A Thought: Mourning chef and writer Anthony Bourdain

by: Tania Lasenburg

On June 8th, it was announced to the world that chef, writer and world traveler, Anthony Bourdain had died. I won’t go into details about how he died as that is not the purpose of this post. To be perfectly honest, this is about me and what him not being here does to me.

Meals make the society, hold the fabric together in lots of ways that were charming and interesting and intoxicating to me. The perfect meal, or the best meals, occur in a context that frequently has very little to do with the food itself.– Anthony Bourdain

First and foremost, I have never met him. But man did I want to. Have you ever seen someone, watch their interactions and listen to them speak and think, wow, people like this exists?  Anthony Bourdain was that person for me. I’ve been following his career for years. I’ve purchased his books and I was even planning on going to the opening of a restaurant of his in New York. He was as real to me as a slap in the face.

You have to understand though I wasn’t obsessed with this man nor did I idolize him. I respected him and the work he did. He used his platform to bring attention to things unknown, he helped everyone in every way he could and he respected the culture not only through its food but with his interactions with people as well as his knowledge of a region and culture. He wasn’t afraid to ask question but most importantly, Bourdain listened and because of that I trusted him.

His loss is like losing a Uncle or your best friend’s father, who treated you like a daughter. Someone you would invite into your home, break bread with and don’t worry about being betrayed. You feel something missing; even though you didn’t see or hear from him on a regular basis. You feel the loss.

Bourdain’s death reminded me that what you put out into this world, no matter how small or grand, can change someone’s life and that food really does bring people together at the end of the day.