R.I.P., Anthony Bourdain! (Obits, videos and my favorite quotes)

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Anthony Bourdain

Anthony Bourdain at the 73rd Annual Peabody Awards (Author: Peabody Awards / This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license)

None of the most recent deaths saddened me as much as Anthony Bourdain’s. He was my favorite non-fiction writer and travel show host. I enjoyed his enthusiasm, his humor, his opinionedness and the resulting rants, his love for food and its creators, his curiosity about the culture of the countries he visited, and the empathy and respect he showed towards his interviewees. I’ll miss him.

I first became aware of him in 2000 when he published his powerful book „Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly“ which made me think of him as the Hunter S. Thompson of culinary writing (although Tony probably was more truthful and benevolent). Since then, I have read all of his books and watched pretty much all of his shows.

In celebration of his extraordinary and inspiring talent, I have collected some of the most touching obits and, as a result of regular binge-watching, my favorite Tony quotes (accompanied by videos).


Patrick Radden Keefe wrote a great Bourdain profile for The New Yorker in 2017:

“I’m not going to the White House Correspondents’ dinner,” he said. “I don’t need to be laughing it up with Henry Kissinger.” He then launched into a tirade about how it sickens him, having travelled in Southeast Asia, to see Kissinger embraced by the power-lunch crowd. “Any journalist who has ever been polite to Henry Kissinger, you know, fuck that person,” he said, his indignation rising. “I’m a big believer in moral gray areas, but, when it comes to that guy, in my view he should not be able to eat at a restaurant in New York.”

I pointed out that Bourdain had made similarly categorical denunciations of many people, only to bury the hatchet and join them for dinner.

“Emeril didn’t bomb Cambodia!” he said.

Jason Merder, road manager:

(…) Tony wasn’t above those same jitters. He was once in the Cayman Islands at the same time as Iggy Pop, who was one his heroes. Tony told me it took him three days to get up the nerve to introduce himself. He was even swimming in the ocean next to Iggy and he chickened out. He said he was also nervous to meet Bill Murray.

Stevan Paul (in German):

The New Yorker:

The last time I saw Bourdain was a few months ago, at a party in New York, for one of the books released by his imprint at the publishing house Ecco—of his many projects, his late-career role as a media rainmaker was one he assumed with an almost boyish delight. At the bar, where I’d just picked up my drink, he came up and clapped me on the shoulder. “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.”


Finally, a somewhat current political statement:

Peter Jebsen


2 Antworten

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  1. Moin Peter: Wie schrecklich …Suicide by hanging ? Ich mochte seine EssensAbenteuer! Weißt du mehr zum Hintergrund ? Bis heute Abend im Atlantic, Marina Von meinem iPhone gesendet



    Marina Friedt

    11. Juni 2018 at 8:39

  2. […] oberflächliche und teilweise ignorante Reise- und Food-Reportage gesehen. Während zum Beispiel Anthony Bourdain tief in die Kulturen der von ihm besuchten Länder eintauchte und kundig oder zumindest gut […]


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