One of our heroes passed away this week. It took us a few days of disbelief and reflection to find our words.
Our memories of Bourdain will include admiring the way he makes exotic food tangible through words, his willingness to try ANYTHING for the entertainment of his viewers (even a fetal duck egg…we may have gagged a little), and observing his knack for building friendships with anyone anywhere over food and beers (or vodka shots…in the spirit of local drinking culture, of course!). Even as an amateur host in the early 2000s, his energy and curiosity was infectious and inspired us to explore, try, travel, ask tough questions of strangers, and live fearlessly.
He celebrated home-cooked meals just as much as food from Michelin-starred restaurants. In a way, he was one of the only celebrity chefs to say “fuck it” to the notion that fine dining could only be found in a French, Japanese, or American restaurant.
What’s perhaps most shocking to us was that we didn’t see this coming – which makes this hit even closer to home. As important as it is to explore food and culture, it is also important to acknowledge the complex human condition. In a world where image and reputation are paramount, it’s okay to feel emotions besides positivity. These complex feelings make life more meaningful, expose important truths, and allow us to connect with each other on deeper levels.
We are reluctant to accept that he is no longer with us. We regret that we never had a chance to enjoy a meal with him. But we are ignited to continue sharing knowledge about little-known or under-appreciated food and culture from around the word. We vow to continue pushing beyond our comfort zones and remember that:
“Your body is not a temple: it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.” – Anthony Bourdain