Forget Bamboo – Bourdain’s Gone ITALIAN

By Karen

I’ve been hoping Anthony Bourdain would settle down in North America once he gets Vietnam out of his system, but it’s not to be, according to remarks Bourdain made this week in Kansas City.

Blogger Owen Morris quoted Tony as saying, after he lives in Vietnam for a year…

“I will be an Italian citizen. I will because I am married to an Italian. Healthcare is a concern to me and my child’s healthcare is a concern to me and it’s free in Italy. Education is free in Italy and you can actually buy a really nice house there and I could never afford to be in a place in New York. Honestly, I’ve been kicking the idea around depending on how things go. Having the grandparents nearby – my daughter loves them and they’re very hands-on. Having grandparents in Italy is a whole different variety. You’re talking 24 hour day care there. Constantly engaging the child and feeding them good food.”

So now we know how he got Ottavia to agree to spend a year in Vietnam.

Bourdain’s desire for the freebies enjoyed by Italians made perfect sense after what he had to say about the recent Forbes list that ranked him the 10th highest-paid celebrity chef…

“That was really fucked. I am really unhappy about that. I don’t make anywhere near that money. The IRS will be extremely confused by seeing this or intrigued, dangerously so I think, when I accurately report my income for the year as being nowhere near that number. My ex-wife will certainly be intrigued and at the end of the day, I’m just not making that kind of bread. And what’s worse, they called and asked. I said I don’t want any part of it and I’m certainly not providing you with numbers, and they went ahead and guestimated. I have a really hard time believing Mario Batali only brings $3 million per year. It’s in no way been good for me.”

Read more on Bourdain’s appearance, with candid photos, at Morris’s excellent blog, Fat City.

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9 Responses to Forget Bamboo – Bourdain’s Gone ITALIAN

  1. Adele says:

    Once again, excellent Bourdain sleuthing. As one of the folks, who responded to the Fat City blog said, the option of moving to Italy sounds good, with the possibility of the election of McPalin. I expect Tony would have dual citizenship, and though I like the thought of his always being a New Yorker, having nearby grandparents (who may not be much older than Tony), is a real plus. So little Ariane will be bilingual and know a smattering of Vietnamese. Not a bad life . . .

  2. Adele says:

    Oh yeah, the salary thing . . . I know chefs are notoriously underpaid for what is a very difficult job, but I would have thought the Travel Channel paid fairly well. Now I understand why Tony is always out flogging his books and giving lectures. On the other hand, even 1/10 of Tony’s reported $1.5 million sounds good to me, but then, I’m a social worker — talk about low pay.

  3. catsworking says:

    I didn’t want to assign a political party to Bourdain without hearing it from him personally, but after comments he made about Bush while he was stuck in Beirut in 2006, and the reasons he’s citing for living in Italy, I’m thinking he must lean Democratic.

    My sister, who just returned from living in Scotland (which was partly a reaction to Bush’s second term), said she thinks Italy offers citizenship to people who own land there, so he could become eligible if he buys a house. In his line of work, having an EU passport wouldn’t be a bad thing.

    It also occurred to me that his in-laws may be his age. It sounds like they’re accepting the whole May-December thing with their daughter, so he may live happily ever after in the bosom of a close, loving family. And I think Ariane is on track to become a truly amazing little girl, worldly far beyond her years.

    Does make you wonder about Tony’s own family, though… He’ll be leaving his brother and mother behind.

  4. MorganLF says:

    He won’t leave the North East. He may get asecond home in Italy (my personal dream) but he will always be a Jersey Boy. He did once say he always regretted not being Italian. He must be making some coin. Books, lectures (one of which I am attending in 2 weeks) and TV. If its not 1.5 it’s got to be high 6 figures. To me that’s major “f” you dough. He probably is the age of Octtavia’s parents but in Italy that’s no big deal. Wonder what he thinks about Palin and Mooseburagears and guns? If I get a chance I’ll ask.

  5. catsworking says:

    Morgan, his comment, “I’ve been kicking the idea around depending on how things go,” may be an allusion to the upcoming election. Healthcare is apparently a big issue for him, especially now with a daughter. If we manage to get some reform that makes it more affordable, then I agree with you that Italy may become his second home.

    But I bet there was some serious negotiations between him and Ottavia over the whole “year in Vietnam” deal and he’s committed to spending some extended quality time in Italy in exchange.

    I agree that he’s probably pulling down a healthy six figures, but he’s living in one of the world’s most expensive cities with wife who doesn’t work outside the home. I wonder how he and Nancy survived there on what he was making as a chef (and whatever income she had).

  6. clarisse says:

    hmmmm….. whatever happened to: “anthony bourdain lives– and will always live– in new york”? guess it’s going the way of the first wife…..

  7. catsworking says:

    Clarisse, maybe it’s BECAUSE of the first wife he’s leaving. Maybe New York is no longer big enough for the both of them – and his new family.

  8. clarisse says:

    perhaps. but nyc is a pretty large city….

  9. catsworking says:

    You’re right. I was just reading that Sarah Palin is discovering the same thing for herself while she visits, amazed that there are so many things to DO there – except maybe shoot moose.

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