One Last Bite: A Recipe for Remembering on Bourdain Day
If Anthony Bourdain were to write a remembrance of himself, he might have said something like this:
“I had many titles in my time on this rock — chef, author, traveler, gourmand, provocateur, but in the end, I suppose, the one I liked the most was ‘storyteller’. I was this vagabond from Jersey with a dark past, a hell-bent predilection for the deliciously dangerous, and a passport with enough stamps to make even the most seasoned traveler blush. And you, my lovely audience, you came along for the ride.
In between bites of banh mi in Vietnam, sipping soju in Seoul, or chowing down on a cheeseburger in Detroit, I tried to shed some light on this confusing, complicated, beautiful world we live in. All those distant lands and cultures, not just in terms of kilometers, but in understanding, in heartache, joy, and shared meals. Together, we wandered into the fray, determined to get a little lost.
If you remember one thing about me, I hope it’s not the titles, the shows, or even the meals. Instead, remember the idea — the simple belief that our world gets a little bit smaller, a little bit kinder, every time we sit down to share a meal with someone different from us. That belief led me across borders and barriers, into kitchens and cantinas, always in search of that elusive, delicious truth.
So here’s to the road less traveled. The lost, the last, the least. Here’s to the misfits, the outcasts, and the degenerate, after-hours, line-cooking, gastronomes. Those who believe that the world is best seen through a greasy, well-worn kitchen window, preferably with a cold beer in hand.
And when you find yourself in some distant corner of the world, sitting down to a meal you can’t quite identify, in a language you can’t quite speak, toast to the journey. Laugh at the chaos. Revel in the beautiful, tasty absurdity of it all. Because, my friends, that’s where the real magic happens.
So here’s my last recipe for you: Take one part curiosity, mix it with a dash of fearlessness, season it with respect for others, garnish with an open mind, and wash it down with your favorite drink. That’s the Bourdain way. Serve it up hot, in generous portions, wherever you find yourself.
Remember me as I was, with a bowl of something strange and wonderful in one hand, a cold beer in the other, laughing into the camera, ready for the next adventure. Because the journey, my friends, that’s the real meal.”
Anthony Bourdain was a larger than life figure, with a unique voice, vision, and perspective on the world. He had a knack for revealing the heart and soul of places often overlooked or misunderstood. He shared humanity’s common language — food — in all its messy, delicious glory, and made us feel part of his global, nomadic family.
To the man who showed us the world from his unique lens and an open heart — Tony, your seat at our table is forever saved. We miss you.