On Anthony Bourdain
This past week, the world lost a captivating storyteller, culinary epicurean, and ever-curious soul, Anthony Bourdain.
In the week following, I've had a tough time grasping how incredibly alone and anguished he must have felt in his final hours, and the moments that led up to the point of him taking his own life. I can only hope we as a society continue to steer the conversation about mental health and the underlying causes of depression in a direction that avoids stigmatization and encourages everyone to offer help and seek help whenever necessary.
Of all the public figures I could ever hope to meet, Anthony Bourdain was at the top of the list. He used food as a vehicle to touch on all aspects of the world as we know it -- our history, our culture, what it means to be human this day in age. Anthony showed the resilience of people who have withstood authoritarian figures and unspeakable horrors and the strength and pride of people to create and inspire positive change. He had conversations we are too afraid to have, and people opened up to him as if he were an old friend. The world through his lense was humble and hopeful, optimistic despite often painful circumstances.
I can honestly say that without him, I would not be as curious or open as I am today. He challenged us to become educated about that which we did not know and view that which we didn't understand with an open mind. I've embodied it through my international travel, deep dives into the obscure and unusual, and in my willingness to try just about anything once.
In rewatching some of his episodes in the past week, I found it surprising how frequently and how matter of fact he talked about death. I don't think there was any ironic cry for help in his narration - only an indication of how "no-BS" he truly was. Nothing was off limits for Anthony - he was an open book and people opened up to him. I only wish he had felt the same when he needed it most.
Below are a few of my favorites from his time on TV. I'm excited that I can honor his legacy by continuing to discover his work, so I may update this periodically as that happens.
Anthony Bourdain on Chicago
Anthony Bourdain in Scotland (check out the Scottish Highlands around the 26 minute mark)
Anthony Bourdain with Barack Obama in Vietnam (cannot find the full clip on YouTube)