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Shocking fans all over the world, Anthony Bourdain recently announced his partnership with none other than The Belvenie Single Malt Whisky company.

Known mostly for being a rebellious whistleblower which led to him becoming a media hero when it came to food, an author of “Kitchen Confidential” as well as starring on CNN’s “Parts Unknown” too, Bourdain has stepped away from this previous persona of being anti-commercial and partnered up with the whisky company which came to light at his recent Craft Fair.

Bourdain’s Part in The Recent Artisanal Craft Fair

On Monday, Bourdain showcased his new persona to the world by debuting the Balvenie 2015 Rare Craft Collection in New York City’s Midtown-West neighborhood with his own traveling exhibition to showcase the dedication, hard work and outright pure talent of America’s finest craftspeople.

While there Bourdain didn’t miss a beat, posing for dozens of photos with fans and the craftspeople at the event and kept a professional smile throughout.

The Exhibition

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Bourdain’s traveling exhibition is open to the public until October 8th at Hudson Mercantile, 500 W. 36th Street if you want to go and have a look at some of the amazing work being showcased there.

The event itself is promoting the Balvenie online video series from when Bourdain travelled the breadth of America to meet the craftspeople and artisans. This huge adventure and journey across America has resulted in only the best coming together all under one roof for a short time only and giving everyone a chance to appreciate their skills. The video series is called “Raw Craft” if you want to watch it yourself.

The Whisky

So what made Bourdain change his ways and go from the guy who had never even endorsed a product to someone now not only endorsing and promoting something, but actually partnering up with them too?

At a private Q&A he said “I’ve always said no, but this was a whisky that I drink. It’s actually good. And everyone knows it’s good”. So there you have it, Bourdain the whistleblower now changed forever and a fond drinker and partner of The Belvenie Single Malt Whisky.

So is This Really a Complete Persona Change for Bourdain?

Not really. His promotion and partnership with the Scotch Whisky company (actually a Scotch brand and produced by the family owned William Grant & Sons company) isn’t actually all that commercial as they are well known for their handcrafted expressions and heritage.

The collaboration has been done in a very tasteful manner and it genuinely seems that Bourdain is just a fan of the whisky and the way it’s made. Bourdain said he wasn’t an expert on whisky and “I’m learning. It seems nonsensically old-school, difficult, multi-generational, dedicating themselves to things people don’t even teach anymore. To take these time-consuming, non-modern modes to creating what elsewhere is an industrial product. It seems uncompetitive. It’s not American dammit!”.

However he has obviously taken a keen interest in learning more about the process behind whisky and also visited a distillery and enjoyed a 21 year old Portwood.  So it seems he genuinely is still the same person and making whisky is still a craft, even if it is now done on a much larger commercial scale in our modern day and age.