I’ll never forget where I was when I found out Anthony Bourdain had taken his life (Suicide Prevention Lifeline right here). Never in my life has the death of someone I never met, affected me so greatly. These last two years haven’t been the same without him, as many fans on social media are pointing out.
I’ve spoken about this at length on our podcast Whiskey Riff Raff, but Bourdain truly changed my life, and the course of my life through his approach to culture, food, cooking, etc.
As a freshman in college I came to a point where I was planning on dropping out to pursue my passion of cooking. I decided to read Kitchen Confidential while also getting some time in one of Chicago’s most legendary restaurants at the time. All the chefs there pleaded for me to finish school first, so I did.
My passion for food and experiencing cultures through travel only grew with each and every episode of No Reservations or Parts Unknown (like many fans, I have seen every episode multiple times). I have some plans for the future, but I’ll save that for another time…
Bourdain was truly a masterful storyteller. As many are remembering Anthony, there is a common thread – he was a champion for the people and the locals. He was a champion for the immigrants of America who are the lifeblood of the restaurant industry. He cared deeply about equality, and walking in someone else’s shoes.
If I am an advocate for anything, it is to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.”
Since I recently visited Charleston in large part because of Bourdain’s episode, I wanted to share his hilarious, late-night, booze-fueled Waffle House scene with chef Sean Brock. Bourdain proceeded to have his mind blown with his first experience, and it didn’t hurt they came in sauced.