In an auction held last month to sell a collection of personnel possessions of Anthony Bourdain, the respected and well-regarded American celebrity chef, author, and travel documentarian who starred in programs focusing on the exploration of international culture, cuisine, and the human condition, raised overwhelming amounts for a new scholarship at the Culinary Institute of America created in the beloved chef’s name earlier this year. Anthony Bourdain’s Chef’s Knife snagged the highest bid of them all. The scholarship is a result of the collaborative effort made by the Culinary Institute and Bourdain’s friends Eric Ripert and José
Food is an essential thing in our lives regardless of age, gender, skin color, race, creed, etc. Food is to celebrate, mourn, share and preserve the culture and play a major role in connecting people belonging to different cultures and countries together. Thus, a personality involved connecting people of different countries through food can be considered as an ambassador. One such great culinary expert of the 21st century was none other than the late chef, Anthony Bourdain.
The late chef’s personal belongings were auctioned under the name of “Property from the collection of Anthony Bourdain” last month and were able to earn ––nearly $2 million in sales––showing the world what an immense pop culture icon he was.
This auction was conducted by online auction house iGavel Auctions in association with Lark Mason Associates. The Anthony Bourdain collection consisted of 202 items bid on by more than 3,000 people who were fanatical to own something connected to this food personality. A considerable portion of the resulting $1,846, 575 raised, will be donated to a new scholarship fund for students at The Culinary Institute of America, Bourdain’s alma mater.
The auction included a varied selection of the items he possessed and treasured throughout his life, ranging from artwork to Buddhist iconography. Most of these collectibles reflected his wide-reaching travels for both pleasure and creating his much-admired TV shows No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Laurie Woolever, Bourdain’s longtime assistant, and biographer told CBS, “Anything that sort of made it to the home collection was something that had a real, personal significance to him.”
Recognized for his signature rugged yet sophisticated style, Bourdain’s clothing side shone through with a well-curated batch of timepieces crafted by respected makers Rolex and Patek Philippe. In the same vein, his U.S. Navy jacket customized with a ‘Tony Bourdain’ patch sold for $171, 250, making it the second-highest sale item of the auction. Without any doubt, the most significant item relates to food.
Being the collection of a chef and an unrestrained foodie, the highest bidding item was Bourdain’s custom chef’s knife, something Woolever predicted would happen before the auction went live. Crafted by one of the greatest smiths in America, knifemaker Bob Kramer, the custom knife is forged from a blend of steel and meteorite with a polished wood handle. Bourdain purchased the knife from Kramer in 2016 for $5,000, but it managed to fetch $231,250 more than 45 times of the original purchasing price.