A Tribute to Anthony Bourdain

June 10, 2018

I don’t get sad too often. Those who know me probably are used to seeing a smile on my face. But Anthony Bourdain’s death brought me to tears on multiple occasions this weekend. The non-reasoning part of my brain hasn’t totally processed his passing because a lot of me is still reeling from the shock. My disbelief hasn’t entirely dissipated; I don’t want to believe it. From the outpouring of love across all social media, his suicide clearly has affected a great many people and not just other foodies and chefs. For me, like so many others, he represented the friend I wished I had in real life, the kind you could call up at midnight and say, “Let’s go get some food!” And he would go, even if not properly dressed. He was also the uncle you always want to visit because he was so lovely, interesting, and full of great stories. In other words, someone who was as cool as fuck without ever trying.

Long before I began dining seriously, I first learned of Anthony Bourdain when I read “Kitchen Confidential”. Though it was the cover of a tall, nonchalant chef that piqued my interest, Bourdain’s literary prowess was what made me develop a deep man crush on him. His writing was descriptive and bitingly funny, full of acerbic wit, possessed of a certain lyrical quality that made the right words seem to flow effortlessly. Later on, “A Cook’s Tour” inspired me to begin traveling to eat, sometimes with friends but more often with strangers who later became friends. In the process, I finally learned what Bourdain already knew and often discussed. Priceless treasures awaited in distant lands, around different corners and down unfamiliar streets, and usually in new faces and names. To celebrate his life and the profound influence he has had on my culinary adventures is for me to continue doing just that—to travel and travel again, to go far and wide, to partake deeply of as many different cuisines as possible, and fundamentally, to respect the myriad cultures and peoples that make it all possible.

Anthony Bourdain, you will be sorely missed. With much love and gratitude, from the bottom of my heart and stomach, thank you, Chef.

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