Anthony Bourdain changed my view on the world
Overnight, Anthony Bourdain took his own life. I’m going to miss his unique voice.
One day in June of 2010, I came into work and was in our office getting ready for the show. Stephanie, the woman at the front desk, burst through the door and said, “Anthony Bourdain is in the lobby and nobody knows why.”
Turns out he showed up for a scheduled interview and the person on our end forgot about it. Anthony was in town to promote his new book “Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook.”
Back in 2010, he was still somewhat of a niche celebrity. The people that knew him really liked him, but he wasn’t a household name on CNN eight years ago. I was a fan. I read “Kitchen Confidential” and enjoyed it.
“I’ve seen a bunch of his stuff. I’ll interview him,” I said.
I walked into the lobby and apologized for making him wait. He looked exactly like he does on television. Really tall, wearing black, denim, and cowboy boots.
So with absolutely no knowledge of the book he was promoting we went into a studio to talk.
Anthony Bourdain changed the way I eat and he changed the way I travel. If you watch even one of his shows, you realize that food is just a door into the minds and hearts of a culture. If you are infected with the travel bug, you want to go everywhere and understand what it’s like to be from that place. Nobody has done that better than Anthony Bourdain.
It’s hard to keep a genuine voice when you have book publishers and television executives constantly giving you notes. It’s difficult to keep your edge when you know your livelihood might be at risk if you go too far. Bourdain was able to keep his voice pure. That’s why people loved him.
I recently did a trip to Koreatown in Los Angeles. I pretty much just retraced Anthony Bourdain’s steps. I wasn’t disappointed. The first thing I do when I’m traveling abroad is see if Bourdain has been to that city. I copied him in Lisbon and Barcelona, and even back home in New Mexico.
Anthony Bourdain inspired me to be a more involved world citizen. He was that rare person who kept it real.
It saddens me to no end to realize that he was suffering from this kind of darkness.
Anthony Bourdain was very open about the demons he battled when it came to drugs and alcohol, but not so much about mental health.
If there’s any take away to his life and attitude, I hope it inspires people living in despair to reach out and talk to someone.
The National Suicide Prevention hotline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255
You can hear “What are we talking about here?” everyday at 4:45 p.m. on 97.3 FM.