Get a First Look at the Travel Guide Anthony Bourdain Started Writing Before His Death
Anthony Bourdain is still spreading his smart, off-the-beaten-path, impossibly cool (and sometimes cynical) approach to travel over a year after his death.
In a first look at the cover, shared exclusively with PEOPLE, Bourdain is shown sitting outside a Parisian cafe in a sketch by cartoonist Tony Millionaire, who kicks off each chapter with an original illustration.
Because Woolever and Bourdain started working on the guide before Bourdain died by suicide at age 61 on June 8, 2018, much of it is in his own words. Readers will get unfiltered insight into how certain destinations came to be his favorites, plus “essential advice on how to get there, what to eat, where to stay and, in some cases, what to avoid,” according to a press release. Essays and supplemental travel recommendations from Bourdain’s family, friends and colleagues are also included.
“This book will allow Tony’s fans and followers to continue to travel in his footsteps,” said Woolever in the release. “It’s been my honor and pleasure to create a book that includes stories from his loved ones and colleagues. I was lucky to work closely with Tony for nearly a decade, and I’m so pleased to be able to share his reflections and insights about the world, as he saw it, in this guide.”
Woolever also co-wrote Bourdain’s final cookbook, Appetites. Shortly after his death, Woolever, now 45, opened up to CNN about what it was like being the witty chef’s assistant since 2009, and how difficult it was to revisit their unfinished second title together. “It’s been a wrenching, lurching struggle to get back to that manuscript, as I grieve the enormous loss of his kind, profane, surprising and brilliant existence,” she said in the essay. It was Bourdain’s colleagues at Parts Unknown, who finished the final season without their ringleader, who kept her motivated.
“[Bourdain] was 44 years old when Kitchen Confidential was published, its success releasing him from hard toil in restaurant kitchens and into the life of a writer and TV host,” she wrote. “I’m 44 now, too, my mentor and my job gone without warning; I’ve been released through Tony’s untimely death into the life of a full-time writer. It’s an utterly daunting prospect, to stare down this uncertain path without his guidance, but he set me up for success, and I owe it to him to try.”
An insatiable traveler, Bourdain went through about 12 passports in his lifetime, he estimated to PEOPLE, visiting nearly 100 countries in the 250 days per year that he was on the road. He and his tight-knit team sought out indigenous cuisine and the locals who made it — often in the most unconventional places. Skip the touristy spots, he said: “If you spend all that time waiting to get into the Eiffel Tower, you’ve completely wasted a day”; and forget the concierge: “They’re going to send you to the place with the clean bathroom. Some of the best meals I’ve had, you need a hazmat suit to go to the bathroom.”
Though he struggled with loneliness, he loved the work. “I have the best job in the world,” he said. “If I’m not having a good time, it’s a failure of my imagination.”
World Travel: An Irreverent Guide is available for pre-order now, and hits stores Oct. 13.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “STRENGTH” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.