Food is one of the very few things that binds humanity across borders and without prejudice—a slice of worldly wisdom the late Anthony Bourdain seemed to know best.
Anthony Bourdain connected people, places, and food, and the passing of this fearless hero has left the world heartbroken today.
He was a compassionate storyteller, an exceptional writer, and a globetrotter with an ocean of curiosity for people and the food they like to cook, eat, and enjoy.
In Anthony's stories, 'otherness' was not bad, and the dining table was the best place to understand and appreciate the world around him.
“Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer.” This is how I’ll remember Tony. He taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him. pic.twitter.com/orEXIaEMZM— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 8, 2018
The vivacious silver-haired chef was propelled into the limelight when he penned 'Don't Eat Before Reading This' for The New Yorker in 1999. He wrote about real food and being a chef in the frenzied kitchens of New York with such honesty and dynamism, he landed a book deal and the magazine exposé turned into his hugely successful biography, Kitchen Confidential.
From there he partnered with The Food Network and married up two of his greatest passions—travel and food—in a collection of TV shows the world loved to watch: A Cook's Tour, No Reservations, and Parts Unkown, to name just a few.
In his worldly food journeys, he was championed for never dumbing things down, his pull-no-punches style, and his ability to really get to the heart of a place and the people that lived there.
Stunned and saddened by the loss of Anthony Bourdain. He brought the world into our homes and inspired so many people to explore cultures and cities through their food. Remember that help is a phone call away US:1-800-273-TALK UK: 116 123— Gordon Ramsay (@GordonRamsay) June 8, 2018
He inspired a new generation of chefs to cultivate an honest, respectful approach to cooking—from a dish's patterned heritage to the scraps left over at the end of a meal. Anthony was one of the chefs featured in Wasted!, a documentary released in 2017 about the staggering global problem with food wastage.
I have to say I’m in total shock to hear that the amazing @Bourdain has just died ?? he really broke the mould, pushed the culinary conversation, Rest in peace chef ???? ?? thoughts and love to all his family and close friends xxxxxxxxxxx pic.twitter.com/HB7sV7CeRH— Jamie Oliver (@jamieoliver) June 8, 2018
Most recently, Anthony was a stern supporter of #MeToo—a movement he felt was so relevant to the kitchens he grew up in and for the many young women entering the professional world of food.
Writing for Medium in 2017, he said, "I stand unhesitatingly and unwaveringly with the women. Not out of virtue, or integrity, or high moral outrage—as much as I'd like to say so—but because late in life, I met one extraordinary woman with a particularly awful story to tell, who introduced me to other extraordinary women with equally awful stories."
Tony. Thank you for traveling all over the world. Showing us new things, introducing countless Americans whom otherwise would not have such access to the crazy planet we call home. You 1000% made the world a better place . But today I thank you most for your support of women. For engaging in the conversation with me about what’s next after #metoo in the kitchen. I’m so saddened today by this loss. Please know that you left a enormously valuable, indelible mark on our whole culture, and we will keep having these conversations without you, and BECAUSE of you. My heart goes out to all the people who you let close to your heart, because today - they are left with a hole i cannot begin to fathom. We love you Tony
The world eats differently because of Anthony Bourdain—with more compassion, more empathy, and more enthusiasm for the plates and people we encounter.