Just on Monday a colleague asked me if I could meet any celebrity who that would be, and I answered without hesitancy, "Anthony Bourdain."
I love Anthony Bourdain. I love what he represented - the NEED to explore cultures, traditions, food, stories. I have that need, and although my boundaries are a little more limited than his "Parts Unknown," I saw in him a kinship - and I always thought it would be awesome to have dinner with this hard ass - drinking lemonade, and he'd ask why I didn't order a drink, and I'd share, and he'd respect that, because he was a respecter of people and places, and he'd love the mint/parsley/green apple relish I created to go on his fresh-cut salmon. And my grandmother's sourdough buns with home-made chia raspberry jam would knock his socks off.
He lived life loud and large and in-the-face, unapologetic, yet he was tender, nurturing, and the hugs he would give the older Asian women tugged at my heart. (I particularly enjoyed his shows with friend Eric Ripert, who apparently found him this morning.)
One daughter shared, "I guess he was a celebrity, but I like to think of him more as an author and fellow commentator and observer on life and people and places."
The other daughter, "I enjoyed learning from him. I enjoyed the adventure and new perspective he brought to my life. He was candid, and I loved how he saw the world; people and places. He told stories, shared his experiences, introduced foods to me - I just loved listening to him and learning from him. Yes, I loved how he observed life."
Bourdain once said, "If I am an advocate for anything, it is to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. Walk in someone else's shoes, or at least eat their food. It's a plus for everybody."
I never once saw him knock another - he just asked questions and was fascinated with the answers, tastes, views. Iggy Pop observed, "You seem like a curious person." Bourdain responded, "It's my only virtue." So much to learn from him. I'll carry a piece of him with me for a long long time.
Excuse me while I go wipe my eyes -