Dan Halpern about working with Anthony Bourdain

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Anthony Bourdain and Ecco Editor Daniel Halpern.
Photo: Courtesy of Daniel Halpern

Since the publication of the paperback edition of Confidential kitchen In 2000, Anthony Bourdain and Daniel Halpern, the publisher of HarperCollin's Imprint Ecco, spent almost two decades as both colleagues (Ecco published his own Bourdain imprint in 2011) and friends. Ecco will release next month Anthony Bourdain remembers, a photolastic collection of memoirs originally created by CNN for Bourdain's Daughter, now awaiting broad publicity at Halpern's insistence (and with the blessing of the estate of Bourdain). Grub Street talked to Halpern about the project, about their friendship, and about working on the bestsellers in Bourdain.

Can you explain the idea behind the new book for people who are unfamiliar?
Of course many photos. Along with quotes from different people in Tony's life. Little things. But it's really about the photos. CNN did a great job. You've probably seen the Obama photography, right? And the cover picture – that's beautiful – by Tony, who's in Cuba. But they are all good, they are all different. When you look through the book, something strange happens. You think you know what your answer to a book of photographs by Anthony Bourdain will look like. But after you've gone through it, it turns out that this is a very intense and moving experience. I think the reason is obvious: to miss his presence in the world.