Friday, June 08, 2018


Chef-turned-author Anthony Bourdain has died of an apparent suicide by hanging. His body was found in a hotel in France.

He was 61.

I saw several episodes of Bourdain's TV show "No Reservations" and none of his current "Parts Unknown" (done in conjunction with CNN, where he had been en résidence for five years); I had read the chapter on an adventure in Korea in one of his several books. (I think that chapter paralleled a TV segment on the same topic.) Bourdain was a no-nonsense writer who didn't hold back his opinion, whether he was slamming Food Network chefs like Rachael Ray and Sandra Lee, or talking about the various countries and cultures he had encountered as a globetrotting gourmand.

My buddy Tom just texted me the news of Bourdain's death a few minutes ago, and I'm still processing the shock. Despite his acerbic wit and a tendency to make enemies, Bourdain had also been gifted with a sense of humor that was often a vehicle for his perceptivity; he had a way with people. And despite being over 60, he was always willing to learn and explore, not to settle down and settle in, and certainly not to settle for an ordinary life.

It's going to take me some time to wrap my head around this particular death. Bourdain and I didn't see eye-to-eye on all topics, but I admired him and respected his point of view.

RIP, Mr. Bourdain. So sad to see you go.

ADDENDUM: my buddy Dr. Steve offers his own Bourdainish thoughts here.

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