I recollect the news of Anthony Bourdain's death vividly back in 2018 and the way it destroyed everyone's day with unexpectedly widespread impact. To me, he was more than just an author and a host, above all, he was a guide.
He taught you how to communicate with people regardless of their native language. He taught you how to savor different cuisines without being afraid of them, something that we have the liberty and endless option to do living here in New York. Even if you didn't have the financial means or the will to go on these journeys, Bourdain taught you to perceive the world as a large and intriguing menu to be savored in good company.
I recently finished reading a book entitled In the Weeds by Tom Vitale who was Bourdain's long time director and producer. In it, he “takes readers behind the scenes to reveal the insanity of filming television in some of the most volatile places in the world and what it was like to work with a legend.” Clinging to every word, every tale in the book was a true thrill since, aside from his show and documentary on Tony's life, it's the closest thing to understanding who he was as a person when the cameras were off.
Despite all of the shared experiences throughout the book, I can't help but return to this phrase, which, strangely enough, occurs at the end of a chapter in which Tom muses on Tony's death:
“After Tony died, one of the first thing people ask is if he left a note. I was horrified when I realized that I’ve been unwittingly helping him make one for 16 years.”