On Friday, June 8, world-renowned chef and host of “Parts Unknown” Anthony Bourdain was found dead in a hotel room in France.
The 61-year-old celebrity reportedly died from an apparent suicide.
Bourdain, who seemingly had a wonderful, fulfilling life, has been uncommonly open about mental illness, his struggles with addiction, and the challenges of dealing with depression while being a leader in the food industry. For many, Bourdain was a glimpse at what a dream job and life could entail. Traveling, eating, and making people around the world feel like their culture is meaningful, without demeaning or belittling their way of life.
Anthony Bourdain had my dream job. You can be living everyone else’s dream and be in total anguish. Check in with your people, even those who are outwardly doing well or seemingly in their prime. You. Never. Know.
Anthony Bourdain’s rise in the chef community was profound and a true example of the American dream. A 1978 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Bourdain found his love of cooking on a trip to France.
After rising the ranks in New York City kitchens, Bourdain spent many years as executive chef at Brasserie Les Halles. His 2000 book “Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly” was his first big step making a name for himself in the industry. From there, a series of books and travel-food hybrid shows followed, including “A Cook’s Tour” and perhaps his most well-known work, “Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.”
Bourdain grew in popularity not only because of an unparalleled work ethic and a particular, distinctive food taste but also for his ability to explore other nations far different from our own in an ethical and understanding way.Using food as a bridge, Bourdain looked for the ways humans could connect and amplified that message.
Anthony Bourdain on humanity:
“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.” RIP
Bourdain’s death is a shock to the world and I’m not afraid to admit it hit me especially hard. In a particularly challenging 12 months of life, Bourdain’s show, his charisma, and his writing brought a level of joy and inspiration that’s helped me get through some tough days.
Bourdain brought global culture and cuisine to the living rooms of people around the world.
Bourdain’s love of exploring the world showed in every aspect of his life and work. Bourdain’s ability to bring countries like Italy, Vietnam, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and so many others to the dinner table with admiration and praise was a characteristic he mastered. It made our world better, more understanding, and less divided, and his impact will have lasting effects in an ever-changing society.