Friday, June 08, 2018

Anthony Bourdain, Rest in Peace

Less than 12 hours ago I was sitting in this same spot when the news flashed across my screen that author, television personality and chef Anthony Bourdain was dead at the age of 61.

I believe “whoa” was my first reaction and I suppose I still feel that way.

Anthony Bourdain was a huge influence on my life and writing, no matter if either of us knew it. He loved writing about food and drink, working in the kitchen, traveling to exotic locations and trying the foods he found there.

It would take me time to embrace those same concepts, but after reading his books and watching his shows I found myself more willing to embrace travel and try exotic cuisines while simply writing about the stuff I loved. Or hated.

But more importantly, Bourdain wasn’t afraid to celebrate the mundane, the everyday things we took for granted, whether it was a down and dirty seafood joint or a greasy burger stand. He knew how to celebrate life and live every day as if it may be your last. Which makes the news of his death all the more tragic.

Coincidentally, Bourdain and I both have daughters about the same age. He’d mention his daughter at times and it made me feel like we had a connection. In fact, one of my all time favorite pieces he wrote wasn’t about food. It was about the horrific kids shows he watched with his daughter. In the prose, which made me laugh out loud, I could see myself and it drew me closer to the guy that I’d never get to know.

While I mourn the loss of a true original, I weep for his ex-wife and daughter and friends like Eric Ripert. They’ll never get to spend more time with him or know him better and for that I’m truly sorry.

I can only hope that Tony has found the peace he sought and that he knew how many chefs, writers and more he inspired. – Dan Taylor

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