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Anthony Bourdain
Anthony Bourdain
Published by Swampy Meadows
Anthony Bourdain

WEST BLOOMFIELD (MI) -- Here’s the thing about Anthony Bourdain: like many of the foods he sampled in his worldwide travels, Bourdain was himself, an acquired taste. He wore an almost constant goofy smirk that initially made one’s douche meter start to register, but then he gradually pulled you in. His TV efforts in their various iterations on Food Network, Travel Channel and finally CNN were not food shows per se; nor were they travel programs and they certainly were never intended to be news broadcasts, either. They were a little bit of all three. The thing that sucked you in, that kept you coming back for what became appointment television for many, was Tony’s insatiable curiosity.

I did not know the man, but like many of you, it felt like I did. For me the most powerful episode of Parts Unknown was the one he did on Western Massachusetts, chronicling the heroin epidemic raging in former mill towns like Turners Falls, Shelburne Falls and Greenfield not far from where I grew up. He could talk with authority about being a heroin addict because he was one starting in his wilder young days spent in kitchens in Provincetown, the bohemian outpost at the very end of Cape Cod. This, most definitely, was not your normal, everyday travel or cooking show.

Those that did know Bourdain are devastated; those who did not, equally so. Here are some of their thoughts:

Absolutely stunned. Bourdain you mother*cker. You giant. You friend. You writer. You most loyal to all around you. God, I’m so sad. Oh, this world. We’ve lost a hero.

Michael Ruhlman

Bourdain showed us so many corners of the world through food - a nearly universal pleasure that connects us socially, provides an outlet for creativity, and touches our deepest needs to be nurtured. He was the rare traveler who was curious & respectful but never condescending.

Jill Filipovic

“Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer.” This is how I’ll remember Tony. He taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him.

Barack Obama

Man. I’m not sure anyone has changed the way I look at the world — or made me want to see MORE of the world — than him over the last 10-15 years.

Bill Connelly

Anthony was my best friend. An exceptional human being, so inspiring & generous. One of the great storytellers who connected w so many. I pray he is at peace from the bottom of my heart. My love & prayers are also w his family, friends and loved ones.

Eric Ripert

And here are a few quotes from Bourdain himself:

Here is a link to The New Yorker piece that eventually led to Bourdain’s best-selling book Kitchen Confidential back in 1999:


And another New Yorker piece from last year on Bourdain’s burgeoning celebrityhood:


And finally, The New Yorker’s memorial for Anthony:


CNN’s remembrance page for Anthony Bourdain:


Here are a few stories that illustrate the kind of guy Anthony Bourdain was that never got any PR:

-- A woman who was mocked for reviewing Olive Garden had coffee with Bourdain and he ended up publishing a book of her columns:


-- Bourdain and Make-A-Wish helped send a 13-year-old fan of his to Spain for a trip of a lifetime:


Anthony made a cameo appearance in the film adaptation of Michael Lewis’ financial expose The Big Short:


Another favorite episode of Parts Unknown: his $6 noodles and beer dinner in Hanoi with then-President Barack Obama:


Here are six things you probably didn’t know about that meal:


The small Vietnamese restaurant that hosted Obama and Bourdain was so proud that they stopped in their place that they put their chairs and table in a display case:


Anthony’s favorite restaurant in LA? In-and-Out Burger:


One badass chef meets another: a very young Anthony Bourdain hangs with Gordon Ramsay in the UK:


Anthony never made it to Dayton but he did do a show on Cleveland:


Bourdain discovers Waffle House for the very first time:


Some background on that Waffle House visit:


Anthony also produced a film entitled The Last Magnificent on Chef Jeremiah Tower:


The residents of Kaysersberg, the small village in the Alsace region of France where Bourdain committed suicide are baffled as to why he chose their town in which to waste himself:


Bottom line: There is no pretty way to position this or to put it in a positive light -- Anthony Bourdain killed himself. Those who have never been there have no idea what motivates an individual to do so. Maybe this piece from Scientific American will help explain it:


R.I.P. Anthony Bourdain.

That’s it “From the Swamp.”
You can email me at: swampy@udpride.com
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By Fudd on 06-11-2018, 03:47 PM
I have to wonder if he was distraught about his girlfriend, Asia Argento, who was photographed being very chummy with a French reporter in Italy.

Word is that he has not handled break-ups too well in the past.

No matter what the cause, it's a sad occasion. He was an interesting person. I did not like his politics, but he was intriguing on some level. He made interesting television.
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By jack72 on 06-11-2018, 03:58 PM
I loved Bourdain's books and his TV shows. The guy was a character. We held him up as immortal. A guy who was a drug addict, womanizer, alcoholic, trash mouth and a decent chef. In the end he was a mere mortal, who lived very hard and died the same way. I will miss him, but not his politics or the example he set for younger people.
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By maddog07 on 06-11-2018, 04:42 PM
I don't understand. What position did he play???
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