Anthony Bourdain, the writer, chef and TV personality who died Friday, first encountered Baltimore during the fall of 1983. He was an outsider charged with leading Gianni’s Italian restaurant in the brand new Harborplace.
Bourdain admitted in “Kitchen Confidential,” released in 2000, that his time in Baltimore was riddled with drugs and debauchery — both in the kitchen and at the house where he stayed with other employees in Otterbein. He didn’t stay long, either, later writing that he couldn’t find good drugs in Baltimore. His impression of the city remained soured by the experience.
But traveling and television seem to have changed his perspective.
During his Hippodrome appearance in 2012, Bourdain credited "The Wire" creator David Simon for his view of Baltimore. Bourdain wrote for “Treme,” the HBO series developed by Simon. "I love Baltimore. I don't love it for the reasons you want me to love Baltimore," he said. "I happen to love Baltimore because David Simon taught me to love Baltimore."