Anthony Bourdain, the cultural commentator, chef, and TV host who died last week, is at the top of the best-seller list once again. Over the weekend, bookstores across the country ran out of copies of Kitchen Confidential, the author’s landmark memoir that gave the world a behind-the-curtain peek into life in restaurant kitchens.
New York City’s Strand bookstore was sold out of copies over the weekend, and on Saturday at McNally Jackson Books in downtown Manhattan, a line of six people asked the front desk for Kitchen Confidential; the shop sold out of its stock on Friday but said 50 more copies were on the way. Powell’s Books in Portland also sold out of the books on its sales floor, but said more were coming in from its warehouse.
The book is No. 1 on Amazon’s best-seller list, as the New York Post first reported, ahead of Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s new novel, The President Is Missing. Bourdain’s 2011 Medium Raw is now in the fourth slot. Kitchen Confidential has been in constant print since it was published in 2000, following a widely acclaimed essay Bourdain wrote and published in the New Yorker in 1999.
Bourdain’s other books are also among the top 20 current best-selling books in Amazon’s Cooking, Food, and Wine category, including his 2016 cookbook Appetites; his 2005 Les Halles Cookbook; and the companion to his first Food Network show A Cook’s Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines, which was published in 2002. Bourdain’s 2013 comic Get Jiro! is the top seller in Amazon’s dystopian graphic novels section. (Sales numbers for all books sold since last Friday have yet to be quantified, according to publishers, but will be available later this week. This post will be updated as information becomes available.)
Meanwhile, signed copies and early editions of Bourdain’s books are fetching high prices on eBay and from archival sellers. A signed copy of a U.K. edition of Kitchen Confidential is going for just under $1,000. A first U.S. edition that was signed by the author has reached $480 on eBay; bidding is ongoing.