Celebrity chef, best-selling author, TV icon, travel expert, entrepreneur. Most of us can only dream of claiming one of these titles, but the late great Anthony Bourdain had them all.
Tragically, Bourdain passed away on June 8, 2018, in an apparent suicide while filming his Primetime Emmy award-winning travel programme Parts Unknown in France. But his legacy still lives among us.
For those who are interested to have a glimpse into Bourdain’s celebrated life, you can now get up close and personal with some of his prized possessions housed in Marco Pierre White’s acclaimed restaurant—The English House. The ware on display are collectibles that Bourdain amassed during his travels as well as treasured gifts from loved ones.
“Anthony Bourdain was a renegade in the culinary, travel and entertainment worlds, and his experiences led him to amass a truly impressive collection of art – one that represents his eclectic taste, appreciation for discovery and most notably, other cultures,” says Gabriel Fratini, spokesperson and Head Chef for The English House.
“Oftentimes, art collections like this is rarely accessible to the public, where they can be fully appreciated. The English House is honoured to be able to house his collection and preserve it in a way that lives on to inspire future generations,” Fratini continues.
That’s not all. To mark this special occasion, The English House has also launched a menu that highlights the late chef’s life and legacy with a selection of his favourite dishes, such as the ubiquitous Roman pasta dish Cacio e Pepe.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of Bourdain’s personal belongings on display at The English House.
French Silvered Bronze Bibendum Michelin Man Sculpture, c. 1950-1970
The 22-inch tall Michelin Man sculpture was given to Bourdain by one of England’s greatest chefs and dear friend Marco Pierre White. The story goes that White had given the sculpture to Bourdain as a symbol of acknowledgement for his culinary prowess.
Chrome Duck Press, from the Paris episode of The Layover
Fans of Bourdain’s travel programme The Layover must remember how he became enamoured with this chrome duck press while filming the episode. Beyond its intricate design, what drew him to the French culinary tool was the singular purpose it served—designed in the 19th-century for a single dish, canard à la rouennaise, otherwise known as duck in blood sauce.
The chrome duck press is also symbolic of a grander time in gastronomy, and Bourdain recalled his first brushes with French classic dining when shepherded on family travels to France by his parents at the age of 9.
Furthermore, the item is a reminder of the classic French culinary training Bourdain received at the Culinary Institute of America.
(From left) African Carved Wood and Metal Ritual Sculpture, Congo, Bronze Skull and Antler Sculpture, from Marco Pierre White
The African ritual sculpture, known as the Nkisi Nkondi, comes with a copper bracelet from the Portuguese colonial era and was a gift to Bourdain from the Mbole tribal chief during his travel to the Kisangani area along the Congo River.
The skull and antler sculpture was a gift from White. There’s an inscription at the base of the sculpture that reads: “Sandpits Wood Ridge Farm, Broadlands Estate Hampshire, Shot by Marco Pierre White, 29 April 2006.”
Rats in the Kitchen, Ralph Steadman, 2009
The painting by artist Ralph Steadman was given to Bourdain, and it explores the darker droll commentary of kitchen life, a theme not dissimilar to Bourdain’s own experiences, which he famously wrote in his memoir Kitchen Confidential.
For more on Anthony Bourdain’s collection of memorabilia, visit The English House for details.
- Anthony Bourdain
- Bob Kramer
- Cacio e Pepe
- Chrome Duck Press
- Congo River
- Culinary Institute of America
- French Classic Dining
- French cuisine
- Gabriel Fratini
- Kitchen Confidential
- Marco Pierre White
- Michelin Man
- New York
- Parts Unknown
- Ralph Steadman
- The English House
- The Layover