The late, great Anthony Bourdain met a lot of people all over the world, from the lowly to the mighty, and his legacy to the culinary sphere is undisputed. Now, CNN, which broadcast his final famous food and travel show, Parts Unknown, is preserving that legacy in a book…
When asked how he had managed to stay at it, travelling and making Parts Unknown for ten years, world renowned Chef and Food Critic Anthony Bourdain gave the interviewer one word: “Alcohol.” And, yes, he was a prodigious consumer of Booze. And Tobacco. And Cannabis. And, at one time, Heroin. Those who knew him said he was a changed man after he threw off the demon of hard drugs, and he certainly seemed to be a kinder, gentler version of his former self – as if the hard edges had been rounded off.
Many folks in the food sphere who didn’t particularly enjoy his early-career presentation – egotistical, occasionally arrogant and sometimes downright cold and hard – were slow to warm to the new Bourdain. But, in the end, it was hard not to. And he racked up an impressive pantheon of interviews of the famous and the infamous in his travels.
One of the most famous people Bourdain dined with was former U.S. President Barack Obama. And they dined in the most unlikely of places – a Vietnamese street food café in Hanoi. In what is, perhaps, one of the greatest testimonials to Bourdain’s fundamental charm the restaurant has literally encased the table at which they sat in glass. No tiny tribute like a mere brass plaque or sign on the wall for them! Thus was the power of Bourdain’s personality.
A gift to his daughter
CNN initially intended the book, Anthony Bourdain Remembered, as a gift to the chef’s young daughter who was too young to have remembered her dad’s career first hand. But Bourdain’s estate gave permission for the book to be published. As you might expect, the book is full of photos and interviews, and spotlights many of the famous folks he dined and talked with. It launches May 28 and is already listed on Amazon for ‘reservations’.
According to the Amazon page, “Anthony Bourdain Remembered brings together memories and anecdotes from fans reminiscing about Bourdain’s unique achievements and his enduring effect on their lives as well as comments from chefs, journalists, filmmakers, musicians, and writers inspired by Bourdain including Barack Obama, Eric Ripert, Jill Filipovic, Ken Burns, Questlove, and José Andrés, among many others. […] When Anthony Bourdain died in June 2018, the outpouring of love from his fans around the world was momentous. The tributes spoke to his legacy: That the world is much smaller than we imagine and people are more alike than they are different. As Bourdain once said, ‘If I’m an advocate of anything, it’s to move… Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food.’ ”
I’m looking forward to reading it.
~ Maggie J.