How Anthony Bourdain Found His On-Screen Voice and Changed Television

In 1999, when “Parts Unknown” executive producers Lydia Tenaglia and Chris Collins first approached Anthony Bourdain about turning his then-yet-to-be written book “A Cook’s Tour” into a television series, the chef-turned-author, with his recent best seller “Kitchen Confidential,” was more than skeptical. He had been a sharp critic of the wave of celebrity chef shows that had become popular staples of cable television.

“I don’t think he was locked on making a TV show even when we went to make ‘A Cook’s Tour,'” said Collins, when he and Tenaglia were guests on IndieWire’s Filmmaker Toolkit Podcast. “I think Tony saw it as an opportunity to double dip. He was getting paid not that much money to make this show; meanwhile, his designs were always on writing. The thought of being the guy in front of the camera yammering away was not his thing.”

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