What can we say about Anthony Bourdain, who came to this world on June 25, 1956, and tragically departed it on June 8, 2018?
He was, but for those of us who loved him he will forever remain, a daring chef, a highly-original writer, a TV star exploring some of the most interesting and, at the same time, least known culinary destinations, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner, and, above all, a true New Yorker!
Married and divorced twice, Bourdain fathered one child – his daughter, Ariane. Unfortunately, he also had his dark side. Anthony was known to be a heavy smoker, and he also had a long history of drug abuse. His bad romance with controlled substances started in his teens and spanned cocaine, heroin, and LSD.
The news of his death reverberated waves of shock and bewilderment across the world. Even his own mother, Gladys Bourdain, who supposedly knew him better than anybody else in this world, was totally dumbfounded at the news of his death. In an interview with The New York Times, she was quoted as saying: “He is absolutely the last person in the world I would have ever dreamed would do something like this!”
Bourdain’s long-time friend and fellow chef, Andrew Zimmern, was also deeply shocked by the news of his sudden and unexpected death.
In a phone interview with EATER he said: “We lost, in my opinion, one of the greatest social commentators and brilliant minds of my generation”, adding later on “I think Tony’s legacy is immeasurable. He was a brilliant social commentator and he was inspiring and awakening an audience that had not previously been interested in it.”
Shocking as the news of his death was, some people saw the reasons for his tragic decision to take his own life as rooted in his sudden rise to fame which he literary did not have time to digest. Commenting on Tony’s death before MASHED, one of his fixers said: “The whole experience was like a goose being made into foie gras. Tony had no time to digest anything…”
Anthony Bourdain’s long-time friend, journalist Rose McGowan, said that Tony just lost his battle with depression, adding that he had sought professional help, but still ignored the specialist’s advice.
He probably did so, because he was part of the “pull up your bootstraps and march on” generation, living with the conviction that strong men don’t ask for help.
Anthony Bourdain’s self-help strategy that did not work included keeping himself on an extremely tight schedule. That way he’d been trying to block off his negative emotions and potentially self-destructing feelings but, in the end, they caught up with him.
Devastating as Tony’s loss is, all of us who loved and admired him can find consolation in his legacy, including iconic titles such as Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (2000), A Cook’s Tour: In Search of the Perfect Meal (2001), and Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook (2004).
The eleven quotes that you are going to read below show that notwithstanding his decision to depart this world early, Anthony Bourdain was deeply infatuated with life!
1.Open your mind, get up off the couch, move. – Anthony Bourdain
2. Good food is very often, even most often, simple food. – Anthony Bourdain
3. Travel changes you. As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life – and travel – leaves marks on you. – Anthony Bourdain
4. Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride. – Anthony Bourdain
5. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind. – Anthony Bourdain
6. Things got broken. Things got lost. But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. – Anthony Bourdain
7. Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don’t have. – Anthony Bourdain
8. I don’t have to agree with you to like you or respect you. – Anthony Bourdain
9. The journey is part of the experience – an expression of the seriousness of one’s intent. One doesn’t take the A train to Mecca. – Anthony Bourdain
10. If you’re 22, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. – Anthony Bourdain
11. Don’t lie about it. You made a mistake. Admit it and move on. Just don’t do it again. Ever. – Anthony Bourdain