Add me to the list of Bourdain fans who loved the guy, but who weren’t really in love with the guy. By his own admission, he was kind of a jerk, and you’d understand if you’d read Kitchen Confidential. But man, I loved his shows. All of them. A Cook’s Tour. No Reservations. Parts Unknown. The Essence of Em… no, wait. He hated Emeril (but that’s another story).
I awoke this morning to the news of Tony’s apparent suicide during a shooting trip in Strasbourg, France (yes, fans call him Tony, because screw formality– just eat with your hands, you idiot) and had to wonder just what in the hell is going on in the world. This on the heels of Kate Spade’s suicide in New York earlier in the week… when the famous and ostensibly happy are this miserable, we’ve got a whole lot of work to do to make the world a better place for each other. Spade was a local icon in Kansas City, but not somebody I ever really knew anything about. Bourdain, however, I knew. And while there’s no way in hell I would ever want to work for the guy, I would love to have had the chance to sit down with him and share a simple bowl of Pho and an ice cold Vietnamese beer, or perhaps dig into a massive plate of Belgian mussles and an ice cold beer or… you get the idea. His writing and narration style color my own writing style, and he was the type of world traveler I would have had spectacular craich with. He loved food of all types and he loved other places of all types and cultures of all types and people of all types.
And the world’s a little less interesting without him in it.
Mercifully, he’s still on Netflix.
Update, within an hour of posting… it turns out I’m not the only one who feels the way I do. Two other blogs that I follow posted far more eloquent eulogies:
- My friend, mentor, and fellow globetrotting lawyer, Dan Harris, at China Law Blog. Anybody who has clients or business in China ought to follow Dan.
- Sean Patrick Hughes, at Chartwell West. I don’t know him, but I just got my hands on his book, Sixteen: A Rational Account of an Irrational Election. I can recommend it even before reading it… the guy’s writing is that thoughtful.