Exactly a week to the day and I’m still gutted over Anthony Bourdain’s passing. This one, especially, is a tough one to shake. I’ve done a ton of reflecting over the last week and it’s been difficult to put into words what already hasn’t been said about this incredible man - one who I deem as one of my culinary and literary heroes, despite the fact that in writing, he thought I was too old for a professional kitchen and that culinary school is a waste of time and money:http://ruhlman.com/2010/09/so-you-wanna-be-a-chef
We’ll see about that, Chef. I hope to prove you wrong someday.
I guess you could say I’m a bit of a fangirl - having consumed nearly all of Bourdain’s published works and every episode of A Cook’s Tour, No Reservations, The Layover, Parts Unknown - yearning to travel to the same cities and towns to eat where and what Bourdain ate. As soon as I was able to afford international travel, I’d plan trips and outline food itineraries straight from Bourdain’s programs. The best meal I had in Havana was based on an episode of his on Cuba where he raves about a then little-known spot called Santy Pescador. Caroline and I searched for this inconspicuous restaurant in a residential area located 20 minutes outside Havana, feeling a bit like Bourdain ourselves in our culinary quest as we navigated through children playing in the streets and inquired with their mothers, who were busy hanging their freshly washed laundry out to dry, for directions to a restaurant with no signage in a neighborhood with no posted street names or numbers.
To me, Anthony Bourdain was more than just a TV show host and writer – he was the creator of a roadmap to becoming someone who moves through a world of connections and contradictions with grace, curiosity, and respect. At a time when the word “globalist” can feel tinged with elitism and carries with it an almost negative connotation outside coastal cities and urban areas, Bourdain gave a new meaning to it entirely as well as a reason to believe that a more generous, open, and delicious world is not only possible - it’s waiting for us to go out and find it.
Every man or woman who dies can continue to live on within us. Be like Bourdain. Stay hungry, stay foolish.