One of our favourite boys has passed away… The rock star in the kitchen, who has made invaluable contributions to changing the world’s attitude towards food and the beautiful. He will be greatly missed… His rebellious spirit, at times even frightening, his endless stories and his restless adventurous character, always ready for new journeys. He begins his career in his early twenties and for nearly 30 years he is the head chef in the iconic Brasserie Les Halles in New York City. Forbes Magazine defines him as one of the richest chefs in the world and with this comes great envy. Some describe him as rude, unpleasant and even incompetent. He is often a part of scandals involving alcohol and drugs. And he seems to have a particular self-destructive affinity…
In defiance of everybody and everything, Anthony Bourdain became one of the most widely read writers and TV presenters. Millions of fans of good food literally adored him…
Born in 1956, he goes to Vassar College and graduates from the world-famous Culinary Institute of America (CIA). He has worked for a host of restaurants including Supper Club, One Fifth Avenue and Sullivan’s among many others. He spends years in the kitchen before writing his article “Don’t Eat Before Reading This”, which was published in The New Yorker. It becomes an instant success and the favourite of many readers and it is the reason for the appearance of his autobiographical novel Kitchen Confidential. We had the pleasure of watching Bradley Cooper in the role of Anthony… A Cook’s Tour, on the other hand, is an amazing story in 22 episodes, starring Bourdain, about his infinitely thrilling experiences around the world. It is also a little-known fact that Bourdain has two criminal novels published – Bone in the Throat and Gone Bamboo, published respectively in 1995 and 1997.
Should the truth be told, however, whatever we write or say about him, it won’t be enough. For a bohemian with two marriages and drug problems, words are useless. Perhaps it would be much better to treat ourselves and someone we love to some delicious food. After all, “What nicer thing can you do for somebody than make them breakfast?”
We are going to remember him with some of his most memorable quotes. Accompanied by a drink and something cooked with a lot of passion… Such a going-away party would suit him!
“I am the worst person that you could expect a message from. I am a bad role model…”
“Don’t lie about it. You made a mistake. Admit it and move on. Just don’t do it again. Ever.”
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”
“You learn a lot about someone when you share a meal together.”
“We know, for instance, that there is a direct, inverse relationship between frequency of family meals and social problems. Bluntly stated, members of families who eat together regularly are statistically less likely to stick up liquor stores, blow up meth labs, give birth to crack babies, commit suicide, or make donkey porn. If Little Timmy had just had more meatloaf, he might not have grown up to fill chest freezers with Cub Scout parts.”
“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.”
Text: Thea Nikolaeva