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Good Bye, Anthony Bourdain…

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I can’t believe Anthony Bourdain is gone. I realized this right after I finished watching season eleven of Parts Unknown, which was, in hindsight, to be his last.

I’ve been a fan of Anthony Bourdain for a long time ever since he published his bestseller Kitchen Confidential. I also followed his television career very closely: first on A Cook’s Tour, then No Reservations, and finally Parts Unknown.

Bourdain’s shows, like his books, are filled with wit, acerbic comments, and wry humor. But that was just one side of him. There was also a serious side: the listener, opinionated, often political, but always interested in the subject at hand. What made Bourdain standout compared to other shows was that he was not a tourist but a traveler. There’s a distinction. While most tourists like to visit places from a safe distance — often in a travel group nannied like children — Bourdain regularly mixed with the locals and often visited areas that were off the beaten path. Bourdain realized early one that to get a true feel of a place, you had to hit the pavement. The result is a deeper look at places beyond the usual postcard views and marketing brochures. Bourdain gives you the good as well as the bad.

Anthony Bourdain’s gift was his intimate interview style. He asked the right questions and was not afraid to rustle feathers, especially if feathers needed rustling. This was especially true with Parts Unknown. Perhaps it was on CNN, the show didn’t avoid talking about thorny issues. In Parts Unknown, Bourdain completed his evolution from having a show just about interesting cuisine to a show about things that matter the most — people.

Like most people, I was shocked by Bourdain’s sudden death. That it was a suicide was doubly-shocking. I didn’t know he suffered from depression, but like most celebrities, we only know them as acquaintances, our relationship with them is often only skin deep. Though Anthony Bourdain is gone in body, he remains in memory. He left behind one hell of an archive — both his writings and his shows.

He will be missed. Rest in peace, sir!

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Written by niraj

April 25th, 2019 at 10:35 am

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