Photo credit: Reyhan Dhuny / Via Flickr: reyhan
June 25th has officially been declared #BourdainDay in honor of the late Anthony Bourdain.
World-renowned chefs José Andrés and Eric Ripert, his longtime friends, wanted to remember and celebrate the celebrity chef, author, and travel documentarian on his birthday.
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IMPORTANT!! JUNE 25th - #BOURDAINDAY On this day we will celebrate the Life, Legacy & Birthday of our Dear Friend Anthony. Wherever you are & whoever you’re with, on 06/25 join @chefjoseandres & I by taking a moment to post & share your tributes & memories of Anthony using #BourdainDay & wish him Peace, Love and a very Happy Birthday on his journey. Regram / Spread the word! Cheers! 💙🙏🏼🍻🎈🌎🕊
Bourdain is considered a legend in the food industry. Given the nature of our business at EAT Club, many of us have found inspiration in his life’s work.
Some folks on the team reflected back on their favorite memory of Bourdain’s work, from his books and TV shows to anything in between... and why it impacted them.
“Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go.”
I grew up with a misfit desire to constantly be in the kitchen and immerse myself in the world of food. When I first read Kitchen Confidential, I knew that more than anything, I wanted to emulate the path into the kitchen I had so voraciously read about. Bourdain’s words and life constantly fueled my hunger to eat, travel, and find inspiration in the world and its people. Bourdain’s perspective on food stuck with me: how it’s more than just something to fill stomachs, but a medium to create art, share life, tell stories, break barriers, and change minds.
- Alex Chin, Plant General Manager
Parts Unknown episode on New Jersey (season five) when he visited his old stomping grounds.
I discovered Bourdain’s work as a teenager and found myself strangely relating to a middle-aged man. He helped me feel comfortable being different, questioning the status quo, talking to strangers and staying curious. He helped shape me as a person, so it’s hard to pick a favorite piece, but what has brought me the most personal meaning is the episode of Parts Unknown when he returned to our shared home state of New Jersey.- Heather Stewart, Director of Marketing
"Skills can be taught. Character you either have or you don't have."
The Vietnam Parts Unknown episode really helped drive my desire to see the country; when my wife and I went in 2016, it was everything he promised and more. A country where food helps drive the culture. Why? At the end of the day, everyone sits around the table together around a hot pot, and most importantly they are together. Family is everything and you feel that in Vietnam more than a lot of other places I have been.
- James Muscarella, Account Executive - Snack Team Lead
RE: The Me Too movement, Bourdain commented: "I had to ask myself, particularly given some things that I’m hearing, and the people I’m hearing them about: Why was I not the sort of person, or why was I not seen as the sort of person, that these women could feel comfortable confiding in? I see this as a personal failing."
To see an individual look inward and to hold themselves accountable to this level is truly awe inspiring. It moves me to challenge myself to the "whys" in general, so I can be a better and inclusive leader in this industry.
- Tracy Hsu, Head of Culinary Development
Photo credit: Peabody Awards / Via Flickr: peabodyawards
Parts Unknown episode on Lagos, Nigeria (season ten) where Bourdain focused on the ingenuity of the Nigerian people as he explores the country's food, music, and rich cultural diversity.
The reason this episode had such a massive impact on me is that I was born in Lagos, but I haven't been back since I was an infant. That particular episode gave me the opportunity to see more than just killings in Northern Nigeria, I was able to view the food, the interactions, and the growth of a tech sector within the city.
- Alex Balogun, Sales Development Representative
Parts Unknown episode on Sri Lanka (season 10), where Bourdain traveled to once divided regions to experience the reinvigorated people, savory food, and vast landscapes.
One of my favorite episodes, and not just because I’m Sri Lankan! I love how Anthony blends history, political climate, and culture with the universal language of food in such an authentic way. Even though I’ve visited there many times, I felt like I was truly seeing Sri Lanka through his eyes and had a better appreciation for the food and people than before.
- Shar Piyaratna, Director of Demand Generation
“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind, no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom... is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.”
Bourdain taught me that wisdom exists in simply being around different people; people that share different cultural norms than you do. You don’t need a job title, experience, or a degree to discover this wisdom. The only thing you really need is open eyes and ears, which is easier said than done, in my opinion.
- Sohum Dalal, Menu Planning Analyst
Parts Unknown episode on Spain showing us sights off the beaten path to explore the older, less known cuisines and dishes of the Basque region.
It, like all his interviews and trips, resonated for me because it was so apparent how much he valued the subtleties of the culture he was exploring, with no judgement or biases. Too often when we travel or try different foods, it’s always with our cultural lens. He taught all of us to discard that lens and be open to adventure.
- Virginia Barton, Head of Partnerships
Our team has been so inspired by his life and we were devastated when we lost him to suicide. If you or a loved one is struggling with depression, please seek help. You may want to contact your local crisis hotline, community mental health center, private practitioner or clergy. If you are in crisis, call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) - the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is there to help!