RIP Tony

I can't even begin to describe my level of sadness.  I loved Anthony Bourdain.  I am not a follower of cooking shows or chefs, but many many years ago I fell in love with Tony's philosophies about food and humanity.  He knew that food was the true leveler of people.  Everyone eats and food is sacred.  No matter what your heritage is, food is central to your culture. Food is our first worldly experience.  It comes from the person that loves us the most. If we don't get it, we don't survive.  Food is love.  Food is memory.  Food is the basic human need.  I can tell you after years and years of cooking for the people closest to me and for many more people I never really knew, food is always perceived as love.  When I have inevitably stopped cooking for someone for whatever reason, the first thing I hear don't love me anymore. It always makes me sad.  Like Tony, wherever I have traveled, I run to the people and eat their food.  Without exception, when you eat their food and try to speak their language, you grow so much as a human and make friends for life.  No plastic "safe" river cruises for me.  I want to eat the culture.  Tony was a brave explorer that took us all along with him.  He made me brave. He made me cook with my heart.
"As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt."

“Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald's? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria's mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”
On my day off, I rarely want to eat restaurant food unless I’m looking for new ideas or recipes to steal. What I want to eat is home cooking, somebody’s — anybody’s — mother’s or grandmother’s food,” Bourdain wrote in Kitchen Confidential. “A simple pasta pomodoro made with love, a clumsily thrown-together tuna casserole, roast beef with Yorkshire pudding, all of this is pure exotica to me, even when I’ve been neck-deep all day in filet mignon and herb-infused oils and all the bits of business we do to distinguish restaurant food from what you get at home. My mother-in-law would always apologize before serving dinner when I was in attendance, saying, ‘This must seem pretty ordinary for a chef…’She had no idea how magical, how reassuring, how pleasurable her simple meat loaf was for me, what a delight even lumpy mashed potatoes were — being, as they were, blessedly devoid of truffles or truffle oil.”

The world will not be a better place without you.


chickpea678 said…
❤️. I love this post! Fully agree, with every word!
Dee said…
I can't say much because I will be in tears. My husband of 51 years took his life June 1 last year. Walked out the door and said "I will be right back." I had heard him say down through the years that suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, yet he took that route. We had been in an accident several years ago and I think the pain that was always there finally wore him down. We had a normal morning - coffee, computer, walked the dog, etc. Had just gotten home a few days before after a trip in our RV and were leaving a few day after that horrible day for another trip. Plans, dreams, we had them all. Suicide does not end the pain, it passes it on to the ones who love you. Now, I am alone without any family here. Good friends, neighbors and family have stood by me. Grief and loss counseling, volunteering and a great dog has been a real life saver. I will always have some guilt because I did not see what was going on with him. Please don't take one minute with your loved one for granted.4
Yes, what a terrible shock and loss. We can look at people and think they "have it all," but who really knows the pain in another's heart and life?
littlemancat said…
Beautifully felt,beautifully written.
Heritage Hall said…
The "if only"s stick like glue...but
can be offset to some degree by
having had a relationship worthy of
the grief and a loss so deep.

Susan said…
Such a heartbreaking loss - every suicide is. The world gets dimmer. (A huge hug goes out to you, Dee.)
Linda said…
This post and his quotes were comforting. Dee, I am so sorry for your pain.
Guillaume said…
RIP. He loved Montreal and our gastronomy so very much.
1st Man said…
He has filmed here in Houston at least once (maybe twice) and we had the chance to go see him while filming and missed it. I regret missing out on that moment. He was so loved by so many people.

And Dee, hugs to you too.
a lovely tribute to Anthony Bourdain and food. his death is heartbreaking, indeed.
Virginia Morris said…
I never expected this of him. I thought that he'd be 102, still travelling, still writing, seeking out the best of the local cuisine whether it was street food or high concept fine dining, running on nothing but spite and homemade gnocchi.
It's heart breaking.
RIP Tony.
Shannon said…
How I feel exactly. I've loved his personality and his work for so long I still can hardly believe he took himself from this world. As you said, it will not be a better place without him.