Was in Martha's Vineyard a few weeks ago for a friend's wedding. Made a point to slip over to P'town to see some of the places Tony talked about in his "Kitchen Confidential". Somehow it permitted me to connect the dots on what he was writing. It's weird that he's gone....
I will truly miss Anthony Bourdain as a chef, a TV personality and his true personality, sense of humor and criticism about food, the cuisine. He will surely be missed. Rest in Peace. It was kind of a shock to know this tragedy happened.
I feel like I've lived a decently long life.. almost 40 years now. I've seen a lot of figures pass away for various causes. Anthony Bourdain was different. I may have shed a tear here and there watching videos of people like Robin Williams. But never before have I mourned the loss of a celeb like he was my family. Never before have I cried because the harsh reality settles on me that this person that I actually loved, even though I had never met, is gone forever.
Anthony was different than most celebs. In fact, he didn't fit any of the regular stereotypes .. he was real .. he was just like me and his thoughts were honest. His background unabashedly checkered with things most all of us battle with from time to time. He was raw and cynical at times, and that is what made him so kind and seemingly accepting and appreciative of so many cultures and walks of life. When he paid homage to someone or to a concept, you knew it was genuine.
I owe him a lot. My whole identity as a person that loves to cook is due to the light he shone. Lest I be trapped in a world of BAM! and EVOO.. and chefs jumping up and down on cutting boards while I am slowly brainwashed with product placements.
Here in Salt Lake City there is a community radio station, KRCL, that is like no other station on the planet. It has an amazing variety of talent of many descriptions. On Saturdays from 1 pm to 4 there is a show called "Afternoon Delight" The host, Courtney, did a tribute to Bourdain this past Saturday. Nothing to do with food, but all about his love for music, especially punk rock style stuff. He was a big fan of The Ramones, more recently loved Queens of the Stone Age, Joe Strummer, Patty Smith, 2 Live Crew. It was quite interesting to hear about this chef from a different angle.
Tony went farther on less than he would ever have imagined. I don’t know a line cook who read KC and thought “wow, news to me.” But he grew into his role and made tremendous contributions along the way, particularly championing the immigrants who do the heavy lifting in professional kitchens. In retrospect his depression and self-nihlism is evident on every other page, with every other breath. My deepest sympathies are reserved for Eric (who discovered the body) and especially Ariane (who will be a baffled survivor for life).
He was a guest judge on Top Chef every now and again. I have been watching some episodes again lately, and the other day saw the one where he provided one of my favorite comments of all time regarding one somewhat scatter brained contestant. "It's like Betty Crocker and Charles Manson had a love child, and he's cooking for me. "