I remember working at Jean-Georges restaurant when I was 22 and someone asking me what my ideal job would be. I had failed to get any kind of real writing career out of college, and most nights I stayed out late with my coworkers spending what little money I did have on food I couldn’t afford. So of course, without hesitation, I said I wanted to be Anthony Bourdain.
Could there have been a different answer? For a writer obsessed with food, Anthony Bourdain represented the very best life. He did everything: He was at one point a chef, a writer, a public speaker, and a host of one of the best travel and food shows that ever existed. And, damn, was he good at all of this. He was a storyteller that made the world feel a little bit smaller. He gave voices to people and cultures that otherwise might not get that voice, and he did it in such a way that never felt gross or appropriative.