Anthony Bourdain Has Died, And Filipino Chefs And Personalities Mourn His Painfully Tragic Passing And Share Why They'll Miss Him
While skilled as a chef and unmatched as a travel and culinary journalist, Anthony's true gifts lied in his ability to inspire people to see the world, captivate their hearts and minds, and ultimately, get them to enjoy life for all it had to offer.
Little did anyone know that the man who redefined what it meant to live each day to the fullest would eventually end his own.
Anthony Bourdain was anything but typical. The 61-year-old who dabbled with fiction writing before becoming an award-winning television host was most loved for his irreverent approach to journalism that was never before seen in a chef or reporter. Unfiltered and seemingly all too real onscreen, he was relatable, a pleasure to watch, and the only one of his kind.
At the time of his death, the New Jersey-born foodie was best known for his long-running show on CNN, called Parts Unknown. Part travel show, part cultural and history show, and part food program, the series was watched by many because of the distinct way Anthony portrayed food and culture from around the world.
His genuine interest in the lives of the those he met as well as the way he found connections in food and ways of life forever changed the way people viewed the world. Suddenly, food was no longer viewed as mere physical sustenance—for Anthony's millions of viewers, food became nourishment for the soul.
With every meal he shared with locals ranging from dingy corner shop owners to five-star restaurant managers, Anthony made it a point to show that food was a gateway to understanding the misunderstood, discovering the hidden, and unmasking the veiled.
By braving exotic flavors and plowing into foreign, and oftentimes intimidating bits and bites—then genuinely enjoying and savoring each experience no matter how bizarre and unnerving—Anthony painted a picture of the world that his audience didn't even realized they needed until he came along: a picture that highlighted the world's diversity, but also punctuated its sameness in the way all people from all backgrounds in all countries wished to be accepted, given a chance, respected, and essentially, be loved.
And love his audience did have for his show, his talents, his bravery, his sensitivity, his humor, his wit, his brazenness, his realness, and for Anthony, himself.
In the Philippines, where food plays a massive role in shaping society and in how Filipinos relate to one another, the country's most revered culinary greats join the world in mourning the loss of this irreplaceable star. Like other international chefs who were heavily influenced by Anthony's attitude towards food, they speak of how this industry trailblazer pushed them to pursue their careers and was a personal hero.
Anthony visited the Philippines in 2016 for the 7th season of Parts Unknown and many credit him for jump-starting global curiosity and acclaim for Filipino cuisine. His approval of local delights like halo-halo, pork sisig, lechon, and yes, even the ubiquitous Jollibee Chicken Joy and Jolly Spaghetti was broadcasted to his massive audience, bringing pride to the Southeast Asian nation and cementing its love for the man who should have not yet died, and certainly not in this way.
Recalling this once-in-a-lifetime experience and paying tribute to Anthony whose body of work very spirit permanently transformed the global culinary scene, Filipino chefs and peronalities share their thoughts on his untimely death:
Tony, you don’t know how much you’ve inspired me. As a struggling young cook, I read your books, particularly “Kitchen Confidential” and it kept me going. You showed us that good food does not have to be expensive nor does it have to be in a fancy place. You taught us that we sometimes have to go to great lengths to find good, honest and sincere food and sometimes, it can be just around the corner. Meeting you in person was life changing.. saying goodbye to you is heart breaking. Anthony Bourdain, thank you for your contribution to the culinary WORLD. Thank you for giving light to Filipino cuisine and for loving our food. Maraming maraming salamat sa lahat. Hope you’re having lots of beer, sisig and lechon over there. Cheers idol. @anthonybourdain #RIPAnthonyBourdain
One day in New York, the heavens conspired and I had the priceless chance to meet you, and so incredibly at your home...you changed the world for those of us in this crazy industry where what drives us is how we feed and nurture others. You have helped to change us forever @anthonybourdain. Why didn’t you know that we all so loved you? #partsunknown #lifechanger #anthonybourdain #RIP #bourdainforever you will be missed so much. #hero #legend
They say you shouldn’t meet your idols...I’m incredibly grateful I did. Spent more than half of my life going on adventures to the cities you’d visit and the places you’d eat in and I will always be proud of that. Thank you for showing the world how to EAT, and more importantly, how to LIVE. ?? #bourdainforever #anthonybourdain
If you know me, you know there are many days that I love food as much, if not more, than fashion. And the king of that world, Anthony Bourdain, was always my hero. When I was always on a plane, I watched endless episodes of his shows to keep me company and make me appreciate the vast complicated world out there. I admired his frankness in his storytelling and being so outspoken and unintimidated in his opinions. You sir will always be one of my main inspirations. Rest In Peace now and eat well up there. ????
"If I had to lose one course for the rest of my life it would be dessert. I also don’t expect people to listen to me when I talk about desserts. Why would you want a bundt cake from me?" - Anthony Bourdain Eventhough I'm totally the opposite, I just appreciate how you've became the chef every chef loves to love. I'm truly amazed at how you tell your stories through food. You will be missed indeed. #RipAnthonyBourdain #anthonybourdain @anthonybourdain Remember talking about it makes it easier. In the Philippines Hopeline may be reached at (02) 804-4673; 0917-5584673; and 2919 for Globe and TM subscribers.
Anthony died while filming an episode for an upcoming season of Parts Unknown in France. He leaves behind his girlfiend, Italian actress Asian Argento, and an 11-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.
If you are or if someone you know is thinking about suicide or self-harm, please remember that help is a phone call away. In the Philippines, please call suicide prevention hotline numbers at the Natasha Goulbourn Foundation: 02-804-4673 (HOPE), or 0917-558-4673 (HOPE). You may also call the Manila Lifeline Centre at 02-896-9191, or 0917-854-9191. In the US, please call 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). #suicideprevention #suicidepreventionhotline
Cover and content image from @anthonybourdain