Like he did for so many others, Anthony Bourdain spurred my love of food and travel. He was funny and sarcastic and always seemed slightly put out. I loved that about him. He was rough around the edges and sophisticated all at the same time.
He first came on my radar with his book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. I became an avid fan of the Travel Channel’s programs Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations and The Layover. In 2013, when he started hosting Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, I followed him to CNN.
Anthony inspired us to seek adventure and expand our horizons. He said in Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly, “Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico, and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald’s? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.” I admired the exuberance in which he approached travel, cuisine and the world at large.
I also admired his love for writing. Besides a traveler, adventurer, culinary expert, and blogger, Bourdain wrote a number of essays and articles for The New Yorker, The New York Times and other newspapers and periodicals. He even wrote a few books including two culinary mysteries, Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo, as well as the hypothetical historical investigation, Typhoid Mary: An Urban Historical. Some might even be interested to know that in 2012, Bourdain co-wrote the original graphic novel Get Jiro! for DC Comics/Vertigo.
Sure Bourdain was tall (6’4″), dark (okay, salt and peppered) and handsome (in a rugged way) but he was also just a regular guy. Sometimes he threw shade at the things he didn’t really care about or rolled his eyes at political correctness. He was real.. and raw. And like all of us, had his own demons to fight.
While Anthony Bourdain will be greatly missed, he leaves behind the legacy of a well-worn passport and his spirit of adventure. He once said, “As you move through this life and this world, you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”
Safe travels Tony and Bon Appétit wherever you are.
Monday’s blog will honor Anthony Bourdain’s sense of culinary adventure.