men don’t dump their best friends for cheating on their wives). But the fact that you’re devoting time and thought to every grain of minutia about his private life is really disturbing. It all comes across as an unstable fan obsession.

    I can’t believe you guys have so little life that you have nothing better to do than post endless musings about this man’s private life. If you were just talking about his work it would be one thing but to contantly evaluate his and his wife’s looks, why he left his first wife, what she was like, why he married Ottavia, exactly what moment his child was conceived, etc is creepy in the extreme. And to say well I’m getting lots of hits I’m just giving readers what they want is a ridiculous excuse – have you considered those readers are just as unhealthily obsessed and shouldn’t be indulged?

    Perhaps Ottavia felt the best way to avoid some odd stalker behavior from you and or your readers was to play nice and give you some face time. I can’t believe Bourdain doesn’t find this blog sad and pathetic.

  376. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Jay. I don’t know if the dates show up on old posts, but what you’ve been reading is extremely old. And that you were Googling for additional info puts you in the same boat as the rest of us when it comes to Bourdain curiosity.

    I was writing regularly about Anthony Bourdain back when he wasn’t getting much attention on the Net. Now that his every move is reported by Eater and Grub St. and other foodie blogs, I’ve pretty much given it up, unless I come across something I think my readers would find interesting.

    Back in the day, I inadvertently discovered intense curiosity among his limited fan base about the man himself because he thought he could keep his personal life completely off-limits, so I shared what little I could find, and other fans joined in the discussion because we were interested. I’ll agree we sometimes got “catty,” but it was no more insidious than all the fan buzz about any other public figure. And whenever I learned I was wrong about something, I set the record straight and apologized. My conscience is clean.

    I actually think I helped him, in some small way, to see the light about trying to hide everything personal. It only stoked curiosity, which could have gotten out of hand (although not from this quarter). Today he freely talks about his life — because long ago on Cats Working he saw that it was already out there and nothing bad happened.

    You may be right that Bourdain finds Cats Working “sad and pathetic.” I have no idea. But it continues to be a place where he can come to find out what some longstanding fans who have been watching his TV work almost since the beginning — and who have bothered to read any or all of his 10+ books (have you?) — honestly think of his endeavors. Thanks for stopping by.

  377. jay says:

    But what I quoted was dated 2011 – that’s hardly ‘extremely old’. And sorry but googling to find out one factoid about a celebrity is hardly the same as spending tons of time speculating about the tiniest details of his or her personal life, and making suppositions about their deepest thoughts and motivations. “Intense curiousity” can quickly become unhealthy stalker-esq obsession – it’s a fine line. Sure we all post catty comments about celebs here and there but post after post for years??

    If you guys really wanted to do something helpful, you’d have dug into how Tony first got a book published; how a chef managed to get an article in the New Yorker; and how, even after 2 failed novels, he managed to get KC published, because that isn’t something he has addressed in his books, it’s certainly not personal info, and it might actually help struggling writers.

    “It continues to be a place where he can come to find out what some longstanding fans honestly think of his endeavors.” The problem is the vast majority of these posts are not about his professional ‘endeavors’ – they’re an amateur psychoanalysis. It sounds like the kind of gossip you’d hear at an old-school beauty parlor full of school marms chatting about the neighbors. And unless and until Bourdain himself posts on here to set the record straight, exactly what facts vs. supposition can you claim to have unearthed about his inner psyche for all those ‘deeply curious’ fans?

    I’m glad you’ve ‘given it up’ but that doesn’t change the fact that for several years you all were expending waaay too much of your time on people you don’t even know. It’s a sad commentary. God forbid the man would want to keep some parts of his personal life off-limits. God forbid his first wife might not want to be all over the Internet. The fact that ‘everybody does it’ doesn’t really make it a good idea and certainly doesn’t make it healthy. That you’d even suggest that your behavior ‘helped’ him is creepy in itself.

    Trying to keep things private may ‘stoke curiosity’ but the thing is, the more of your personal life you reveal, the more the obsessed fans demand, so it’s an endless cycle. You can’t ever satiate them. Jodie Foster couldn’t have been more on the money in her recent Golden Globes speech – privacy, “someday we’ll all look back and realize just how great it really was.”

  378. catsworking says:

    Jay, anything you read by me long after the original post was in response to someone like you who was ALSO curious about Bourdain, and then dishes out drive-by crap to someone like me, who apparently posted some info relevant to your search. From now on I’m just going to flag you Jay-come-latelys as spam. Trying to be fair by letting you air your vitriol just encourages you to spew more uninformed shit.

    How Tony got all his books published is a matter of public record, so why should I rehash that? If you’d actually read any of his books or seen/heard many of his interviews, you’d have learned ad nauseum how he got KC published.

    Tony and Ottavia have now opened a lot of their private lives to the public on Twitter, or hadn’t you heard?

    And here’s a news flash for you: The BIGGEST search term that brings traffic to Cats Working to this day is, YEARS after I wrote about her, the name of Tony’s first wife. How about that?

    Actually, Tony and Ottavia have more than “satiated” our curiosity, and while we continue to admire his work and watch his career evolve, we have largely moved on to other things. Several of us (including me) have been in the Bourdains’ company more than once, and they have always been very gracious. You may think that’s fake. I don’t. They are nice people.

    You’d do well to go looking for stalkers to expose elsewhere. You’ve worn out your welcome here.

    PS: This is the last word on the matter, and it’s mine.

  379. Anna says:

    …Tip toeing in to ask as question. I have read most of Bourdain’s books and read a good many of his interviews, but I’ve never seen the story of how he got his first novel Bone in the Throat published. All I found was a very brief response he gave about having a friend who worked in publishing, I think, who approached him and said we’re looking for new writers, and asked if he’d like to give it a shot. Now, this seems really odd to me that a publishing house would be so desperate for new writers that they’d just give shots to first-timers sight unseen, but maybe the ‘friend’ was really high up?

    I know he said that KC came as a result of his article appearing in the New Yorker, but I’ve been unable to find anything on how he got the article pubished. The NYer is I understand quite tough to get into; it’s not like it’s Men’s Health or something, so Ive always been curious did he have a ‘friend’ there too or did they just find his article so awesome that it got in? I’ve also read that an editor saw an email Bourdain had sent to a friend, and that was the final thing that pushed her to give KC a shot.

    It would be really interesting to hear the full story of how his writing career happened and in what order. I feel like it’s gotten short shrift compared to his chef career. Most writers have to send out query after query to agents and editors and face loads of rejection, but Bourdain seems to have skipped over all that and had it just sort of handed to him. Now if I’m wrong on that, that’s fine, I’d just honestly like to know the story of how it happened. So if you have links to info that might satisfy my curiousity, would you mind posting them here? I’m probably not the only one (Jay’s tirade aside) who is interested in the info but can’t find it.


  380. catsworking says:

    Anna, welcome. And thanks for getting us back on a sane track here. I am also keenly interested in how Bourdain’s writing career evolved because I’ve never caught the big elusive “break” myself, but he seems to have had several. Sorry I can’t give you links right now because they are long buried in the archives, but if you do a search here on Bourdain and maybe writing, you might find whatever I’ve uncovered over the years. But anyway, here’s my recollection of how it played out, and I don’t think Tony has been totally up-front about it. I think he’s said he’s never written anything he wasn’t paid for, and he doesn’t have a stash of unpublished stories because he was never an aspiring writer. Yet just recently someone was selling some old fanzine online that purportedly has an early Bourdain short story in it. So I think he paid a few more dues than he admits to.

    I seem to remember he was working on his first novel (Bone in the Throat, 1995) for a while, and this friend paid him to go to the Caribbean to just finish it, and then helped him find a publisher (or was a publisher). Then he published Gone Bamboo in 1997. Neither of them set the literary world on fire. (I’m checking copyright dates in the books as I write this.)

    The next big thing was the article that became KC. He’s said he sent it to some freebie paper in NYC that kept postponing publication, he got frustrated (and drunk, I think) and sent it to the NYer, where it was accepted. That led to the offer to write the book KC (2000) and the Food Network show, A Cook’s Tour, for which he wrote a book by the same name in 2001. In 2001 he also published Typhoid Mary, followed by a return to fiction with The Bobby Gold Stories in 2002.

    After that we’re in No Reservations territory and you probably know about all the subsequent books.

    Tony always says he doesn’t like to hang out with writers or to discuss writing, and he just writes the way he talks. I identify with him because I’m the same way about my creative stuff (although I teach courses in business writing). And he obviously received some excellent English education growing up, and his voracious reading honed his ear for language.

    I would love to know more about his writing process because I’m into the mechanics of it. I love when he visits bookstores on his shows. Last week on The Layover he was in Dublin (where I remember seeing bookstores on nearly every corner) and visited one. He mentions all the time his favorite authors and what he’s reading currently, but I just like to see him interacting with books. Weird, but it’s more interesting to me than watching him eat.

    Maybe some Cats Working readers who have better memories than I can fill in more details.

  381. anna says:

    Thanks! See, this is the part that just kills me: “this friend paid him to go to the Caribbean to just finish it, and then helped him find a publisher (or was a publisher).” How often does this happen? It’s like a one in a million shot, like a lottery win. Here’s a free trip and a book deal. I make my living as a writer in NYC, doing sell-out PR and marketing stuff, and I realize connections matter. I get most of my jobs through friends or former co-workers in the biz, but still.

    I’m not denying he’s a very, very good writer, but to have that lucky break with his novel, then another first-time hit it out of the park success with his first submission to the NYer – well clearly it’s hard not to be jealous and to just think sometimes wow maybe if I cared a lot less, and made less effort, and just said f*** it like he claims he did and slacked off more I’d be more successful. On the other hand, it’s important to recall that he hit it big before social media. These days it seems you can only get a book deal if you have enough twitter or blog followers, which is sad. Maybe the reason he doesn’t talk more about it is precisely because there wasn’t much struggle and dues paying for him a writer.

    PS You mentioned liking to see him interact with books more than watching him eat. As a vegetarian I hate watching him eat, and I could go into a whole epistle about my issues with his almost tourrettes-like obession with us that makes no sense to me. But, for now I’ll stick to the writing and hope your readers might have additional info.

  382. catsworking says:

    Anna, you and I seem to be kindred spirits. Like you, I make my living writing corporate marketing stuff and copywriting that doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.

    I’ve got at least 5-6 book-length manuscripts rotting in the closet. Had a near-miss at publishing one of the novels, but the publisher dithered for 2 years, then went belly-up. By that time I’d moved on and felt I could do better, so I just let the book die. You probably know that feeling.

    I started this blog to grow a following for my work, but after 5(?) years and 860+ posts, I’ve garnered a whopping 106 regular readers (the cats doubled that on Twitter YEARS sooner), despite what the drive-by assassins claim about my selling out to Bourdain. The Internet is a tough room, and this new requirement for writers to be a “presence” online is bullshit. It’s easy to spend so much time spewing out freebies trying to get noticed, you don’t get any “real” writing done. (One reason, in addition to general burnout from my day job, why my current book projects languish.)

    Tony clearly feels most comfortable surrounding himself with people in the foodie world, but I think he sells himself short. I’ve always said when his days of roaming the world are over, he’ll have his writing to fall back on.

    What frosted my cookies in the “breaks” department was when Bourdain offered a book deal under his new publishing imprint to Marilyn Hagerty, based on her pedestrian review of a freaking Olive Garden in North Dakota. Her simple, straightforward innocence in liking a chain restaurant made all the snobby foodies hang their heads in shame, so Bourdain treats the world to a whole volume of Hagerty’s old reviews about nondescript restaurant food from the middle of nowhere. Talk about a lucky break! (And I predict that his name will appear more prominently on the cover than hers will to keep it from getting quickly remaindered to Dollar Tree.)

  383. anna says:

    I’m glad to hear you say that about blogging and the dearth of readers because everyone keeps telling me I should blog, but my response is always the same: the fear that no one would read it is just too great, and I wouldn’t want to waste my time and talent playing to crickets. But then I think of all the jerks who got book deals based on their blogs, so I’m torn. I absolutely loathe twitter, and I really have no desire to take on a full-time job of trying to get followers to my blog, something I wouldnt have the slightest idea how to do anyway.

    “this new requirement for writers to be a “presence” online is bullshit” I couldn’t agree more. I remember some gen Y’er I worked with a while ago (I’m a gen x-er) telling me, when I said I’d like to get published in some woman’s magazines, ‘why!? why don’t you just blog then you can write whatever you want’. It seemed totally lost on him that getting published is a whole other deal – a validation. You are chosen, whereas any jackass can blog. And if the most talented bloggers were the ones getting book deals…but they aren’t always.

    Bourdain giving that Olive Garden lady a book deal was insane. I honestly felt like he was making a mockery of having an imprint – like it’s a charity he’s running, or something. I dont know how many books have come out under his imprint but I’d be curious how well they sell. Why do I feel a kickboxing book by Ottavia will be coming soon? There’s a lot of hypocrisy in Tony, though. He’s a foodie but he admits to loving Popeyes; he rags on Paula Deen for her unhealthy food but he eats ‘healthy’ in maybe 1% of his shows (and encourages his viewers to follow suit); he rags on vegetarians but has admitted he ‘avoids situations’ where he might be offered dog or cat meat; and he talks about how awful it is that Americans wont travel or expand their food horizons, but then rewards this middle America lady for her narrow horizon-ed love of chain food. Oh and then there’s his new contest show/Top Chef ripoff lol. After trashing food network and everyone on it, he teams up with Nigella Lawson with a ‘me-too’ program. ugh

    On the plus side, I am looking forward to his CNN show. I just hope it’s not that different from No Rez.

    The only caveat I’d add toy our saying that corporate writing doesn’t amount to a hill of beans – it has allowed me freedom, allowed me to work less than my friends and it definitely pays well. I take 2 trips out of the country a year and its great telling people when I’ll be on vacation versus asking. I worked on a project last fall literally from my laptop on a beach. So at least there’s that. 😉 I did a book proposal and sent it off to about 30 agents, but gave up after they all said no (though some rejections were encouraging). I know that was a dumb thing to do; that you have to keep trying, but the rejection is just such a huge hurdle for me. Thus it pisses me off that Bourdain didn’t experience that (well, his first 2 novels were rejected by readers, but still).

  384. catsworking says:

    anna, you really seem to have the guy pegged. But in fairness, he never tries to pass himself off as a role model.

    Given the glacial pace of conventional publishing, I’m not sure if any of the books under Tony’s imprint have hit the shelves yet, but from what I’ve seen, he hasn’t selected a title yet that I’d want to read.

    Back in 2008, he edited a book called The Best American Travel Writing, hand-picking what he considered the best articles/essays. I was unable to slog through it. It’s been a while now, but I think it was an over-emphasis on Asia that drove me away.

    Yes, you are totally right about the freelance life. That’s why I live without paid benefits or employer-subsidized healthcare. I like being able to make a dentist appointment or plan a vacation without having to ask permission first. AND never have to sit through a performance review or pointless meetings.

  385. J Black says:

    I too have fallen for La Bourdain in vain. I was hooked by The Layover and then went onto to rent ALL of the No Reservations series on dvd from the library. Oh, to be a time traveler and have run into him before Ottavia. And of course to be 10 – 15 years younger with a different body… C’est la vie. The sex marinates in the mind before it ever happens anyways, so I just let it marinate. It does spoil things for me a little that he is married with a child. But, as the fantasy is wholly in my mind, I can edit that bit of knowledge conveniently out. I’m happy for him. He is young at heart, and obviously in many respects he is still a boy, so as long as he does right by his daughter and looks after his family there is nothing to say. Everyone is entitled to start again. He’s a very good host. He does his schtick but leaves room for the viewer to feel and experience things vicariously without getting in the way like so many other hosts do. His irreverent humour is the thing I love the best as well as all the amazing places he takes us – like one of his invisible crew members. The episodes with Bazzir? are hilarious and we get to squirm with him at Bazzir’s antics. The production values are truly outstanding and he’s so fucking funny. I love that he speaks his mind but isn’t so full of himself like so many other ‘tv personalities’ that you just know are total assholes when the cameras are off. He can be an asshole to his crew at times, but then if that’s as cantankerous as he gets, I’d say that’s nothing. Traveling is hard work, even when you’re paid to do it. The place I’d most like to go to that he’s shown me is the little huts on the lake with the pancake boat. Most excellent. I can hear that lovely sound of the bamboo sounds as I write this. He’s been a virtual guide for me to see places that I’ll never get to see. He’s encouraged me to open my mind about new foods and to have a kinder way to look at immigrants and immigration in general. For a bad-ass his message is as ‘hippy’ as you can get: keeping an open mind, living in harmony and peace with love and respect for each other and our distinct customs and cultures (except for vegetarians:)-! Love ur blog. Thank you for feeding my addiction to all things Bourdain.

  386. catsworking says:

    Welcome, J! Your comment certainly wasn’t the usual thing I get now on that old post.

    I think most of my readers who go back to the day when I was writing regularly about Bourdain when nobody else was will agree with just about everything you said.

    Although I’ve gotten burned out on watching Tony eat, I will say that he has altered my perspective on travel and cooking in many ways, and more profoundly than anyone else I can think of. And that’s why I still keep an eye peeled on what he’s doing.

    You sound like me when I first discovered him. I started trying to watch every episode of No Res, and soon after was buying all his books. Once you get hooked, the thirst is insatiable.

    I’ve since had the pleasure of meeting Tony and the lovely Ottavia, and I don’t feel as if our devotion is misplaced. They are good people who enjoy each other and the life he’s been fortunate enough to find. And he seems to be a total and willing slave to his daughter, who will be 6 in just a few weeks.

  387. adele says:

    Karen and J. I just flipped to this to see who was commenting about Ottavia, and I also identified with the first time I saw AB — surprisingly it was on a PBS special about Typhoid Mary Mallon. But even on that, his unique personality shone through. His travel shows always make me think about a Kenneth Patchen picture poem, which is footsteps leading up to a box, with the legend, “The impatient explorer invents a box in which all journeys may be kept.” I’ll never get to travel as much as I want, but No Res and hopefully Parts Unknown have created that travel box for me.And I’ve met Tony, too, and I have to say he was charming and surprisingly self effacing.

    Karen, I just noticed the January conversation between you and Anna. The one thing I recall is that his mother was a long-time copy editor for the New York Times, and I believe she may have given him a few hints early in his writing career. The first book with the AB imprint is or is about to come out, and it’s about barbecue.

  388. catsworking says:

    Adele, I’m betting Tony had some really good English teachers in high school, and that’s where most of his proficiency came from. I was in NJ for half of 9th and 10th grades, and my English teachers were the best I had. That continued when I finished high school in Massachusetts. If not for the crop of teachers I had there who pounded the mechanics into me, I doubt I’d have become a writer.

    Having lived in the South for 4 decades and seen many, many examples of the writing the schools produce (they actually allowed kids to OPT OUT of English in high school — which was never an option where I went. If you fulfilled all your requirements early, you still had to show up senior year to take English), I believe they are missing the boat in teaching English.

    I’m not saying Northern schools are better — they just seem to place a LOT more emphasis (or they did, I can’t speak for today) on proficiency in written English.

  389. Sascha says:

    Hi, Karen. I stumbled upon your blog while googling AB’s 2nd wife. Yes, I hang my head in shame–I have a borderline-OC curiosity about that unlikely match-up. I’m still reeling from the disbelief that the marital relationship is still going strong at almost 5 yrs. But then what do I know? And I before I got sucked into that AB-vortex, let me say I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and admire the way you hold your own in the face of drive-by poopsters.

    I, too, am a struggling writer. Although (at the risk of sounding arrogant) I’ve been published in women’s magazines and newspapers but the holy grail–getting my own book–remains very elusive. I can understand the ‘logic’ behind your assessment that you have to have a substantial online presence before publishers will print your book. Still I rail against this, with both fists raised. I hate tweeting and I don’t blog. How in the hell can a writer get any real work done if he’s always on the social media??

  390. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Sascha! And thank you for not being a “drive-by poopster.” When I saw a new comment on that old Ottavia post, my reaction was, “Oh, great, another one…”

    Yes, the Bourdains recently celebrated their 6th wedding anniversary and seem to be very happy. Ottavia has found an all-consuming niche in MMA which keeps her from sitting around wondering what he’s up to, so that’s probably helped a lot. His career continues to be on the upswing (unless there really is a second season of that dreadful ABC cooking competition, The Taste). And now their daughter is old enough to be really interesting, so he’s sitting pretty.

    Congrats on breaking into the women’s magazine market. That’s a tough one. And I’m totally with you on the unfairness of the “online presence” requirement for authors these days. We’re giving away all this work for free because we’re supposed to grow our own fan base, even as it takes away from the time we could be writing work that pays. It’s become a total catch-22.

    The other day I saw a news story that teenagers are becoming disenchanted with Facebook and I howled with joy. The sooner that stinking time-suck falls into ill repute, the better. I blog, the cats tweet, but we call refuse to use Facebook.

  391. Sascha says:

    Thanks, Karen. It was a stroke of luck 😉 I agree with the FB thing, but the cat videos…those are the ones that suck up my time a lot!

  392. Bridget says:

    If old men with money don’t care that someone is with them not because they care for them, but because they have money, so be it. As much as I like anthony bordains shows I am not surprised he’s with someone over 20 years younger than him. I’ve thought many times while watching his shows that he wasn’t a very evolved person. He’s just a baby in the soul category, so this sort of thing is to be expected by men in his category. Believe me, I KNOW there are a lot of men in this category. Women are by far the more enlightened of the two sexes, so naturally, we will always get the short end of the stick in relationships no matter what age. Just as an end note Anthony in my opinion is nothing to fantasize over. Even if I were his age I’d give a big hell no! The perks of money are not worth it. 🙂

  393. catsworking says:

    Welcome, Bridget! Since you don’t seem to have a very high opinion of Bourdain, I’m wondering what led you to this very old, catty post of mine. Some time after I wrote it, I got to spend about 3 hours one-on-one with Ottavia at an event Bourdain was up on stage hosting. She was about 28 at the time and just laughed off my misconceptions about her. I think the Bourdains were still newlyweds then, and Ariane was a baby. Ottavia turned out to be so smart, well-grounded, and gracious, she made me wish I had a daughter like her. If you keep digging around, you’ll find posts about that whole amazing meeting in the archives. I was accompanied by several other Cats Working readers who can vouch for my veracity.

    For anyone who thought Tony and Ottavia wouldn’t last, time has proven them wrong. She’s turned out to be just what he needed, giving him a solid home base, a loving Italian extended family, a daughter who, by all accounts, is fearless and adventurous like her parents, and inspiring him to take up jiu-jitsu, which appears to have gotten him into the best physical shape of his life, just as he turns 60 next month.

    In the beginning, I too was shocked that Bourdain veered so young with his second wife, but it’s turned out to be one of the best decisions he’s ever made, and I count myself as among Ottavia’s biggest fans.

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