World-famous chefs Eric Ripert and José Andrés declared that from here on June 25 would be Bourdain Day—a day memorializing their late friend Anthony Bourdain.
Bourdain, who passed away on June 8, 2018 in France — 17 days short of his 62nd birthday — brought TV audiences to locales both exotic and familiar with rich visuals, thoughtful storytelling and otherworldly fare.
The outspoken chef, who was born in New York City in 1956, was part French, but sometimes wished he was part Italian:
“I was always bitter that I wasn’t Italian American,” he once wrote. “You know that scene in Saturday Night Fever, where Tony Manero is eating with his family? All the yelling and the smacking? That looked good to me.”
Forbes writes: “Bourdain was a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America that made his name by exploring the fringes of cooking. Originally a cook at New York’s Les Halles restaurant, Bourdain emerged as a writing tour de force through work in Gourmet magazine, The New Yorker and, most famously, the clear-eyed look at restaurant life, Kitchen Confidential: Adventures In The Culinary Underbelly. Although he would follow that book up with other work including a Les Halles Cookbook and compilations, A Cook’s Tour and Medium Raw, Bourdain was perhaps most familiar to television audiences through shows No Reservations, The Layover and Parts Unknown. Through the latter, he told the story behind the plate, encompassing socio-political analysis and food history with equal elan.”
“We ask very simple questions: What makes you happy? What do you eat? What do you like to cook? And everywhere in the world we go and ask these very simple questions,” Bourdain said upon acceptance of the prestigious Peabody Award in 2013. “We tend to get some really astonishing answers.”
Here’s the travel documentarian during one of many explorations of Italy:
As Bourdain Day approaches, ISDA has but one word to convey to the late chef: Salute.