ADSactly Food - An Ode to a Culinary Hero

4년 전

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Today, I bid farewell to one of my culinary heroes. Yesterday Anthony Bourdain was found dead in his hotel room in Paris. He was there to film his series, "Parts Unknown".

Anthony, or Tony, as he was fondly called by his fans, was known for his bad-boy vibe. Swearing, tattoos and a carnivorous appetite for the wilder things in life, Tony first emerged into the public spotlight in 2000, when his book, Kitchen Confidential was published. He wrote about the hard life of restaurants, his experiences and tribulations experienced there. He candidly told us, his readers, about his terrible heroin addiction, in the funny, brusque way he had. This is where I first got to know Tony, and his stranger than fiction life story. I first read Kitchen Confidential back in 2008, when I was sweating my skinny ass off in the fine-dining industry. He gave me hope, he sympathised with me when I was tired, made me laugh at the crazy antics he got up to in his kitchens, antics that I was very familiar with myself.


Anthony Bourdain was born in New York in 1956, and grew up in New Jersey. I downloaded his book Kitchen Confidential as homework for this post, and as I read it, I could just hear his gravelly, thick New Yorker accent telling me his life story.

He speaks about his first experience with food on a trans Atlantic cruise to France, his father's homeland. I quote:

“MY FIRST INDICATION THAT food was something other than a substance one stuffed in one's face when hungry-like filling up at a gas station-came after fourth-grade elementary school. It was on a family vacation to Europe, on the Queen Mary, in the cabin-class dining room. There's a picture somewhere: my mother in her Jackie O sunglasses, my younger brother and I in our painfully cute cruisewear, boarding the big Cunard ocean liner, all of us excited about our first transatlantic voyage, our first trip to my father's ancestral homeland, France.
It was the soup. It was cold.”

Excerpt From: Bourdain, Anthony. “Kitchen Confidential.” iBooks. - Buy here

He was of course speaking of the now tired and archaic Vichyssoise, the leek and potato soup that is normally served cold. I instantly fell head over heels for his brash, descriptive way of talking. He reminded me of Jack Kerouac, and other Beat era writers and poets. Described as a "heir in spirit to Hunter S. Thompson"1, he certainly didn't mince his words about anything.

One of the reasons I fell in love with Tony was his strongly opinionated persona. Tony had huge contempt for vegan and vegetarians, saying that it was a luxury to live that lifestyle. A point of view I shared with him was his complete and utter contempt for celebrity life. He famously dissed many celebrity chefs, including Gordon Ramsay, Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri. He hated the commercialism that these celebrity chefs and their cooking shows promoted, and I think he also thought that they didn't really know what they were talking about, rather relying on the producer's for recipes and information.

One of my favourite Tony insults ever, is what he said about Adam Richman, the host of Man Vs Food, in his 2015 stand up tour "Close to the Bone":


"Why did we watch [Man vs. Food]? Admit it. You wanted him to die. The show confirms [other countries'] worst suspicions—that Americans are fat, lazy, slothful, [and] wasteful. I know what [the viewer] is thinking, 'America is a terrible place. I want to join ISIS.'"

Excerpt from Evan Mah's review of the tour. Read the whole article here

One of the now famous images of Marco, from his book, White Heat - Source

Tony did give praise where praise was due, though. I remember watching an interview some time ago, where literally he gushed over Marco Pierre White, and his iconic book White Heat. Truth be told Marco is someone who I would consider a Godfather of the modern day culinary scene, the original celebrity chef, having trained the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Mario Batali. Tony also lists Thomas Keller, and of course Auguste Escoffier (known as the King of Chefs, and the man who changed French cooking to what we know it as today) as inspirations in his book.


In Kitchen Confidential, he gives a few, now legendary, tips on dining out.

  1. DO NOT order your meat well-done. In his chapter entitled "Third Course", he tells of when he was working at a restaurant called the Rainbow Room, they used to, if faced with an order for Well-Done steak (a crime in the foodie world), throw the steaks in the deep fryer, cooking until inedible, then put the steaks under a grill to burn further. They would cover this monstrosity with a sauce to hide the sad piece of meat destined for the diner. In kitchen culture, it is considered a sin to order meat well-done. Most chefs consider people who do this uncultured, and uneducated about food, so feel that they deserve their meat basically incinerated.

  2. DO NOT order fish on a Monday. I can confirm this one myself, from years of working in restaurants. Tony's logic, in his chapter From Our Kitchen to Your Table, is that most kitchens order their fish fresh on Thursdays or Fridays, ready for the weekend. Therefore, any fish left on Monday, is close to being off. Apparently in New York, Fish Specials are a thing on Monday... I wonder why?

  3. DO NOT attend Sunday Brunch buffets. I know this is a big thing in America, but it's not commonplace here in South Africa. He notes that its usually what he calls the B-Team, the guys in the team who are not the best, as the Head Chef is probably taking the day off. Same as with the Fish On a Monday story - most restaurants are looking to offload their last bit of produce and ingredients on unaware brunch guests. Just for a bit humour and to show his wondrous way of speaking, I quote his musings on brunch below.

“Brunch menus are an open invitation to the cost-conscious chef, a dumping ground for the odd bits left over from Friday and Saturday nights or for the scraps generated in the normal course of business. You see a fish that would be much better served by quick grilling with a slice of lemon, suddenly all dressed up with vinaigrette? For 'en vinaigrette' on the menu, read 'preserved' or 'disguised'.”

Excerpt From: Bourdain, Anthony. “Kitchen Confidential.” iBooks. - Buy here


Tony also produced and starred in a few foodie travel shows, such as "A Cook's Tour" where he travels the world, exploring some very exotic locations and their cuisines. My favourite, "The Layover", where he would pick a city, and explore the foodie scene, as one would when on a 24 hour layover between flights. I loved the episode where he toured Amsterdam, repeatedly noting that as it was a travel show on an esteemed network, that the use of any controlled substances was completely banned. He kept throwing in little sparky comments like, "That would have been terrifying, if I was high... luckily, I"M NOT." His last show he produced was "Parts Unknown". Also a travel show, exploring many different locations and cuisines.

A Touching Tribute to Tony, sourced from the CNN Youtube channel - Source

Tony, you bastard. I'm going to miss you so much. Your books inspired me and consoled me while I was working eighteen hour shifts in restaurants, dead on my feet, living for the passion and the rush of being immersed in the culture of cooking, the hard-knock life that is the restaurant biz. Your excitement over simple things like knives, flavours and people was similar to mine. I always dreamed of meeting you one day, I guess you're rocking out with Joey, Johnny and DeeDee of The Ramones now. Thanks for the inspiration, the entertainment and the love. I know you're at rest now. Rock on.

Sources and Citations:
1 - Wikipedia
2- Atlanta Magazine
3 - Kitchen Confidential by Bourdain, Anthony.


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What a wonderful tribute to a real life food hero. I didn't see him much, because I'm just not a food watcher, I'm an eater :)

It's interesting the differences in places. I spent most of my restaurant time as a bartender and (sort of) manager. That place was in Washington State, 250 miles from the ocean and Monday was a great day for Seafood because the owner came home from his boat with Seafood bought on Monday Morning. He had a live well in his van. To fullfill our pledge of 'fresh caught' salmon we would air freight salmon during the off season.

So thank you for your heartfelt words. Anybody that can be compared to Jack Kerouac and Hunter S Thompson is candidate for a soft spot in my heart... Even if I didn't know him.


ah, you see Tony grew up and worked most of career in NY, right close to a fresh fish source. A restaurant I worked at also did the airfreight thing. It was expensive, but awesome.

Glad you enjoyed. I have the book in PDF if you want?

A wonderful article about a unique person. Unfortunately, I did not know about him before and did not read his work. Now I'm going to get to know all that Tony did. Thanks to your message, I had a desire to look at him and his life story.
Looking into Google (for a short introduction) I came across the words of Barack Obama about Tony:

He taught us what food is, and, more importantly, about its ability to unite us, forcing us not to fear the unknown. We will miss him

Probably in these short sentences he perfectly described this man. I think that he will leave behind only "warm" memories. Thank you for the interesting and the idea of ​​a talented and extraordinary man!


yes, what Obama said is pretty spot on! Glad to introduce you to him, get a copy of the book - it's wonderful

Lesson learned. I would never order well done steak 🥩. Even though I don’t go to the restaurant anymore, but if I did, I would definately order a steak, because I’m a steak lover. No more fish on Monday’s and no more attending Sunday Brunch buffets.

For 'en vinaigrette' on the menu, read 'preserved' or 'disguised'.”

I actually watched Anthony Bourdain in many of his shows. He always seemed so happy about his life doing what he always loved to do. The way he tasted the food, no matter what it was made of. Travel and food, that’s what he loved. Unfortunately not everything was so rosy as it seemed. With confirmed suicide, there must had been something wrong going on in his life. As you mentioned being a drug addict is a huge problem even for person who loved doing what he did.
This is the sentence I recently read after his...

When the star of “Parts Unknown” didn’t come down from his hotel room for a rustic French dinner Thursday night, it was the first sign something was very wrong... 😔.


yeah, it is incredibly sad. There are rumours flying around the internet that there was foul play... interesting rumours, and as you say, he did seem so happy. I will surely miss him.😔.


It may as well be. The way they found him was very strange and unusual way to commit suicide. It looks almost like it was staged. Perhaps one day we will find out.

Excellent publication, very true is the people who struggle with depression are Heroes
It's a sad loss, excellent chef, I really liked watching his TV show traveling around the world sharing culinary tastes. Depression is a very strong disease where everyone involved with the patient suffers with it, maybe that's what torments the most to the depressive ones to know that others suffer when seeing them in that clinical state, the depression worsens with the step of the years, I know of these things by a close relative suffered depression and died in an accident during a nervous breakdown.

What a fitting testament to a man who lived so passionately and honestly!
Thank you for a brilliantly written piece, @princessmewmew.
Tony's ability to personally connect with others, while connecting his passion for food and life for others to more richly experience their own...
We've lost a great one.
RIP brother.


Thank you very much, I definitely poured a bit of my heart into this one x

What a beautiful, heartfelt article and tribute to a great man. He made an impact on so many lives. I loved his work and I’m not even close to being a “foodie”. But he was a true artist, writer, and poet. He will be missed by so many.


thank you Melody! I loved his writing too, busy finishing Kitchen Confidential for the fourth time. I think his work really spoke to those who are (and those who aren't) in the culinary scene

R.I.P. Bourdain. I do not believe it was a suicide. Check his tweet from a month ago regarding being on Hillary's bad side


yes! I didn't want to bring politics into the story, but I was reading about that too. Remember Seth Rich?


I will never forget Seth Rich, a true American patriot. Hillary would be president without his ultimate sacrifice.

Why he do that to himself, he was too good

What Bourdain was doing is expressed in this beautiful sentence from a Gilles Vigneault song: "And all humans are of my race,"

I saw one of his shows last Autumn, it gave me the taste to visit this city and that's what I did in March, looking for restaurants where he was alll. I'll miss him.


what a lovely comment - thank you! Which city did you visit?

A pity indeed, I remember when he was in Cuba, I almost had the pleasure to meet him since he was going around with a member of my family.

"Life your life the way you want to be remembered" is a quote that i think fit that great man perfectly.


yes! great quote x

Anthony brought significant exposure to the street food culture of Vietnam. He showed the world what great culinary varieties that the country has to offer. When he sat and ate with President Obama for a bowl of Bún chả Over beer I was truly proud of Vietnam. The world has lost a chef: Vietnam has lost a son.


You’re so right. I have learnt about many countries from watching his shows.

Sports World Cup: World Cup begins with friendly matches Russia has been preparing for the World Cup ahead of the World Cup. Today Brazil will face current champions in Berlin on Tuesday night Spain, on the other hand, will give Spain the hospitality to the present-day Buenos Aires

2018 Russia's World Cup tension has shattered. The days of the World Cup and the rest of the day. In the meantime, friendly matches have made the advance of the World Cup in the football world. The team of powerful teams are playing in one field. The Sunbe team that is playing in the field tonight. Among them, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, England, Italy, Russia, France, Denmark, Chil, Belgian, South Korea, Belgium.

Bangladesh will start at 12:45 pm on the same day, Brazil vs Argentina will play two live broadcasts, Sony TEN-2 and Sony TEN-2 HD.
MT News / AP / DC..


what does this have to do with Anthony Bourdain? It's really upsetting to put your heart and soul into a post, spend four hours writing and researching, and then some dude just writes utter nonsense and doesn't even read the post. come on, be a cool Steemian


stop antagonizing people and teach them how to be a better Steemain ...that gives you a good head and a good name ...but all the same KUDOS to your research


Hello Man....this is some kind of building in the sky.....makes no sense. look properly before you cross the road so you don't get crashed ....thanks for the update i have noted the date ,,,we don't watch football from home ...i watch it live from the pitch.....That world cup is coming to Africa and to My country ???


Hello Man....this is some kind of building in the sky.....makes no sense. look properly before you cross the road so you don't get crashed ....thanks for the update i have noted the date ,,,we don't watch football from home ...i watch it live from the pitch.....That world cup is coming to Africa and to My country ???

I never watched much of Anthony Bourdain or read his work. Some of the exerpts in here are excellent writing with great wit, and a reason to maybe pick up some of his work posthumously. Thanks for shedding light on why so many people are so sad he is gone.


his writing is sooo good man! Not a chef-turned-writer, but rather a storyteller, telling his story as he saw it, regardless of his past career


Most of the time when a celebrity dies I have 0 sympathy, this one seems to be hitting his fans the same way Robin Williams death did to his people. I won't mourn with you, but I will respect it. I really enjoyed your reflection on it. Have a great Sunday.

May his soul rest in peace

Most welcome sir
As before, you share a great recipe. For me, your recipes are a sign of quality. Most of all I like that you are a culinary ekperementatorom (or not?). You take excellent recipes and you make your decisions in them. That is, I like that during cooking you do not always follow the pattern.
Today's dish looks really appetizing. It is a diverse and appetizing cake that is mandatory for consumption with a cup of strong coffee or good tea. I love coconut and so the coconut chips for me add an appetite dish. The recipe was not difficult. Thanks to a detailed description of it can make many.
Thanks @adsactly for this beautifully described article.


why did you copy @frank1in's comment? Like i said below, I spent four hours writing and researching this post, and then you come and do this? I am personally insulted


Sorry for that....i guess it was been jobless have done a good job . forget and forgive ...i will talk to him no to do such again ....seriously

We’re sad he passed away. My partner is an avid fan of his.


he will be sorely missed. this is a certainty

End of a legend, we'll miss you dear 💖💔 ,
Thanks @adsactly for this beautifully described article.

Great article. I loved his shows. Such talent, gone far to soon. A great loss for all of us.


agreed! and thank you for your lovely compliment, I worked hard on this post

hello a great eroe Anthony Bourdain, chef, author, novelist excellent characters greetings

This is so painful. This is the first time I'm hearing about him only to find him dead. This is so sad...May his soul rest in peace.


yes, he was a true legend in the culinary world.


I wish i had knew him earlier

A very good post and tribute to Anthony Bourdain. He will surely be missed.


Thank you so much!


You are very welcome! :)

I can only hope he finds the peace which somehow eluded him here. I have seen a couple of his shows, we should watch out for signs (if it ever pops up) of depression in people close to us.


some people are really good at hiding the signs though. 😔.



Hello and I only want to say tha post like this, where someone is thinking almost for a moment or event similar to the other people, Tony was a differente celebrity, that show us more than food, I believe he was trying to show us places+food+people maybe . excelente post.. congratulations


absolutely! totally agreed. He used his elevated celebrity status to achieve more, to treat all men as equal, and that is what I truly admired about him

Go @adsactly! This is a sad topic, good story and story of this gentleman culinary hero, and I say sad because depression is a subject that should be reviewed in the world, to prevent valuable people from ending their lives taking off for this cause, I just do not see sense , may he rest in peace Anthony Bourdain, THANK YOU for sharing!

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Beautifully written tribute to a true legend. His passing was a horrible loss.

Although i do not know him until death. All i can say that he must be a great man because the internet went agog with regards to his achievement.

Absolutely amazing post! This made me smile and remember him in a wonderful way other than thinking about the sad way he left. He was truly like no other, may he Rest In Peace 😔

Whoa, I'm a bit shocked on his view about well done meats 😂, I like my meat medium rare but still well done doesn't deserve that much hate does it.

I do agree with not eating fish on Monday, but then again who goes to a restaurant on Monday? isn't it usually weekends?

Great article. A tribute to a great chef.
Please do not believe the suicide story as he would want you to question it.
Check out his distaste for weinstein and clintons to know more.

What a incredible tribute to a great man! i remind of him that idea of the universality of the food: is more than just a necessity, is the way of break the differences, the lines in history and time.

Thanks, man, for give us this great post.

thank you for this article.. Tony will be dearly missed... my husband and I are also huge fans of his... and we had the luck to accidentally meet him while shooting with his team in a restaurant in Alsace and talk to him just 4 days before the accident... Now it's hard to even believe what happened to him...He will stay in our hearts forever..

Great post! Still cant believe hes gone, he was such a brilliant man. Been watching him for so many years, and I Feel like I lost a close friend.

The death of Anthony Bourdain shocked me and even the whole world. I never thought that he will end up like that despite of his fame and wealth. May you rest in peace Anthony:(

  ·  4년 전

I'm about to write an article about him, meanwhile I pass by here to get excited about the recognition he has received not only from people from the gastronomic world but from people in general. He has been a rebel with a cause, a leader of the frying pans and the joy, I think we all feel identified by his style of individual freedom, food, drink and friends, a simple and genuine way of seeing life. I hope you can see my article in a few hours on my blog. Greetings and I hope to use the translator for English. Thank you

Estoy por redactar un articulo sobre el, mientras tanto paso por aqui para emocionarme por el reconocimiento que ha recibido no solo de personajes del medio gastronomico sino de personas en general. El ha sido un rebelde con causa, un lider de los sartenes y la alegria, creo que todos nos sentimos identificados por su estilo de libertad individual, comida, bebida y amigos, una forma simple de y genuina de ver la vida. Ojala pueda ver mi articulo en unas horas en mi blog. Saludos y espero utilizar el traductor para el ingles. Gracias.

Ok, No more fish on Monda.lesson learned. A wonderfull article about, Tony. I liked watching his T.V shows. Tony was an inspiration. Bye Tony

A heroin sniffing hero?

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