Anthony Bourdain has died.
June 8, 2018 4:48 AM   Subscribe

CNN obit. The cause was suicide. He was 61.

[note: If you or someone you know is in crisis or struggling with depression, the MeFi wiki has a There Is Help page listing resources you can reach out to.]

From CNN: ‘Bourdain was a master of his crafts -- first in the kitchen and then in the media. Through his TV shows and books, he explored the human condition and helped audiences think differently about food, travel and themselves. He advocated for marginalized populations and campaigned for safer working conditions.”

From his 2013 Peabody Award citation: "He's irreverent, honest, curious, never condescending, never obsequious... People open up to him and, in doing so, often reveal more about their hometowns or homelands than a traditional reporter could hope to document.”

From 2015, a 1/2-hour retrospective interview with him from the Archive of American Television.
posted by GrammarMoses (418 comments total) 57 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well, shit.
posted by PenDevil at 4:49 AM on June 8 [11 favorites]


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posted by fight or flight at 4:50 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


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One of my favorite Yuletide fanfics of all time is No Reservations: Narnia.
posted by nicebookrack at 4:53 AM on June 8 [57 favorites]


I recognized the self-loathing he felt and tried to hide. I thought he was coping pretty well with it, but I never knew him off camera.

Goddamn.
posted by wires at 4:54 AM on June 8 [44 favorites]


God dammit.
posted by He Is Only The Imposter at 4:54 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


fuck.
posted by anansi at 4:54 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


I just hear this on NPR. Talk about coming out of left field.

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posted by Thorzdad at 4:56 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


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Well, shit. He was one of the good ones.
posted by Shadan7 at 4:56 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


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posted by snuffleupagus at 4:57 AM on June 8


Woke up to this news on NPR. So horribly sad.
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posted by bunderful at 4:59 AM on June 8


FUCK.
posted by RhysPenbras at 4:59 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


Fuck fuck fuck. I was always so envious of the life he had.
posted by bondcliff at 4:59 AM on June 8 [5 favorites]


I’m crushed.
posted by _Mona_ at 5:00 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


Periodic reminder that it is fine to step away from the news and the internet if hearing about this is going to be hard for you. If you spend this weekend reading a book, going for a hike, watching a movie, etc., you can come back on Monday and the worst of the reporting should hopefully be over.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:00 AM on June 8 [110 favorites]


I am such a fan of his writing and his television work. Always admired his approach to food and travel...he seemed like a real cook’s cook. So sorry that he felt his only option was to take his own life. Sorry also for Eric Ripert, I can’t imagine what he must be going through today.

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posted by little mouth at 5:01 AM on June 8 [17 favorites]


Kitchen Confidential helped me blag my way into my first restaurant job. He was a very entertaining writer. I'm sorry that he was dealing with what he was dealing with.

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posted by mosessis at 5:01 AM on June 8 [6 favorites]


Totally gutted. I loved his writing. I loved his cookbooks. His "No Reservations" episode in Sicily remains one of my all-time-favorite examples of reality television gone so completely off the rails that no amount of editing can put it right again (and I loved having my suspicions about that episode confirmed).

I hope he is at peace. I hope for peace for his family and friends.

Cheers, Anthony.

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posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:02 AM on June 8 [13 favorites]


He has a daughter aged about 11. I hope she is able to find peace someday.

He was a powerful voice for community and compassion with a very public forum to speak from. We are all lessened without him to share the stories he found around the world.
posted by anastasiav at 5:03 AM on June 8 [47 favorites]


This is fucking devastating.
posted by obfuscation at 5:04 AM on June 8 [6 favorites]


Dammit. I recognized this about him, but hoped his willingness to share his difficulties with things like drugs and personal relationships and self-worth meant that he'd figured out ways to make it work for the long haul. Fuck.

Reading his books and watching the original run of No Reservations pulled me through some of the deepest lows of my life. I wish I'd thought to leave a comment on his blog at some point, letting at least his PR people know that he'd had a small part in keeping me from doing what he did. I remember him talking a lot about a big warm bowl of noodles and squeaky bits and chiles, maybe I'll have pho for dinner tonight, pour a little broth out for him.
posted by Mizu at 5:06 AM on June 8 [30 favorites]


I read almost everything he wrote, and watched pretty much every episode of television that he hosted. I am absolutely stunned by this. I really thought he had a pretty good handle on the world.
posted by Optamystic at 5:06 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


Well fuck...
posted by Cyrano at 5:07 AM on June 8


Goddamnit. I just started watching his stuff this year. I quickly learned to have a pen and pad with me when I did, because he inevitably found and shared some incredibly cool looking place / people / food that was both exciting and actually accessible to folks like me that can’t afford to only eat at Michelin starred places.

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posted by lazaruslong at 5:07 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


This is just heartbreaking.
peaceful journey, Tony.

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posted by pointystick at 5:08 AM on June 8


I always got the sense somehow when watching him that he didn't rate himself as highly as others did. Like his success was some kind of joke he'd played on the world. To be completely frank, it was part of the appeal of watching him - that despite everything he didn't take himself that seriously. I'm so so gutted by this one. I remember him from decades ago when I would read his posts on eGullet from India, dreaming of one day having the food experiences he'd had.

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posted by peacheater at 5:08 AM on June 8 [26 favorites]


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posted by neonrev at 5:08 AM on June 8


I woke up to this and I’m really sad right now. After so long reading and watching him I felt like I knew him .
posted by PussKillian at 5:09 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


Ah I am shocked by this one and definitely saddened. Not just because his writing and shows were great, but because i felt genuinely strengthened every time I saw him take a stand for women. The #metoo movement, which his girlfriend Asia Argento was so involved with, but also he chastised Josh Homme for kicking that photographer, etc. I felt like 'oh, here's a man who won't stand by any longer and tolerate.'

My deepest condolences to his family and friends.
posted by taterpie at 5:10 AM on June 8 [50 favorites]


This one hits especially hard.
posted by Superplin at 5:10 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


This one hurts. I broke the news to my dad and he cried. Our family spent lots of time watching his show; his episode with Obama was life-affirming. I am so sorry about this.
posted by girlmightlive at 5:10 AM on June 8 [9 favorites]


Such a good voice for #metoo and immigrants and anti-trump. He changed travel for me. Followed everything he did in Lisbon. Talked about his show so much. so sad.
posted by armacy at 5:11 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


Correction: that AAT interview is 2.5 hours long. I regret the error.
posted by GrammarMoses at 5:11 AM on June 8


Fuck. This hurts. I've spent so much time with the man thanks to all the content he created. And I was so happy to see him vociferously adding his voice to supporting women. It's going to be a very strange time without him, his voice was valuable.
posted by opsin at 5:12 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


I always liked that he became famous at an older age after writing something that kind of exploded. He said it was never his intention, but his talent was huge and people who weren’t cooks and chefs (the primary audience) really enjoyed his piece. I think it got published in the New Yorker. It’s a very refreshing tale, no nepotism, no huge ambition, just raw talent that went unnoticed and really wasn’t on any sort of display until middle age.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:12 AM on June 8 [27 favorites]


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posted by mfoight at 5:13 AM on June 8


I got nothing to add except yet another . followed by a “goddammit”
posted by caution live frogs at 5:14 AM on June 8


RIP
posted by interrupt at 5:15 AM on June 8


All of these comments say something that resonates with me, so all I can say is that I am tremendously sad.

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posted by virago at 5:15 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


Genuinely shocked. Fuck. Fuck.

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posted by ipe at 5:16 AM on June 8


I'm crying for a third time today over this.

People, reach out if times are tough. Someone can help.

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posted by deezil at 5:17 AM on June 8 [5 favorites]


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posted by shortland at 5:18 AM on June 8


Goddamn it. First thing I heard this morning. I'm sobbing, and first thing I did was come here, because I know you're the only friends who will give a fuck. I'm devastated. I'm just gutted.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:18 AM on June 8 [31 favorites]


Didn't see this one coming at all. What a loss. He seemed to do "celebrity" right.

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posted by SystematicAbuse at 5:18 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


Absolutely gobsmacked.
posted by briank at 5:18 AM on June 8


Also, the National Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
posted by virago at 5:18 AM on June 8 [15 favorites]


Terrible news. I enjoyed his shows and publications. What I was able to glean of his personality from his writing as well as his televised persona seemed to indicate that he had had his struggles but was in a good place. How little we know of our cultural icons, despite - or due to - the apparently ready access to their lives via various media, social or otherwise. R.I.P, Anthony...
posted by vicusofrecirculation at 5:18 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


I've been on-and-off sobbing since I first read the news.

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posted by jeri at 5:19 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


Fuck fuck fuck...

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posted by SansPoint at 5:19 AM on June 8


Fuck
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:21 AM on June 8


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posted by condour75 at 5:22 AM on June 8


Is it possible he was very ill? I've also followed his work, but I really appreciated his support for women and #metoo

Rest in Peace.
posted by Dressed to Kill at 5:22 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


God
DAAAAMMMMNNN
it.

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posted by CommonSense at 5:23 AM on June 8


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posted by synecdoche at 5:23 AM on June 8


Just about every time I saw him on television, I disliked him. Yet reading this post just a moment ago was still a gut punch, for some reason. I suspect now it’s because what I found distasteful in him was in no small part projection, with a side helping of self-recognition.

My former attitude toward him now makes me feel diminished: that clearly he was struggling with demons, but all I could think was how it made me feel.

I am so sorry, Anthony, and I hope you have found peace.
posted by darkstar at 5:24 AM on June 8 [26 favorites]


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posted by bouvin at 5:24 AM on June 8


This makes sense to me, as sad as it is...if you think about how he lived his life.
posted by Young Kullervo at 5:24 AM on June 8


🍣
posted by panama joe at 5:24 AM on June 8 [5 favorites]


He like his food. The way he communicated this with those he met all over the world, and with his audience, was affirming and inspirational for me.
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posted by carter at 5:25 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


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posted by Kattullus at 5:25 AM on June 8


Anthony Bourdain was the reason I went to culinary school when I was in my 30s. He made me believe that I could still follow my dreams.

I met him once at a book signing. He was very kind, very soft spoken. He was genuinely interested in what I had to say. I thanked him for inspiring me and told him I cooked his boeuf Bourignon on the regular.

I'm glad I had the chance to say thank you.

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posted by cooker girl at 5:26 AM on June 8 [119 favorites]


It's all there in his book. You can see the black dog, looking over his shoulder.

Another person who's too smart and too empathic to rest easy in a world full of assholes, just can't take it any more. The fuck. The ever loving fuck.
posted by seanmpuckett at 5:26 AM on June 8 [70 favorites]


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I am devastated. I cannot stop crying. He was such a huge influence on my career when I was younger. I would not be who I am without his books or TV shows.

Fuck. Just... fuck. 💔
posted by thereemix at 5:26 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


fuck

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posted by AirExplosive at 5:26 AM on June 8


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Anthony Bourdain had one of the only shows on tv that tried with all its might to teach Americans not to be scared of other people.

Allison F (@ablinton) 7:58 AM - 8 Jun 2018
posted by DigDoug at 5:27 AM on June 8 [200 favorites]


Bourdain seemed really invested in using his celebrity for Good; he genuinely seemed to treat it as a gift that didn't belong entirely to him, something that needed to be shared with people whose voices weren't heard, whose stories wouldn't be told.

This stinks.
posted by uncleozzy at 5:29 AM on June 8 [18 favorites]


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posted by double bubble at 5:29 AM on June 8


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posted by ndfine at 5:30 AM on June 8


Visiting Les Halles for breakfast was a highlight of my last trip to NYC years ago. Even though he wasn't there, he was... there. It's painful to know he isn't.
posted by rory at 5:31 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


It's all there in his book. You can see the black dog, looking over his shoulder.

Yes. He always struck me as someone who had found a way to live with it and even use it in his work.

Only for so long, I guess. Sucks.

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posted by rokusan at 5:32 AM on June 8 [9 favorites]


holy shit.
posted by Gorgik at 5:33 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


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posted by solotoro at 5:35 AM on June 8


My first exposure to him was flipping through channels drunk late one night. There was this incredibly handsome man in a rundown-looking house talking some shit while he was eating and, in my memory of it, smoking at the same time. I hadn't seen someone smoke on television in simply YEARS by that point and that and his looks made me stop to hear more. I fell in love with the man and his clear love of food and people who love food. Fuck depression. I'm going to miss him.
posted by thebrokedown at 5:37 AM on June 8 [8 favorites]


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posted by Gelatin at 5:37 AM on June 8


goddammit

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posted by floweringjudas at 5:38 AM on June 8


Oh no.

I wasn't a consumer of his comment, but I see how this is hitting my close friends from ElseNet through whose then-happy comments i was aware of his content, and I'm seeing how it's hitting people here, and I know his loss for a loss for true.

I'm so sorry.

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posted by seyirci at 5:39 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


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I almost never read nonfiction, but I loved Kitchen Confidential. I think about it all the time: every time I read a menu or I hear a list of specials. He was such an engaging writer.
posted by gladly at 5:39 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


Depression is a thief.

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posted by corb at 5:39 AM on June 8 [30 favorites]


Maybe I might have tried to open my own restaurant without having read Kitchen Confidential, but it's not likely. And had I tried without having read that, it would have been even more of a disaster. I honestly looked up to him and he was one of the few "famous" people I've ever actually wanted to meet. He had a deep and lasting effect on my life, and his loss hurts. I hope he has peace from whatever caused him so much pain.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:40 AM on June 8 [11 favorites]


This is utterly heartbreaking. I'm going to miss that magnificent bastard so much.
posted by merriment at 5:41 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


Just fuck off depression.

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posted by cmfletcher at 5:42 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


Between this and Kate Spade it is a strong reminder that depression doesn't discriminate
posted by SystematicAbuse at 5:42 AM on June 8 [28 favorites]


I keep thinking about this. It did so much for me to see someone so cynical and jaded, but who was, as has been commented so empathetic to people, strangers often, and the world around him, and wanted the right things for the world. That you can hate so much about the world as it is and has become but find the love and want it to overcome. And that's not even covering how inspirational his love of food was to me. His joy meeting those people and discovering things new to him were so inspirational, and the hundreds of hours I spent watching and reading his content have undoubtedly changed me.
posted by opsin at 5:43 AM on June 8 [34 favorites]


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posted by genehack at 5:45 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


Jesus. He was literally the only person in the world who managed to turn all three of my own children and DOZENS of my students into people who read for pleasure. He did that.

I need to say this: TEXT HOME TO 741741 IF YOU EVER NEED HELP. The Crisis Text Line is staffed with trained counselors who will move you from a scary place to a safe one.

WE ARE ALL NEEDED. WE ARE ALL LOVED. THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO WILL HELP YOU AND YOU DON'T EVEN HAVE TO TALK. JUST TEXT.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 5:45 AM on June 8 [55 favorites]


My heart goes out to his partner Asia Argento, who has been fighting a battle already this year as one of the most visible accusers of Harvey Weinstein.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 5:45 AM on June 8 [63 favorites]


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Coming on the heels of Kate Spade, I'm just now beginning to wonder if there's something in the water these days... :(
posted by infini at 5:47 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


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posted by notyou at 5:47 AM on June 8


This hurts. This really hurts. That's all I can really say.

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posted by zombieflanders at 5:48 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


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posted by prolific at 5:49 AM on June 8


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I keep thinking of the episode he did in Indonesia, where he seemed really at peace and didn't want to leave. Kind of wish he had stayed there.
posted by destrius at 5:49 AM on June 8 [7 favorites]


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posted by Unioncat at 5:50 AM on June 8


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posted by mystyk at 5:50 AM on June 8


Just awful. Jesus.

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posted by gwint at 5:51 AM on June 8


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posted by robcorr at 5:51 AM on June 8


Shit.

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posted by Foosnark at 5:51 AM on June 8


Maybe I might have tried to open my own restaurant without having read Kitchen Confidential, but it's not likely

Because of Anthony, I did not open a restaurant, and subsequently did not lose all my assets at a point where I'm too old to recover if it went badly. (Narrator: it would have gone badly, I was not prepared.)
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 5:52 AM on June 8 [35 favorites]


The Bali episode was one of my favorites, he just seemed so happy, so content. That, and the Beirut episode. Such a brutally honest show.
posted by Ghidorah at 5:53 AM on June 8 [8 favorites]


Ugh.
posted by oh posey at 5:53 AM on June 8


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posted by Vindaloo at 5:53 AM on June 8


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posted by Pendragon at 5:53 AM on June 8


I tend bar at a spot he once famously (to us) visited, so I'm sure I'll be asked about this to the most absurd extent this weekend. By all accounts he was delightful in person.

I read Kitchen Confidential long before I got in to the bar industry, but even then his cynicism didn't register to me as some nihilistic abject hatred of the food world--it read as frustration and disappointment at a beloved community's disinterest in being any better than it had been.

"What do you know about me?"

Goodbye, fellow traveler.

I hope Eric Ripert is ok.
posted by hototogisu at 5:56 AM on June 8 [21 favorites]


I think my first words when I woke up and saw this on twitter were "Oh Jesus God no. Fuck no."

found something good in this beautiful world I felt the rain getting colder.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:57 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


I devoured Kitchen Confidential when it first came out, and my copy got passed around to some friends in F&B who all agreed it was very true to life. Didn’t watch him a lot on TV but always enjoyed it when I did. He was very open about his history of substance abuse in KC, and it struck me that he seemed to drink a lot for someone with that history; I wonder if that entered into it. Very sad news.

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posted by TedW at 5:58 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


Just fucking hell. Just fuck it. Thats all. Fuck. I hope his kid and loved ones will be ok. Fuck
posted by chasles at 5:59 AM on June 8


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posted by Artw at 6:00 AM on June 8


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posted by cirhosis at 6:00 AM on June 8


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A good writer and a good guy. He was earnest about how fucked up the food industry is in its reliance on immigrant labour and spoke out about sexism in food advertising, getting grief from other chefs for both. Kitchen Confidential was more than just an alpha-male memoir and his stuff about street food and cuisines outside of America always came across as more engaged and genuine than his imitators.
posted by ocular shenanigans at 6:01 AM on June 8 [20 favorites]


He was one of the first, possibly the very first, celebrities to come out and say hey, we can’t just go around deporting people who are undocumented! I remember him pointing out that if they deported all the “illegal aliens”, every restaurant in the US would close. He talked about immigrants doing the hard jobs, the shit jobs, that no one else would do - and he talked about it long before the rest of us caught on. And the point of most of his shows wasn’t the food, it was the people. Time and time again, he made the point that all people are basically the same - all cultures like to sit down and eat good food with family and friends. All cultures have a grandma hovering in the background, telling you to add more garlic.

He did a lot to make the world a better place. I hope he knew that.
posted by MexicanYenta at 6:01 AM on June 8 [146 favorites]


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posted by slipthought at 6:03 AM on June 8


I am absolutely shattered.

When Elder Monster told me he wanted to take the Culinary program in high school, I handed him Kitchen Confidential and told him he'd better be sure, because Tony was not bullshitting. (I put myself through college working in restaurants, that business is no fucking joke.) Damned kid, he took up the craft anyway. Twice a semester for four years, I'd show up in the Culinary department to teach some classes for a week. First session, I'd give the kids til the end of the week to read Kitchen Confidential, with the same caveat, and advise that if they found any part of that horrifying, the kitchens were not for them. Pissed off a few parents who had visions of "Next Food Network Star" dancing in their heads, but the kids sure did appreciate the reminder that no one starts out as an executive chef, you gotta make your bones.

I appreciated that he was so open about his struggles with depression. He inspired me to be open and unashamed about mine, and I'm grateful for that lesson.

Elder Monster still lives at home while he claws his way up the ladder. He's not awake yet. It's going to be a somber day Chez Sedai. Tony was one of Our Tribe. Losing him is devastating in a way words cannot express.
posted by MissySedai at 6:03 AM on June 8 [86 favorites]


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posted by thewalledcity at 6:05 AM on June 8


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posted by thack3r at 6:05 AM on June 8


Well goddamn. He was about my last remaining celebrity crush.


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posted by mygothlaundry at 6:05 AM on June 8 [8 favorites]


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posted by lesser weasel at 6:06 AM on June 8


My heart goes out to his partner Asia Argento, who has been fighting a battle already this year as one of the most visible accusers of Harvey Weinstein.

That was my first thought as well when I saw the headline. I have never followed Bourdain closely, but I was impressed with how he backed Argento. I hope she is ok.

Very sad news.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:06 AM on June 8 [14 favorites]


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posted by Barack Spinoza at 6:07 AM on June 8


Mr. Bourdain, I miss you already.

I heard about it on NPR. I ended up calling my local station because they kept doing the little recap of the story, and then they reported sad statistics on the increasing suicide rate in my state, but never mentioned a number you could call or resources for help.
posted by Mouse Army at 6:08 AM on June 8 [17 favorites]


Someone bought me Kitchen Confidential one Christmas and it's one of the best non-fiction books I've ever read... I found myself really stepping up my game cooking-wise as a I read it; a simple cheese sandwich just wasn't gonna cut it.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:08 AM on June 8


Fuck.


I feel like Tony would like that better than a moment of silence. I feel like silence might be where his demons lived.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:09 AM on June 8 [32 favorites]


I think I was especially fond of Anthony Bourdain, because his life arc included being a failure, an asshole, and about a dozen other forms of profound personal shortcoming, but still followed a path of personal betterment that led to him being a successful person who could use his platform to speak out about immigrants rights during the day, then going home to cook a quiet dinner for his partner and her compatriots in the #metoo movement.

We all have need of role models who can make the transition from lout to worthwhile, standup person. It's heartbreaking that he doesn't seem to feel he ever really got there.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 6:09 AM on June 8 [89 favorites]


Ah, fuck. Fuck.

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Brief Twitter thread from Laura Lippmann.
posted by rewil at 6:10 AM on June 8 [17 favorites]


This is so sad.

When I lived in SF I used to frequent Sam's Pizza in North Beach. Anybody who came to town, I would rave about the burgers there, because they were amazing. I told Georgia and Ira of YLT about it so many times that Georgia started referring to me as "the burger guy." Then one evening I got terrible food poisoning and never went back, though I dearly wanted to.

So when I heard that Anthony Bourdain had sung the praises of Sam's on "The Layover" it made me so, so happy, because that place is special. Now both Sam and Anthony have passed away and the world is a smaller place.

RIP.

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posted by grumpybear69 at 6:11 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


Cowboy boots, motorcycles, pho, and second acts in life. His writing always resonated with me, and I alawys wanted to see what he'd do next. There are celebrities with a well-worn schtick and then there are those constantly reinventing themselves, and somewhere on the thin line between those two, was Bourdain. His voice was his own, but he was unafraid to branch out and try new things. I fear I shall now always be thinking, "Oh, I wonder what he's up to now... oh." and mouring all over again for what could have been next. Peace.
posted by 1f2frfbf at 6:12 AM on June 8 [6 favorites]


I never watched his show, I just read about him, heard interviews with him, there was a wonderful piece in the New Yorker a few years back, and I was surprised at what a passionate, complex, and as others have noted, and empathetic human being he was.

I am actually crying right now, which surprises me, partially because we are being over run by assholes and he was one of the good guys, and partially because this is something I have struggled with my whole life and i feel nothing but sympathy for him and what he must have gone through to make such a decision.

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posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 6:13 AM on June 8 [10 favorites]


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posted by rufb at 6:13 AM on June 8




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posted by allandsome at 6:15 AM on June 8


ugh.
posted by juv3nal at 6:17 AM on June 8


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posted by dlugoczaj at 6:17 AM on June 8


goddamnit. why him.


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posted by From Bklyn at 6:17 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


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posted by lemon_icing at 6:19 AM on June 8


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I'm really in shock, he was one of my favorite voices. What a blow.
posted by Carillon at 6:19 AM on June 8


No Reservations may have been what made him TV-famous, but Parts Unknown was a truly great show. We still watch the Tokyo episode regularly in my household and reference Robot Wars all the time. The Thailand episode is similarly great, and the Palestine episode is quietly amazing. The Sicily episode, the France food-porn episode, the one where he goes to Sizzler and makes meatball tacos . . . We're really sad this morning.

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posted by chainsofreedom at 6:20 AM on June 8 [5 favorites]



posted by bz at 6:20 AM on June 8


And I realized I forgot my “ . ” in my comment. But then again, Bourdain was rarely silent, so it seems appropriate in this instance.

But anyway

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posted by MexicanYenta at 6:20 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


On both of her maternity leaves, my wife binged every episode of his shows that she could get her hands on. He helped her see the world when she was stuck in a room nursing and recovering. On days she didn't make it outside of our little house in upstate NY, he took her drinking and eating in Southeast Asia, Europe, Montreal, L.A., and a host of other places, and she told me all about it when I would come home from work. His work helped keep her sane, involved, engaged at a time when it could have been easy to withdraw and hide.

It feels like we've lost a friend. Fuck depression. Fuck suicide.

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posted by gauche at 6:22 AM on June 8 [28 favorites]


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posted by bshort at 6:23 AM on June 8


I think I was especially fond of Anthony Bourdain, because his life arc included being a failure, an asshole, and about a dozen other forms of profound personal shortcoming, but still followed a path of personal betterment that led to him being a successful person who could use his platform to speak out about immigrants rights during the day, then going home to cook a quiet dinner for his partner and her compatriots in the #metoo movement.

Yeah, this, very much so. I also always regarded him as a model for how to age, something that I'm, frankly, terrified of. I shall disregard this final example.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:23 AM on June 8 [32 favorites]


Fuck. We can't afford to keep losing the good ones. :(
posted by Space Kitty at 6:24 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


I'm incandescently angry and I can't explain why.

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posted by elsietheeel at 6:24 AM on June 8 [19 favorites]


I made some assumptions about who Bourdain was and let him pass me by. Reading about the good he did with #MeToo and some of his other political/social beliefs, and how he used his platform for good, makes me wish I'd looked into him more.

My heart goes out to his daughter and to Asia Argento.

RIP, Anthony. The world is a little smaller without you here.

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posted by pxe2000 at 6:26 AM on June 8 [8 favorites]


Goddammit. We loved this guy. He's one of the reasons my partner and I began falling down the foodie rabbit hole. We are travelling through Europe, hunting for wayside watering holes and food stands, like we watched him do. Today we'll have some Pho. Cheers, Anthony. Thank you so much.

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posted by _Synesthesia_ at 6:29 AM on June 8


Fuck. I mean, if you'd ever seen him, you could see the shadows, but he was such a presence, you thought he might beat them down.

Please don't take all the good ones. We need them.

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posted by Sophie1 at 6:30 AM on June 8 [7 favorites]


This is a bad timeline. He seemed to relish being a father.

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posted by amanda at 6:30 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


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posted by Halloween Jack at 6:30 AM on June 8


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posted by joeyh at 6:31 AM on June 8


The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

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posted by Naberius at 6:33 AM on June 8 [12 favorites]


On days she didn't make it outside of our little house in upstate NY, he took her drinking and eating in Southeast Asia, Europe, Montreal, L.A., and a host of other places,

This, so much this. Before I got sick, I traveled all over the world. Now, a good day means I can make it through grocery shopping. But Anthony traveled the way I want to imagine myself traveling. No tourist nonsense, just meeting people, and eating, and drinking wine under the Tuscan stars. I lived vicariously through his travels to places that I will never get to see.

I think part of the reason I feel so devastated is the selfish knowledge that one of my escape routes is closed forever. Goddamit Anthony, I will miss you so much.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:33 AM on June 8 [23 favorites]


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posted by peeedro at 6:33 AM on June 8




I have always been a huge fan and this absolutely sucks. He was the model of how to be an aging white man born into and aware of his privilege, and seeing with open eyes how mostly fucked the world is, and still using that privilege to find what’s good and sharing it with others, in the process trying to lift us all. I wonder if the burden of all that was too much.

In the depths of my own depression, the one thing that seemed to get me through, after 16 hour days of doing what other people want, I’d sit down with a tumbler full of good bourbon and something delicious and put on No Reservations and drink myself to sleep thinking “That’s the life I want to lead.”

I know someone who works on the show who had nothing but respect for the man. I’d been to see him speak a number of times and he seemed uncomfortable being a crowd adored celebrity.

I’m just gutted and trying not to fall back to the original premise that the world is mostly shit. Maybe I’ll spend the day watching old episodes, which always, without exception, ended with moments of wisdom, introspection, and gratefulness. I wish your own episode ended like that, Tony.

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posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:35 AM on June 8 [50 favorites]


.

For as abrasive as he could be, I always appreciated and respected him as a personality--he was one of the few people who was always game to try and share the food of any culture he visited.

I remember an episode where he tried bushmeat and while he ended up being ambivalent about its flavor, he didn't judge it. He was honored to have eaten with the tribal leaders that cooked it in a fire pit.

I remember watching him look amazed and thrilled to have had a glimpse into Korean-American immigrant communities when he went, of all places, to a Sizzler.

I remember watching so many episodes where he'd go to non-European countries and showcase and revel in foods that any other personality might have turned up their nose at, because he knew that food is intrinsic to culture, and it deserves respect.

I hope he found peace.
posted by anem0ne at 6:40 AM on June 8 [34 favorites]


Fuck. I mean, if you'd ever seen him, you could see the shadows, but he was such a presence, you thought he might beat them down.

Yeah, I wrote here last year "... every story Bourdain tells is about loss or expected loss and how we grab at good things to forget that loss for a while."
posted by octobersurprise at 6:40 AM on June 8 [19 favorites]


I need to process this. I've already teared up several times. I've been teased by my family, calling him my boyfriend because I'll watch his shows when ever they're on. I've been dealing with a lot of medical, financial and personal shit over the last few years. I'm something less than five years younger than him.

I love cooking, I have travelled ever so much. Anthony Bourdain was an honest, idealised reflection of so many experiences I've had, including his depression. So beautifully told.

Many of my thoughts these days are how to escape, how to finish, how to no longer be a burden to those that care about me. My health isn't good. It makes me sick that he reached the point that he acted on it, but I somewhat understand the need just to be done.

I will sorely miss his voice being present, and I will consume every last portion of content he created.

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posted by michswiss at 6:42 AM on June 8 [17 favorites]


When Parts Unknown came to my city (Houston) social and news media was all abuzz on sightings of him and what he might feature on the show. It was a superb episode focusing on the diversity of culture here. I loved that white people got all of 5 seconds of footage from a gun range (there were other white people featured, but they were part of multicultural families). It was such a great episode that captured things I loved about my town that it made me cry at the time of broadcast, and of course today thinking about it is pretty gutting. Few people get to see as much of the world as he did. Gah.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:44 AM on June 8 [24 favorites]


[I know I said I was away but this horrible news drove me back]

My favorite comment from when he was a judge on Top Chef, regarding a way overseasoned dish: "This tastes like a head shop."

He and Ripert seemed like such an unlikely friend pairing, personalitywise, and yet whenever they appeared on TV together it was charming and hilarious. So sorry for Ripert today.

I own a bunch of No Reservations episodes, and Parts Unknown has been on my "I'll probably see it someday" list, and now I find myself about to go to amazon and buy every goddamn episode, and then I'll probably buy all his books after that, which I've read but never owned. Why do we wait for death to spike sales, is what I'd like to know.
posted by JanetLand at 6:46 AM on June 8 [9 favorites]


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posted by General Malaise at 6:51 AM on June 8


Bourdain was rarely silent

When his Les Halles Cookbook came out, Campanile (in Los Angeles) hosted a dinner consisting solely of dishes from the cookbook. We went with friends, and the meal was fantastic. Bourdain -- considerably less famous than he is now -- was present for the dinner. I remember him only as a quiet, almost shy presence.
posted by Slothrup at 6:52 AM on June 8 [6 favorites]


I've never read anything his written. I've seen a few episodes of his show, but I wouldn't say I watched it. Yet when I saw someone post "RIP Anthony Bourdain" on FB, I knew instantly it was suicide and remember thinking "Yes, he seemed depressed."

This is very sad, but I worry about the media reporting it and what that does to people on the brink. And I wonder if the reporting on Kate Spade might have been a trigger, here.

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posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:53 AM on June 8


Probably going out for brunch this Sunday for the first time in about 20 years
posted by vicusofrecirculation at 6:53 AM on June 8 [8 favorites]


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posted by mondo dentro at 6:55 AM on June 8


I happen to have missed most of Bourdain's work, but I've seen his trip to Waffle House a few times, and as someone who grew up going to Waffle House often, I really love it.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:59 AM on June 8 [8 favorites]


This one really hurts.

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posted by holborne at 7:00 AM on June 8


No Reservations and Parts Unknown are/were the only American TV shows I watch - in as much as I record them and make a point of sitting down with them, keeping up with them on a regular basis. One of the things that I liked most about Uncle Tony is that he could be at home anywhere - a private reservation at a 4-star restaurant, 10am on a weekday in some old man bar, a beach by a roaring fire, someone's dining room, a boat on the ocean, 2am at a taco or noodle stand - doesn't matter. He could fit in with the right clothing, showing or not showing off his tattoos. And he showed all of his hosts the same respect and the same grace. There were never any grossouts, no turned up noses, no eww, can you believe they eat this here?? that similar shows employ. His attitudes about people, food, work, and life have been sustaining. Thank you, sir.


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posted by koucha at 7:03 AM on June 8 [23 favorites]


I've admired Anthony Bourdain from the time I read a dog-eared copy of Kitchen Confidential passed to me by one of my kitchen co-workers. That book changed my life path for the better. Later, watching him on TV, I was always struck by his empathy, intelligence, and humanity -- along with his sarcasm and his sheer cussedness (which made me feel all the more connected to him). His No Reservations episode on Beirut became a permanent part of my brain & my heart.

I'm sad to hear that he was suffering this much, and I'm sad that his suffering ended this way. I'm wishing peace & healing for his family & friends.

For all the folks in this thread (and in the world) who are suffering too -- I hope you're able to find the help and support you need & deserve. If you're not sure how to find help, check out the resources at the mefi wiki: There Is Help.
posted by ourobouros at 7:07 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


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posted by osi at 7:08 AM on June 8


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posted by SonInLawOfSam at 7:12 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


@CostaSamaras: "Bourdain was basically a Mr. Rogers for grownups. Telling us to not be afraid of people and things that are different than us. RIP."
posted by gwint at 7:15 AM on June 8 [100 favorites]


Linda Holmes, NPR: “He will be remembered for his curiosity — and curiosity is hopeful. To be an enthusiast is to believe that you will duck around the next corner and find a place where you've never had anything like the bowl of noodles they're going to make for you. To be an explorer, always, without hesitation, is the opposite of cynicism. It's the opposite of surrender to all the blood and innards and, to quote one of his book titles, the nasty bits. To wander is to believe in the expansive worth of the world you live in, and to have faith that you have not run out of people to meet or places to visit.”
posted by rewil at 7:18 AM on June 8 [50 favorites]


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posted by fremen at 7:22 AM on June 8


From his 2006 Beirut episode:
In the few years since I’ve started to travel this world, I’ve found myself changing. The cramped cynical worldview of a man who’d only seen life through the narrow prism of the restaurant kitchen had altered. I’d been so many places, I’d met so many people from wildly divergent backgrounds, countries, and cultures.

Everywhere I’d been, I’d been, as in Beruit, treated so well. I’d been the recipient of so many random acts of kindness from strangers and I’d begun to think that no matter where I went or who I sat down with, that food and a few drinks seemed always to bring people together. That this planet was filled with basically good and decent people doing the best they could, if frequently under difficult circumstances. That the human animal was perhaps a better and nicer species than I had once thought.

I’d begun to believe that the dinner table was the great leveler, where people from opposite sides of the world could always sit down and talk and eat and drink and if not solve all the worlds problems, at least find, for a time, common ground.

Now, I’m not so sure. Maybe the world’s not like that at all. Maybe in the real world?—?the one without cameras and happy food and travel shows?—?everybody, the good and the bad together, are all crushed under some terrible wheel.

I hope, I really hope, that I’m wrong about that.
I'm sorry you couldn't avoid that wheel Tony, what you did was so important to SO SO many of us.
And I'm sorry too if that means we didn't see the man suffering behind the work.
I hope you are at peace.

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posted by The Legit Republic of Blanketsburg at 7:22 AM on June 8 [61 favorites]


I just watched the episode of Parts Unknown where he's in Libya. At the end of the episode he says something like "The bad guys, the enemy, are supposed to be here. I didn't see any bad guys."(paraphrase). I hope he knows that he made the world a better place.
*
posted by Bacon Bit at 7:24 AM on June 8 [18 favorites]


What a gut-punch. I loved his curiousity, his genuine respect and enthusiasm for trying different things, and the way that he made finding and appreciating good food seem accessible no matter your financial or educational background.

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posted by TwoStride at 7:30 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


I've been a fan for years and this is devastating. His openness and non-judgmental kindness when traveling the world and meeting people from every background imaginable is a model for all. He was always on my list of celebrities I would invite to a dinner party and has changed how I look at the cities I've visited and lived in. Like others in this thread said, I felt like I knew him and will deeply grieve this loss.

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posted by capricorn at 7:30 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


Anthony Bourdain was my imaginary friend (that also happens to be a real person.) I have silent diatribes about tacos and Texas in my head nearly every day and he fake listens.

He’s my favorite famous person and number one crush.

What a bummer.

I’ve often thought about how I consider myself the kind of person who wouldn’t bug a celebrity if I saw him on the train, but I’d bug Anthony Bourdain. I’d walk right up and start spouting from the best of reel of stuff we’ve discussed in my head.

I imagine this happened to him so much. Just walking down the street and people being like “I wasted my family fortune on the hotdog stand!” or “I finally stopped doing heroin for a bit and got a job at Longman & Eagle!” or “You motherfucker, why don’t you ever visit Boise?”
posted by macrowave at 7:33 AM on June 8 [17 favorites]


Oh my god, the Sizzler one! The perfect distillation of the show’s essence turned on its head. I am uncomfortable with this place and most you watching this would be uncomfortable in this place, but there is cultural meaning here and look at all these people and lets explore this and enjoy it.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:33 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


Like several others on the thread, I'd never been drawn to seek out his content. However, whenever I saw commercials for his show, I thought he seemed like an awesome guy with an awesome gig.

It is extremely scary that you can be doing what you love and doing good in the world, and it's still not remedy for the hole in your soul. Depression is so insidious.

And if I'm this affected by Bourdain's passing, I can't imagine how his fans are feeling. Ugh. It's hard to fight the impression that the world is irretrievably darkening one snuffed light at a time.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 7:34 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


Fuck. I loved this man. I paid money to see him live because I respected him. I have his books. I watched all his shows. I’m a vegetarian and took his jibes. That’s all okay because he had a social conscience that transcended that stuff and allowed me to understand where he was coming from. I will deeply miss him.
posted by unliteral at 7:39 AM on June 8 [9 favorites]


Love Bourdain. Hate this.
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posted by deludingmyself at 7:39 AM on June 8


Most recent on his Twitter is promoting Argento as a director for the show Parts Unknown. So much pain today. My heart goes out to all those in his close orbit. His daughter and the people who loved him.
posted by amanda at 7:40 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


I remember reading Kitchen Confidential and recognizing so many of the same things about food work, even though I had only worked in little pizza joints or Midwest restaurants. Learning dubious Spanish from some of my co-workers, while others spent the night passed out behind the bar, and the language, my gosh!

There was darkness behind his bluster, especially in that book -- but he also had a quiet tone with people that made me think he was in balance with the dark.

I work at a college with a well-known Culinary program. Attendance in such programs nation-wide is off from the highs of a few years ago, but people like Bourdain really got out there and changed everyone's mind that food matters, and I don't think that's going to go backwards. I comfort myself by thinking how that's going to be an actual legacy of his (a notion which he would probably scoff at).
posted by wenestvedt at 7:41 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


Fuck
posted by Twinge at 7:42 AM on June 8


Anthony Bourdain's Moveable Feast.

A wonderful way to remember him, from 2016.
posted by chainsofreedom at 7:43 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


I never watched him. I never read him. I barely knew anything about him. But all of your comments make me realize I missed out on something huge. I’m sorry for all of your losses.
posted by greermahoney at 7:44 AM on June 8 [21 favorites]


fuck
posted by sophrontic at 7:45 AM on June 8


This plus Kate Spade has hit me really hard. I read Kitchen Confidential when I was a chef and have followed him ever since. I have struggled with depression and last week suicidal thoughts cropped up for the first time in a year. I spoke about them with friends and family and thankfully had a psychiatrist appointment already booked, but want to second all the people above to say please reach out to someone if you're feeling like this, and it's ok to take a break from the internet if you need.
posted by ellieBOA at 7:46 AM on June 8 [7 favorites]


Shocking. I'm gonna miss his personality. And I hope his daughter will be alright.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:47 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


Now that I’ve had an hour to process this...

Yeah, we’ve all got depression. A lot of us have demons and addictions. It’s an inherent part of being alive in the 21st century. Some of us will succumb. Maybe I will.

But goddamn what an amazing life. The idea of someone who struggled as fuck as a young overwhelmed person and then gradually discovered who they really were and then went after it with honesty and intensity is a story that really resonates with me. I also started getting tatted up in my 40s. Because that’s the age when you can finally claim your life as your own and mark your body with the things you believe and the experiences you’ve had. I also think he was kind of a model for growing older the right way. It’s kind of amazing how successful and true he managed to be within the fucked up American media machine. Has there ever been a person with more honesty and integrity with a prime time show on a cable news network? And I loved how he took the piss out of Gordon Ramsay and Guy Fieri and that Weird Foods Guy for kind of Missing the Point.

Plus, without ever once mentioning it on his show, the guy appreciated and knew how to wear a great wrist watch. It’s a small thing but spoke to me about the kind of person he was.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:48 AM on June 8 [17 favorites]


I can't explain to my 5-year-old daughter why I was crying this morning, let alone explain it to myself. I had no attachment, no personal connection, he's just a guy who said things in public in an honest, thoughtful, considerate way, whom I admired the hell out of for no reason beyond that he'd seemed to have left that watchful black dog behind him, gotten the biggest venue in the world to see the humanity and experiences they so often overlook even as they're experiencing them, and cared deeply about everyone.

.

Fuck.
posted by rp at 7:49 AM on June 8 [6 favorites]


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posted by dogstoevski at 7:50 AM on June 8


He was a member of a tiny, brilliant community I was in, via the List App (now closed). Here are some of his contributions there, all just amazing. Another little glimpse into his greatness. Especially check out the behind-the-scenes stuff from his dinner with Obama.

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posted by jhope71 at 7:50 AM on June 8 [29 favorites]


Jesus fuck. Genuinely stunned.

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posted by lovecrafty at 7:54 AM on June 8


So sad. My partner came downstairs and said, "Did you hear about Anthony?" as if we knew him. I had only met him once, at a book signing. He seemed like a very kind person. Not that kind to himself, probably.
posted by BibiRose at 7:56 AM on June 8


I talked about this on twitter but this week should make it very obvious that depression is a medical condition that does not discriminate. Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain were living a lot of people's dream lives. Talented, influential, at the top of their professions, didn't have to sit in a cube and answer to a jerk boss, presumably didn't have to worry about money. And yet both struggled with something they couldn't will away.

We could take this to mean that it's hopeless - if they couldn't do it, how could I - or we could use these terrible events as a catalyst for more awareness, more empathy, less shame, new innovations in treatment. I'm talking to myself at this point, but depression lies when it tells you to give up. None of us are alone.
posted by AFABulous at 7:56 AM on June 8 [43 favorites]




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posted by sammyo at 7:59 AM on June 8


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posted by El Brendano at 8:01 AM on June 8


Fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck. I saw this on CNN and went to hug my wife. She was asleep. I’ll let her sleep until her alarm.
posted by The Potate at 8:02 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


Damn it.

I convinced a half-dozen people to try pho with me for the first time by showing them the clip of him eating it in Saigon.

And while I haven't read Kitchen Confidential, his debut comic, Get Jiro, is astonishingly good for a first-time comics writer, and way more balanced and nuanced than you'd expect from the premise.
posted by rocket at 8:03 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


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posted by Dillionaire at 8:06 AM on June 8


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posted by Silverstone at 8:09 AM on June 8


My last two years in NYC marked the worst of my depression. I was so exhausted and alone. Les Halles was not far from my office, and some nights after work when I couldn't bear to go back to my apartment, I'd find myself walking up John Street for steak frites and a glass of wine for dinner. It was always bustling and the food was so nice. And it always brought me back to the world a little.

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posted by mochapickle at 8:09 AM on June 8 [19 favorites]


.

Once you've been to Cambodia, you'll never stop wanting to beat Henry Kissinger to death with your bare hands. You will never again be able to open a newspaper and read about that treacherous, prevaricating, murderous scumbag sitting down for a nice chat with Charlie Rose or attending some black-tie affair for a new glossy magazine without choking. Witness what Henry did in Cambodia - the fruits of his genius for statesmanship - and you will never understand why he's not sitting in the dock at The Hague next to Milosevic. While Henry continues to nibble nori rolls and remaki at A-list parties, Cambodia, the neutral nation he secretly and illegally bombed, invaded, undermined, and then threw to the dogs, is still trying to raise itself up on its one remaining leg.
posted by chris24 at 8:11 AM on June 8 [117 favorites]


From this twitter thread:
He spent the ten minutes listening to me talk about the home country of my parents, Trinidad & Tobago, with the utmost engagement. Like an ambassador studying up, ready to go.

I wanted him so badly to visit there. I felt I could trust him to see what I saw in Trinidad, as if the heart of the country would be safe in his hands as a person and traveler. You trusted him with Your Heritage.

I think many of us trusted him to do that, to fall in love with the places we came from and to understand why we lived there or why we left there. We trusted him to see us as people first. Not curiosities.
This is why I loved his show, and of course the man himself. I trusted him to see people and places with the open graciousness of a beloved guest, and he rarely ever let me down. He's always been the kind of traveler I aspire to be.

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posted by yasaman at 8:12 AM on June 8 [35 favorites]


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posted by caliche at 8:12 AM on June 8


When Anthony Bourdain did his show in Philadelphia, he finished the day at Dirty Frank's, the finest dive bar in Center City. It was where I used to go to drink and party back in my college days (since all the college bars sucked), and would pop in somewhat regularly while I lived in the city afterwards. This means I can say that Anthony Bourdain drank where I used to drink.

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posted by SansPoint at 8:14 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


This sucks.

I read his book in college. It made me want to cook, it helped me when I traveled, and most of all, it taught me how to try new things.

I was super-picky eater, who now loves and eats all kinds of things, at least once, because why not? Trying it once won't hurt you any, and you might find a new favorite out of it. What was the harm in trying?

So, thank you, for helping me realize that there's no harm in trying. In fact, there's usually a lot of good to come out of trying.

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posted by PearlRose at 8:14 AM on June 8 [5 favorites]


I always enjoyed his nods to the common and mundane. Such as declaring that Wonder Bread made the best toast...

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posted by jim in austin at 8:14 AM on June 8


Once you've been to Cambodia, you'll never stop wanting to beat Henry Kissinger to death with your bare hands.

Kissinger outlived Bourdain; that's the kind of world we're in. The real monsters have no inclination to leave the world as Bourdain did. The job of everyone else struggling with the weight of the despair, myself included, is to outlive the Kissingers.
posted by Rust Moranis at 8:15 AM on June 8 [89 favorites]


His work made me a better cook.

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posted by Splunge at 8:16 AM on June 8


I was only peripherally aware of him because I've barely paid attn to anything that has happened since the turn of the century, but I just now started reading the new yorker article he wrote that Artw posted and he's really great to read.
posted by Don Pepino at 8:17 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


Met him super briefly at a book signing in 2007. I was dumbstruck. Dude was so charismatic even in a limited setting. I don't know what came over me, or what else I said, but I called him "sir".

He laughed and poked fun at me (and by extension, himself) for it.

It was awesome.


A moment of silence isn't quite right. How about some Ramones?
posted by supercres at 8:18 AM on June 8 [21 favorites]


goddam

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posted by supermedusa at 8:25 AM on June 8


When my husband put on the Baja episode of No Reservations, I rolled my eyes, thinking here's yet another clueless American coming to give Tijuana a pity look on their way to Valle de Guadalupe and all its gourmet food. Imagine my surprise when he went to Kentucky Fried Buches, a place I myself had been to many times. Or when he interviewed Nortec Collective. I was amazed. He did eventually get to the gourmet food, but it was with the proper context. That episode fills me with such peace.

It was so obvious that he loved people with such passion. He will be so missed.
posted by cobain_angel at 8:28 AM on June 8 [25 favorites]


This passage from the 2016 New Yorker piece chainsofreedom linked is especially moving in hindsight:
People who do not watch Bourdain’s show still tend to think of him as a savagely honest loudmouthed New York chef. But over the years he has transformed himself into a well-heeled nomad who wanders the planet meeting fascinating people and eating delicious food. He freely admits that his career is, for many people, a fantasy profession. A few years ago, in the voice-over to a sun-dappled episode in Sardinia, he asked, “What do you do after your dreams come true?” Bourdain would be easy to hate, in other words, if he weren’t so easy to like. “For a long time, Tony thought he was going to have nothing,” his publisher, Dan Halpern, told me. “He can’t believe his luck. He always seems happy that he actually is Anthony Bourdain.”
posted by Barack Spinoza at 8:30 AM on June 8 [14 favorites]


;
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posted by bilabial at 8:30 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


He was the anti-Guy Fieri.

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posted by Melismata at 8:34 AM on June 8 [5 favorites]


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One of my favorites.
posted by aliasless at 8:35 AM on June 8


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posted by scaryblackdeath at 8:35 AM on June 8


He was the anti-Guy Fieri.

About that...
posted by uncleozzy at 8:37 AM on June 8 [29 favorites]


He was like everyone's cool uncle. You loved his stories, tried to learn from his mistakes, but mostly enjoy hanging around the cool dude. I think he did a lot to help people understand the honor of the working class in the service industry and in later years to remove the xenophobia many American's have.
posted by ShakeyJake at 8:40 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]




I can't get to Papaya King, Tony's hot dog of choice, during my lunch break, but Gray's Papaya is just a few blocks away. It will have to do.
posted by SansPoint at 8:41 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


Just one more thing - god, so hard to find the words. He let us talk. He let us showcase our own food and tell our own story. He was all about the authentic, not for the street cred, but because he felt it was important to experience our food as it is, as we eat it. He appreciated things without appropiation. He was by all accounts a fantastic cook, but he never acted as if he knew everything. He was there to learn.

It made me so proud to watch him, a world class cook, a celebrity, eating the same buches I once had with my friends.

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posted by cobain_angel at 8:47 AM on June 8 [18 favorites]


The Best Writing On Anthony Bourdain
- "But here, we've pulled together a collection of what might be considered the best writing about Bourdain — a man who was largely defined by his ability to offer his unvarnished, and often correct, opinion, but also by his willingness to publicly grapple with himself. Aside from rewatching the entire runs of "No Reservations" and "Parts Unknown" there might be no better way to come to understand Tony than to read what some of the most seasoned food writers had to say about him."

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posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:49 AM on June 8 [10 favorites]


His writing help pull me together and I'm grateful. He will be missed, but I'm glad he left so much behind.
posted by Glomar response at 8:53 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


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posted by Glibpaxman at 8:53 AM on June 8


Devastating. In addition to his strong support of the #metoo movement, Tony was a true ally of Palestine and the dispossessed. His episode on Palestine is remarkable in his ability to find what is common amongst all, sharing meals, dreams, aspirations. For the piece he was awarded an MPAC Voices of Courage and Conscience award in which he remarked:
It is a measure I guess of how twisted and shallow our depiction of a people is that these images come as a shock to so many. The world has visited many terrible things on the Palestinian people, none more shameful than robbing them of their basic humanity.

People are not statistics. That is all we attempted to show.
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posted by standardasparagus at 8:54 AM on June 8 [20 favorites]


When Parts Unknown came to my city (Houston) social and news media was all abuzz on sightings of him and what he might feature on the show. It was a superb episode focusing on the diversity of culture here. I loved that white people got all of 5 seconds of footage from a gun range (there were other white people featured, but they were part of multicultural families).

If anyone here has not watched Parts Unknown or is unfamiliar with Bourdains shows, I cannot recommend enough starting with the Houston episode. I'm not from Texas and have no connection with Houston but goddamn if this isn't in my opinion Bourdain at his best and the episode even kind of made me tear up a little. It aired just before the 2016 election and it was clear the thesis was that the future of Houston is the future of America, and America is already Great: Bollywood dance parties in strip-mall Indian grocery stores. BBQ in a parking lot with Slim Thug talking about Slab culture. Visiting a high school full of immigrant teenagers from El Salvador and Iraq, and talking to the educators who dedicate their careers to getting them assimilated. Drinking beers at a Viet-Cajun crawfish boil with both the black and vietnamese sides of an interacial family, grandma and all. The episode opens with the American flag and proceeds to show basically no white people for a full hour. In a TV episode about Texas. it was glorious. That's the "Real America" right fucking there.

Now I'm tearing up at work just thinking about it. He was one of the good ones. God fucking damnit.

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posted by windbox at 8:55 AM on June 8 [84 favorites]


I saw him scouting the ferry building farmer's market in SF once. He was dressed like a New York stereotype: all black, blazer over t-shirt and sunglasses.

Wanted to fanboy out on him, but he was obviously in that space where you're looking up and around, trying to get your brain around a place.

He's a reminder that few people go out of their way to speak up for others not like themselves. I wish he could have known how rare and valuable and necessary that is. I'll miss him.
posted by NoRelationToLea at 8:56 AM on June 8 [5 favorites]


His striped shirt and thumb ring need to go into the Smithsonian
posted by armacy at 8:58 AM on June 8 [7 favorites]


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posted by one teak forest at 8:58 AM on June 8


I have always been a huge fan and this absolutely sucks. He was the model of how to be an aging white man born into and aware of his privilege, and seeing with open eyes how mostly fucked the world is, and still using that privilege to find what’s good and sharing it with others, in the process trying to lift us all.

Dude used his travel and food show as a platform to argue that Henry Kissinger should be locked up for war crimes, not an elder statesman. I always admired when he did stuff like that.

I wonder if the burden of all that was too much.

He was a recovering addict who lived under a spotlight. That's enough on its own. Russell Brand, writing about Philip Seymour Hoffman:
In spite of his life seeming superficially great, in spite of all the praise and accolades, in spite of all the loving friends and family, there is a predominant voice in the mind of an addict that supersedes all reason and that voice wants you dead. This voice is the unrelenting echo of an unfulfillable void.
You are emphatically not alone in the shit you're carrying. Tell someone. Find help.
posted by middleclasstool at 9:02 AM on June 8 [42 favorites]


.

Goddammit so much.

Been following Bourdain for years, ever since a good friend turned me on to Kitchen Confidential.

In one episode of Parts Unknown he visited Jim Harrison at Harrison's home in Montana. For me, a seat at that table would have been the most perfect moment on Earth.

Ave atque vale, Mr. Bourdain.
posted by JohnFromGR at 9:03 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


I found out by opening Twitter this morning and seeking someone speaking of him in the past tense and was like "wait, why are you..." and then it hit me what it was.

We lost a good man in a time when the world needs a lot more of them to fight against the bad ones.
posted by urbanlenny at 9:03 AM on June 8 [5 favorites]


Shocked. Utterly shocked.


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posted by droplet at 9:07 AM on June 8


Oh gawdDAMNit

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posted by LMGM at 9:07 AM on June 8


DirtyOldTown: If celebrities really do die in threes, then I hope this so far particularly grim celebrity triad ends on something mundane...

"Sons of Anarchy" actor Alan O'Neill Found Dead at 47

Chronic heart problems, heavy smoker, issues with alcohol, all of which probably played a part.
posted by hanov3r at 9:08 AM on June 8


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posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:09 AM on June 8


god. this is just really not a good timeline for people who Care About Things other than themselves.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:10 AM on June 8 [14 favorites]


Strings of celebrity suicides can be very triggering. Folks, if you manage people, or know that you have friends or family who suffer from depression, please please practice some mental health first aid.
posted by hanov3r at 9:10 AM on June 8




I'm so sad.

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posted by rtha at 9:15 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


First Kate and now Anthony... I hate how our minds can become our worst enemies. Such a loss.

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posted by Fizz at 9:16 AM on June 8


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posted by haiku warrior at 9:16 AM on June 8


I would like to cook a Bourdain dinner tonight if anyone has any recipes to recommend.
posted by maddieD at 9:17 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


Tom Colicchio: "RIP doubtful. Tony’s restless spirit will roam the earth in search of justice, truth and a great bowl of noodles. @Bourdain"
posted by nicebookrack at 9:18 AM on June 8 [35 favorites]


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posted by KTamas at 9:20 AM on June 8


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posted by riruro at 9:26 AM on June 8


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posted by HumanComplex at 9:27 AM on June 8




I would like to cook a Bourdain dinner tonight if anyone has any recipes to recommend.

The thing you love that you would like to share with someone. Then invite that person over.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:30 AM on June 8 [51 favorites]


Ana Marie Cox, on Twitter, writes
Once in the midst of a major depression, I was crying (I thought softly) to myself on the F train; it was crowded. Someone, as they got off, stuck a pack of tissues under my nose. That person kept me going another day. How has someone else that kept you going?
The answers, they are good. This was in particular, from Courtney Denelle, let something loose in my heart:
I was treated for serious injuries following an attempt when I was 25. A young woman shared the hospital room with me; asked me why I was there. She said, “I’m sorry this is happening to you.” I told her no one ever said that to me before. She said, “well no one chooses this.”
Let us be kind to ourselves.
posted by jokeefe at 9:37 AM on June 8 [67 favorites]


This is just terrible. Horrible. He always seemed just so refreshingly genuine and unpretentious and kind and curious. An anti-snob in the best possible way. He taught me how to be curious in new places. He was such a force for good.

It is always hardest when the ones you know struggle like you do and seem to thrive despite it call it quits.

Just heartbreaking.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:39 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]



I would like to cook a Bourdain dinner tonight if anyone has any recipes to recommend.


Get the Les Halles cookbook, just because it's some of his best writing (imo). Then you can cook with him. The recipes are all standards; the coquilles st. jacques would be good for this time of year.

At a signing, he was telling everyone to add a bit of demi glace to the cassoulet; that he'd left that out by accident. I haven't done that, but I will next time it gets cold out.
posted by BibiRose at 9:41 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


@toastasaurus
I met Anthony Bourdain only once, while waiting in line at a food festival. Instead of hello he said "hey kid, you hungry?" and it was like I'd bumped into an old friend. He spent the ten minutes listening to me talk about the home country of my parents, Trinidad & Tobago, with the utmost engagement. Like an ambassador studying up, ready to go. I wanted him so badly to visit there. I felt I could trust him to see what I saw in Trinidad, as if the heart of the country would be safe in his hands as a person and traveler. You trusted him with Your Heritage.

We left the line with longanisa in hand. He clinked his beer bottle to mine and thanked me for my time like he'd had an appointment with me all along. I watched him slope off to happily try another line hoping so hard he'd visit my people. He did, ultimately. My whole family watched it. Practically the whole island did. It was like the president visiting your home country. We all watched as Tony Bourdain spoke of the island as if he'd fallen in love with it. I hope he did. I think many of us trusted him to do that, to fall in love with the places we came from and to understand why we lived there or why we left there. We trusted him to see us as people first. Not curiosities.

Sometimes I like to pretend that my ten minutes convinced him to visit. But that was his charm, really, that he met passion with passion. That he understood the complexity of people just as well as he understood the complexity of food. Sometimes the strange thing about the architecture of fame is that you almost feel someone you admire is the totality of their being. The parts of them that change you are the parts you focus on, and whatever pain he battled was not part of that. I'm sorry that such levels of pain is a country we shared. We have all lost an ambassador today. Anyways, I guess that's all I wanted to say.

Goodbye, Anthony Bourdain. Thank you for visiting my beloved island.
posted by chris24 at 9:46 AM on June 8 [67 favorites]


I just rewatched the No Reservations episode where he visits Saudi Arabia. He was so honest about his own prejudices, and yet so open minded and ready to challenge those beliefs. This is such a heartbreaking loss.

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posted by Orange Dinosaur Slide at 9:46 AM on June 8


Me and Mrs Grubby are finding this hard and hard to understand, having spent many late evenings exploring the parts of the world we don't know and reminiscing about the parts we do.

Mrs Grubby was already planning to cook bún chả tonight before the news. Feels like a fitting tribute to a man who I want to be.

Bon appétit!
posted by grubby at 9:47 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


A friend in my community killed herself - it's been about a month now. I wasn't as close to her as others in the group, but in any case it still feels like there's a wound there that won't heal. We're all grieving, we're all reaching out to each other in our grief and trying to figure out what we can learn now through her absence. So many of us have suffered from depression and anxiety, some of us have suffered from addiction, some of us have had suicidal ideations or made attempts at it.

Each death now pokes at that wound and gets us to talking again, comforting each other and trying to make sense of it all, reminding each other that we all matter and we'd really REALLY like it if everyone could stick around for just a little bit longer, then the next little bit longer, then the next.

My wife looked up some statistics this morning about suicide, and for adults this (spring/early summer) is a prime time. Let's hold each other a little closer, yeah?

I haven't joined the group conversation about Anthony Bourdain yet - I'm supposed to be working today, right? - but I'm sure there are lots of Good Things being said right now. I'll drop in on it tonight.

As for now... sigh. Why are these good hearts going now? Don't answer that.

.
posted by pianoblack at 9:49 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


I came home from a crappy and kinda heartbreaking date last night feeling like shit, I put on three episodes of Parts Unknown and felt like I was hanging with a friend, I also felt like Anthony seemed really tired and a bit testy in the Singapore episode, I wondered if he had someone to talk to, then I went to bed.

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posted by Twinge at 9:51 AM on June 8 [7 favorites]


This one hurts. I'm no cook and even less of a world traveler, but I felt I could experience it through his books and shows. He had a way of taking a cuisine I may never try or a city that I may never visit and making me feel like I had at least some idea of what those things were like. I hope he knew how much he was loved, even if he didn't feel it for himself.
posted by downtohisturtles at 9:52 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


This news has broken my heart. I have to feign normalcy at work (I'm pretty good at doing so), but have already made a couple of trips to the bathroom to cry. He was a special person, and I'm so sorry he's gone.

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posted by but no cigar at 9:53 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


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posted by candyland at 9:53 AM on June 8


Kitchen Confidential made me read more books, literally. His writing made me try writing again, with some success. He made me cook more and made me a better cook and a better eater. His travel made me travel an incredible amount more than I thought I ever would. He impacted me over and over.

(the realization a couple years back that I made it to Tbilisi, Georgia before him and already knew a bunch of the places he was visiting made me feel, just for a minute, like he and I were peers)
posted by Cosine at 9:57 AM on June 8 [6 favorites]


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posted by Cash4Lead at 10:00 AM on June 8


Fuck fuck fuck. I was always so envious of the life he had.

In fine, we thought that he was everything
To make us wish that we were in his place.

posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:06 AM on June 8 [9 favorites]


Reading Kitchen Confidential the first time, fall of '01, I was an assistant to a food photographer and I couldn't put the book down. I was the perfect photographer's assistant up to that point, really, got told I was the best he'd have come through his door in a long long time. I could not put the book down, at work! I got a dressing down in front of the client and was made to put the book in the darkroom while everyone waited, it was a fast food shoot, so there were at least ten people in the studio that day. I was so ashamed, but then so happy for my long-ass bus ride home that night.

I am so worried for everyone these days.
posted by Stonestock Relentless at 10:11 AM on June 8 [9 favorites]


.
so many great episodes of his shows... he inspired me to visit vietnam... puebla, mexico with his former sous chef... his crazy fixer in russia... when he flipped the atv in baja on that one episode i died laughing...

and his politics.. an antidote to everything evil that's ascendant right now in america. anti-xenophobic. anti-misogynist. anti-colonial.

and his personality-- self-deprecating where so many celebrities and pols are self-aggrandizing.

what a tragedy. i dont believe in martyrs, and i think he would have chafed at that description, but it fits.
posted by wibari at 10:15 AM on June 8 [6 favorites]


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posted by sleeping bear at 10:26 AM on June 8


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posted by Ms. Moonlight at 10:28 AM on June 8


I am so completely sad about this.


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posted by functionequalsform at 10:28 AM on June 8 [3 favorites]


I am so completely sad about this.

Same. Feels like losing a friend I didn't always agree with, but looked forward to hanging out with. I just don't understand why.
posted by mudpuppie at 10:35 AM on June 8 [7 favorites]


I really appreciate this MetaFilter community when news like this happens. It’s helpful to hear people’s reactions and stories, feels like a memorial.
posted by vunder at 10:41 AM on June 8 [24 favorites]


Heartbroken. His early-00's Food Network travel show (A Cook's Tour, basically the blueprint for No Reservations) inspired my love of cooking and international food culture. Every show he was a part of made the world feel a bit smaller, in the best possible way. I also appreciated how he highlighted the cultural and political backdrops of the places he visited. It wasn't always delivered with perfect grace, but it always seemed heart-felt and born out of a genuine interest in the people he met around the world, and the desire to show that specific aspects of any given culture (including and especially food) don't ever exist in a vacuum.

Thanks for showing the world to me, Tony.

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posted by kryptondog at 10:47 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


I was reading through the li.st compiled by Anthony linked above by jhope71 and came across this one in the Hotel Slut list.
CHATEAU MARMONT ( LA) : if I have to die in a hotel room, let it be here. I will work in LA just to stay at the Chateau.
OOof
posted by Brainy at 10:49 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


As I wrote on Instagram this morning:

So many people I follow have posted about @anthonybourdain this morning—my feed is picture after picture of him. An inspiration to me for how to engage with and write about the world, acknowledging your privilege, listening to people tell their own stories instead of telling it for them, eating all the food, and speaking the fucking truth. THAT is how to live.
posted by Celsius1414 at 10:54 AM on June 8 [9 favorites]


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posted by Concordia at 10:54 AM on June 8


The staff at Barney Greengrass, a NYC deli he featured on "Cooks Tour" and would often visit, set a table with his usual order and left it there as a tribute.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:00 AM on June 8 [20 favorites]


@BarackObama: “Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer.” This is how I’ll remember Tony. He taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him.

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posted by Surely This at 11:01 AM on June 8 [41 favorites]


Dammit Tony.

Hold tight friends, I love you.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:02 AM on June 8 [8 favorites]


“[When I die], I will decidedly not be regretting missed opportunities for a good time. My regrets will be more along the lines of a sad list of people hurt, people let down, assets wasted and advantages squandered.”
― Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
posted by vunder at 11:02 AM on June 8 [37 favorites]


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posted by the sobsister at 11:04 AM on June 8


I remember reading a comment somewhere shitting on him, and someone replied with "please don't do this. This guy made cooking cool, and we all owe him." He brought a kind of rock n' roll grit and verve to the culinary world that was sorely missing from its public face. A famous guy I would genuinely have loved to hung out with and had a beer. So fucking smart and loquacious. A real guy in a world that seems more and more lacking of them every day.

I knew he had problems, but I also thought he figured it out. I thought he had partly lucked into a great life with great friends and lots of adventure. His death really drives home for me that just about anyone can fall victim to suicidal thoughts. I will genuinely miss his being around, and truly think the world a little lesser with him gone. I bet there will be a hell of a wake.
posted by xammerboy at 11:06 AM on June 8 [8 favorites]


Fuck.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 11:21 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


I avoided watching him. I said I didn't like him. Because, if I'm honest with myself, the dark and unpleasant parts of his personality reminded me of my father, and perhaps myself. The substance abuse, the obvious deflection of debilitating depression and self-loathing into snarky assholery. So I didn't watch him, or read him, but his voice was in my head in such a way that this feels like a really intense loss.

Depression never fucking ends. Fuck. I'm sorry, Tony, for ignoring you. Sounds like I missed one hell of a kind person under all that bluster.
posted by libraritarian at 11:31 AM on June 8 [6 favorites]


Dammit. I was looking forward to many more years of getting mad at his latest terrible comment about veganism.
posted by Lexica at 11:34 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


All of this is just hitting me really hard somehow. It's just this moment in time guys.
posted by peacheater at 11:37 AM on June 8 [11 favorites]


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posted by Samizdata at 11:39 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


He was the anti-Guy Fieri.

About that...


On that note, I saw a wonderful quote by Bourdain doing the rounds today about Fieri. Hilarious without actually being that mean. I love that this is the comparison he reached for.

"Guy Fieri... did you ever see the Simpsons episode where it's decided that Itchy and Scratchy need a sidekick? So a committee gets together and they invent one called Poochie.... Guy Fieri kind of looks like he's been designed by committee."
posted by ocular shenanigans at 11:42 AM on June 8 [9 favorites]


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posted by Sphinx at 11:44 AM on June 8 [1 favorite]


Taken from Twitter: "An octogenarian columnist who’d written a review about a new Olive Garden in her small city was ripped to shreds by pretentious assholes in the food blogging community and beyond. Anthony Bourdain flew her to New York for a meal at Per Se Le Bernardin. Then he wrote the forward to her book."
posted by mstokes650 at 11:45 AM on June 8 [65 favorites]


Damn it
posted by dagosto at 11:46 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


well, now i'm never gonna get that steak and whisky the guy owes me. dammit.

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posted by lapolla at 11:49 AM on June 8 [2 favorites]


He met cynicism with cynicism. He met disdain with disdain. He met people with earnest curiosity and love.

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posted by meese at 11:51 AM on June 8 [13 favorites]


In a weird juxtaposition, right after I heard about this I went to my son's ceremony as he leaves elementary school to go to middle school next year. A favorite music teacher was also leaving to move to Nashville and teared up during a great speech about making your own way in the world. He finished with the Emerson quote "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
posted by freecellwizard at 11:53 AM on June 8 [4 favorites]


"An octogenarian columnist who’d written a review about a new Olive Garden in her small city was ripped to shreds by pretentious assholes in the food blogging community and beyond. Anthony Bourdain flew her to New York for a meal at Per Se Le Bernardin. Then he wrote the forward to her book."

What a mensch.

Here was MeFi’s take on the Grand Forks’ Olive Garden episode back in 2012.
posted by Barack Spinoza at 11:55 AM on June 8 [10 favorites]


Y'all are making me tear up over a man I never met. Bourdain is the rare public figure who could admit he was wrong, who followed every opinion with the disclaimer that his opinions were shit. He was always drawn to the best of other people even when it was clear he thought he wasn't worth it. He was a good man, it's a hard thought that he didn't believe that of himself. I also grieve for his family and especially his daughter.
posted by muddgirl at 11:58 AM on June 8 [9 favorites]


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posted by jchack at 12:10 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


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posted by KillaSeal at 12:12 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


I did not know about the connection with the Grand Forks woman. That’s pretty rad.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:15 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]


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posted by icaicaer at 12:18 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


There was a Reddit post some years back where a guy was going to a Bourdain talk and would have the chance to ask a question—he said the top upvoted comment would be what he asked Tony.

Well, it was my comment. My idol winced at my username, which I’ll treasure forever, as will my question making him and the crowd laugh. It’s here on YouTube.
posted by Celsius1414 at 12:23 PM on June 8 [52 favorites]


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posted by crepesofwrath at 12:24 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


Guys I was holding up ok until that story about Grand Forks. And now I’m crying at work.
posted by sjswitzer at 12:27 PM on June 8 [6 favorites]


I read his book in 2003 and its what inspired me to learn to cook and to learn how to really travel. He's a huge influence in my life.

I was a little peeved at him for his kid gloves treatment of an abusive bastard Marco Pierre White on his show or letting Ferran Adrià shove a spoonful of tomato slime in his mouth while nodding along while Ferran insist every chef has been throwing out 'the greatest pectin the world has ever known'. Sometimes even the best loudmouths get a little tongue-tied around their heroes.

He was supposed to do a segment at this pirate radio/cafe in SF I DJed at. He was supposed to come Saturday or Sunday. I camped out all day Saturday hoping they would drop in so I can meet him and drop off a book Broke-Ass Stuart wanted me to give him. No dice. I skipped Sunday because I was worried he might be a dick, or worst he's the nicest guy in the world but bugging him while doing a segment makes me a dick. I regretted letting my anxiety get the best of me.

If you are in SF, Swan's Oyster Depot was his favorite place. I recommend you clear a half-shell plate in celebration.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 12:38 PM on June 8 [5 favorites]


.

This and the ACA thing are making it a really shite day for me.

When I lived in New York City, I'd have daydreams about meeting him on the street and maybe getting a chance to do the NYC-celeb-nod at him. My hubs loved his work too, and when there wasn't anything on TV to watch, we'd always find an episode of No Reservations or Parts Unknown would satisfy us.

Depression isn't a joke and I'm learning day after day that it's really hard to ignore what your brain tells you when it tells you defeatist things about yourself. I'm so sad that he couldn't ignore his faulty brain any longer.
posted by TrishaLynn at 12:41 PM on June 8 [4 favorites]


Wow – that really fucking sucks, and like the rest of you I didn't see it coming at all. In an era when most television shows seem tailor-made to erode whatever functioning brain cells we have left, I've always found him to be one of the most intelligent and articulate people on the tube. His acerbic wit and dark humor will be missed. RIP Anthony Bourdain.
posted by DavidfromBA at 12:42 PM on June 8 [5 favorites]


I've been getting progressively sadder all day as I've wallowed in expressions of regret and memory. Bourdain's been a lodestar for me, not as a cook but as a traveler, as someone who was interested in people and their food, people and their culture, and people and their craft. I was very interested in his short-lived series called Raw Craft on youtube, where he interviewed passionate experts on one particular thing. Here's the link: Raw Craft Bourdain

Damn it all.


posted by MovableBookLady at 12:43 PM on June 8 [9 favorites]


I don't know that much about cooking and even less about fashion, but this has been a really depressing week.
posted by freakazoid at 12:43 PM on June 8 [4 favorites]


I am so upset about this. I had such a crush on him. He looked as if he could show a woman a really good time, take her to a back alley ramen joint after some hot, dirty sex.

My favourite segment of his was when he was filming in Italy. For some reason I don't recall the planned host didn't show up and so the trip to a restaurant kitchen fell through. So one of the Italian crew called his mother, and said he was bringing everyone over for Sunday lunch. They all turned up at this little apartment and sat down to authentic, home-cooked ragu and pasta. AB was so delighted with the food and so respectful of this elderly lady as she showed him how she made her sauce. It's always stuck with me how kind, unpretentious and gracious he was.
posted by essexjan at 12:45 PM on June 8 [36 favorites]


.

@BarackObama: “Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer.”

Denizcan Grimes: Fun fact: This restaurant in Vietnam was so honored by the visit, that they framed the table and stools.
posted by numaner at 12:46 PM on June 8 [21 favorites]


Ugh, this is so shitty.

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posted by sandettie light vessel automatic at 12:46 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


.

Two people I am related to in my past life in NYC committed suicide this week, and they are both parents with younger children, as am I.

If not for having a practice... It's really sunny today in LA. I don't know how I made it this far. If there's a word that encompasses feeling absolutely devastated and deeply grateful, humble... That. So hard.

Every body deserves a practice. I can't preach it loudly enough. Neither one of them deserved this considering how much of themselves they gave the world.

Hang in here, everybody. Get a practice.
posted by jbenben at 12:48 PM on June 8 [14 favorites]


.

If you're looking for more tears to shed, I just listened to this old interview from Here & Now, where he lovingly explains how he got over his hatred for breakfast foods to run a custom pancake station for his young daughter and her friends.
It's in the second half of the interview, but the whole piece is a treat.
http://www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2018/06/08/june-08-2018-hn-one

I've read Kitchen Confidential, Find Jiro! and watched his shows on and off. Realizing that another voice has been lost has been hard today. Get help if you need it, folks: 800-273-TALK (8255) or Text NAMI to 741-741
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 12:51 PM on June 8 [6 favorites]


"I am trying to find words for my friend. I will post something here later if they ever come. For now, just know how much Tony Bourdain — for all his wit and sharp edges, for all his grandiose and larger-than-life persona — was a genuinely good man and careful colleague. And that doesn’t begin to express how empty the world feels this morning." - David Simon
posted by riruro at 12:51 PM on June 8 [6 favorites]


Oh, and when we were in NY recently, we were searching for another place Big Purr to find the "authentic" egg cream similar to how their grandmother made it. Google searching brought up Ray's Candy Store, which looked super sketch at 11 at night, but lo, an excellent egg cream was purchased. and Ray was working at the counter! Apparently Bourdain had recently visited for his show, and we were so happy about the connection, and looking forward to seeing the episode.

For the NY peeps in the area, go toast Bourdain with an real egg cream at Ray's.
posted by Hermeowne Grangepurr at 12:58 PM on June 8 [6 favorites]


If he had read a thread like this, I wonder if it would have changed his mind. I think we as a society need to get better at showing appreciation for people while they are around to hear it.
posted by mantecol at 1:12 PM on June 8 [4 favorites]


I keep thinking, if only he saw these comments, a la It's a Wonderful Life... , but anyone who has dealt with depression could see that his pain came from unconditional self loathing and was worsened by the injustices of the world. Like he had a huge sense of guilt surrounding his privilege and perceived fuck ups.

It seems to me that he was the sort of person who turns to cynicism to hide an extremely compassionate heart. We talked about this in that thread about the egg spoon (seems so stupid now) . I think he was an actually good person who struggled to deal with how fucked up the world is.
posted by Tarumba at 1:23 PM on June 8 [20 favorites]


I was not a huge fan of certain aspects of his persona, but I'm going to see if I can't find something this weekend I've never eaten before and try it in his honor.
posted by praemunire at 1:30 PM on June 8 [5 favorites]


.

I am grateful for Kitchen Confidential in that it utterly changed my life. I was in a dead end tech job, I loved food, I liked to eat, and I liked to cook. Clearly, I should ditch everything in my current career, and go to Culinary School! Being a Chef will solve everything.

Well, KC opened my eyes a lot to the harsh realities of the restaurant/food industry, I realized that I didn't like food that much, and thus prevented me from making what could have been a mistake. Instead, I explored my options in Tech, and when I got laid off from my dead end tech job, I went back to school for more Tech skills. Now I'm using them in my new career path, and am a lot happier as a result. I still love food and I am an unapologetic foodie, but I prefer bytes to bites as a way to make money.

Thank you, Anthony.
posted by spinifex23 at 1:41 PM on June 8 [15 favorites]


.

I knew him second hand from my cooking days. He was a hard living, salt of the earth, take all comers, no holds barred Chef. He lived a life like a well-spoken Keith Richards. He was no saint. And he didn't expect those around him to be either. From the people I knew who knew him,. he was restless and uneasy although really personable.

Like others have mentioned before, I too read Kitchen Confidential at a turning point in my career. Post 9/11, I took a leave of absence from the engineering firm I worked for to recover emotionally. That was one of the books I read during that time. 4 months later, I gave my notice and I was in culinary school. These things were not completely causal, but they certainly weren't unrelated. So yeah... this has a profound effect on me.
posted by Nanukthedog at 1:42 PM on June 8 [16 favorites]


.

A few years ago I was on vacation and ran out of reading material. We were staying in a rental condo which had the usual shelf of travel reading, mainly airport bestsellers and whatnot, but tucked in there was a copy of Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook. I started reading and was hooked. When I was done, I gave the book to my spouse and said "You have to read this" and then we were both hooked.

I loved reading about his adventures in Brazilian jiu-jitsu; I started doing karate six years ago and have kept going despite injuries and decreasing flexibility, so I could relate to the stories he would tell about BJJ.
posted by mogget at 1:58 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]


Not everybody's depression is the same. But this is one way the suicidal brain can can present things to its owner:

“OK, there are people who care about me, and would be sad if I died. But, normal people recover from their loved ones’ deaths every day. They're sad, they go through a mourning period, and then they heal and get on with their lives. Once they start getting on with their lives, they'll realize the obvious: that they’re so much better off without me then they could have imagined. And if they really care about me, they'll be glad that I'm not suffering anymore. And it isn't fair to ask one person to suffer, and to also suffer the indignity of being a burden, when treatment is so hit-or-miss and poorly understood, just to keep some healthy people from feeling temporarily sad.”

N.B. I am not saying these things are correct. I am not saying that I know this is how Mr Bourdain felt, because I don't and cannot have any knowledge of that. I'm just responding to the idea, presented a few times above, that knowing someone cares about you is necessarily an antidote for suicidal feelings. Sometimes it does make a difference; I'm not denying that. But other times it doesn't.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:12 PM on June 8 [31 favorites]


Dammit. I was always impressed that he was not afraid to change, to care and grapple with things around him and write about his inner terrain. One episode of No Reservations showed him gutted by the child poverty he saw and his seeing his young daughter in the children. It was sincere and not poverty porn.

Fuck.

.
posted by jadepearl at 2:20 PM on June 8 [5 favorites]


People are gathering at Les Halles (both locations) to build a kind of makeshift memorial. I only just today realised, because I am oblivious I guess, that Les Halles was 'his' restaurant. I ate a totally accidental meal at the Park Avenue location, once, before it closed, and though that was well after his time, and not the original location, it was still somehow exactly the place he described so well.

.
posted by halation at 2:38 PM on June 8 [4 favorites]


Metafilter is really sad today, I am really sad today, I've posted more than once in this thread already.

Can you please do something positive with this emotion, can you please tell your friends you love them, can you please take them for a meal, can you please ask how they are doing?
posted by Twinge at 2:41 PM on June 8 [14 favorites]


Here's a nice reminiscence by food writer Helen Rosner in the New Yorker: "Anthony Bourdain and the Power of Telling the Truth."
posted by mhum at 2:42 PM on June 8 [10 favorites]


[Couple comments removed. Token Meme—and anyone else, really—I'm sorry it's a rough go right now, and today is a hard day. If you want to talk to someone, you can reach out on the contact form, and there's a list of potential resources on the wiki's There Is Help page. Shit's hard sometimes, but it's good that you're here.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:58 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]


.
posted by hydra77 at 3:01 PM on June 8


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posted by sharp pointy objects at 3:12 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]


.

There's something really fundamental about the truth that people are really all the same everywhere, and his work really gets to the heart of it. One thing that traveling, even the limited amount that I've had the privilege to do, teaches you is how close we all are to one another. It really does expand your world to share an experience from another culture with people from that culture, and Bourdain was so adept at demonstrating that through his shows and writing.
posted by Existential Dread at 3:38 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]


I can't really describe it, but he made getting older a better thing to try to do.

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posted by rhizome at 3:44 PM on June 8 [17 favorites]


Well, fuck.


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posted by shiny blue object at 4:09 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


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posted by grandiloquiet at 4:10 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


When I was younger I used to dream of dating Anthony Bourdain and going with him on his travels and eating all (most) of the food he was eating.

Then I got older and wiser and realized that I just wanted to BE Anthony Bourdain with his adventures and his food and his compassion and his talking to every person around him. One of the main differences between his depression and mine is that I didn't kill myself - there but for the grace of whomever go I.

The last celebrity whose death made me cry was Mark Sandman in 1999 but here I am again. ❤️

.
posted by bendy at 4:17 PM on June 8 [10 favorites]


I think he would have loved how many people read Kitchen Confidential and then either did or did not go into cooking professionally. That book is like a sorting hat for the culinary-minded.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:26 PM on June 8 [23 favorites]


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posted by XMLicious at 4:34 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


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posted by filtergik at 4:38 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


GODDAMMIT
posted by bshort at 4:43 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


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posted by hyperizer at 5:01 PM on June 8 [1 favorite]


I normally abhor . threads, but this one hit close to home.

Bourdain was the cool senior who took some time out of his day to educate your freshman ass in the stuff you didn't know you didn't know. He was not a perfect person, as none of us are. Still for a lot of us, he was the person who opened a door to new experiences - food, travel, redemption, whatever - and that is what hits so many so hard.

The idea that someone who worked so hard to claw what they had not just into a life, but a wildly successful one, could just let go is foreign to the zeitgeist... but that doesn't mean it can't happen. It did and it does and it will again.

I wish I had a call to action beyond "Be there." Be there for those in crisis, be there for those who seem strong, be there for strangers and friends and everyone.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:07 PM on June 8 [12 favorites]


I randomly encountered him recently (~8 months ago?) in a country I love dearly. Indeed, he was respectful and represented that place in such an honorable way.
He was incredibly kind and fun. I had a great time breaking bread with him and talking about REAL issues in this particular country. He cared so much.
TRAGEDY.
posted by k8t at 5:13 PM on June 8 [18 favorites]


Here's another Bourdain thing that, if you haven't cried yet, this will help you start. It involves Anthony, a book tour, a young fan, leukemia, and Spain....

https://twitter.com/EvanBenn/status/1005070320401821696
posted by Samizdata at 5:22 PM on June 8 [10 favorites]


And, yes, a nice ending.
posted by Samizdata at 5:23 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]


A few things. First, what's so damned hard is I thought the Bourdain we saw was the real Bourdain. Opinionated, smart as hell, raging against the machine and calling out the bastards, caring, funny, etc. It never occurred to me that there was something so dark underneath that. Like, opposed to Kurt Cobain, where even a casual fan could tell there were deeper issues, Bourdain seemed to have fought his demons, he overcame his shit, and was living a fairly fantastic life with friends, a child, a girlfriend and an amazing career. I'm having the stupidest time in my own brain trying to comprehend what was really going on with him. How could he appear so healthy when he was struggling so deeply?

Okay and secondly--if you didn't appreciate Bourdain, keep it to yourself. This is an obit FPP; do you really need to be the person who says, "Well, I was never a fan?" A man is dead, people are grieving.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 6:08 PM on June 8 [12 favorites]


I can recommend his black comedy kitchen/crime novel Bone In the Throat as good fun. He wrote a couple of others too.

.

(or should it be "1-2-3-4!")
posted by mubba at 6:12 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]


>>"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

This reminds me of the latest news item I'd read about Bourdain before his death, The One Place Anthony Bourdain Can’t Go, Because of Insurance: "Venezuela is so utterly screwed up, the insurance companies won’t cover us. [...] They will consider Afghanistan but not Venezuela. [They covered Myanmar] and Libya...but not Venezuela."

I hope that more people will be inspired by Bourdain's work to set off on new trails to tell new stories about places, people, and food. And I'll be looking forward to new stories about the people and food of Venezuela.
posted by nicebookrack at 6:27 PM on June 8 [7 favorites]




.

I feel like I ought to tell some kind of story, or anecdote, or relate some experience. The truth is I have nothing. I merely knew him as somebody whose work I respected; whose writing I enjoyed.

Fuck.
posted by The Lurkers Support Me in Email at 6:33 PM on June 8 [8 favorites]


I am absolutely gutted. I am glad this community exists to mourn together.

.
posted by Fig at 6:41 PM on June 8 [10 favorites]


I think this is the first I've been moved to tears at the passing of a celebrity. I've watched him, off and on, through the years and various iterations of his tv shows. I've been at his table more often than at many of my friends'. He had an openness and sense of presence and met people in a way that made you feel you were meeting them too. I've been one of those, battling my own demons, to look at his life at times and think "how charmed, what luck." And yet.
posted by gennessee at 6:58 PM on June 8 [5 favorites]


My husband and I are foodies and travellers. We used the Hong Kong episode of the Layover as preliminary research for our trip this past March. So sorry, Tony.
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posted by Rora at 7:11 PM on June 8 [3 favorites]


I teach geography. His show, over time, morphed into the best geography show on TV. I'm thinking particularly of the Cambodia episode, but I'm spoilt for choice for which of his episodes I could use to structure a college level geography course around. I liked Kitchen Confidential, and was impressed when he so clearly grew beyond it, all the while being in the public eye.
posted by mollweide at 7:22 PM on June 8 [16 favorites]


How Not To Commit Suicide.
If you are at risk of harming yourself, please see the ink at the top of the post. We need you here.

I'm so sorry that he felt so much pain. Some people I knew from a literary website had a story about meeting him and he was gracious, generous, fun, interesting. My great sympathy to his family, suicide has multiple victims.

.
posted by theora55 at 9:04 PM on June 8 [6 favorites]


This is sad news! I loved his show and actually read his article ‘Kitchen Confidential’. He was a genuinely good person. It’s a shame. •
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 9:23 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]


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posted by suelac at 9:38 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]


I have no words. Thanks to all of you for being able to speak the words of loss and love that I cannot.
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posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:06 PM on June 8 [4 favorites]


.

This is so sad. Kate Spade, Avicii, Scott Hutchinson and now Anthony. Too many talented people being lost to mental illness.
posted by daybeforetheday at 10:10 PM on June 8 [2 favorites]


I followed this suggestion today:

I think a proper tribute to @Bourdain would be wherever you live, venture across town, across the tracks, to a place you wouldn’t normally go and find a place to eat and talk with strangers. #anthonybourdain

Every time this unadventurous stay-at-home watched No Reservations, I would think, "If only I was so brave." Well, today I was, and it was a good experience.

Thanks Anthony.

.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 10:25 PM on June 8 [33 favorites]


Chris Clark on Twitter has a lovely thoughtful thread on depression and dealing with it.
posted by suelac at 10:39 PM on June 8 [8 favorites]


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posted by dbiedny at 12:34 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


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posted by augustimagination at 1:25 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


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posted by Elmore at 1:47 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


“I got, finally, the hands I always wanted. Hands just like the ones Tyrone taunted me with all those years ago. Okay, there are no huge water-filled blisters– not this weekend, anyway. But the scars are there, and as I lie in bed, I take stock of my extremities, idly examining the burns, old and new, checking the condition of my calluses, nothing with some unhappiness the effects of age and hot metal.

At the base of my right forefinger is an inch-and-a-half diagonal callus, yellowish-brown in color, where the heels of all the knives I’ve ever owned have rested, the skin softened by constant immersions in water. I’m proud of this one. It distinguishes me immediately as a cook, as someone who’s been on the job for a long time. You can feel it when you shake my hand, just as I feel it on others of my profession. It’s a secret sign, sort of a Masonic handshake without the silliness, a way that we in the life recognize one another, the thickness and roughness of that piece of flesh, a resume of sorts, telling others how long and how hard it’s been. My pinky finger on the same hand is permanently deformed, twisted and bent at the tip– a result of poor whisk handling. Making hollandaise and bearnaise every day for Bigfoot, I’d keep the whisk handle between pinky and third finer, and apparently the little finger slipped out of joint unnoticed and was allowed to build up calcium deposits, until it became what it is today, freakish-looking and arthritic.

There are some recent scrapes and tiny punctures, a few little dings here and there on the backs of my hands– the result of rummaging at high speed through crowded reach-in boxes, hauling milk crates filled with meat upstairs, busting open boxes and counting cans on Saturday inventory– and a few shiny spots where I must have spattered myself with hot oil or simply grabbed a pot handle or pair of kitchen tongs that were too hot. My nails,such as they are– I gnaw them in the taxi home from work– are filthy; there’s dried animal blood under the cuticles, and crushed black pepper, beef fat and sea salt. A large black bruise under the left thumbnail is working its way slowly out over time; it looks as though I’ve dipped the thumb in India ink. There’s a beveled-off fingertip on the left; I lopped off that fingertip while trying to cut poblano peppers many years back. Jesus, I remember that one; the face on the emergency room intern as he crunched the curved sewing needle right through the nail, trying vainly to reattach a flap of skin that was clearly destined to become necrotic and fall off. I remember looking up at him as I twisted and writhed on the table, hoping to see the cool, calm, somehow reassuring expression of a Marcus Welby looking back at me. Instead, I saw the face of an overextended fry cook– a kid, really– and he looked pained, even grossed-out as he pulled through another loop of filament.

There’s a raised semicircular scar on the left palm where I had a close encounter with the jagged edge of a can of Dijon mustard. Almost passed out from that one– that terrible few seconds befre the blood came, me looking at my injured paw and it not looking like my hand at all, just some terribly violated slab of very pale meat. When the blood came it was almost a relief.
There are some centimeter-long ridges in the webbing of my left hand, between thumb and forefinger, from the Dreadnaught, when I would regularly lose control of the oyster knfe, the dull blade hopping out of or breaking through the shell to bury itself in my hand. The knuckle wounds are so numerous, and have been opened and reopenened so frequently, that I can no longer recall, in the layer upon layer of white scar tissue, where or when I got any of them. I know that one of them is the result of boiling duck fat at the Supper Club, but other insults to the flesh have come and gone; it’s like the layers of an ancient city now, evidence of one kitchen after another piled up on top of each other. The middle finger of my left hand, at the first jooing, where the finger guides the knife blade, has been nicked so many times it’s a raised hump of dead flesh, which tends to get in the way of the blade if I’m whacking vegetables in a hurry. I have to be careful. My fingerprints are stained with beet juice (hot borscht as soupe du jour yesterday), and if I hold my fingers to my nose, I can still smell smoked salmon, chopped shallots, and a hint of Morbier rind.

It’s been twenty-seven years since I walked into the Dreadnaught kitchen with my hair halfway down my back, a bad attitude and a marginal desire to maybe do a little work in return for money. Twenty-six years since my humiliation at Mario’s when I looked up at Tyrone’s mightily abused claws and decided I wanted a pair like that. I don’t know who said that every man, at fifty, gets the face he deserves, but I certainly got the hands I deserve. And I’ve got a few years to go yet. How much longer am I going to do this? I don’t know. I love it, you see.”

One of the most powerful parts of Kitchen Confidential for me, other than understanding what t meant to need to chase chaos and find peace there, was that he so clearly had such a profound love for all the people he wrote about; as much as he did the food that was ostensibly his career, the scars he was so proud of. I can remember most of the people from that book 20 years after reading it; his tv shows were all about that too, finding people, learning their stories, witnessing and telling them. I hope he’s at peace.

.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 2:35 AM on June 9 [30 favorites]




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posted by drworm at 3:40 AM on June 9


Have never seen his shows, but Kitchen Confidential was (sorry if this offends anyone) a bathroom book in my house for years. Frankly that's how I liked Bourdain best: dipped into. The machismo was too much for sustained reading. But the rest was too good to ignore.

For no reason except that it's possible, I have nearly 200 cookbooks, his Les Halles Cookbook among them, and can't recommend his Poulet Basquaise enough. He didn't think he was a great cook but he wrote a good recipe.
posted by goofyfoot at 3:50 AM on June 9 [2 favorites]


From the New Yorker article upthread:

“Remember when you asked me if I was a feminist, and I was afraid to say yes?” he said, in that growling, companionable voice. “Write this down: I’m a fuckin’ feminist.”

.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:45 AM on June 9 [37 favorites]


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posted by tarantula at 4:47 AM on June 9


.

I too loved Kitchen Confidential. Such an eye opening and truthful book.
posted by mmascolino at 5:44 AM on June 9 [1 favorite]


Eye-opening is right. Don't order fish on Sunday.
posted by snuffleupagus at 6:58 AM on June 9 [3 favorites]


From the New Yorker article upthread:

“Remember when you asked me if I was a feminist, and I was afraid to say yes?” he said, in that growling, companionable voice. “Write this down: I’m a fuckin’ feminist.”

.


It's a great profile, especially the section where this quote comes from, talking about how he came to be so outspoken in support of Argento and others who were naming names.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:30 AM on June 9 [6 favorites]


WTF, Newsweek.

(don't click this if seeing some excerpts of their very scummy clickbait coverage is going to be too upsetting)
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:04 AM on June 9 [2 favorites]


Bourdain with Montana novelist and food writer Jim Harrison ("Legends of the Fall," etc), from a Parts Unknown episode shortly before Harrison's death.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:14 AM on June 9 [3 favorites]


What the fuck, Tony? What the fuck.
posted by esmerelda_jenkins at 8:54 AM on June 9 [4 favorites]


Just watched this Fast Company 'last' interview... hilarious and very very sad
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:05 AM on June 9 [4 favorites]


Damn, I've been having so much trouble processing this - I loved this man and was looking forward to growing old with him. I loved watching how he he stayed true to himself, yet grew and evolved as a person. I was always interested in what he was up to. He was my go-to person when I felt restless, bored or sad. He wasn't aware of it, but we had quite a good relationship and I will miss seeing him age with me.

I could handle this better if he his death occurred "in action" as he was traveling for his show, but that he suffered such depths of pain that he felt no alternative but to end his life, wow, that is brutally sad and heartbreaking. Crushing news, as it was with Robin Williams' death.

Recently, I was in Tokyo and I badly wanted to go to the Robot Restaurant but was afraid it was too silly, tacky and touristy. But when I watched his Tokyo episode, there he was and he enjoyed it. That was good enough for me -- Anthony Bourdain gave me license to go and it was very fun.

Thanks to all in this thread who made such touching tributes, shared links and told great stories. I'm not on Metafilter day-to-day anymore but it is always my go-to home when I need friends and shared comfort.
posted by madamjujujive at 10:58 AM on June 9 [28 favorites]


We don't get to follow him on his new adventures.

.
posted by gomichild at 11:52 AM on June 9 [5 favorites]


I was rereading Medium Raw and was struck dumb. He talks about his nice parents and their nice family and his dad worked for Columbia Records (and was therefore a cool dad) and how much he hated them for their normality. He claimed to be desperate for deviant parents and how he wanted a dramatic and awful childhood. Now reading it for the millionth time, I think I'm finally getting the message I refused to see. Like with heroin and drunk driving and hooking up with wildly unstable women, he only felt alive when he was thisclose to destruction.

What a fucking shame. What a waste.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 3:21 PM on June 9 [6 favorites]


I just looked at the Newsweek-sucks story, and went to Newsweek itself and just sent the following through their contact form:
I am COMPLETELY DISGUSTED by the following articles I'm seeing have been released under Newsweek's banner following Anthony Bourdain's tragic death:

[clickbaity headline titles redacted]

It doesn't matter what Anthony Bourdain's net worth is, nor do I need to know who his ex-wife, girlfriend, and daughter are. All I need to know about his net worth is that it didn't prevent him from depression that cost him his life and all I need to know about his ex-wife, girlfriend, and daughter are that they are grieving for him. Any other information is utterly inconsequential, and it is a SHOCKING violation of their privacy that THEY are your focus at this time.

Show some DECENCY.
Feel free to adapt for your own complaints.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:38 PM on June 9 [15 favorites]


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posted by tychotesla at 4:58 PM on June 9


There's an episode of No Reservations where Bourdain gets all the famous chefs in the world to show you basic kitchen techniques. Sure, you may know how to make an omelette but here's Jacques Pepin showing you how he does it. Thomas Keller shows you how to roast a chicken, and so on. It has never left my laptop since it aired - according to iTunes I've watched it 11 times.

Ernest Hemingway also only made it to 61. Hunter S Thompson was what, 67? Bourdain was a better force for good in the world than either of them. I haven't outright sobbed this much since Bowie.
posted by quartzcity at 6:35 PM on June 9 [7 favorites]


I love that episode too. Especially how he's got a Boeuf Bourguignon on the go the whole time.
posted by michswiss at 6:45 PM on June 9


yes I said i will yes, yeah. I haven’t read Medium Rare, but from Kitchen Confidential, you can see the shape of the demon — he needs to be around chaos, unstable people, the intense pressure and often violence of kitchen environments, not just doing and being addicted to drugs but also being around the constant chaos and emergencies of drug scenes, because that allows him to channel it instead of just being eaten alive by it. And in the flow and rush of a kitchen, where are you are constantly fucking up your hands and satisfying that urge that you might otherwise need to turn to self injury to get a fix of, you get to make something beautiful out of it, you get to make something that nourishes other people and helps form to real bonds, you use that energy to make something unequivocally good. His crackhead friend Adam Real Last Name Unknown being the baker who made the sacred staff of life. I don’t know what the official name of this thing is, it is 100% a mental health condition but I don’t think just “depression” describes it. Sometimes it’s trauma, sometimes it’s something neurological or neurochemical, like being predisposed to addiction. I wonder if he claimed that he hated his normal parents in that book only because if they hadn’t been so normal, he would at least of had an answer for where it came from. You don’t self medicate with crack and heroin out of nowhere. In the kitchen and sex work and bar scenes, I’ve heard a lot of people who worry that they are (or have been called) sociopaths, because they have that kind of threshold for chaos and thrive in it. This isn’t true — like Bourdain there’s a core of deep compassion and empathy there- but that adrenaline state thing, the thing I don’t have a name for, that pushes people to ride that edge and sometimes fall over it, that’s there too.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 7:05 PM on June 9 [16 favorites]


He even warned us about Putin, and a foreshadow of trump in his 2013 episode in Russia. Nemtsov was assassinated not long after this episode aired in 2014.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:32 PM on June 9 [5 favorites]


I've been trying to find the words but instead I took my kid to a splash park.

I don't have the words.
posted by blessedlyndie at 7:37 PM on June 9 [3 favorites]


The Detroit News front page story today was 'Anthony Bourdain shared his love for Detroit's culture and history'. Papers in many other cities could say the same about Anthony. But Bourdain had been working on a CNN documentary "Detroit 1963: Once in a Great City". Going to be bittersweet when that airs.
posted by riruro at 8:19 PM on June 9 [8 favorites]


overheard on Facebook:

"I’m greatly saddened that a guy who knew how to live apparently didn’t"
posted by philip-random at 11:46 PM on June 9




Truth is rare on TV. Thanks for providing some, Toni.

.
posted by zaelic at 4:15 AM on June 10


Oh, we close our eyes
The perfect life
Life is all we need
You open up when you had me in your hands
Slipping far away, with the world at your command
You sing me to sleep, and they you hit me away
It's a perfect life, a perfect life
I only want to be here when you're by my side
Oh I believe now, I'll love you 'til I die
You will sing me to sleep, you will hit me awake
in the perfect life, the perfect life
Oh, we close our eyes
The perfect life
Life is all we need
Oh, we close our eyes
The perfect life
Life is all we need
Little mickey steps everywhere
Knives in his pockets and bullets in his hair,
He has nothing to live for, nothing else to say
He's locking out the doors
To keep the older wolves away
Spoons and foil are all he needs.
A bed and some china
A lighter and some speed
It will sing you to sleep, it will hit you awake
In the perfect life, a perfect life.
Oh, we close our eyes
The perfect life
Life is all we need
Oh, we close our eyes
The perfect life
Life is all we need
Oh, we close our eyes
The perfect life
Life is all we need
Oh, we close our eyes
The perfect life
Life is all we need
The perfect life
The perfect life
The perfect life
The perfect life
The perfect life
All we need
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 6:05 AM on June 10 [1 favorite]


Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat ei. Requiescat in pace.
posted by ob1quixote at 12:41 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


The Detroit News front page story today was 'Anthony Bourdain shared his love for Detroit's culture and history'. Papers in many other cities could say the same about Anthony.

oh, this indeed.

Anthony Bourdain showed the Middle East I know and love [Washington Post]
Bourdain said he came away from his 2006 experience in the Lebanese capital “determined to make television differently than I’d done before.” After Beirut, he wrote, “the days of ‘happy horseshit,’ the uplifting sum-up at the end of every show, the reflex inclusion of a food scene in every act, that ended right there. The world was bigger than that. The stories more confusing, more complex, less satisfying in their resolutions.”
How Lebanon Transformed Anthony Bourdain [The Atlantic]
Every time I read Bourdain on Lebanon, I marvel at his ability to grasp the subtleties of a place where he’d never lived. There’s a joke about my country: If you think you understand Lebanon, someone’s just done a bad job explaining it to you. But he understood it just the way I did. “The food’s delicious, the people are awesome. It’s a party town. And everything wrong with the world is there,” he told Blogs of War. “Hopefully, you will come back smarter about the world. You’ll understand a little more about how uninformed people are when they talk about that part of the world,” he added. “You’ll come back as I did: changed and cautiously hopeful and confused in the best possible way.”
posted by standardasparagus at 1:30 PM on June 10 [13 favorites]


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posted by ikahime at 2:48 PM on June 10


The first time that I'd heard of him was from randomly catching Parts Unknown while channel surfing broadcast TV. It was more interesting than any cooking/travel show I'd seen. After watching a few episodes, I realized that the underlying theme which he kept returning to was Diaspora, and that migration was usually sad, and sometimes tragic and traumatic. His show had a respectful understanding of world history and colonialism. (It wasn't until years later that I'd read KC learned more about his wild kitchen-punk roots);
posted by ovvl at 3:56 PM on June 10 [3 favorites]


The only thing that I can add is that for all the love I have for his work, the thing I always took away when I saw him on TV or read his books was that he and I shared the opinion that the stooges' "Fun House" album is the greatest ever made, and knowing that album as I do, it seems to percolate through everything he ever did. I'll miss him tremendously.

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posted by AJaffe at 4:36 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


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posted by Fibognocchi at 6:15 PM on June 10


He took us to places that we would never have gone. We went with him to those places. He was honest in his dialogs. I'm very sorry that he chose to end his life, it's so heartbreaking.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:32 PM on June 10 [1 favorite]


I've had this quote from Bourdain on my mind n scribed out for my office pinboard. It's been my Facebook quote for years. The food is just a small part of the Bourdain experience for me. He's about cultivating a state of attunement with others, their/our cultures and our own approach to learning. Openness, desire to know and putting ourselves in social spaces that grow us as human beings. Boy am I sad about his passing.

"...If you're twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel - as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them - wherever you go..."
posted by honey-barbara at 1:54 AM on June 11 [1 favorite]


Depression is the real unacknowledged epidemic, not suicide. Not that long ago, I went into a serious tailspin. For two long years, I could not smell or taste anything. And I am Sicilian/Calabrese. So everything starts at the table. My insurance would not pay for therapy. I was very lucky to find a person with whom I Skyped every week. I really owe my life to him and what he did for me. My depression lifted and my senses of smell and taste returned. I am grateful to say the least and a little more humble. Seek out someone, anyone. Talk to them if they have an ear and a heart. Tell them your dreams. Talk to those dream images, draw them, paint them, dance them. The gold of transformation is inside the darkness.
posted by DJZouke at 5:44 AM on June 11 [9 favorites]


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I still don't know what else to say.

(I am not typically at a loss for words.)
posted by desuetude at 10:28 AM on June 11


essexjan: AB was so delighted with the food and so respectful of this elderly lady as she showed him how she made her sauce. It's always stuck with me how kind, unpretentious and gracious he was.

Foodie people used to be a little less fussy, and a little more...unpretentious. Like involuntarily exclaiming "Mmmmm, so good!" through a mouth full of food, you know?

Back in the 1980s, my mom and her mom and one of my aunts got waaaay into food. Like, Mom & Aunt Wizzie practiced their high school French, then hopped a plane to France to spend three weeks at cooking school (with, I believe Simone Beck). They returned home with fistfuls of scrawled notes, and luggage stuffed with new pans & dishes. (These included a giant, green, ceramic soup tureen with a life-size pear as a handle. Delightful -- and amazingly unbroken!)

After that my aunt went semi-pro, teaching classes herself and also running a mail-order chocolate shop from rented space in St. Paul, MN; eventually she even had a second kitchen in her house. But they also had a club of friends who just loved to eat. They met once a month in the morning at someone's home, and spent the day cooking a big meal that they ate together. It was friends and food, and it was....just nice, you know?

Mom taught me to cook. When I said I wanted to grow up and be a chef, she said to stay out of the business so that it wouldn't turn into capital-W-Work, and so I could keep loving it. I took her advice, and I do still love cooking for myself and my family. You gotta eat to live, and Bourdain seemed to have never forgotten that despite all the fancy food he served and ate.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:39 AM on June 11 [8 favorites]


One other thought: when I travel, I try to talk to everyone and anyone. And people are so awesome!

When I went to Philadelphia with the Boy Scouts a few weeks ago, I talked to a nice Park Ranger about her uniform, and a cool interpreter at the Museum of American Revolution about drums & his musket, and a friendly guide at the National Constitution Center, oh and Ed the camp director at Pine Hill Scout Camp (NJ) is a great guy (who loves the local LARPers!), and the guy at Jim's who made my sandwich was super nice, and so were those three ladies in the guitar shop where we ducked in for a minute, plus also Rachel the story-teller and the lady telling stories at Valley Forge whose name I didn't get. (And that was just three days worth of New Friends.) How could I forget Eddie the AAA driver who sold me a new battery for the car?! Sorry, Eddie!

It drives my wife a little crazy how I will take so much time chatting with random people. It's the way my dad travels, and the way Bourdain travels, and it's how I want to spend the rest of my life: stopping to say hello, asking what's the best thing, trying whatever I am offered.
posted by wenestvedt at 11:52 AM on June 11 [9 favorites]


I found this today and think it's one of the best about Bourdain and his demons: Making Sense of Bourdain
posted by MovableBookLady at 12:10 PM on June 11 [6 favorites]


FYI: Seasons 1-8 of Parts Unknown are scheduled to be removed from Netflix USA this week. Time for a quick rewatch if you can handle it.

I'm trying but I don't know how long I can last.
posted by elsietheeel at 10:14 AM on June 12




Oh that's wonderful news. I just watched the episode in Buenos Aires where he's talking to the therapist and don't feel like watching any more. I'm glad I can take a break.
posted by elsietheeel at 3:24 PM on June 12


I just heard about this last night (I've been tuning out a lot lately) and I was devastated. He was such a wonderful human being. Goddamnit!

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posted by homunculus at 4:01 PM on June 12 [1 favorite]




I've been a chronic lurker on MeFi for years now, but reading just a few of your comments compelled me to join in commiserating. His death hit me hard when I first heard about it, but days later reading your thoughts and comments on how he changed your lives made his death all the more tragic for me. Thanks everyone for sharing.

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posted by driko at 10:36 AM on June 13 [24 favorites]


Welcome aboard, driko. I'm glad you're here.
posted by cortex at 12:42 PM on June 13 [4 favorites]


This is a nice interview with the editor of Kitchen Confidential about how the book came to be.
posted by Lexica at 7:24 PM on June 13 [3 favorites]


A reflection by an Episcopal priest: Anthony Bourdain's priestly ways, and the pain he thereby onboarded
posted by Lexica at 9:51 PM on June 16 [5 favorites]


Lexica's link above eloquently expresses what I've been trying to put into words. I don't know if it's possible to have that kind of openness and clear insight into the world around you, and not see at least as much of the bad as the good.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:07 AM on June 17


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posted by flatluigi at 3:56 PM on June 21




I just can’t help feeling like he didn’t intend to leave that night. In terms of celebrity deaths, this one is sticking with me. It reminds me of when Philip Seymour Hoffman died. I was very affected by that. It’s a tragedy. It just was not their time to go.
posted by amanda at 7:01 AM on June 23 [1 favorite]


Me too, amanda. I keep getting caught off guard with it, like I am with Prince.
posted by PussKillian at 11:03 AM on June 23 [2 favorites]


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