When you think about personal finance and running a business, Anthony Bourdain isn’t the first person that comes to mind. However, the chef/television host/media personality best known for CNN’s Parts Unknown had a circuitous path to fame: He only became a celebrity in his mid-forties after years working in the trenches in back-of-house and as a writer.
Wealthsimple, an online investment service and “robo-advisor,” published a great interview with Anthony Bourdain about the chef’s financial education over the years. It’s well worth the read, and here are Almost Millions‘ biggest takeaways:
Anthony Bourdain, Money & Finances: It’s Okay If Your Parents Don’t Teach You About Money
Bourdain’s parents bought things they couldn’t afford, put him in a private school when they had trouble paying tuition, and spent an inheritance on home repairs and financially struggled afterwards.
In his youthful adventures, Bourdain would travel to New York and party after his summer jobs. At the same time, Bourdain’s parents paid for him to attend culinary school–a decision which would change the trajectory of his career years later.
Anthony Bourdain, Money & Finances: Don’t Quit Your Job And Take Out A Credit Card To Go On Vacation
Before settling down as the longtime chef at Les Halles in Manhattan, Bourdain would go on a pattern of opening a new credit card, quitting his job, and then going on vacation in the Caribbean.
Changing jobs on average once a year, the chef would burn through a credit card and repeat. “I’d find myself either with a fresh credit card, or maybe having somehow paid down the previous one though I don’t remember actually ever doing that,” Bourdain writes. “We’d go to the Caribbean, stay as long as possible, and burn through all the credit on a card.”
Anthony Bourdain, Money & Finances: You Need Health Insurance
Like many chefs and kitchen crew in the pre-Affordable Care Act era (and even today), Bourdain didn’t have health insurance for a long time. Because kitchen employees work in an environment surrounded by fires, knives, slippery floors, and hot pots and pans, injuries occur frequently.
Bourdain notes that the lack of health coverage leads to unintentional and terrifying results. When working at the Rainbow Room, a restaurant in New York, employees went to a union clinic where set amounts of money were paid for different kinds of injuries. One worker who caught their finger in an oven door ended up yanking the tip off because there was more money in a partial amputation.
Anthony Bourdain, Money & Finances: Other Resources
Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook: Strategies, Recipes, and Techniques of Classic Bistro Cooking (Amazon)
[Image Via CNN]