I found myself absolutely heartbroken with the news of the death of Anthony Bourdain. I’m sure a lot of people feel this way, but it was like he was a part of the family. Watching his shows and listening to his commentary on food, life, travel and adventure has always inspired me and I’ve loved being along for the ride.
We share a mutual belief that travelling, exploring, and enjoying food is truly the spice of life, and leads to greater empathy and deeper understanding of the world and humanity.
Upon the news of his death, all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and watch everything of his I could.
For once I wasn’t just craving to live vicariously through him, but rather to go back to a time when he was still here and felt like he always would be.
In his honor, here are some of my favorite things he has said:
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.
Good food is very often, even most often, simple food.
There’s something wonderful about drinking in the afternoon. A not-too-cold pint, absolutely alone at the bar — even in this fake-ass Irish pub.
Eat adventurously around a child. Let them find their way to the food.
Meals make the society, hold the fabric together in lots of ways that were charming and interesting and intoxicating to me. The perfect meal, or the best meals, occur in a context that frequently has very little to do with the food itself.
Assume the worst. About everybody. But don’t let this poisoned outlook affect your job performance. Let it all roll off your back. Ignore it. Be amused by what you see and suspect. Just because someone you work with is a miserable, treacherous, self-serving, capricious and corrupt asshole shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying their company, working with them or finding them entertaining.
Oh yes, there’s lots of great food in America. But the fast food is about as destructive and evil as it gets. It celebrates a mentality of sloth, convenience, and a cheerful embrace of food we know is hurting us.
But I do think the idea that basic cooking skills are a virtue, that the ability to feed yourself and a few others with proficiency should be taught to every young man and woman as a fundamental skill, should become as vital to growing up as learning to wipe one’s own ass, cross the street by oneself, or be trusted with money.
That without experimentation, a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, moribund.
Anthony Bourdain, I miss you already.