Four years ago, late world-renowned chef and host of CNN’s Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain said, “I love the food in this country. I must have Oxtail, whether in the Bronx or in Kingston.” These were endearing words uttered by the storyteller and adventurer, while filming his series in Jamaica.
The 61-year-old beloved author of Kitchen Confidential and Medium Raw, who it was reported committed suicide in a French hotel while in Europe to film his hugely popular show, went on to say, “I must have curried goat and jerk chicken, with pigeon pea rice and callaloo, as he clicked glasses with locals, during shots of rum and local beer.
The chef of the beach front bar in Montego Bay, chatted with Bourdain about Jamaica’s slowing economy and the challenges small restaurants were facing, to which Bourdain asked,” but why, this is a beautiful country with beautiful beaches and good food,” and spoke about the foods that were brought to the Island by immigrants, that he called a good mix of African, and East Indian.
The episode that was seen by this reporter, a fan, in 2014, and recently viewed on YouTube, showed how much Bourdain connected with people during his many years of sojourns.
His exciting commentary, love of cultures, and exquisite cuisines, attracted millions of viewers to his show, and who will forever miss his effervescent personality.
Like this reporter who tuned in to CNN, religiously on Sunday evenings to get a glimpse into the life of this iconic master chef’s knowledge and lifestyle, mixed with travel, Guyanese-American chef, Debra Charles, author of Guyana’s “Tasty Exotic” cook book, said, “while Bourdain’s palate for food and his love for travel was admirable, it was his style and deliverance that attracted so many, including myself.”
Charles, who attended the French Culinary Institute where Bourdain was a dean, called Bourdain the quintessential rustic, figure.
“I admired him for not always saying popular things, but for what he deemed to be true, even if it was his truth. My Sunday nights are shattered by my heartbreak at this great loss. How can I forget Vietnam, where he ate ramen noodle soup with President Obama, or Trinidad’s street food, Jamaica’s jerk, ice fishing in Quebec, and seaside jaunts in Peru.”
“Every artist has a method to his madness and some of Bourdain’s was perfect imperfections that helped to create his uniqueness,” said Charles, of the Emmy-Award winning TV personality.
“Chef Bourdain, I will miss your smiles, crooked teeth, sun burnt skin, and motorcycle riding chic. As a Chef, I’d like to thank you for filling in the gaps that I didn’t learn at the French Culinary Institute. Rest in the arms of the food angels,” added the Midtown-Manhattan food consultant.
Bourdain will be forever be remembered for his brilliant quotes including, “Walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food. It’s a plus for everybody.”
“His love of great adventure, new friends, fine food and drink and the remarkable stories of the world made him a unique storyteller.
“His talents never ceased to amaze us and we will miss him very much, said a statement from CNN, of Bourtain, who left a 11-year-old daughter and family members to mourn his loss.